A new set of requirements for Harvard College students will take effect in fall 2019, replacing the current General Education requirements.  All students graduating in 2020 or later will transition to the new requirements at that time and will graduate under the new requirements.

The new requirements will be:

  • General Education: one Gen Ed course from each of four perspectives
    • Aesthetics & Culture
    • Ethics & Civics
    • Histories, Societies, Individuals
    • Science & Technology in Society
  • Distribution: one departmental course from each of the three academic divisions within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS)
    • Arts & Humanities
    • Science & Engineering
    • Social Sciences
  • Empirical & Mathematical Reasoning: one course.

There are no constraints regarding the timing of the above requirements as long as all are completed by graduation.  Under the new requirements, students will be able to take one Gen Ed course pass-fail and any number of Distribution courses pass-fail.  In addition to these new requirements, students will still need to fulfill the Expository Writing and language requirements.

See Fulfilling New Requirements to learn how you can use courses in the current Program in General Education and departmental courses to fulfill the new College requirements.

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, divisional distribution, 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.

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