The Oxford library serves students as a space to study, relax, and recharge.

Education Requirements

At Oxford College, we offer a liberal arts education intentionally designed for first-year and second-year students. The first two years of your Emory undergraduate education will equip you to thrive in your major and in the world beyond.

You’ll learn across a broad range of academic subjects and develop habits to help you become a lifelong learner. The entire community at Oxford, including faculty and your fellow students, will help you better understand how your talents and interests fit in a diverse world.

After completing your Oxford degree requirements, you'll continue your studies on Emory University’s Atlanta campus in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Goizueta Business School, or Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, where you can earn a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts, business or nursing.

Paths through Emory
First Year
Sophomore Year
Junior Year
Senior Year
Emory College
Oxford College
Goziueta Business School
BBA
Emory College
BS/BA
School of Nursing
BSN

General Education Program

You’ll have a faculty adviser, who is also your Discovery Seminar instructor, to help you determine what courses to take based on your academic interests and our General Education Program (GEP) requirements. The GEP helps ensure all Oxford students have exposure to a broad range of academic disciplines—the hallmark of a liberal arts education. You’ll need to earn 64 credit hours to satisfy the requirements detailed below and take two physical education courses to graduate from Oxford and move into junior year.  

Our Advising Support Center (ASC) works in cooperation with your faculty adviser to help you navigate your academic career. 

Required Courses

Discovery Seminar

One Discovery Seminar course is required for all students during your first fall semester at Oxford College. Discovery Seminar courses are designated as DSC 101Q and will carry an academic area designation—Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR), Science, Nature, Technology (SNT), History, Society, Cultures (HSC), Humanities, Arts, Performance (HAP), or Humanities, Arts, Language (HAL)—as well as a Ways of Inquiry (Q) designation. Your Discovery Seminar instructor will also be your academic adviser.  

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning—learning through reflection or doing—is an intentionally designed, inquiry-driven learning opportunity in which you question, create, apply, and revise conceptual understanding of course material.  You address a real-world problem or situation through the lens of your discipline by examining and asking more meaningful questions about it and evaluating, reflecting, and synthesizing material. This way, you can reflect and revise your approach to study at each stage. This helps increase your self-reliance and form new knowledge about the discipline you’re studying while substantially engaging in and with its particular academic, professional, or cultural community. One Experiential Learning course is required for all Oxford students. We designate Experiential Learning courses with an “E.”   

Ways of Inquiry

In addition to meeting the requirements above, you’ll need to complete a minimum of two Ways of Inquiry (Q) courses designed to demonstrate how different disciplines investigate the world around us. Your Discovery Seminar course will count towards one of these courses. These courses must come from any two of the five different academic areas—Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR), Science, Nature, Technology (SNT), History, Society, Cultures (HSC), Humanities, Arts, Performance (HAP), and Humanities, Arts, Language (HAL). 

We designed Ways of Inquiry courses to both inform and transform you. You’ll learn the fundamental concepts and terminology of a particular academic area or discipline, of course, but you’ll also learn to understand and question the ways that you pursue knowledge throughout your academic study and life.

Writing Requirements

After two years at Oxford, our goal is for you to be a more effective communicator. To this end, you must complete two writing requirements.

First-year Writing Requirement

For native English speakers: You must successfully complete English 185 during your first year. You may be eligible to exempt the first-year writing requirement with Advanced Placement (AP) credit, International Baccalaureate (IB) credit, or transfer credit.

For international students whose first language is not English: You'll take a Directed Self-Placement exam over the summer. We’ll provide you with the appropriate placement guidance before you meet with your adviser for registration. You may choose to enroll in English 186 for additional language support. 

Continuing Writing Requirement

Enhanced writing skills will help you achieve your goals at Oxford and beyond. In addition to the first-year writing requirement, you’ll need to complete one writing-intensive course with a grade of C or better. Continuing writing requirement courses (W courses) exist across the curriculum, and the list changes each semester. You’ll be expected to take two additional W courses when you continue your studies on the Atlanta campus.  

Academic Area Plans

With our liberal arts foundation, you can explore multiple areas that interest you. You’ll take required courses to fulfill the degree requirements for completing your GEP. You must choose and complete courses from the areas listed below. We call them academic area plans. Your assigned faculty adviser will guide your exploration of the following academic areas:

Breadth Requirements: CORE

You must complete all of the following during your Oxford career: 

  • Science, Nature, Technology with lab (SNTL): You must take a minimum of one SNTL course for you to graduate from Oxford.
  • History, Society, Cultures (HSC): You must take a minimum of one HSC course to graduate from Oxford.
  • Humanities, Arts, Performance (HAP): You must take a minimum of one HAP course to graduate from Oxford.

Breadth Requirements: Elective

You must choose and complete courses from three of the five areas listed below. You may be able to complete some requirements at Emory’s Atlanta campus. We encourage students to speak with your academic adviser for more information. 

  • Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR): You must take at least one course labeled MQR.  
  • Science, Nature, Technology (SNT/SNTL): You must take at least two courses labeled SNT.  
  • History, Society, Cultures (HSC): You must take at least two courses labeled HSC.  
  • Humanities, Arts, Performance (HAP): You must take at least two courses labeled HAP.  
  • Humanities, Arts, Language (HAL): You must take at least two sequential foreign language courses in the same language. You may substitute a third HAL course for one of the two required HAP courses.

For more information about available Oxford courses, visit our online catalog

Physical Education

In addition to the 64 academic hours required for graduation, you need to take two physical education (PE) courses. One course must be completed at Oxford College in your first two semesters. Generally, students take one PE course per year. You’re rarely allowed to take more than one PE in the same academic year or during the same semester. 

For more information about available Oxford courses, visit our online catalog

What’s Next?

Once you meet Oxford’s GEP requirements and get a strong start on your major and preprofessional plans, we’ll hold a special Oxford Commencement ceremony before you head to the Atlanta campus. As an Oxford graduate, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Emory College. However, you won’t be able to transfer to Emory College as a junior without meeting your Oxford degree requirements.

After completing your Oxford degree, you also have the option of applying to Emory’s Goizueta Business School or Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing to earn a bachelor of business administration or a bachelor of nursing degree.

Once you make the move to Atlanta, the Oxford Continuee Societyas Oxford graduates are knownwill welcome you to campus with social activities and transition support.