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I'm curious about the type of curriculum offered at Dartmouth. Are there distributive requirements or core classes?

A: Jenny with crossed arms

There are two strictly required classes for freshmen, a world culture requirement, and distributive requirements (to complete by graduation). Freshmen must take a Writing 5 (or Writing 2/3) as well as a First-Year Seminar course during their first year. Although those sound very vague, the classes themselves focus on very specific and unique topics. For example, my Writing 5 was on diversity in higher education and my First-Year Seminar was on the body and the nude in Western visual art. Both of them were fantastic classes! Each of those classes is only 16 students, which creates a very intimate classroom setting (especially since my other courses were larger STEM classes).

The world culture requirement can be satisfied by taking a class in each of the three areas of European, North American, and Non-Western. The distributive requirements include one class each in the Arts, Literature, Philosophy/Historical Analysis/Religion, International or Comparative Study, Quantitative and Deductive Sciences, Technology or Applied Sciences, as well as two in Social Analysis and Natural Sciences (one of which must have a laboratory component).

Personally, I have written a bit about the distributive requirements here, but I have not found them difficult at all to complete and I personally appreciate the fact that they encourage everyone towards a more holistic education. Also, some courses can satisfy more than one requirement; for example, my First-Year Seminar also checked off my art distributive. I only have two left, which I plan on completing my senior year.

For more information, be sure to check out the Office of Registrar guidelines and this diagram.

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