Skip to main content


A liberal arts and sciences college, Queens College offers students the preparation for enriching their lives, enhancing their understanding of the world, thinking constructively and independently, and making creative contributions to their local community and to society.

Requirements for the BA and BS Degrees*

Degree requirements are as follows:

  1. completion of at least 120 credits of college-level work approved by the college;

  2. completion of the college’s General Education requirements (see page 42);**

  3. a minimum of 45 credits in residence at Queens College during the student’s undergraduate career, and at least 30 of the last 64 credits  credited toward the degree taken at Queens or the CUNY Graduate Center;

  4. a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or better based only on work done at Queens; and

  5. completion of the requirements in the major area of concentration, as determined by the appropriate Queens College department or program. At least one-third of the credits in the concentration must be taken in residence at Queens College, except when a departmental waiver is given. Some majors have additional residency requirements.

*Students majoring in Elementary & Early Childhood Education should consult the department’s section in this Bulletin for special curriculum requirements.

**Transfer students with an AA or AS in liberal arts and sciences from a CUNY college are considered to have fulfilled the lower-level General Education requirements.

The Bachelor of Business Administration

For specifics, see the Economics Department section in this Bulletin and consult a department advisor.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts

For specifics, see the Art Department section in this Bulletin and consult a department advisor.

The Bachelor of Music

For specifics, see the Aaron Copland School of Music section in this Bulletin and consult a School of Music advisor.

Requirements for the Second Baccalaureate Degree

Queens College may award a baccalaureate degree to students who have already earned one.

  1. The student must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or from a foreign institution of equivalent level, with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0, and must satisfy the college’s admission requirements.

  2. The second baccalaureate degree will be in a field of study different from the major of the student’s first degree.

  3. The student must be accepted by the academic department or program of the second major, subject to the recommendation of the dean of the division or school in which the new major is offered.

  4. The student will complete at least 45 credits of coursework at Queens beyond those credits applied to the first degree.

  5. The student must complete all requirements in the second major area of concentration as defined by the appropriate QC department or program. At least 20 credits of the major requirements must be taken at Queens. Departments may define more stringent residency requirements.

  6. The student must achieve a grade-point average of at least 2.0 at the end of the first semester (or first 10 credits) to remain in the program; thereafter, the student must maintain a 2.0 average. Departments may define a more stringent grade-point average requirement.

  7. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited and recognized by a regional accrediting U.S. agency, who transfer to a CUNY baccalaureate college, will be deemed automatically to have fulfilled all the general education requirements.

Academic Support Center

The Academic Support Center administers programs in academic skills development, provides tutoring services, and operates the Testing Center.

The Testing Center (Kiely Hall 232; 718-997-5680) administers the CUNY Assessment Tests in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, and the Math Placement Exam. All students are required to take the CUNY Assessment Tests prior to their first registration in the college, unless they have been certified in basic college- readiness skills by appropriate Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), ACT, or NY State Regents scores. All students are required to take the Math Placement Exam.

The Academic Support Center also coordinates the Academic Support Lab (Kiely Hall 131; 718-997-5677), which provides tutoring and other support services in reading, study skills, and a variety of academic courses. The Department of English administers the Writing Center (Kiely Hall 229; 718-997-5676), which provides tutoring support for writing courses, and the Department of Mathematics coordinates the Math Lab (Kiely Hall 331; 718-997-5859), which offers tutoring and other support services in mathematics.

These services are available to all students at the college. The Academic Support Center is located in Kiely Hall 227 (718-997-5670); its director is Dr. Howard Kleinmann.

College English as a Second Language (CESL)

The CESL Program offers credit-and noncredit-bearing courses designed to meet the English-language needs of students with limited proficiency in English. Placement into CESL courses is based on performance on the CUNY Assessment Tests in Reading and Writing. Students must see the CESL director in Kiely Hall 227 (718-997-5670) before registering for any courses.

Learning Skills Requirements and College-Readiness Skills Requirements

Pursuant to a 1999 CUNY Board of Trustees resolution, effective January 2000, Queens College stopped offering remedial courses and required students to pass all parts of the CUNY Assessment Test (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) as a condition of enrolling and/or transferring into its baccalaureate degree programs. The following exemptions from this requirement exist:

  • Students who have received an SAT verbal score of 480 or higher, a Critical Reading score of 480 or higher, an ACT English score of 20 or higher, or a NY State English Regents score of 75 or higher are exempt from the CUNY Reading and Writing Assessment Tests.

