Each student must take one (or two if so indicated) course(s) in each of the following areas by graduation:
- Art: creation, performance, history or criticism; (ART)
- Literature: the history, criticism or theory of texts; (LIT)
- Systems and Traditions of Thought, Meaning and Value; (TMV)
- International or Comparative Study; (INT)
- Social Analysis (two courses); (SOC)
- Quantitative or Deductive Science;(QDS)
- Natural and Physical Science (two courses); without/with lab (SCI/SLA)
- Technology or Applied Science; without/with lab (TAS/TLA)
At least one of the courses in category 7 or 8 must have a laboratory, experimental, or field component (LAB).
Each student must take at least one course in each of the following cultural areas before graduation:
- Western Cultures (W)
- Non-Western Cultures (NW)
- Culture and Identity (CI)
First-year students should not be overly focused on distributives in their first few terms, as any course they elect will count towards some requirement or other. By the end of the first year, though, a student should give some thought to distributives, as some students will find themselves concentrating in one area.
Encourage students to use distributives to explore subjects they did not study in high school instead of merely continuing in disciplines with which they are already familiar.
All College Distributive Requirements must be met by Dartmouth classes, with the following two caveats:
- Courses taken as part of the Twelve-College Exchange in a student's second, third, or fourth year can be applied to the Distributive Requirements.
- Courses from other institutions taken after matriculation at Dartmouth must be pre- approved by the Committee on Instruction. A student must submit an application to the Registrar's Office by the published application deadlines.
Although some courses may be listed in two distributive areas (i.e. SOC/INT), each distributive area must be filled by a unique course. Thus, a student will have to take ten separate courses to fulfill the Distributive Requirements.
A single course can be used to fulfill both a Distributive Requirement and a World Culture Requirement. By careful selection of courses, therefore, a student can satisfy all requirements with ten courses.
Departmental requirements for individual majors are separate from College requirements and courses that count towards a major can be used to fulfill either Distributive Requirements and/or World Culture Requirements.
A student must earn a D or better in a course for it to fulfill a Distributive or World Culture Requirement.
If a student elects to "NRO" a course, the student cannot get distributive or world culture credit. (See more on the Non-Recording Option)
The "Timetable" is the best and easiest place to scan for distributives. The Timetable also allows one to view all courses offered in a given term that would fulfill a certain Distributive Requirement, by checking the "General Education Requirement" tab on the Timetable.
A number of departments offer courses that are primarily designed for non-majors to fulfill certain requirements. See Science Courses for the Non-Major.