2024-2025 Course Catalog


You are currently viewing the 2024-2025 Wellesley College Course Catalog.

Wellesley College reserves the right to make changes at its discretion.

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About Courses of Instruction

A semester course that carries one unit of credit requires approximately 12 hours of work each week spent partly in class and partly in preparation. The amount of time scheduled for classes varies with the subject from two periods each week in many courses in the humanities and social sciences to three, four, or five scheduled periods in certain courses in foreign languages, in art and music, and in the sciences. A 0.5 unit course requires approximately 6 hours of work each week, including scheduled class time and preparation. A semester course that carries 1.25 units of credit includes at least 300 minutes per week of scheduled class time as well as significant work outside of class. Classes are scheduled from Monday morning through late Friday afternoon.

Academic Distinction

Honors in the Major Field

Students who have shown marked excellence in their major filed may earn honors in the major. The usual route to honors, offered by all departments and programs, involves writing an honors thesis and successfully passing an oral examination by a thesis committee. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level. Some departments and programs require a higher average. Departments may petition on behalf of exceptional students whose averages fall between 3.0 and 3.5. Students enroll in Senior thesis research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member if sufficient progress is made, students continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester. Specific requirements vary with department and programs: see the relevant sections of the catalog for details. Some departments and programs offer other routes to honors in the major; these are described in their Directions for Elections.

Catalog Archive

Previous course catalogs (1903-1904 to 2023-2024) are available from the Internet Archive or the Wellesley College Digital Scholarship and Archive.


Contact Us

If you have questions about this site or the curriculum, please contact the Office of the Registrar (registrar@wellesley.edu).


Distribution and Other Degree Requirement Abbreviations

ARS = Arts, Music, Theatre, Film, Video distribution attribute

EC = Epistemology and Cognition distribution attribute

HS = Historical Studies distribution attribute

LAB = Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

LL = Language and Literature distribution attribute

MM = Mathematical Modeling distribution attribute

NPS = Natural and Physical Science distribution attribute

QRB = Fulfills the basic skills component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement

QRF = Fulfills the course overlay component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement

QRDL = Quantitative Reasoning - Data Literacy

REP = Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

SBA = Social and Behavioral Analysis distribution attribute

W = First-Year Writing requirement

Course Number Suffix Codes

G = Group Study

H = 0.5 unit course

L = A laboratory course which is normally a co-requisite to a lecture course

P = Plus

R = Research methods course

S = Pre-College summer program course (limited to pre-college program participants)

W = Immersion language course taught during Wintersession

Y = First-Year Seminar course (limited to First-Year students)

X = A version of a course which does not have a required laboratory component, while the non-X version of the same course has a required laboratory component