  • The following students are exempt from the CUNY Assessment Test in Mathematics: students who have received an SAT Math score of 500 or higher; students who have scored 530 or higher on the SAT Math Section (exam date of March 2016 or later); students who have received an ACT Math score of 21 or higher; students who have a NY State Common Core Regents score of 70 or higher in Algebra I or a score of 70 or higher in Geometry or a score of 65 or higher in Algebra 2; students who have received a NY State Regents score of 80 or higher in Integrated Algebra, Geometry, or Algebra 2/Trigonometry and successfully completed the Algebra 2/Trigonometry or higher-level course; and students who have received a score of 75 or higher in one of the following: Math A, Math B, Sequential II, or Sequential III. All students are required to take the College-Level Math (Math 6) Placement Exam.

The 1999 CUNY Board of Trustees resolution on remediation does not apply to SEEK students or to English as a Second Language (ESL) students who have satisfied the mathematics readiness requirement.

Support Services Prior to and after Admission

The Academic Support Center offers immersion programs in Summer Sessions and in the January Winter Session to help students who have not passed one or more of the CUNY Assessment Tests. Students are retested at the end of the courses.


The Academic Support Center’s Testing Center is responsible for administering the CUNY Assessment Tests to all students who have applied for admission and are required to take the tests. In addition, the Testing Center administers retests to students in various courses and programs who need to pass these tests. Students with physical or learning disabilities that require special accommodation are served through the following procedure:

  1. Students make a request for special test accommodation to the Office of Special Services (Frese Hall 111). Medical and/or psychoeducational documentation is required.

  2. Office of Special Services staff review the documentation and determine the appropriate accommodations, if any.

  3. Students are then referred to the Testing Center (Kiely Hall 232) for an appointment. The Testing Center and the Office of Special Services work together to assure appropriate time, space, and personnel for testing.

About Queens College’s Degree Requirements

College Writing Courses

The basic sequence of writing courses for all students graduating from Queens College is College Writing 1 (ENGL 110), College Writing 2, and two additional courses designated as “writing intensive” (W). Courses taken to fulfill the composition requirement may not be taken P/NC. See page 44 for the list of courses that satisfy the College Writing 2 requirement, and page 53 for the courses that currently are designated as writing intensive.

For transfer students, the Director of First-Year Writing can assess College Writing 1 and College Writing 2 equivalencies, and the Director of Writing at Queens shall have sole responsibility to authorize writing-intensive units for transferred courses. At most, one writing-intensive unit will be granted for any student, but only if the institution at which the course was taken has a writing-intensive program similar to that at Queens College and the course is specified in the institution’s bulletin as writing intensive. At least one writing-intensive unit must be taken in residence at Queens College.

It is important that students pass ENGL 110 in their first year at Queens and before they begin taking advanced courses in any department of the college. A student may not drop ENGL 110 (College Writing 1) without permission from the Undergraduate Scholastic Standards Committee and will face dismissal if continued registration is not maintained.

ENGL 110 should be completed before entrance to the upper division of the college. Students entering as freshmen should complete the requirement within the first 60 credits. Students who have completed 60 credits but have not yet passed ENGL 110 will not be allowed to register for any other courses until they have completed the basic English requirement.

Similarly, students who are admitted with more than 60 credits and who have not completed the equivalent of ENGL 110, must do so within their first two semesters at Queens. Exceptions to these restrictions may be granted only by the Undergraduate Scholastic Standards Committee.

Non-degree undergraduate students on a temporary visa may be evaluated based on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or other examinations. If their scores warrant admission to Queens College (a minimum of 500 on the TOEFL and at least 50 on each part), they will be tested and placed into CESL or other English courses based on their performance on the Reading and Writing portions of the Assessment Test.

Foreign Language Courses

All baccalaureate students must meet the language requirement as described in the General Education requirements. Bachelor of Music students should see the Music School section in this Bulletin for their foreign language requirement.

Students who elect to satisfy their language requirement with a foreign language course should enroll in the most advanced course in a sequence of courses in a given language for which they are qualified by either placement or previous study. Normally, one year of study of a foreign language at the high school level is the equivalent of one semester of study at the college level. Students not certain of the appropriate course level should take the department placement examination and consult with an advisor in the language department in question.

