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Northwestern University

Courses and Distribution Credits

NOTE: Effective Fall 2022 courses will no longer be reviewed for the distribution requirements. They may instead be reviewed for the degree requirement structure that goes into effect for all students who matriculate after spring 2023. See Courses and the post-spring 2023 requirements.

All Weinberg College students must complete distribution requirements--two courses in each of six areas of inquiry. This provides the breadth of knowledge and intellectual flexibility that are hallmarks of a liberal arts and sciences education.

Almost any course can count toward the distribution requirements, including those providing a broad introduction to a field of study (as in many 100-level and 200-level courses) and those that focus on more narrow and/or advanced topics (more characteristic of 300-level courses).

The Curricular Review Committee approves courses for fulfilling distribution requirements.

Proposing courses for distribution credit approval

Both new and existing courses can be approved for fulfilling Weinberg distribution requirements. 

Exceptions include:

New courses

Most courses are reviewed for counting toward distribution requirements when they are first proposed as additions to the curriculum; a question on the proposal form asks for which area(s) the course should be considered. See instructions for proposing a new course.

Existing courses

Sometimes a department or program proposes that an existing course be approved for counting toward distribution requirements. As we look ahead towards transitioning from distribution areas to foundational disciplines (future degree requirements) Proposals should be emailed to Laura Panko, Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Assessment. Include:

Review detailed guidelines for distribution requirement approval.

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