The stone arch to Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University.

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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 which 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. It is a document that you will need to read carefully and refer to throughout your time at Wake Forest.

Core requirements

Basic requirements

First-Year Seminar (FYS 100, 3 hours)

  • Required for all students. This class is to be taken during the first year. Given that FYS 100 and WRI 111 are both reading and writing intensive, it is best that students not take these courses during the same semester.
  • View Fall 2024 First-Year Seminars

College Writing Requirement

  • Students are required to complete WRI 111 (4 hrs) -OR- a sequence of WRI 109 (2 hrs) in the fall followed by WRI 110 (2 hrs) in the spring.
  • Given that FYS 100 and WRI 111 are both reading and writing intensive, it is best that students not take these courses during the same semester.
  • You can use the information you get from our First Year Writing Decision Tool to make a decision about which course to register for in July. We do not recommend that you take FYS (the first-year seminar) at the same time that you take WRI 111, since it is 4 credits, but it would be fine to take FYS at the same time you take WRI 109 or WRI 110 since they are each just 2 credit hours.
  • View Fall 2024 Writing Courses

A 200-level foreign language course (3 hours), which might require prerequisites

  • Placement is determined by the Foreign Language Placement Test. You might be exempt based on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate 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. Please contact Ms. Margaret Clayton ( in the Office of Academic Advising for more information.

Health and Exercise Science (HES 100, 1 hour)

  • Required for all students and should be taken within the first year.

Divisional requirements

You must complete courses in each of the five divisions of the undergraduate curriculum while enrolled at Wake Forest. Qualifying Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores count towards general elective and some major/minor 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 Tags within the Find Course Sections report to Workday.

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

Humanities: 2 Courses*

  • African American Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Study of Religions
  • Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Literatures: 1 Course

  • Literatures Written in English (English Department)
  • In English Translation (Classical Languages, East Asian Languages and Cultures, French Studies, German and Russian, Italian Studies, the Program in Humanities, and Spanish)

Fine Arts: 1 Course

  • African American Studies
  • Art
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance

Social Sciences: 2 Courses*

  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Politics and International Affairs
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Math & Natural Sciences: 2 Courses*

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Statistical Sciences

* Must be from two different departments.

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 electives. CD and QR designations are found after course descriptions in the Undergraduate Bulletin, under Course Tags within the Find Course Sections report of Workday, and at the bottom of the Course Completion Checklist.