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Academic Programs

Undergraduate Liberal Studies Advising Information

The liberal studies requirements must be met by completion of appropriate course work or by a combination of course work and credit by examination within the limits set below:

  1. Credit by Examination - A maximum of thirty semester hours of credit earned through examination may be applied to the liberal studies requirements;
  2. Course Work - An overall 2.0 average or better is required for course work used to satisfy the liberal studies requirements;
  3. To satsify the requirements of Florida State University for Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes, students must also earn a grade of “C-” or better in each of the courses used to fulfill the liberal studies requirements in Area I (mathematics), Area II (English Coomposition), and four more liberal studies courses designated by the Undergraduate Policy Committee as requiring 3,000 words of writing (courses indicated with a “W”);
  4. Courses listed as “directed individual study” (DIS), “senior honors thesis,” or “senior seminar” cannot apply to the Liberal Studies Program;
  5. No course may be applied to more than one area of the program;
  6. No courses taken on a satsifactory/unsatsifactory (S/U) basis may apply to the liberal studies requirement;
  7. A student who transfers to Florida State University from a Florida public community/junior college or senior institution will be deemed to have satsified the University's liberal studies requirement if all general education requirements stipulated by the community/junior college or senior institution have been met and the student's transcript has been so marked; and
  8. A course approved for liberal studies credit at the time the course was completed will meet liberal studies requirements, even if the course was not listed as a liberal studies course in the General Bulletin under which the student entered.

Courses for the Liberal Studies Program shall be selected from the following five areas. Students should check departmental curriculum listings to determine prerequisites and course duplications prior to taking courses.

Note: Some students will be required to take preparatory course work prior to enrollment in English composition and/or mathematics courses. See 'Required Preparatory Courses' in the “Office of the University Registrar” chapter of this General Bulletin.”

Symbol Legend

  • Stands for Laboratory
  • R  Stands for “repeatable” and indicates that the course may be taken more than once
  • W Denotes a course that meets Gordon Rule requirements (i.e., 6,000 words of writing)
  • X Denotes a course that meets Cross-Cultural requirements
  • Y Denotes a course that meets the Diversity in Western Culture requirements
  • * Denotes a course that meets literature requirements.

Liberal Studies Requirements

Checklist for Liberal Studies Requirements

PLEASE NOTE: Some programs may require specific courses within the Liberal Studies curriculum. Check wiht your advisor to determine which classes are recommended for your program of study.

Follow this link to view the Checklist.

Area I Mathematics

Students must complete (or be exempted from with credit) at least six semester hours in mathematics. Eligible students will enroll, as space permits, in three semester hours in the Department of Mathematics during their first regular length term on campus and continue with the course until it has been completed. All six semester hours of the mathematics liberal studies requirement should normally be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

Students must complete three semester hours in the Department of Mathematics and three additional semester hours in the Department of Mathematics or the Department of Statistics, or take a course from a list approved by the Faculty Senate and maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Area II English Composition

Students must complete (or be exempted from with credit) at least six semester hours in English composition. All students, with such exceptions as have been or may be established by the Faculty Senate, shall complete the required English writing courses during their first academic year in residence at Florida State University or must show exemption from six semester hours of freshman writing courses. Each of these courses will require 6,000 words of writing. All courses used to satisfy this requirement (Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes), must be completed with a grade of “C-“ or higher.

Students must complete either ENC 1101 (or 1121) and a second course from the following list.

Additional courses may be approved and added to the list from time to time.

Area III History/Social Science

Students must complete six to twelve semester hours, including a minimum of three semester hours of history and three semester hours of social science.

Click here for a list of History/Social Science Courses

Area IV. Humanities/Fine Arts

Students must complete five to eleven semester hours. One course must meet the literature requirement. Courses meeting the literature requirement are marked by an asterisk (*). Courses DAN 3144, DAN 3145, and DAN 3146 (the dance series) are marked by a pound sign (#) to indicate that they have a credit limit and only one course will earn credit toward meeting the liberal studies requirement.

 Click here for a link to the Humanities / Fine Arts courses.

Area V. Natural Science

Students must complete a minimum of seven semester hours. One of the courses must be accompanied by a corresponding laboratory.

*Note: Certain restrictions exist regarding the allotment of course credit for the chemistry and geology courses. Students should refer to the course descriptions for each department for specific credit information before registering for these courses.

Click here for a list of Natural Science courses.

