Although many students meet the requirement with a mathematics course, either because their intended majors require math or because they enjoy it, other students prefer to take a course that emphasizes reasoning or mathematical applications rather than traditional math.

Many students, for example, take economics to gain some insight into the world of business and finance. Many economic principles are expressed in mathematical terms, and in an introductory economics course you will apply simple mathematical principles to real-life situations.

Students interested in the study of language — students who may major or minor in a foreign language, English, communications, a behavioral science, or speech, for example — may wish to take linguistics, which sharpens awareness of verbal reasoning through the study of the history, nature, and structure of language.

We also offer courses entirely devoted to the study of reasoning and logical argument: PHIL 115: Practical Reasoning, and PHIL 120: Introduction to Logic.

Grade required

Any passing grade (0.7 or higher) is acceptable. The course may not be taken on the satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) grading option.


The Math Department recommends taking the Guided Self-PacementAssessment before registration in MATH 111, 120, and 124. For the prerequisites and registration restrictions of other Reasoning courses, consult the Course Descriptions.

Overlaps with other requirements

You may also count your Reasoning course toward the Areas of Inquiry requirement, in whichever Area it is listed. (A few Reasoning courses do not count toward Areas of Inquiry.) If your Reasoning course happens to be a W-course and/or is part of your major or minor, it can count toward those requirements as well.

AP and IB

There are several AP scores that can be used to satisfy the Reasoning requirement and can also be counted toward Areas of Inquiry. See the AP tables for more information.

There are several International Baccalaureate Higher Level exams that can be used to satisfy the Reasoning requirement and can also be counted toward Areas of Inquiry. See the IB tables for more information.

For transfer students

Any course that transfers as a "Q" course (for example, PSYCH Q-1XX), or any MATH X or STAT X course, will satisfy the Reasoning requirement if the course transfers as at least 4 credits. For other courses, consult an adviser. Bring a copy of the course syllabus or the description from the catalog of the college offering the course.

You can check the UW Equivalency Guide for Washington Community and Technical Colleges to determine which courses from Washington community colleges count toward the UW's Reasoning requirement; they are marked in the lists with an RSN notation.

Postbaccalaureate students

Postbaccalaureate students are not required to complete the Reasoning requirement.

Registering for Reasoning courses

You can generate a complete list of Reasoning courses with space still available using the MyPlan course search.