Requirements for Graduation: Arts and Sciences BA/BS

There are four requirements for a BA or BS degree in the School of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018 must complete 34 courses and 120 credits. Students matriculating in Fall 2018 and later must complete 120 credits.
  2. All students (regardless of matriculation date) must satisfy all foundation, distribution, and major requirements.
  3. All students must meet the quality requirement, earning grades of C- or better in three-quarters of the courses you have taken at Tufts under standard grading.
  4. All students must satisfy the residency requirement of eight full-time semesters, according to the stipulations outlined in The Bulletin.

Foundation Requirements

Icon with elephant and writing copy

Writing Requirement

Writing is fundamental to a liberal arts education. All liberal arts students are required to take two semesters of college writing in order to graduate. We recommend that students begin this requirement during their first year. Most students complete this requirement by taking English 1 or English 3 in the first semester and English 2, Philosophy 2, or English 4 in the second semester, when the majority of such classes are offered. Find out if you have completed part or all of this requirement with pre-matriculation credits.

Learn More about the Writing Requirement Frequently Asked Questions

Icon with elephant and penguin


There are two parts to the Language/Culture requirement. First, every BA/BS student must demonstrate knowledge of a language other than English through the third semester college level. The second part may be satisfied in several different ways including: advanced courses in the same language, study of an additional language, or study of a specific culture through courses taught in English. You may place out of part or all of this requirement with Tufts language placement exams, SAT II/AP/IB/other scores, or a college transcript. (Please refer to the exam equivalency chart to determine placement or credit.)

language and culture requirement timeline

World Civilization icon grey and blue

World Civilization

The world civilizations requirement focuses on an in-depth study of a non-Western civilization or the interaction of non-Western and Western civilizations with equal attention given to both. The definition of the non-Western world includes Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and selected indigenous cultures of Oceania and North America.

Distribution Requirements

A liberal arts degree must include the following five areas: humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematical sciences. While there is some freedom in which courses you can take, keep these important rules in mind:

  • Complete the equivalent of 2 courses that total at least 6 credits in each distribution area.
  • For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018, no more than 2 courses, of any number of credits, may be from the same department or program. For students who matriculate in to Fall 2018 or after, no more than 3 courses, of any number of credits, may be from the same department or program.
  • At least 3 credits in each area must come from credits earned after matriculation (or from transfer credits).
  • No single course may be used in more than one distribution area.
  • Only one Ex-College course (no matter how many credits) may be used as  a distribution requirement.
  • Courses graded pass-fail may not be used to satisfy any distribution requirement.

You can search for classes that meet each requirement by using Tufts’ Student Information System (SIS) class search.

Student Degree Audit

This release includes an Academic Planner, a Scheduler Builder that allows students to put courses from their plan or degree audit into their SIS shopping cart, and a feature so that students and Advisors can communicate within the Degree Audit interface. Phase Two also includes Degree Roadmaps for the School of Engineering.

The Registrar has developed training documents to help students familiarize themselves with this new release of the Student Degree Audit. We encourage all students to review these resources: