Liberal Arts and Sciences

Distribution Courses

View Available Distribution Courses

A number of Hofstra University bachelor's degree programs include distribution courses among their general requirements. Distribution courses are courses, given by particular academic departments in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, that have met special standards set by the faculty. These standards require that each course be highly suitable for teaching the liberal arts knowledge and skills that are fundamental to understanding diverse cultural traditions.

There are eight categories of distribution courses. These include two categories for each of the three divisions in HCLAS, as well as categories for Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies courses. The eight categories and their category designations are as follows:

B.A. Distribution Requirements

A total of 33 semester hours

Literature (LT) 3
The Arts:
  • Appreciation & Analysis (AA) or
  • Creative Participation (CP)
Literature (LT) or Appreciation & Analysis (AA) 3
* only 3 of the 9 s.h. in the Humanities may be satisfied with Creative Participation (CP) Courses  
Natural Sciences (NS) 3
Mathematics (MA) 3
Natural Sciences (NS) or Mathematics (MA) or Computer Science (CS) 3
Behavioral Social Sciences (BH) 3
History, Philosophy, Religion (HP) 3
Behavioral Social Sciences (BH) or History, Philosophy, Religion (HP) 3

**This requirement may be satisfied by three credits of Interdisciplinary Studies or by three credits in any of the above categories, including a Creative Participation (CP) course.

Note: Students who matriculated prior to academic year 2013-2014 must fulfill this requirement as it is stated in the Bulletin of their first year of matriculation at the University, unless they elect to officially change their bulletin year to 2013-2014, or later.

Note: Students who may select a co-major in teacher education will find specific New York State Education Department liberal arts requirements here. Please consult the specific education program requirements before planning the HCLAS distribution course work.




  • Literature - Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous literary study.
  • The Arts
    • Appreciation and Analysis - Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous study that focuses on the appreciation and analysis of a specific non-literary art form.
    • Creative Participation - Courses in this category engage students in the creative participation of an art form (including creative writing).


  • Natural Sciences - Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous study in the natural sciences. These courses include a laboratory component.
  • Mathematics/Computer Science - Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous study in either mathematics or computer science. These courses provide a means for students to develop their mathematical reasoning skills and/or their ability to understand the computer and its use in problem solving.


  • Behavioral Social Sciences - Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous study in one of the modern social sciences.
  • History, Philosophy, Religion - Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous study in history, philosophy, or religion.


  • Cross-Cultural - This category focuses on the intellectual and cultural traditions of the peoples of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean, as well as the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia. Courses in this category engage students in a rigorous study of the traditions and practices of one or more of these peoples.


  • Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) - Courses in this category expose students to an interdisciplinary approach to an important subject or problem. These courses are specially designated courses taught within programs or departments recognized as interdisciplinary by the faculty of HCLAS. The courses demonstrate the value of differing views and/or methodologies, critical thinking, the ability to synthesize, and the strengths and limitations of such an interdisciplinary approach.

The class schedule published each semester distinguishes distribution courses from the other courses scheduled, by affixing a distinctive symbol to each distribution courses listing, and also provides a separate consolidated tabulation of that semester's distribution course offerings grouped in divisional categories.

Courses taken on an optional Pass/D+/D/Fail basis may not be used to satisfy distribution requirements. Note, however, that some distribution courses are given only on a Pass/D+/D/Fail basis and may be used to fulfill distribution requirements.

Click on the following link for the approved core courses in the eight categories, two for each division and one each for the Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies courses. Unless otherwise specified, all are three semester hours. Each of the courses listed in the distribution categories is a link to the course's description and prerequisites.

The material presented here is provided for informational purposes only and is subject to change. For definitive information and official requirements, consult the Hofstra University Bulletin.

Distribution Courses