Course Information for First-year Students
To ensure that you select appropriate required courses, we have developed program models as a guide. Please find your intended major in the document at the link below and use the suggested courses as a guide in building your first-year schedule.
View model first-semester programs
All Course Schedule Lookups
Use the tool below to search for course offerings by semester, subject, time and more. Please note that courses that conflict with required first-semester courses for bachelor of science students will not appear on the course registration form.
Bucknell's course catalog provides descriptions of courses, majors and minors offered by academic departments and programs, and other information on topics such as academic regulations, facilities, financial aid and scholarships.
While the catalog provides information that will be useful for all four years at Bucknell, be sure to refer to the specific first-semester courses when considering your registration choices.
Foundation Seminar Information
Arts Discovery Food Global Humanities Languages & Cultures Social Justice Society & Technology
The Residential Colleges are themed living-learning communities for first-year students. If you join, you'll take a first-semester class with other members of that college, and you'll live on a hall with students interested in the same theme as you.
Through the Residential Colleges, you'll forge connections with your classmates, older students and faculty members from the moment you arrive on campus. Together, you'll go on trips, serve your community and broaden your perspectives. And you'll be prepared to lead and succeed throughout your time at Bucknell — and beyond.
It doesn't matter what you plan to major in. You can sign up to join whichever Residential College course or theme interests you.
How to Sign Up
To sign up for a Residential College, select the Foundation Seminar associated with your choice of Residential College on your Course Registration Form — courses are coded RESC.
If you have any questions, visit the Res Colleges page or contact Kelly Finley, Residential Colleges program director, at 570-577-3320 or email@example.com.
Course descriptions for Foundation Seminars in the Residential College program
All first-year students are required to enroll in a Foundation Seminar in the fall semester.
Foundation Seminars are small classes taught by faculty from a wide range of disciplines across the University. Many of the seminars are interdisciplinary, but they each introduce students to college-level work and expectations. Your instructor will encourage you to become an active, independent learner as well as to participate in collaborative learning experiences with your classmates. You will have the opportunity to develop your critical thinking and communication skills and become familiar with library and technology resources.
Choose whichever Foundation Seminar interests you most. Note that if you choose a seminar designated as Residential Colleges (RESC) course, you'll be part of the Residential Colleges program, which past participants often cite as a highlight of their time at Bucknell. For Foundation Seminars that are not part of the Residential Colleges program, please choose courses designated with FOUN.
Please note that students in the College of Engineering are required to complete their W1 requirement in the first semester using a Foundation Seminar (RESC or FOUN).
For College of Arts & Sciences students, your Foundation Seminar instructor will also be an academic adviser for you for the first two years and will get to know you personally.
If you are a CAS bachelor of arts student, your instructor will be your only adviser. If you are a bachelor of science student, you will have two advisers in your first semester — the seminar instructor and a major adviser who will continue with you until you graduate or change your major.
For Freeman College of Management students, you will be assigned an academic adviser in the college.
For College of Engineering students, you will be assigned an academic adviser in the college, based on your declared major. Undeclared students will be assigned an academic adviser from one of the engineering departments. This adviser will be replaced with a declared major adviser after major declarations in the first semester. You will have the same major adviser for all four years or until you change your major.
Course descriptions for Foundation Seminars
First-year Course Descriptions by Division
Arabic & Arab World Studies Art History Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies Comparative & Digital Humanities Critical Black Studies East Asian Studies English — Literary Studies French & Francophone Studies German Studies Modern Hebrew Studies History Italian Linguistics Philosophy Religious Studies Russian Studies Spanish Women & Gender Studies
These programs, which are central to Bucknell's liberal arts purpose, will engage you in knowledge across cultures and time and give you the flexibility of mind, writing skills, critical capacity and cultural competency you'll need to lead a successful and fulfilling life.
Fine & Performing Arts Programs
Art & Design Creative Writing Dance Film/Media Studies Music Theatre
From our performance spaces to our art museum, from our sculpture studio to the costume shop, Bucknell brims with artistic expression across media. Take courses in the arts to flex your creative muscle, refine your skills or learn new ones, and pursue new ideas.
Course descriptions for arts & humanities courses
American Sign Language Arabic Chinese French & Francophone Studies German Studies Greek Modern Hebrew Italian Studies Japanese Latin Russian Studies Spanish
Every student in the College of Arts & Sciences is required to take at least one semester of a language. You may continue with a language you have already studied, start a new language or take a semester of language while studying abroad in a non-English-speaking country.
French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish
Placement will be made according to the results of an online placement test. During the registration process, you will select three languages in order of preference. If you have had any previous experience in any of the languages listed here, you must take the online placement exam.
Before taking the placement exam and/or choosing a language, please note that while SPAN 103 and all Spanish courses above meet the language requirement, SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 do not meet the College of Arts & Sciences and the Freeman College of Management's general education language requirement (CCFL designation).
Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, (Ancient) Greek and Japanese
A list of department contacts will be posted in late spring to early summer. Please contact the appropriate faculty member listed on the department contact list. Note that Chinese and Japanese are taught in the Department of East Asian Studies, and (Ancient) Greek is taught in the Department of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies.
For more information, please refer to the appropriate page:
Arabic Studies Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies East Asian Studies French & Francophone Studies German Studies Modern Hebrew Studies Italian Studies Russian Studies Spanish
Placement is made on the basis of the College Board SAT II Test in the language or, if you have not taken the SAT II test, according to the number of years of study. Not all courses are offered first semester; please refer to the course information online for course availability.
SAT II Score Range
0 - 1
0 - 400
401 - 425
426 - 600
4 or more
601 or above
Course descriptions for foreign language courses
Animal Behavior Biology Cell Biology & Biochemistry Chemistry Computer Science Environmental Geosciences Environmental Science Geology Mathematics Neuroscience Physics
Learn from faculty in classrooms and labs and get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, as you learn about scientific approaches, problems and breakthroughs.
Math Requirements (Calculus I)
Students considering a major in math, science, business analytics or engineering should sign up for MATH 201 (Calculus I).
Students enrolling in Calculus I should complete the ALEKS Prep. for Calculus online course by Aug. 31. The ALEKS course will be available in mid-July.
If you received AP credit, IB credit or transfer credit for MATH 201, or if you do not intend to take a calculus course at Bucknell, ALEKS is not required.
Non-STEM majors wishing to study mathematics should wait until the spring semester when a larger variety of courses will be available. (Included in the spring semester offerings, in addition to MATH 201: a course to introduce liberal arts students to mathematics from a humanist perspective; courses in calculus and statistics designed especially for economics, management and other social science students; and a course designed especially for prospective elementary school teachers.)
If you select MATH 201, be sure to answer the question on the first-year registration form about your high school math experience. (Do not count precalculus as calculus.) Instructional materials for MATH 201 include the TI-89 graphing calculator. If you already own a different graphing calculator, you might not need to purchase a TI-89. Consult with your instructor when classes begin.
If you would like to be placed directly in a second- or third-semester calculus course, or in a more advanced course, sign up for MATH 201 and arrange to have any AP scores and college transcripts sent directly to the registrar's office. We will automatically place you in the correct course and award you the proper credit. We grant placement to those who have earned credit for Calculus I and/or Calculus II by achieving a sufficiently high score on the Advanced Placement Test of the College Entrance Examination Board, and to those who are able to transfer credits from courses taken at other colleges. Many, although not all, college courses called "calculus" can transfer.
If you are considering a major in biology, chemistry or cell biology/biochemistry, or planning to complete pre-health course work, plan to take chemistry in your first semester.
Please take the Chemistry Placement survey to determine which chemistry course you should take. The chemistry placement exam will be accessible in Moodle after April 3. Please complete the survey by noon on June 20.
Note for Intended Biology Majors
First-semester biology majors are not required to take both CHEM and MATH 201 in the first semester. If a student chooses to take only one of these courses, it should be CHEM. Students pursuing a bachelor of science in biology who do not wish to take MATH 201 in the first semester should indicate this in the comment field on their registration form.
Course descriptions for natural science & math courses
Additional and Major-specific Information
Ensembles offered through the Department of Music include University Choir, Gamelan, Jazz Band, Voice Lab, Rooke Ringers, Orchestra and Symphonic Band. All ensembles are open to students from any degree program. Ensemble participation usually earns students .25 course credit per semester. Some ensembles require a successful audition. Audition times and requirements vary. Please contact the department for more information.
Select your courses and major track based on the certification you plan to pursue:
- Certification to teach early childhood education (PreK-4): Complete the registration for the B.S. in education.
- Certification to teach secondary level: Plan to major in your teaching interest. Do not pursue a B.S. in education degree.
- All students pursuing teaching certification: By the fourth semester, complete two courses in mathematics and one course in English literature in addition to a W1 course and earn a GPA of 3.0.
Learn more about teaching certification
The environmental studies program offers two majors — a B.A. in environmental studies and a B.A. in environmental science.
What's different between the two?
If you are interested in majoring in environmental science, register for the courses recommended for a B.A. in one of the affiliated science departments.
Visit the pre-health advising page to consider your options for first-semester courses. Please indicate your tentative major on the degree information page of the online registration form.
You should also check the box next to "Do you plan to attend medical or dental school after Bucknell?"
Visit the pre-law advising page to learn more about what is offered at Bucknell for those considering this career.
By taking courses that explore culture and behavior, identities, spaces, places, learning and economies, you'll gain a wider perspective on the world and gain research and statistical skills as you explore theories, principles and practices about humans and society.
Course descriptions for social science courses