Essential Studies Requirements

You need to complete 39 semester credits (36 credits plus a 3 credit Capstone course) to fulfill your Essential Studies (ES) requirements at UND. You may choose courses that meet multiple requirements at the same time including Special Emphasis, Breadth of Knowledge and/or a requirement in your major.

Your Essential Studies Program

You must complete at least 3 credits in each of the following Special Emphasis areas:

  • Advanced Communication (A)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (Q)
  • Global Diversity (G)
  • United States Diversity (U)

For example, the course Anthropology 100: Introduction to Anthropology, earns 3 credits in the Social Sciences Breadth of Knowledge area AND 3 credits as a Global Diversity (G) Special Emphasis area course. See the list of approved ES courses for other examples.

NOTE: Credits earned through Challenge Exams, Special Examinations for Credit and Foreign Language placement and credit exams cannot be used to fulfill any special emphasis requirement.

You must complete at least 9 credits in each of the following Breadth of Knowledge areas.

Communication (9 credits)

  • ENGL 110
  • ENGL 130
  • 3 credits of Oral Communication

Social Sciences (9 credits)

Credits can come from any combination of approved Social Sciences courses provided you take courses from at least 2 different departments.

Fine Arts and Humanities (9 credits)

  • Courses must be taken in a minimum of 2 departments
  • Minimum of 3 credits in Fine Arts
  • Minimum of 3 credits in Humanities

Mathematics, Science and Technology (9 credits)

  • Courses must be taken in a minimum of 2 departments
  • Must include a four-hour science course with the associated lab (L)

ES Capstone courses are taken at the end of your undergraduate program (within 3 semesters of graduation) and must be completed at UND.

Some departments may offer an ES Capstone which is required for your program, whereas others are open to students from all majors. Check with your department to find out which capstones your department recommends or requires. ES Capstones are required of all students, including transfer students.

The ES Capstone course must be at least 3 credits. Some of Capstone courses are also approved to meet the Special Emphasis requirement in Advanced Communication (A).

Transfer Students

If you're a transfer student who has completed the general education requirements at a NDUS, MnSCU, or Washington State Institution, you will only need to complete the ES Capstone requirement at UND. You will also have met all of the other UND ES requirements.

If you are a transfer student from any other institution you are required to meet all of the ES requirements listed above. Please go to the Registrar Transfer Student website to view articulation agreements for transfer work.