Fulfilling the Distribution Requirement

This requirement is only for students graduating after 2019

Students can take departmental courses from across the academic divisions of the FAS to fulfill the new distribution requirement, either now or when the new College requirements take effect in Fall 2019.

Learn more about the new distribution requirement on the website of the Office of Undergraduate Education, which oversees the implementation of this new requirement. Please contact divdist@fas.harvard.edu with any questions.

Fulfilling the Distribution Requirement in Fall 2019 or later

Starting in Fall 2019, only departmental courses that have been approved for the Arts & Humanities, Science & Engineering or Social Sciences divisional distribution requirement will fulfill these requirements. Gen Ed courses students take in Fall 2019 or later will not satisfy the new distribution requirement. All courses that satisfy the divisional distribution requirement in Arts & Humanities, Science & Engineering, and Social Sciences are tagged as such and can be searched for in my.harvard.edu.

Arts & Humanities

Arts & Humanities


Fulfilling Arts & Humanities before Fall 2019

Take an approved departmental course in the Arts & Humanities division to fulfill this requirement.  Or, complete both the current Gen Ed Aesthetic & Interpretive Understanding (AI) requirement and the current Gen Ed Culture & Belief (CB) requirement before Fall 2019. Students who have done so will automatically have fulfilled the new divisional distribution requirement for the Arts & Humanities and the new Gen Ed requirement for Aesthetics & Culture.

Students who have taken an approved Arts & Humanities course but have not fulfilled AI or CB will automatically have fulfilled only the distribution requirement for the Arts & Humanities.

Students who have fulfilled AI or CB will not have fulfilled the new divisional distribution requirement for the Arts & Humanities, but will have fulfilled the new Gen Ed requirement for Aesthetics & Culture.

Science and Engineering & Applied Science

Science & Engineering


Fulfilling Science & Engineering before Fall 2019

Take an approved departmental course in the Science & Engineering division to fulfill this requirement.  Or, complete both the current Gen Ed Science of Living Systems (SLS) requirement and the current Gen Ed Science of the Physical Universe (SPU) requirement before Fall 2019. Students who have done so will automatically have fulfilled the new divisional distribution requirement for Science & Engineering and the new Gen Ed requirement for Science & Technology in Society.

Students who have taken an approved Science & Engineering course but have not fulfilled SLS or SPU will automatically have fulfilled only the new divisional distribution requirement for Science & Engineering.

Students who have fulfilled SLS or SPU will not have fulfilled the new divisional distribution requirement for Science & Engineering, but will have fulfilled the new Gen Ed requirement for Science & Technology in Society.

Social Science

Social Sciences


Fulfilling Social Sciences before Fall 2019

Take an approved departmental course in the Social Sciences division to fulfill this requirement.  Or, complete both the current Gen Ed Societies of the World (SW) requirement and the current Gen Ed United States in the World (USW) requirement before Fall 2019. Students who have done so will automatically have fulfilled the new divisional distribution requirement for the Social Sciences and the new Gen Ed requirement for Histories, Societies, Individuals.

Students who have taken an approved Social Sciences course but have not fulfilled SW or USW will automatically have fulfilled only the new divisional distribution requirement for the Social Sciences.

Students who have fulfilled SW or USW will not have fulfilled the new divisional distribution requirement for the Social Sciences, but will have fulfilled the new Gen Ed requirement for Histories, Societies, Individuals.

Economics 10a or 10b alone can fulfill the new divisional distribution requirement in the Social Sciences. Students should be aware that this will not be reflected on their Academic Advising Report until Fall 2019. However, students who use the combination of Economics 10a and 10b to fulfill EMR or USW cannot also use Economics 10a or 10b to fulfill the new Social Sciences distribution requirement.