Dorren Robinson teaches Journalism class

Frequently Asked Questions

BELL Core & WELL Core

You've got questions, we've got answers!

While your path through the BELL Core (Belmont's general education program) is designed to be clear and direct, we know there are times you may have questions about how to navigate the curriculum efficiently and effectively. Other times, you might have specific questions concerning WELL Core programs or credits. Because of this, we want to provide you with answers to some of the questions we receive most frequently from students like you! Keep reading for some of the frequently asked questions pertaining to the BELL Core and WELL Core programs here at Belmont.


For two reasons.  First, your major is not all you need to know to be an educated person or a responsible citizen.  The humanities and arts help you understand what it means to be a human.  The social sciences help you understand how to live and work with humans.  And the natural sciences help you understand how the material world works—you know, that place where you and the other humans are doing that being, living, and working.

Second, your major is not all you need to know to understand or appropriately use what you will learn in your major.  No matter what your major is, to use it effectively, you need some idea of what humans are, how they live and work together, and how the material world works.  Your major may go into depth on a small part of that, but you’ll need at least a little breadth around that to understand it properly.  No matter how well you understand the trumpet, you need some knowledge of other instruments to write a symphony.

No.  Not all majors have the same general education curriculum or requirements, but they all have some.  The Signature and Foundation courses are the same for every major and degree, but each type of degree has different Degree Cognate requirements.  Some majors also require their students to make particular choices in their general education requirements (see the next question for more on these).

The Honors curriculum is the general education curriculum for students in the Honors Program, regardless of their major.  It replaces the BELL Core in their program of study.  (Their major may have separate requirements that require them to also take a few classes from the BELL Core—again, for more on these, see the next question.)  For more information on the Honors Program and its requirements, see the Honors Program page, or the description of their curriculum in the catalog.

Technical requirements are choices in general education that your major requires you to make.  Most of the Foundations and Degree Cognate requirements are general; they require you to take a course in a particular area, but not a particular course in that area.  For example, they may require you to take a social science or a humanities class, but they do not require specifically American Government (PSC 1210) or British Literature I (ENL 2110). 

Sometimes, however, departments require students to choose particular classes in those areas, because they find those classes to be particularly useful for students in their major.  These are called technical requirements.

Maybe.  Some courses or requirements can’t be satisfied through transferred credits (whether from other colleges, AP, or another source).  Signature courses are the least likely to have sufficiently equivalent classes (part of why they are called “signature” is because they are unique to Belmont). 

Your advisor can help you determine which credits are (or could be) equivalent, and which are not, and can help you contact the Office of General Education ( to get them approved (as appropriate).  You can also check the Transfer Policy and Alternative Credit section of the Catalog.

Some of them, to some extent.  Some you are expected to take in particular semesters, some in particular years, or by particular milestones.  The rest you can take anytime (before you graduate).

You are expected to take First Year Seminar and First Year Writing in the fall semester of your first year.  In the spring semester of your first year, you should take two courses as an Interdisciplinary Learning Community.  You should take Third Year Writing in the spring of your third year.

You are expected to take your first religion course and your quantitative reasoning course during your first year (either semester).  You should take Fundamentals of Speech Communication (COM 1100) in your first two years.  You should take your second religion course and your Junior Cornerstone Seminar during your third year.  And you should take your Senior Capstone in your last year (ideally your last semester).


BELL Core Requirements
Year One Year Two
Fall Spring Fall Spring
BEL 1015
ENG 1010
ILC Pair
REL 1010 (or 1020)
MTH 1010 (or...)
COM 1100
Year Three Year Four
Fall Spring Fall Spring
ENG 3010 BELL 4015
REL 30– (or...)


No, although there are some which you are expected to take in particular semesters (see previous question).  Aside from those, you can take as many or as few as you want in any given semester.  You just have to meet all of the requirements before you graduate.

Many study abroad programs offer classes that count for BELL Core distributional requirements (the Foundation and Degree Cognate classes).  Some of Belmont’s faculty-led programs also offer these courses as Interdisciplinary Learning Communities (ILCs), and some offer Junior Cornerstone Seminars (JCSs).  Additionally, students on Belmont faculty-led programs are usually able to take Third Year Writing (TYW) and their second Religion course (as a JCS) online as part of the program.

Yes and no.  Students in the Honors Program don’t take the BELL Core curriculum.  Instead, the Honors curriculum is their general education.  So they have general education courses, just not the same ones.  Depending on their major, they may also have to take specific BELL Core courses to satisfy technical requirements.

Yes.  Unless you transfer in with 30 or more hours, you must take an ILC pair.  While the goal is for those courses to also satisfy other requirements, you must take an ILC pair even if both courses fall into your free electives.

No.  The courses in each pathway are specifically designed to complement each other.  They are not interchangeable across paths or with courses off those paths.

Your advisor is always a good place to start, but you can also contact the Office of General Education at


Belmont wants students to have a common or shared experience that promotes the development of a well-rounded individual by encouraging learning outside the classroom and life-long learning.

Attendance at most convocation events applies to your account instantly. Community Well-Being Through Service credit can take up to six weeks.

You can check your WELL Core credits online on the BruinLink page. Click on your account (first initial of your first name) in the top right corner. Paths, Event History and Co-Curricular Transcript will have your information. Note: WELL Core credit cannot be viewed on the CORQ App.

No. We do not move credits from one category to another. Each category is distinct, with its own nature and purpose. Just as you cannot use extra math classes to meet the humanities requirement, you cannot use extra credits earned in one WELL Core category to meet the requirement in another category.

No. If an event is canceled, students cannot get credit for the event. Additional events are available online through the WELL Core course on Blackboard.

If you are more than ten minutes late to a live WELL Core event, you may not be admitted and get credit for attending the event.

No. The event organizer has the obligation to not allow more students in once the event space is full. Sometimes, attendance is substantially larger than anticipated and it can even become simply impossible to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend. Priority is given based on the order of arrival; first come, first served.

Students receive Community WELL-Being through Service credit by submitting their hours in GetConnected. For more information on how to submit those hours:

Note: If you don’t see your hours from GetConnected posted on your BruinLink WELL Core account, send an email to requesting they be added to your account.

No. WELL Core is a graduation requirement. Most Belmont students have jobs, family obligations and/or emerging professional obligations and opportunities. The overwhelming majority also have little difficulty in completing the WELL Core program. WELL Core should be completed before your semester at Belmont USA, your nursing clinical, your student teaching, etc. Plan accordingly.

Yes, under the new requirements, students would be allowed to obtain WELL Core credit for studying abroad

No. WELL Core credits are earned through WELL Core approved events only, noting that there is an exception for the Adult Degree Program.

Kind of. All WELL Core events much be sponsored by a Belmont faculty or staff member. But if you have a good idea for a WELL Core event, consider approaching a faculty or staff member who might be willing to sponsor it.

Spiritual well-being is an important part of life for all human beings, as is highlighted by the diversity of topics explored by speakers in the Spiritual Well-Being (SWB) category. In fact, the vast majority of events in the SWB category are not inherently doctrinaire, but address issues of universal concern.

Yes. Almost every semester there are students who do not graduate for no reason other than failing to complete WELL Core. Students in that situation may not walk at commencement, though they may attend WELL Core events in subsequent semesters (without paying tuition). As WELL Core events are also available online, students should have ample opportunity to meet their WELL Core requirements.

If you have questions about WELL Core, you may email Be sure to include your name and BU ID along with your question or request.

BELL Core Handbook

The Belmont Experience: Learning for Life

View The Handbook