Echols Scholars are free from all area and competency requirements within the College of Arts & Sciences, including foreign language, natural science, non-western perspectives, historical and social science, and English composition requirements. The reason for this exemption is two-fold:
- Most Echols Scholars have already met many of these requirements through AP or dual-enrollment college credits before enrolling at the University.
- Echols Scholars are encouraged to take specialized higher-level classes from the outset of their matriculation. When the Echols Program was created in the 1960s, the Faculty Senate strongly believed that Scholars should be given the freedom to pursue their academic interests without first having to satisfy certain preliminaries.
While a general exemption exists, Echols Scholars must still meet any Departmental requirements prior to declaring a major or a minor, since Echols status does not exempt them from these major or minor requirements. Completion of area and competency requirements may be required for admission to programs outside the College of Arts and Sciences (e.g., admission to McIntire School of Commerce, or Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy), and therefore Scholars seeking admission to these programs are encouraged to understand these requirements in constructing an academic plan.