It is the responsibility of students to find out from the appropriate department what level of foreign language they should register for and to obtain permission from the department chair if there is any doubt. Students may not receive credit for taking courses below the level of their competency as determined by the instructor or by the placement examination. If the instructor finds that a student is already competent at the level of instruction, this will be reported to the department chair, who will notify the Registrar to cancel credit for the course. Neither blanket nor equivalent credit shall be granted for introductory courses in a foreign language from which a student has been exempted by examination.

Regulations on Liberal Arts Credits

The New York State Department of Education regulates which courses may be considered as being in the “liberal arts and sciences.” Three-quarters of the work for the Bachelor of Arts degree must be in the liberal arts and sciences. One-half of the work for the Bachelor of science and one-quarter of the work for the Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Music must be in the liberal arts and sciences.

Changes in Degree Requirements

Matriculated students are responsible for meeting degree requirements in force at the time of their matriculation. Changes to the structure of a major must be applied in such a way as to avoid increasing the number of credits required of students who have started taking courses required for the major. If general degree requirements are changed following matriculation, the student is given the option of satisfying the original requirements or new requirements. The above policy includes those undergraduate students who were matriculated, took a leave of absence (while in good standing), and then returned to the college.

Students who are dismissed for academic reasons may be subject to the new regulations, depending on how long after dismissal they return and such other factors as may be taken into account by the appropriate Scholastic Standards Committee.

The six-year graduation rate for students who entered Queens College as first-time full-time freshmen is 55 percent. Students should be aware that the graduation rate varies significantly based on individual preparedness.

The Major

Planning a Course of Study

A major is a concentration of study in a department or allied departments. It enables students to concentrate part of their energies on a particular field of learning so they can prepare for the kind of work they are interested in, and also prepare for any graduate training that may be necessary for further specialization. A concentration form should be filed in the student’s major department or program office, generally by the end of the sophomore year. By doing so, the student is assigned an advisor and is eligible for departmental services such as preregistration. In addition, students must file a Declaration of Major form with the Office of the Registrar(Jefferson Hall, first floor). Further details on departmental and area studies majors can be found in this Bulletin and in handbooks available in department and program offices.

An interdisciplinary major (described under Interdisciplinary and Special Studies) cuts across academic disciplines and enables students to design a program of study for the major that is especially suited to their needs and interests.

Students follow the requirements for the major or minor that appear in the college’s Bulletin at the time of their matriculation. Alternatively, they have the option of following newer requirements in their entirety.

The Minor

Some departments offer a minor—a program of 15 or more credits—that students can take to supplement their major or to pursue an area of interest. A minor concentration form must be filed with the department, and the minor will appear on the student’s transcript.


Students may complete the remaining credits needed for their degree by taking courses in any department they choose. Such courses are called electives and do not require faculty approval; however, depending on the course, students may need to have department permission or have taken prerequisite courses. Electives may be used to supplement the major (an English major may want to take a course in French or Italian literature) or to fulfill interest in a different area (an English major may be fascinated by mathematics and choose electives in that department). If professional requirements also must be met, as for secondary school teaching or medical school candidates, electives will provide the additional credits necessary.

Graduation Procedure

Candidates for degrees must declare their candidacy by filing a Graduation Application via Student Self Service within CUNYfirst in accordance with the following schedule. For February graduation, file on or before November 1; for June graduation, file on or before March 1; for September graduation, file on or before July 1.

There is, however, only one Commencement ceremony each year; it is held in late May or early June. The Events Office mails full particulars to each candidate in mid-April. (Students who will complete their degree requirements in September but wish to participate in the Spring Commencement ceremony are permitted to do so and should file their graduation applications on or before April 1.)

Candidates submit the graduation application via CUNYfirst. Navigate to Self Service > Student Center in the Academics section from the Other Academic drop-down box, select. Apply for Graduation, and then click the Go icon. Candidates are encouraged to file their applications when they register for their last semester. A graduation application should be filed as long as there is a reasonable certainty that all degree requirements will be satisfied by the end of the semester preceding the graduation date. Graduation applications received after the above deadlines may not be processed. If the student does not graduate in the semester for which an application was filed, a new application must be filed for the following semester.