Fulfilling SLS & SPU

Fulfilling Science of Living Systems & Science of the Physical Universe
Students graduating in or before 2019 will complete the current General Education requirements, with much greater flexibility in how their requirements are met. The Classes of 2020 and 2021 (including students who graduate in March 2020) will be transitioned into the new program, which will take effect in Fall 2019, and can begin to benefit from the flexibility of these new requirements now. Any requirements fulfilled in the current program will count toward requirements in the new program.

For the paired categories of Science of Living Systems (SLS) and Science of the Physical Universe (SPU), students must take one course (either Gen Ed or previously-designated departmental course) that currently counts for either SLS or SPU. The other course in this pair may be either SLS or SPU, a departmental course that counts toward either category, or a departmental course within the Sciences division. Essentially, students are given the option for one course in this pair to act as the new program’s distribution requirement. In order to receive Gen Ed credit for a Sciences course, students must first take a Gen Ed or departmental course that is currently approved for Gen Ed credit. Credit can then be given retroactively, as appropriate, for the Sciences course. Learn more about courses in the Sciences division.

When the new requirements take effect in Fall 2019, anyone who has already fulfilled both parts of the paired categories of SLS & SPU will automatically have fulfilled the new General Education requirement for Science & Technology in Society and the new distribution requirement for Sciences. Anyone who has already fulfilled SLS or SPU will automatically have fulfilled the new General Education requirement for Science & Technology in Society.

Please note the following:

  • Credits & grades: Only four-unit FAS courses taken for a letter grade can count toward current Gen Ed requirements.
  • Expos and Freshman Seminars: Courses in Expository Writing and Freshman Seminars will not count toward any of the current Gen Ed requirements or the new requirements.
  • Math, Applied Math, Statistics, and Computer Science: Courses in these departments can count for either EMR or for SLS or SPU, but not both.
  • Please see the Divisional Distribution information in a course’s my.harvard.edu description for information about individual courses.  If no divisional information is provided, please contact us to confirm if a particular advanced language course can count.