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Preparation for lifelong success

The degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences are more than the sum of their parts. They incorporate the College's five foundational skills and the values inherent to a liberal arts education into a coherent and complementary curriculum that helps students to develop to their full potential as ethical and thoughtful individuals and citizens.

Summary of the College's degree requirements

The charts below summarize the requirements for the four degree types awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies (B.L.S.)

For an official list of degree requirements, please see the program of study.

Requirement B.A. B.F.A. B.S. B.L.S.
Overall credit hours 120 120 120 120
Credit hours from a College discipline 100 100 100 81
Credit hours at the 300—499 level 42 42 36 36
Credit hours in the College at IUB
(after the 60th credit hour is completed)
36 36 36 36
CASE EC 1 course 1 course 1 course 1 course
CASE MM 1 course 1 course 1 course 1 course
CASE AH 4 courses 4 courses 2–4 courses* 4 courses
CASE NM 4 courses 4 courses 2–4 courses* 4 courses
CASE SH 4 courses 4 courses 2–4 courses* 4 courses
CASE DUS 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB 0–1 courses at IUB* 1 course at IUB
CASE GCC 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB 0–1 courses at IUB* 1 course at IUB
CASE CAPP 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB
CASE FL 4th semester 4th semester varies* Not required
CASE IW 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB 1 course at IUB
CASE POC 1 course 1 course 1 course 1 course
* Number of required courses varies depending on degree program being pursued.

CASE requirements

"CASE" is an acronym for College of Arts and Science Education requirements, which the College uses to distinguish its specific degree requirements from those of other Indiana University Bloomington schools (Kelley, Jacobs, Public and Environmental Affairs, Public Health, etc.) and from the requirements of the campus-wide General Education program. The College's degree requirements are well-aligned with the General Education program, but they are not identical. 

CASE Foundations

The Foundations requirements are designed to provide students with knowledge and skills that are foundational to a liberal arts education. All degree programs in the College must complete these requirements and it is strongly encouraged that they be completed during the first year of study at Indiana University.

The English Composition (CASE EC) requirement helps students learn to read critically, summarize, apply, analyze, and synthesize what they have read, discussed, and researched. Skills developed in this course are transferable to a wide variety of college courses and experiences.

The requirement is satisfied by the completion of a course on the CASE EC course list with a grade of C or higher, or by completion of one of the alternatives listed below.

View the CASE EC course list

Students are exempted from the CASE EC requirement if they meet the following standards:

  • SAT EBRW score of 710 or higher; or
  • ACT English score of 32 or higher; or
  • AP Program English: Composition and Literature score of 4 or 5; or
  • AP Program English: Language and Composition score of 4 or 5.

The Mathematical Modeling (CASE MM) requirement provides rigorous instruction in fundamental mathematical concepts and skills presented in the context of real-world applications.

The requirement is satisfied by the successful completion of a course on the CASE MM course list with a grade of D- or higher.

View the CASE MM course list

CASE Breadth of Inquiry

The CASE Breath of Inquiry requirements are intended to provide students broad familiarity with the general areas of human knowledge in the Arts and Humanities, Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and Social and Historical Studies. All degree programs in the College must complete the Breadth of Inquiry requirements.

Arts and Humanities (CASE A&H) courses examine the complexity of human experience, interrogate the range of human thought and emotion, interpret varieties of aesthetic expression, and grapple with moral issues. Such courses analyze written texts and works in literature, the visual arts, music, and the other performing arts, as well as philosophical and religious thought, and intellectual and cultural traditions from both contemporary and historical perspectives. They also develop the abilities to think rationally and to construct and assess opinions, ideas, and arguments. The approach may be comparative, historical, or analytical, but the emphasis is on developing students' interpretive and critical skills.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of the appropriate number of courses on the CASE A&H course list with a grade of D- or higher. (See the requirements of the specific degree program being pursued for the number of required courses.) The College, however, will allow up to two (2) courses designated as IUB General Education Arts and Humanities to substitute for up to two (2) courses of the CASE A&H requirement.

