Degree Requirements

“I was lost before I found CUNY BA. I had all of these ideas for what I wanted to do, but no way to put them into action.”
Emily Marks, Chinese Language and Literature Studies / International Political Studies

Minimum credits required: 120

Area(s) of Concentration (AOC): Corresponds to a major. For a single area, 8 courses/24 credits are required; for a dual area, it’s 6 courses/18 credits. Courses must be intermediate- or advanced-level. For more information, see Proposing Your Area(s).

Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) credits: A minimum of 60 LAS credits for a BS; 90 for a BA. LAS courses are those in which theory is the focus and in which broad foundations link the course content to: history; philosophy; culture; natural, social, or behavioral sciences; or mathematics. By contrast, non-LAS courses are those in which the primary intent is to give students a specific vocational, professional, or technical skill; there is substantial focus on professional development, technical proficiency, and professional or business-related content; or the focus of the course is on derivative, practical, or applied aspects of the field. LAS credits may be earned from general education courses, AOC courses, and electives.

Residency Requirement: A minimum of 30 credits of coursework in CUNY as a CUNY BA student.

A maximum of 30 credits of non-collegiate credit is possible granted under the CUNY Credit for Prior Learning Policy. CUNY’s credit for prior learning options include:

  • exams, such as Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP (College Level Examination Program), and International Baccalaureate (IB); 
  • portfolio assessment (maximum 15 credits);
  • review of industry credentials, such as FDNY, NYPD, EMS, and military trainings. These experiences may be evaluated by ACE or NCCRS, organizations that make recommendations for college credit.

Grade Point Average: Students must maintain at least a 2.50 GPA overall and in their area(s) of concentration.

Pathways – CUNY-Wide General Education Requirement
Students entering the University in Summer/Fall 2013 and thereafter and students transferring between CUNY colleges from Summer/Fall 2013 and thereafter must follow the University-wide, 30-credit common core (general education requirements) known as Pathways. CUNY BA students, therefore, must complete a total of 10 Pathways courses in these categories (each course must bear a minimum of 3 credits):

Required Core, Four Courses
English Composition 1 and II (2 courses)
Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (1 course)
Life and Physical Sciences (1 course)

Flexible Core, Six Courses
(one course in each category and an additional sixth from any one of the categories)
World Cultures and Global Issues
U.S. Experience in Its Diversity
Creative Expression
Individual and Society
Scientific World

Students with Pathways coursework left to complete after admission to CUNY BA will be able to identify online the pertinent courses CUNY has designated for the Pathways categories. The college and course catalogs, program schedules, and the courses listed in the CUNY course catalog will also indicate the courses that fulfill Pathways categories.

Students who enter CUNY BA without having completed the requirement in English Composition may do so by completing CUNY courses designated as “Required English Composition” OR by completing CUNY courses designated as “Writing Intensive” in any subject. Students who have been given an exemption for English Composition by a CUNY college should be sure to bring that to CUNY BA’s attention at their admissions interview.

To complete Pathways requirements with non-CUNY courses or with credit-by-exam, you will consult with your CUNY BA academic advisor.

Note that:
(1) CUNY BA students are not required to complete the 6-12 credit College Option courses at their home colleges; they are only responsible for the ten courses listed above.
(2) Students who enter CUNY BA as second Bachelor degree candidates or who have completed AA or AS degrees in the U.S. prior to CUNY BA admission are considered to have completed this Pathways curriculum (Associate degrees from outside the U.S. are evaluated individually).
(3) CUNY BA students may complete up to 12 credits Pass/Fail toward their degrees; within that limit, students with Pathways courses left to complete after admission may take those courses, if desired, on a Pass/Fail (sometimes known as Credit/No Credit) basis when that option is available to them at the college.
(4) Pertinent Pathways courses may also be used to satisfy Area of Concentration requirements.