Foundation Requirements

These basic requirements help you to develop competence in writing, critical reading, and mathematical reasoning and computation.

English Composition Foundation

To meet the 4-6 unit English composition requirement, you take ENG 105 (4 units), which offers you a valuable seminar experience during your first year at NAU.


You may also meet the English composition requirement by completing at another accredited university or community college English 101 and 102 (6 units), or equivalents, with a grade of C or better.


If you enter NAU with an ACT score of 23 or higher or a verbal SAT of 530 or higher or if you are a transfer student and have completed English 101 or equivalent, you are eligible to take the composition placement exam. If your score on this exam is sufficiently high, you receive 2 units of credit toward graduation and take ENG 205, in which you can earn another 2 units, for a total of 4 units. If you receive a score of 4 on either the AP English Language and Composition Exam or the English Literature and Composition Exam, you receive 2 units toward graduation and take ENG 205. (Please note that you cannot combine the 2 units for each exam to complete the English foundation requirement. Instead, you must complete ENG 205.) If your score on the placement exam is insufficient, you must take ENG 105 at NAU.


For more information, see Placement Exams in the section titled Undergraduate Course, Enrollment, and Credit Policies, or contact the English Composition office (Liberal Arts Building, room 303; 928-523-6842).

Mathematics Foundation

To meet the 3-unit mathematics foundation requirement, you take MAT 114 or any other current NAU (or equivalent transfer) course of at least 3 units with a MAT or STA prefix—except MAT 101X, 102X, 108, or 150 (or equivalent).


In addition, you may use any MAT or STA course listed as a requirement in your major or minor—except MAT 101X, 102X, 108, or 150—to fulfill this 3-unit mathematics foundations requirement. The course must have a MAT or STA prefix to fulfill the mathematics foundation requirement.  If your major doesn't require a specific mathematics course, we suggest you take MAT 114 to satisfy the mathematics foundation requirement; however, consult with your advisor to determine the most appropriate mathematics course for your major.


Please note that you can’t count the course you use for the mathematics foundation requirement toward the liberal studies distribution requirements.