Courses are assigned to distributional areas not by divisional location or program, but by intellectual focus and methodology. The faculty designates the area into which a course falls on the basis of its content. There are seven areas plus the Q requirement. A course may be designated as being in two areas (but not more than two), and it may at the same time be a Q course.

Students are required to take one course from each of the distribution areas listed below and a Q course, making a total of eight courses over the four years. If a course has been designated as being in two areas students must select one requirement to be fulfilled. However, a course from any area that is also designated as a Q course may satisfy two requirements - one area requirement, and the Q requirement. Four of the courses selected to fulfill the requirements for the first five categories must be outside the student's major program. In order to graduate, a student must accumulate 124 semester hours of academic credit, of which 40 must be outside their major division.

Area A: Philosophical, Aesthetic and Interpretive Discourses - courses in philosophy, aesthetics, art history and theory, literary theory and hermeneutics, religion courses with a philosophical emphasis, political thought, economic theory, history and philosophy of science.

Area B: Literary Texts and Linguistics - courses in literature, theory of language and linguistics, psychology or anthropology courses on language.

Area C: Social and Historical Disciplines - courses in history, sociology, anthropology, politics, social psychology, religion courses with a socio-historical emphasis, literature courses with historical focus, art or music courses with a specifically historical focus.

Area D: Foreign Language and Culture - all courses in foreign languages, but also courses in the social, literary or artistic disciplines that focus on specific (non-English speaking) culture areas could be included.

Area E: Natural Sciences, Empirical Social Sciences, or Mathematics - many science Division courses; social science courses with a quantitative or empirical research focus; courses in computer science.

Area F: Practicing Arts - courses in studio art, drama/dance (performance), filmmaking, musical performance, photography studios, creative writing.

Area G: Laboratory Science or Computationally Based Courses