General Education Distribution

For students entering Wharton prior to fall 2017

7 required CUs

globals and gen edsThe Wharton undergraduate curriculum is structured to combine the study of business with the study of the arts and sciences. The curriculum is designed this way to ensure that students:

  • Are exposed to the intellectual activities and diverse perspectives of scholars from a wide array of disciplines
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Are prepared to be actively engaged as informed global citizens

A total of 7 CUs are necessary to fulfill the General Education Distribution requirement, which is the arts and sciences component of the curriculum. Any course in this requirement may be taken pass/fail if it is not used to fulfill the Global Environment requirement and does not apply to a minor. Please refer to the pass/fail policy for more information.

View a list of approved General Education Distribution courses. If you have questions about these courses, please meet with an academic advisor in the Undergraduate Division.

NOTE: Students in the Management and Technology and Nursing and Healthcare Management coordinated dual-degree programs can only fulfill the General Education Distribution requirement through courses in the Social Structures or Language, Arts & Culture categories. Courses that are considered to be Science and Technology are not permitted for the General Education Distribution requirement.

Language, Arts & Culture

At least 2 CUs

Courses within the category of Language, Arts & Culture focus on works of creativity. These courses may include, but are not limited to, those which analyze art, cinema, literature, music, and theater. These courses also include those focused on language acquisition and analysis.

Departments with courses that generally fall within Language, Arts, and Culture are:
ALAN (Asian Languages), ANEL (Ancient Near East Languages), ARAB (Arabic), ARCH (Architecture), ARTH (Art History), CHIN (Chinese), CINE (Cinema Studies), COML (Comparative Literature & Literary Theory), COMM (Communications), DTCH (Dutch), ENGL (English), FNAR (Fine Arts), FOLK (Folklore), GREK (Greek), GRMN (Germanic Languages), HEBR (Hebrew), JPAN (Japanese), KORN (Korean), LING (Linguistics), MUSC (Music), PERS (Persian), PRTG (Portuguese), ROML (Romance Languages), RUSS (Russian), SCND (Scandinavian Languages), SLAV (Slavic Languages), THAR (Theater Arts), TURK (Turkish), VLST (Visual Studies), YDSH (Yiddish)*

Science & Technology

At least 2 CUs

Courses within the category of Science and Technology focus on scientific methods of inquiry and interpretation.

Departments with courses that generally fall within Science and Technology are:
ASTR (Astronomy), BCHE (Biochemistry), BE (Bioengineering), BIBB (Biological Basis of Behavior), BIOL (Biology), CBE (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), CHEM (Chemistry), CIS (Computer & Information Science), ESE (Electrical & Systems Engineering), EAS (Engineering & Applied Science), ENM (Engineering Mathematics), ENVS (Environmental Studies), GEOL (Geology), LGIC (Logic, Information, & Computation), MSE (Materials Science & Engineering), MATH (Mathematics), MEAM (Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics), NURS (Nursing), PHYS (Physics), PSYC (Psychology)*

Social Structures

At least 2 CUs

Social Structures courses focus on the relationship between individuals and institutions, methods of social observation and analysis, tools for historical analysis and inquiry, and issues of civic life and public policy.

Departments with courses that generally fall within Social Structures are:
ANCH (Ancient History), CRIM (Criminology), ECON (Economics), HIST (History), INTR (International Relations), PHIL (Philosophy), PPE (Philosophy, Politics, & Economics), PSCI (Political Science), RELS (Religious Studies), SOCI (Sociology), URBS (Urban Studies)*

* Not all courses in these departments are guaranteed to satisfy the General Education requirement under which they are noted. Students who are unsure which requirement a course will fulfill should consult with an academic advisor in the Undergraduate Division.

Students should also note that the following departments offer courses that can satisfy different General Education Distribution requirements depending on course content: AFST (African Studies), AFRC (Africana Studies), ANTH (Anthropology), ASAM (Asian American Studies), CLST (Classical Studies), COMM (Communications), EALC (East Asian Languages & Civilizations), FREN (French), GSOC (Gender, Culture, & Society), GSWS (Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies), HSOC (Health & Societies), HSSC (History & Sociology of Science), ITAL (Italian), JWST (Jewish Studies), LALS (Latin American & Latino Studies), NELC (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations), SAST (South Asia Studies), SPAN (Spanish), STSC (Science, Technology, & Society)