1999-2000 General University Requirements

1999-2000 Bulletin Entry for:

General University Requirements

(file last updated: [7/6/1999 - 13:21:36])


The general requirements for students entering Brandeis in the fall of 1994 and thereafter incorporate a variety of interconnected elements to build a strong, general education foundation. The fundamental goals of the program are to improve students' abilities to integrate knowledge from different fields; to provide more extensive opportunities for the acquisition and development of writing, linguistic, and quantitative skills; to introduce greater flexibility in the scheduling of degree requirements throughout the undergraduate career; and to expand students' opportunities to interact with faculty in small class settings in the first year of instruction.

General University Requirements

The basic outline of the requirements for students who entered Brandeis in the fall of 1994 and thereafter is as follows:

A. The Cluster Program

All students will complete three interrelated semester courses from an approved "cluster," including selections from at least two different schools of the University: Creative Arts, Humanities, Science, and Social Science.

B. University Seminar in Humanistic Inquiries

All students in their first year will complete one semester course from the USEM program.

C. University Writing

All students will complete two components of the writing requirement: WL 1a (University Writing Seminar) and a writing intensive course. All first-year students are required to take WL 1a, the University Writing Seminar that is offered in conjunction with each University Seminar in Humanistic Inquiries. When students select their seminars, they will simultaneously enroll for the associated writing seminar. Normally, in their second or third years, students will take a course that is designated as writing intensive. Courses numbered in the 90s shall not be eligible for a writing intensive designation.

D. Quantitative Reasoning

All students will take one course that is designated as meeting the quantitative reasoning requirement.

E. Foreign Language

The foreign language requirement is met by successful completion of a third semester course (normally numbered in the 30s) in the introductory language sequence. No more than one course (and never the final one) in the sequence may be taken on the pass-fail grading option.

F. Non-Western and Comparative Studies

Students will complete one semester course designated as meeting the requirement in non-Western and comparative studies.

G. School Distribution

Students will complete one semester course in each of the four schools of the University: Creative Arts, Humanities, Science, and Social Science. In general, "double counting" is encouraged; most students will satisfy the school distribution requirement in the context of others, e.g., in satisfying the requirements of a cluster, a major, a minor, or a program. Between and among general University requirements, the only limitations on double counting are as follows: University Seminars in Humanistic Inquiries are interdisciplinary in character and have membership in no specific school of the University. The three-course foreign language sequence may not be applied toward the humanities component of this requirement. No single course in a student's program may satisfy both the quantitative reasoning requirement and the science component of this requirement. No courses numbered in the 90s may apply toward this component. Finally, a single course may be used toward school distribution in only one school.

The pages that follow contain additional information (including course lists) for the cluster, non-Western and comparative studies, quantitative reasoning, University seminar, and writing requirements.