Curriculum Requirements

You have chosen a school that emphasizes the liberal arts. So you should be expecting — and eager —to play the intellectual field. Explore. Learn broadly. Use your first two years to see what areas of study excite you and draw on your strengths so that you can choose a major wisely.

The Undergraduate Bulletin is an essential document that describes the academic policies that bind both students and the University, including your core academic requirements. You will receive a hard copy at Orientation, but you can begin to browse an electronic copy even before you arrive.  The bulletin is a document that you will need to read carefully and keep close at hand for reference throughout your time at Wake Forest.

Our starting point is to note that the Undergraduate Bulletin contains many statements and policies that bind both the student and the University. Please read it carefully, and get in the habit of using it for reference throughout your time at Wake Forest.

Please note the academic calendar on the inside front cover of the Bulletin. The 2016 – 2017 calendar can also be found on the University website.  It contains important dates regarding holidays, exams, and course drop and add dates. All of these dates deserve your careful attention as you make plans for this year and next.

The core curriculum requirements are intended to introduce you to various fields of knowledge and lay the foundation for concentration in a major or related field during your junior and senior years. For these reasons, you should aim to complete these requirements within your first two years.  These requirements consist of both “Basic” and “Divisional” Requirements.

Basic Requirements

First-Year Seminar (FYS 100, 3 hours): required for all students.

Writing Seminar (WRI 111, 4 hours): required unless you are exempted by an AP Language & Composition or AP Literature & Composition score of 4 or 5, or IB English Language score of 6 or 7.

200-level foreign language course (3 hours) might require prerequisites. Placement is determined by Foreign Language Placement Exam (see section on FLP). You might be exempt based on AP/IB score. Students whose primary language (the language of instruction in the student’s prior schooling) is other than English are exempt from the basic requirement in foreign language and must fulfill the Division II requirements with a course where readings do not concentrate on the literature of the student’s primary language (2014-2015 Bulletin, pg. 67) These students should contact Dean David Levy to process the exemption.

Health and Exercise Science (HES 100 and 101, 1 hour each): required for all students.

Divisional Requirements

You must complete courses in each of the five divisions of the undergraduate curriculum while enrolled at Wake Forest. Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit for these courses can be used for elective credit but cannot be used to satisfy divisional requirements. Courses satisfying a divisional requirement are designated (D) after their descriptions in the Undergraduate Bulletin and under course attributes on WIN.

The Course Completion Checklist also lists current courses that meet divisional requirements.

DivisionDepartmentsNumber of Courses Required
* must be in two different departments
I. HumanitiesHistory; Philosophy; Religion2*
II. LiteraturesLiteratures Written in English (English Department) In English Translation (Classical Languages, East Asian Languages and Cultures, German and Russian, and the Program in Humanities)1
III. Fine ArtsArt, Music, Theatre and Dance1
IV. Social SciencesAnthropology, Communication, Economics, Education, Politics and International Affairs, Psychology, Sociology2*
V. Math and Natural SciencesBiology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics2*

Cultural Diversity and Quantitative Reasoning Requirements

One Cultural Diversity (CD) and one Quantitative Reasoning (QR) course are required. These can be taken at the basic, divisional, or major/minor level or as an elective. CD and QR designations are found after course descriptions in the Undergraduate Bulletin and under course attributes on WIN. A list of courses that fulfill the CD/QR requirement can be found here.