The University of Colorado Boulder offers countless academic, research, and service opportunities. To take full advantage of these experiences throughout your studies, use our guides as one way to benchmark progress toward your degree. These pages are meant to spur engagement and spark ideas, not necessarily map your experience. Instead, reflect on the goals you want to make possible at CU Boulder, and bring these hopes to discuss in more detail with your advisor.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, we offer more than 60 fields of study for you to choose from as your major, minor, or certificate. As a result, your degree plan will look unique and tailored to your goals. However, all Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees will be comprised of at least 120 hours, distributed as follows:

General Education (Gen Ed) Requirements

In the College of Arts and Sciences, we believe studies across the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences teaches you creative flexibility that can synthesize content into new, innovative ideas. As a result, we require you to complete 12 hours of Arts and Humanities, 12 hours of Social Sciences and 12 hours of Natural Sciences coursework across a minimum of four departments. No more than two lower-division (1000- and 2000-level) courses from a single unit (e.g. PSYC) may count toward the distribution requirement, but there is no limit on the number of A&S upper division (3000- and 4000-level) courses that can apply toward the distribution requirement.

Three of these hours must investigate diversity within the United States, and three hours must investigate diversity across the globe. We also require you complete three hours of lower division writing, three hours of upper division writing, three hours of math, one lab course and a third semester level of foreign language.

Do consult with an A&S academic advisor to determine how your coursework will be categorized.

Courses for Your Major, Minor and/or Certificate

Roughly one-third to one-half of your courses will be specified requirements for your major. These typically include courses required by your department, ancillary requirements that give you skills needed for future major courses, major electives and possibly internship credit. Each major leads to a final, culminating course or “capstone” that draws on all of the content you have learned.


Any courses that are not applied toward Gen Ed or your major, minor or certificate are considered elective credit. These courses are entirely flexible and a fantastic way to explore areas of interest.

Other Requirements

You may need to complete MAPS (Minimum Academic Preparation Standards) in order to graduate. If taken at CU Boulder, these courses count toward your 120 hours needed to fulfill your degree requirements.

These requirements can overlap! Work with your academic advisor to chart the most effective way through your degree.