What are the specific NU Core requirements?

All students have specific NU Core requirements they must fulfill, which can be found on the degree audit. These can include:


Complete (2) elementary language courses with a grade of C or higher. Proficiency at the Elementary level 2 is required. Complete either an intermediate-level course within your language or a course whose subject matter is strongly focused on some aspect of the culture,history, or society of a part of the world where that language is spoken. Please click here for a more in-depth explanation of the language requirement.

Knowledge Domains

Arts – In the NU Core Knowledge Domain category, students pursuing a BA will complete one course in the arts domain and one course in the humanities domain (for a total of two arts/humanities core courses). Arts/humanities core courses in the following subjects are considered arts domain courses: Architecture, Art, Music, Theater and specified African-American Studies courses. All other arts/humanities core courses are considered humanities domain courses.

Humanities – Complete one approved course in arts level 1 or one approved course in humanities level 1.

Social Science – Complete one approved course in social science level 1.

Science/Technology – Complete one approved course in science/technology level 1.

Comparative Study of Cultures

Complete one approved course in comparative study of cultures or another approved approach, including traditional and short-term faculty-led study-abroad programs (study abroad or dialogue).

Analytical Math

Level 1 – Complete one approved course in mathematical/analytical thinking level 1.
Level 2 – Complete one approved course in mathematical/analytical thinking level 2.


College Writing – The courses in the First-Year Writing Program are designed to introduce students to the intellectual work of the University; to help them understand how and why scholars and teachers and practitioners across disciplines ask the kinds of questions in the ways that they do. Our goal is to put students in a position to see for themselves how ideas get generated, tested, and revised by doing the work of generating, testing, and revising their own ideas as they take part in class discussion, read, and write.

Advanced Writing in the Disciplines – Complete a first-year writing course and an advanced writing course provided by the Department of English and two approved writing-intensive courses in the major. Usually, the capstone course serves as one of the major-specific writing courses.

AWD Online Classes – Students who are strong writers, who are self-motivated and visual learners, and who are comfortable sharing their work with others and offering peer critiques are most successful in our online courses. These are advanced writing courses in which we expect sophisticated, polished writing and strong critical thinking and research skills. Students who struggle with writing mechanics, grammar, or development of ideas will face more challenges. While some English language learners do well in online courses, we have found that many of them benefit from face-to-face instruction and the opportunity to interact orally with their instructors and peers. We urge students to think carefully about their learning styles and needs when selecting their AWD course, and to discuss their suitability for online courses with their advisors. Read more at the Advanced Writing in the Disciplines Website.

Writing Courses

Writing Intensive – Students must complete two, approved writing intensive courses within their major. The list of available options can be found in the degree audit under “Writing Intensive”.

Capstone – Complete one approved capstone course within your major in the final semesters. This course acts as a final integrator of the major, general education, and experiential aspects of the student’s education. Generally, this course also includes writing-intensive work and research or creative activity, and, in most cases, the second writing-intensive-in-the-major requirement is satisfied by the capstone course.

Level 2 Elective

Complete one intermediate or upper-level course (generally numbered 2000 or above) outside your major.

Experiential Learning

Complete one approved experiential learning activity with a reflective component. Experiential learning opportunities are disbursed throughout each student’s undergraduate education to encourage the development of seeing connections between course work and experiential learning. Students should consult their college or their major department for advice on approved activities.

Foreign Language Requirements

Students who are in a BA program are required to take a foreign language. The overall foreign language progression is as follows (xxxx is the language code – GRMN, SPNS, AMSL, etc):

If you have no experience with a foreign language

Your progression will be as follows:

  1. xxxx1101 – Elementary 1
  2. xxxx1102 – Elementary 2
  3. either: xxxx2101 – Intermediate 1
    or approved culture course for that language, found on your degree audit (ex: CLTR2504/2505)

If you have experience with a foreign language

Please take the placement test offered here. The test will tell you which level you place into.

If you test into Elementary 1 please follow the progression as above (no experience).

If you test into Elementary 2 you will need to take that course (xxxx1102) and either a culture or Intermediate 1 course in the language. In this case, you finish the language requirement with 2 courses instead of 3.

If you test into Intermediate 1 you can either take the Intermediate 1 class with no extra steps, or opt out of the spoken language classes by taking an oral interview with the Language Department. If you pass the interview, you can then be waived out of Elementary 1 and 2, and simply take an approved culture course. In this case, you finish the language requirement with 1 course.

If you test into Intermediate 2 or higher you can opt out of the language classes by taking an oral interview with the Language Department. If you pass the interview, you can then be waived out of your entire language requirement. If you choose to not take the oral interview, you will need to take the spoken language course you have tested into. Please contact Boris Rasting-Sera with questions regarding the placement exam or for help registering for a course that you have placed into.

Fall 2015 CORE class options

The following is a list of all possible Fall 2015 NU Core course options.




Social Science

Comparative Study of Culture

This is a list of all possible Comparative Study of Culture options, however some of these courses require another course as a prerequisite. Please review the course description for prerequisite courses by clicking any of the links below.

Math Level 1

Math Level 2