Curriculum Requirements

It’s Ok To See Other Subjects.

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. You will receive a hard copy at Orientation, but even before you arrive, you can begin to browse an electronic copy at 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.

Bookmark the section titled “Requirements for Degrees.” These requirements are also summarized below.

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.

Writing Seminar (WRI 111, 4 hours):  required unless you are exempted by a qualifying score on an AP Language & Composition or AP Literature & Composition exam or IB higher-level English Language exam. This class is to be taken during the first year. For more information please visit

A 200-level foreign language course (3 hours): which might require prerequisites. Placement is determined by the Foreign Language Placement Test. See the Foreign Language Placement section for more info (p. 92). 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 (2017–18 Bulletin). These students should contact the Dean’s Office to process the exemption.

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

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 and under course attributes on WIN.

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.

Humanities 2 Courses*

  • 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, German and Russian, Romance Languages and the Program in Humanities)

Fine Arts 1 Course

  • 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
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics

* must be from two different departments