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Focus Capacities

Design your course of study! Choose from hundreds of courses to fulfill your nine focus capacities and find the courses that challenge and inspire you. By studying different topics from a variety of perspectives and learning to identify problems, weigh evidence, make reasoned judgments, and take action, you will be equipped to make a meaningful contribution in the classroom, your career, and your community. In every course you will have an opportunity to write, to collaborate with peers, and to present material in a variety of settings and methods. You will leave Carolina with an expanded toolkit of critical skills that you can put to good use wherever life takes you.


“Focus Capacity courses are flexible, allowing students the opportunity to mold their own educational pathways, while also requiring that they encounter new and challenging ideas.”

Andrew J. Perrin
Professor of Sociology

Course Requirements

Focus Capacity courses ensure that you encounter a broad array of academic ideas, approaches, and information across the liberal arts, as well as develop crucial capacities for future study and life. Courses may fulfill a maximum of two focus capacities. Students may count a course fulfilling two focus capacities for only one such requirement. Thus, nine courses must be taken to complete the Focus Capacity requirements. One Focus Capacity course must include or be associated with a one-credit Empirical Investigation Lab.

Some courses in this category may double count with:

Disciplinary Distribution

All students must take at least one general education course in each of the three major divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Humanities and fine arts
  2. Mathematics and natural sciences
  3. Social and behavioral sciences

The courses may come from any of these requirements:

  • First-Year Seminar/First-Year Launch
  • Focus Capacity
  • Research and Discovery
  • High Impact Experience