View the CASE A&H course list

Natural and Mathematical Science (CASE N&M) courses provide an understanding of physical and biological phenomena, introduce students to systematic investigation of those phenomena, show the value of scientific inquiry and hypothesis testing, review the state of the science related to scientific theories and natural laws and the evidence for them, and establish the role and approaches of mathematics. Courses cover the natural sciences, introducing and emphasizing basic principles of the chemical, physical, and life sciences, and expand students' understanding of the physical world and scientific inquiry about it, as well as analytical reasoning and mathematics. Courses may focus on forms of reasoning or the nature and processes of cognition and computation.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of the appropriate number of courses on the CASE N&M course list with a grade of D- or higher. (See the requirements of the specific degree program being pursued for the number of required courses.) The College, however, will allow one (1) of the following substitutions:

  1. Up to two (2) courses designated as IUB General Education Natural and Mathematical Sciences requirement may substitute for up to two (2) courses of the CASE N&M requirement*; or
  2. One (1) 5-credit-hour course designated as IUB General Education Natural and Mathematical Sciences with a substantial lab component may substitute for two (2) courses of the CASE N&M requirement.

View the CASE N&M course list

MATH-D 116 will not count toward substitution option 1 above.

Social and Historical Studies (CASE S&H) courses analyze social institutions, the behavior of individuals in social contexts and historical settings, and changes in social conditions over time. Such courses study the political, economic, and cultural institutions of society, from individuals in social interactions to the international system of nation-states and transnational organizations and actors as well as changes in the human condition over time, including the inception, development, and transformation of institutions and civilizations, ideas, genres, or forms of representation.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of the appropriate number of courses on the CASE S&H course list with a grade of D- or higher. (See the requirements of the specific degree program being pursued for the number of required courses.) The College, however, will allow up to two (2) courses designated as IUB General Education Social and Historical Studies to substitute for up to two (2) courses of the CASE S&H requirement.

View the CASE S&H course list

CASE Culture Studies

The Culture Studies requirements introduce students to cultural systems, to allow students to define what is commonly meant by the term "culture," and to examine critically specific examples of culture. The requirement also provides students with the opportunity to explore the relationship between cultural artifacts and the community that produced them and draw comparisons between different cultures. This exposure can lead students to understand the facts, possibilities, and limitations of their own cultural conditioning. Culture Studies is required for most degree programs in the College.

Diversity in the United States (CASE DUS) courses consider the challenges and opportunities that diversity presents in pluralistic, liberal-democratic societies such as the United States. Students who complete the CASE DUS requirement will be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to identify and evaluate the ways in which diversity—whether racial, ethnic, gendered, religious, cultural, economic, or other dimensions of difference—complicates and enriches life in a liberal-democratic society
  • The capacity to describe, distinguish, and analyze a range of values, attitudes and methods of organizing cultural and social experiences so as to understand the possibilities and limitations of their own world view
  • An understanding of how cultural practices and artifacts represent the communities that produced them and how they serve to create, refine, and blend cultures
  • Facility in using a vocabulary of topics, tropes, narratives and other discursive strategies to identify and productively engage the problems and possibilities that diversity poses for the United States in the contemporary world.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of a course on the CASE DUS course list with a grade of D- or higher. The course must be taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program. 

View the CASE DUS course list

Global Civilizations and Cultures (CASE GCC) courses examine the distinctive worldview, institutions, and patterns of organization of a non-U.S. civilization or culture. Students who complete the CASE GCC requirement will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of non-U.S. cultures and civilizations (including beliefs, values, perspectives, practices, and products)
  • An ability to explain the relational complexities of cultural forms and ideologies, institutional arrangements, social and political institutions, etc., whether studying a single culture and/or civilization or taking a comparative approach that examines cultures and civilizations across time and space
  • Facility in using a vocabulary of topics, tropes, narratives and other discursive strategies to analyze, interpret, and productively engage different cultures and civilizations on a global scale.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of a course on the CASE GCC course list with a grade of D- or higher. The course must be taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program. Alternatively, students who successfully complete a semester (or more) abroad in a program sponsored by the Indiana University Office of Overseas Study will satisfy CASE GCC.

View the CASE GCC course list

Additional CASE requirements

The following are required for all degree programs in the College.

