Prospective Students

Curriculum and Requirements

Why any requirements? Well, our faculty believe that educated people in the 21st century should be exposed to a wide variety of disciplines in order to lead productive lives – both professionally and personally. You can’t answer many questions about our world today without approaching the issue from multiple perspectives. And since everything in the world is interconnected in some way, your curriculum should be as well. So whether you have a pretty good sense of what you want to study in college, or too many interests to narrow things down just yet, our General Education requirement will expose you to a wide variety of subjects, impart important skills that will help you find a major, and will complement the major you ultimately choose.

There are two parts to the General Education requirement: Foundational Approaches and Sectors of Knowledge. Depending on your foreign language skills and how carefully you select courses once at Penn, students can complete the requirement in as few as eight courses. You can also see from this graphic that a third of your time in the College is completely unprescribed. Students use this time for electives, a minor, or perhaps a second major or dual degree.