The Multicultural Requirement

Students who would be truly educated must have an appreciation of the interrelatedness of and the diversity within cultural traditions. The multicultural understanding requirement recognizes and reflects the full range of human groupings and cultural perspectives as well as the complex relationships among them. Its role is to enhance students’ self understanding and their understanding of the contemporary cultural context, a context characterized by a rich diversity of cultures and experiences in which the Western European intellectual tradition figures as one among many.

Multicultural courses include cross-cultural studies (those courses marked with a “x”) and diversity in Western experience (those courses marked with a “y”). All students who enter the University with fewer than sixty semester hours must complete at least one “x” and one “y” course. Students transferring to the University with sixty credits or more must complete one multicultural course from either designation. These courses may be taken as part of the liberal studies requirement, as electives, or as part of a student’s major.

The multicultural requirement must be completed with the grade of “C-“ or higher prior to the receipt of the baccalaureate degree. 

Click here for a list of classes that meet the Multicultural Requirement.

Undergraduate Mathematics Advising

Mathematics Placement

Introduction      Students should consult their major departments to determine their math requirements. Students who do not need to take advanced math courses can satisfy the University’s liberal studies math requirements by passing MGF 1106 and MGF 1107. Students whose majors require higher-level math courses should probably not take MGF 1106 or MGF 1107. Most students needing higher level math courses will need to take (or exempt) MAC 1105. Students needing MAC 2311 will ordinarily need to take (or exempt) MAC 1105, MAC 1114, and MAC 1140 before taking MAC 2311.

Placement Procedure    Students receive initial placement based on their SAT quantitative and ACT mathematics scores and on credit they have received from AP, CLEP, IB and other sources.

AMP Test            Every student should take the Math Department’s Advanced Math Placement test in order to receive the Math Department’s assessment and recommendation. Students can improve their initial placement by scoring well on the Math Department’s AMP test. A low score on the AMP test does not require a student to drop below the student’s initial placement. However, students are urged to follow AMP placement recommendations.

Follow the link to view testing/placement information.

Undergraduate Language Advising Information



University Requirement:

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree requires completion of a classical or modern foreign language through the 2000 level (2200 or equivalent).


Colleges of Arts and Sciences’ Requirement:

The College of Arts and Sciences requires that BA or BS students complete course work through the 2000 level (2200 or equivalent) of a classical or modern foreign language. Native speakers may be exempt. See Mary LePoer in Rm. 364 DIF.


Other Colleges and Schools within the University may also have a foreign language requirement. Students should check with their program advisor to clarify any questions.

Click here for more information on undergraduate Language information.

Mandatory Placement Tests

For Students Who Continue Language Study in French, German, and Spanish

Students pursue study in foreign languages for a number of reasons, often in the context of specific graduation requirements. For example, all students receiving degrees (B.A., or B.S.) in the College of Arts & Sciences and all other university students who receive the B.A. must complete a classical or modern foreign language through the 2000 level (2200 or the equivalent course). For those students who have initiated foreign language study prior to entering Florida State University (specifically in high school where no college credit was awarded), selection of the appropriate language course level is extremely important. It is for that reason that a mandatory (no cost) placement test will now be required for all students who plan to continue study in either French, German, or Spanish. Students who are studying a new language which they did not study in high school, and for which they have no other experience, are not required to take such a test but would enroll in the 1120 level of the language of interest.

The purpose of a placement test is to ensure that students continue their language studies without repeating the same material and with as few gaps in their learning as possible. Students do not receive credit for a placement test; however, there are methods of receiving credit through other tests that are described below.


All students who entered the university after January 1, 2003 and who are taking their first FSU course in French, German, or Spanish in the Spring Semester 2004 or later are required to take a placement test (unless the student has no prior experience with the language). Students who have already started their language sequence at FSU with college credit do not need to take a placement test to continue. Students who arrive at FSU with college credit for language study also will not be required to take the test since their placement level will be based on transfer work completed.

Because the placement tests are available only for French, German, and Spanish, students of other languages who have had previous instruction in the language must consult an advisor in the Department of Modern Languages for proper course placement. Other modern languages taught at FSU include Arabic, Chinese, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian.

Click here for a link to questions/answers about the placement tests.



Undergraduate Degree Requirements

All undergraduates must meet certain Florida State University and College of Arts & Sciences requirements.

Requirements for all undergraduate Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science degrees:

  1. College of Arts & Sciences Requirements
  2. Liberal Studies Checklist
  3. Mathematics Placement
  4. Math Eligibility
  5. Liberal Studies Requirements
  6. Guidelines & Information for the Language Requirement
  7. General Bulletin -EOAS department
  8. Course Lookup Search Form