The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees

Requirements for the Degree

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers undergraduates a wide range of courses to satisfy individual objectives and interests. In defining the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, the Faculty has sought to accommodate those objectives and interests and, at the same time, to establish a framework for study in the College that ensures involvement with important areas of general knowledge (the Core or General Education requirements) and in-depth study of one specific area (the concentration requirement). In addition, students must demonstrate competence in certain skills reflective of the complex demands of modern society (writing and foreign language requirements) and achieve a satisfactory level of performance in their work. Each of these requirements is set forth in detail below. (For the rules concerning the Bachelor of Science degree, see Engineering Sciences.) Every student is responsible for knowing the rules that apply to his or her candidacy for the AB or SB degree.

Exceptions to the rules may be made only by special vote of the Administrative Board of Harvard College (hereafter referred to as the Administrative Board) or by those administrative officers or committees to which the Faculty, for certain matters, has delegated authority to act on its behalf.

Course Requirements for the Degree

All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree must pass 16.0 full courses and receive letter grades of C– or higher in at least 10.5 of them (at least 12.0 to be eligible for a degree with honors). The only non-letter grade that counts toward the requirement of 10.5 satisfactory letter-graded courses is Satisfactory (SAT), given in Freshman Seminars and certain tutorial courses; only one full senior tutorial course graded Satisfactory may be so counted. Courses taken either by cross-registration or out of residence for degree credit will not be counted toward the letter-graded course requirement unless they are applied toward concentration requirements or the requirements for the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP). Six of the required 10.5 letter-graded full courses should normally have been completed by the end of the sophomore year. Ordinarily, no freshman or sophomore may take fewer than three letter-graded half-courses in any term. Advanced Standing students graduating in six terms and sophomore transfer students (4.0 courses granted) must pass 12.0 full courses at Harvard and receive letter grades of C– or higher in at least 7.5 of them (at least 9.0 to be eligible for a degree with honors). Advanced Standing students graduating in seven terms must pass 14.0 full courses at Harvard and receive letter grades of C– or higher in at least 9.0 of them (at least 10.5 to be eligible for a degree with honors). Junior transfer students (8.0 courses granted) must pass 8.0 full courses at Harvard and receive letter grades of C– or higher in at least 5.0 of them (at least 6.0 to be eligible for a degree with honors). All degree recipients must have been degree candidates for at least four regular terms and have passed at least 8.0 full courses as degree candidates during regular terms in Harvard College. The precise number of letter-graded courses with C– or higher required of transfer students will be subject to evaluation at the time of matriculation at Harvard.