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FAQ: What are the requirements for the first year?

First year requirements

In the first year, each student will take ten courses, subject to the requirements below.

1.) Courses required for all students 

All students take the following courses:

  • Academic Writing Skills
  • The Global Identity Experience
  • Logic, Information Flow and Argumentation

2.) Methodology and mathematics course(s) 

All students then take maths and/or methodology courses. Which one(s) will depend on the major of the student: 

  • Social Sciences students:
    • Basic Research Methods and Statistics I or Statistics for Sciences
  • Humanities students:
    • Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory
  • Sciences students:
    • Calculus
    • and Linear Algebra or Statistics for Sciences

3.) Language course

At least one of the following language courses at the appropriate level:

  • Dutch 
  • French 
  • German 
  • Spanish 
  • Arabic
  • Chinese

4.) Introductory theme course

All students then take one of the introductory theme courses, depending on their major and desired area of focus:

  • Introduction to Energy, Climate, Sustainability
  • Introduction to Life, Evolution, Universe
  • Introduction to Health and Well-being
  • Introduction to Information, Communication, Cognition
  • Introduction to Cities and Cultures
  • Introduction to Social Systems

5.) Choice of disciplinary courses

Students who have met the above requirements have fulfilled the requirements for the first year Academic Core subjects. It is also common (although not required) for students to take one of the Big Questions courses in their first year.  In addition, students will then choose subjects from a wide range of disciplinary courses to reach the required total of 10 courses for the first year. These are typically 100-level major courses and (depending on the subject) could count toward fulfilling major requirements later on.

More information about fulfilling the first-year requirements (and requirements per major) can be found in the Academic Standards and Procedures via the link below.