Area(s) of Concentration

Area(s) of Concentration

Whereas general education requirements seek to give students a broad range of skills and information, the goals of in-depth study in an academic discipline through an area (or areas) of concentration include:

  • developing knowledge of a particular subject (typically one that is interdisciplinary)
  • encountering and integrating increasingly complex ideas (courses must progress from intermediate to advanced levels)
  • establishing an intellectual foundation for further academic study and/or professional activities

For Current CUNY BA Students Only

Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors play a central role in the CUNY Baccalaureate. They guide students in planning their area(s) of concentration and ensure that these specializations are coherent and academically valid. Sometimes, faculty mentors supervise and evaluate independent study or fieldwork projects and they often advise students about options for graduate study. Finally, mentors recommend the student for the degree. Each student selects and works with a CUNY faculty member who agrees to help design and then supervise his/her area of concentration.

  • The faculty mentor must
    • be a full-time professor at a CUNY college
    • hold the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor or lecturer
    • be in a discipline directly related to your area of concentration
  • If you are planning to complete two areas of concentration or an interdisciplinary area, you must have two faculty mentors.
    • Students applying to CUNY BA don’t need to have a mentor when submitting the application. However, once accepted, students should have a mentor by the end of their first semester in the program.


All courses for an area of concentration must:

  • be approved by a CUNY faculty mentor and the program’s Academic Director
  • be taken for letter grades (C- or above for students who entered the program Summer 2008 and later); courses such as fieldwork or internships not offered for grades but CR only are acceptable
  • be taken at a senior college in a department that offers a bachelor’s degree
  • be completed at the intermediate or advanced level (also known as upper-level).  The college catalogs typically indicate which courses are introductory, intermediate, or advanced.  Intermediate and advanced level courses usually have at least one pre-requisite in the same discipline.  Note that there are some CUNY BA exceptions to this pre-requisite rule.  For example, only foreign language courses beyond the intermediate level (the first two years) may fulfill requirements for AOCs; both micro and macro-economics, which may have pre-requisites, are considered introductory; the second course in a first-year science sequence is introductory; the second year of coursework at New York City College of Technology (the 2000 level) is also introductory.  Faculty mentors will help students identify pertinent upper level courses for their area(s).

At least 50% of any area must be completed in CUNY as a CUNY Baccalaureate student.

Single Area of Concentration

At least 8 courses/24 credits of intermediate and advanced level coursework. Up to two internships and/or independent studies may be included.

Dual Areas of Concentration

At least 6 courses/18 credits of intermediate and advanced level coursework in each area. One internship or independent study may be included in each area.