New Requirements (Beginning Fall 2019)

Based on recommendations from the General Education Review Committee’s (GERC) Final Report, in March 2016 FAS faculty approved a new set of requirements for Harvard College students:  

  • four General Education courses (one from each of four perspectives):  Aesthetics & Culture; Histories, Societies, Individuals; Science & Technology in Society; Ethics & Civics
  • one course from each of the three main divisions of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences (including SEAS), and 
  • one course that demonstrates quantitative facility.  

These requirements will take effect in Fall 2019.  

Until the new program launches students will have significantly more flexibility in how current Gen Ed requirements are met, including with departmental courses and other Gen Ed courses.  Please see Advice for Students to learn how the adoption of these new requirements affects students’ existing requirements and to get advice about choosing courses with these changes in mind.  We encourage you to review our FAQs.  You are welcome to contact us with any questions you might have.

Choosing Courses
The most up-to-date listing of academic year offerings that satisfy General Education requirements can be found at, where you can search for courses by General Education category, Study of the Past, or term offered. You can use to view recent Q scores, directly link to course websites and add courses to your Crimson Cart.   To search in for General Education courses for a particular term, use the Advanced Search function, then select a General Education category or Study of the Past from the drop-down menu found under FAS – Additional Attributes.   You may also wish to explore our archive of course trailers.

See a list of “small” General Education courses (i.e., courses with previous enrollments of less than 55 students) for the current term. Please note that the information regarding these courses is subject to change (e.g., classroom and meeting time). Please check my.harvard for the most up-to-date information.

Certain on-campus, seven-week Harvard Summer School courses and certain Harvard Summer School Study Abroad courses can count toward current Gen Ed requirements or the new distribution requirement.  Learn more