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General Education Requirements

The General Education requirements listed here are part of the degree requirements at Queens College. See page 38 for a complete list of degree requirements, and consult an advisor at the Academic Advising Center if anything is unclear. You can monitor your progress toward your degree at Queens College using an online tool called DegreeWorks. To access DegreeWorks, log into the CUNY Portal and click CUNYfirst Student Advisement Degree Audit.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences

General Education at Queens College is an education in the liberal arts and sciences. This means that you’ll take a set of courses that are meant to teach a range of perspectives and knowledge in many disciplines— history, philosophy, mathematics, environmental science, anthropology, and many others. These liberal arts and sciences courses offer you a taste of the many fields that you can study in college, and give you a chance to develop your intellectual and practical abilities across the disciplines.

Our goals for providing students an education in the liberal arts and sciences have endured since the college was founded in 1937, even as the courses and requirements have changed over the years. We believe that your college education will enable you to develop the tools necessary to succeed in our increasingly fast-paced and interconnected world, and we hope you develop a lifelong love of learning while you are here.

Pathways at Queens College

Effective Fall 2013, entering freshmen and transfer students follow a liberal arts curriculum that fits the framework of the CUNY “Pathways” Initiative. The Pathways framework is common to all CUNY colleges, which guarantees that General Education requirements fulfilled at one CUNY college will carry over seamlessly if you choose to transfer to another CUNY college.

If you matriculated at Queens prior to Fall 2013, you may complete the General Education requirements that were in effect when you first enrolled, or you may opt-in to the CUNY Pathways framework instead. Consult an academic advisor to see which curriculum model is a better fit for you.

The Pathways framework has three parts: the Required Core, the Flexible Core, and the College Option. While the Required Core and Flexible Core requirements are common to all CUNY colleges, the College Option requirements vary from campus to campus. At Queens College, we call the Pathways College Option the College Core. Once you have matriculated at Queens College, all College Core courses must be completed in residency.

For transfer students, the number of courses required to complete the College Core varies based on several factors. Consult the box on page 43, visit the General Education website, or see an academic advisor to verify your individual requirements.

Courses that satisfy General Education requirements are indicated by Requirement Designations. A key to these designations appears on page 43.


I. Required Core (4 courses)

  • College Writing 1: English 110 (EC1)

  • College Writing 2 (EC2)

  • Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR)

  • Life and Physical Sciences (LPS)

II.  Flexible Core (6 courses)

No more than two courses in any discipline or interdisciplinary field

  •  World Cultures and Global Issues (WCGI)

  • U.S. Experience in Its Diversity (USED)

  • Creative Expression (CE)

  • Individual and Society (IS)

  • Scientific World (SW)

  • An additional Flexible Core course

III.  College Core (4 courses*)

  • Literature (LIT)

  •  Language (LANG)

  • Science (SCI)

One additional course selected from the following:

  • Flexible Core (II, above),

  • College Core (III, above),

  • Life and Physical Sciences (LPS), or a

  • Synthesis course (SYN)

*For transfer students, the number of credits required to complete the College Core, which corresponds to the Pathways “College Option,” varies based on several factors. Students should consult the box on page 43 and also see an academic advisor to verify their individual requirements.



General Education Courses