The Critical Approaches to the Arts and Sciences (CASE CAPP) requirement is intended to help first- and second-year students begin to develop an understanding of the fundamental questions asked and methods employed by the various disciplines represented in the College. Rather than focusing on depth of coverage, CASE CAPP courses introduce students to the different kinds of scholarship that take place in a university. Through these courses, students learn about the ways particular disciplines seek answers, solve problems, and organize ideas. Alternatively, these courses can demonstrate the merits of viewing a problem from an interdisciplinary or a multidisciplinary perspective. CASE CAPP courses also teach students how to seek information from various sources, evaluate the validity of that information, and construct arguments. One of the main objectives of these courses is to instill sound research and writing practices that students will employ in their future undergraduate coursework.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of a course on the CASE CAPP course list with a grade of D- or higher. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the CASE CAPP requirement in their first or second year of study.

View the CASE CAPP course list

Through the Foreign Language (CASE FL) requirement, students learn something about language itself—its structure, its diversity, and its place in human society—and about human communication. They also learn about human cognition (modes of thought, logical processes, rule-governed behavior, etc.). Finally, in learning a foreign language, students learn something about the culture of the speakers of that language: their history, customs, social system, characteristic points of view, etc.

Students are encouraged to include foreign language study in their first semester at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and plan for two years of consecutive fall and spring foreign language enrollments. Students can complete foreign language courses during the summer when they are offered, but summer course selection for individual languages and course-levels varies by demand and instructor availability; the College cannot guarantee that any one language or a specific course in a language sequence will be taught in a given summer.

Completion of the CASE FL requirement can be achieved in four ways:

  1. Completion with a grade of D- or higher of the final course in the sequence (i.e., fourth-semester course in a particular language) as prescribed by the degree program being pursued. Incoming (first-year and transfer) students should take the placement test (online or by contacting the department in which the language is offered) in the language, which they intend to use to satisfy the CASE FL requirement. After the placement level is established, students are encouraged to enroll in the appropriate course at their first opportunity. Students are not able to satisfy the CASE FL requirement on the basis of their performance on a placement exam. Depending on the placement level, students may be able to earn special credit for third- and fourth-semester courses (see the Special Credit Policy).
  2. Testing out of the requirement by virtue of appropriate performance on certain types of exams, such as Advanced Placement (AP), SAT II, and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. Check with the relevant department or program for additional information about which type of exam is accepted.
  3. Appropriate official documentation that the student establishes proficiency via formal education in a language other than English. This documentation must be from an accredited international institution which is considered appropriate by both the relevant department and the College of Arts and Sciences. Such documentation (i.e., a transcript) generally indicates satisfactory completion of at least two years at the secondary level in a language other than English.
  4. Satisfactory completion of a proctored proficiency exam administered by the relevant department (NOT a placement exam), if such an exam is offered by that department. The student must demonstrate that his/her proficiency level is equivalent to that of students who have completed four semesters of instruction in the language at IUB.

Completion of high school foreign language courses is not accepted as completion of the requirement.

View the list of foreign languages taught at IUB

The Intensive Writing (CASE IW) requirement provides students with practice in writing, preferably in their major field, under the direction of an instructor well acquainted with the standards of good writing in that discipline.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of a section of a course that is specifically designated CASE IW with a grade of D- or higher. The requirements must be completed through the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Completion of the CASE EC is a prerequisite for enrolling in a CASE IW course. (Note: CASE IW is section-specific. For example, there may be multiple sections of ENG-L 204 being offered. Only the sections specifically carrying the CASE IW attribute can count toward the CASE IW requirement.)

View the list of CASE IW course sections currently being offered

The Public Oral Communication (CASE POC) requirement prepares students to communicate effectively with public audiences. The requirement emphasizes oral communication as practiced in public contexts: how to advance reasoned claims in public; how to adapt public oral presentations to particular audiences; how to listen to, interpret, and evaluate public discourse; and how to formulate a clear response. The ability to communicate effectively in a public setting is an essential component of a liberal arts education and an important skill needed in every discipline. Employers continually emphasize the need for students to have well-developed oral communication skills.

The requirement is satisfied by completion of a course on the CASE POC course list with a grade of D- or higher.

View the CASE POC course list