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Northwestern University

Tips for Completing Distribution Requirements

NOTE: Students who start taking classes at Northwestern after Spring 2023 should refer to Foundational Disciplines and Overlays. The information below pertains to students who started at Northwestern Spring 2023 or earlier.

Every Weinberg College student must take two one-quarter courses in each of six designated areas at some point before graduating.

Important rules

When you choose your distribution requirement courses, please remember:

Strategies for success

It’s a good strategy to start on distribution requirements early.

Why? For one thing, distribution courses can be the foundation for more advanced courses you'll want to take later. For another, taking courses in a range of different academic areas can help you to decide which area, or areas, you’d like to explore in greater depth—as a major, a minor, or a more informal area of focus. Also, for many students, the third and fourth years of college are a time to concentrate on a major, to take advantage of internship and research opportunities, and to complement their major coursework with other courses related to their post-graduation plans. You do have the entirety of your time at Northwestern to finish this requirement, but it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

Fulfilling College requirements, including distribution requirements, should not be your only goal in selecting courses.

Most students have plenty of room in their schedules to take some classes just because they're excited by a topic and want to learn more about it.

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