I’d love to have a student tell me how this works and what classes they specifically took?
Yale doesn’t have a “general education curriculum,” but it does have “distributional requirements”. While a student’s major (approximately 13 of their degree’s 36 credits) promotes academic specificity, the distributional requirements ensure that a student receives a broad, liberal arts education. Students need to fulfill a certain number of requirements each semester, and by graduation they will have completed at least:
2 Credits in the Humanities: My humanities requirements were covered by philosophy classes (e.g. Faith and Reason, Perspectives on Human Nature), as well as art (Basic Drawing) and politics (History of Southeastern Europe, Introduction to US Public Policy).
2 Credits in the Social Sciences: Because I was a psychology major I covered these classes very easily (e.g. Abnormal Psychology, Intro to Cognitive Science, Science of Free Will).
A foreign language skills requirement: I dreaded the language requirement before arriving at Yale, but I ended up taking Indonesian classes every year and I will be traveling there very soon!
2 Skills Requirements in Science: I took an Astronomy class and “An Issues Approach to Biology”. The former was a lackluster attempt to avoid difficult science, while the latter was actually fulfilling (we covered DNA replication/modification, the mechanisms of cancer and HIV etc.).
2 Skills Requirements in Quantitative Reasoning: I took Introductory Microeconomics and a Statistics class. I thoroughly enjoyed both classes, and I’m glad the distributional requirements pushed me in this direction.