Download the program handbook at this link:


2023 – 2024

Welcome from the Academic Director

Congratulations, CUNY Baccalaureate student, on creating an area of specialization outside of a traditional major! As a “Laureate,” you are forging a truly unique path, joining over 8,000 alumni since the program was created over 50 years ago. Often, this level of freedom and flexibility is not available until graduate school.

Like our motto, esse sui generis, you aspire “to be of one’s own sort” or to be unique, one of a kind. Like a set of Legos, you can build the picture on the box, or you can take those same bricks (in this case, courses) and build something entirely unique! You have the opportunity to craft an individualized, interdisciplinary degree to prepare you for careers that may not even exist yet! Coming out of the turbulent 1960’s era, filled with social and technological change, the program was created in 1971 to give you the power to create a future-forward degree, adapted to a world that continues to be “VUCA” -- volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

As part of our community network, you will receive additional, holistic support outlined in this guide, such as an assigned Academic Advisor, exclusive access to scholarships, and the opportunity to build relationships while working directly with faculty mentors and the CUNY BA community, which includes staff, faculty, student leaders, campus coordinators, and allies. Contact information for the members of our team is on our website.

My Advice --

As you choose your courses to explore disciplines and develop skills, I also encourage you to build on your academics with your co-curriculum -- a slate of experiences to enhance your learning outside the classroom, such as study abroad, research, leadership and service, internships, and other activities. We think of it as a “Passport to Opportunity,” where academic engagement is at the core but is strengthened by these high-impact learning experiences, which we know are activities that yield the highest returns. I also encourage you to get to know your Academic Advisor, who we hope will serve as an “opportunities matchmaker,” connecting you to advantageous experiences.

Welcome to our community! If we can be of assistance, please contact us.


Jody Clark Vaisman, PhD
Academic Director

Table of Contents

1 CUNY Baccalaureate

  • Address, Website, and Email
  • Office Hours
  • Accreditation
  • Right to Make Modifications

2 Mission Statement

  • The City University of New York
  • CUNY Baccalaureate

3 Degree Overview

4 The Home College

  • Overview
  • Home College Matriculation
  • Campus Coordinators

5 Degree Requirements

  • Overview
  • The Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirement
  • The General Education Requirement
  • Area(s) of Concentration
  • Classroom and Non-collegiate Credits
  • Community College Credits
  • Grade Point Average
  • Residency Requirement

6 The Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirement

7 The General Education Requirement

  • Pathways

8 Area(s) of Concentration

  • Overview
  • Area of Concentration (AOC) Policies and Guidelines
  • Declaring the Area of Concentration
  • Changing the Area of Concentration

9 Faculty Mentors

  • Overview
  • Criteria to Serve as a Faculty Mentor

10 Academic Advisement

  • Overview
  • CUNY BA Academic Record

11 Other Academic Policies

  • Conferring the Degree
  • Course Load
  • Course Repeat Policies
  • Credit by Examination
  • Credit/No Credit Option
  • Grade Changes
  • Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit
  • Macaulay Honors College
  • Noncollegiate Credits
  • Non-CUNY Courses
  • Online Courses
  • Open Grades
  • Remedial/Developmental & English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) Courses
  • Repeated Courses
  • Second Degree
  • Study Abroad
  • Withdrawal from Courses

12 Academic Honors

  • Graduation Honors
  • Computing a GPA
  • Dean's Certificate for Academic Excellence
  • The Dean's List
  • College Honors

13 Scholarships and Awards

  • CUNY Baccalaureate Scholarships
  • Commencement Awards
  • Other Awards

14 Other Program Information

  • Changing the Home College
  • Credit Check
  • Degree Verification
  • Diplomas
  • ePermit (Electronic Permit System)
  • Financial Aid
  • Graduation Audit
  • Graduation
  • Graduation Ceremony (Commencement)
  • Graduate Study
  • Independent Studies and Internships
  • Registration
  • Résumés and Job Applications
  • Student Conduct
  • Student Records and Degree Transcript
  • Students’ Rights Concerning Education Records
  • Transfer or Withdrawal from CUNY Baccalaureate
  • Tuition and Fees

15 Progress Toward the Degree

  • University Policy
  • "Under Review Status" (formerly Academic Probation)
  • Academic Dismissal
  • Leave of Absence
  • Readmission

16 Program Governance

  • The Graduate School and University Center (GSUC)
  • The University Committee

17 Appeals

Appendix A

  • Pre-Summer 2013 Admits

Appendix B

  • Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy for the Spring 2020 Semester
  • Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy for the Fall 2020 Semester

Glossary of CUNY Baccalaureate Terms

1 CUNY Baccalaureate

Address, Website, and Email

CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies
365 Fifth Avenue
Suite 6412
New York, NY 10016
(212) 817-8220

Office Hours

The program office is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. In June, July, and August office hours vary, so please email, call, or check our website to verify hours of operation during those periods.


The CUNY Baccalaureate degree is conferred by the City University of New York, under the auspices of the CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

CUNY Baccalaureate is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Board of Regents of The University of The State of New York, under the auspices of the CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

Right to Make Modifications

CUNY Baccalaureate reserves the right to make modifications of any nature to the academic program and requirements without advance notice. CUNY tuition and fees are similarly subject to change by the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York.

Mission Statement

The City University of New York

CUNY traces its beginnings to the founding in 1847 of the Free Academy, which later became The City College, the first CUNY College. According to New York State Education Law, CUNY is "supported as an independent and integrated system of higher education on the assumption that the university will continue to maintain and expand its commitment to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all ethnic and racial groups and from both sexes." The law requires CUNY to "remain responsive to the needs of its urban setting and maintain its close articulation between senior and community college units."

CUNY Baccalaureate

The CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, CUNY’s university-wide interdisciplinary, individualized degree program, is among the first “create your own major” programs, created in 1971. The “CUNY BA” seeks to:

  • Make excellent, meaningful, flexible, and innovative education accessible to CUNY students, allowing for intellectual exploration.
  • Empower students to build future-forward, interdisciplinary programs of study, allowing learners to draw on different disciplinary perspectives to explore a topic that is too complex to address with a single discipline (Klein & Newell, 1996) and to prepare for fields of study and careers that don’t yet exist.
  • Unite a constellation of support around the student, including an academic advisor, faculty mentor, robust community of students and alumni, funding opportunities, and a home campus.

Guided by an inquiry-based approach and embedding high-impact learning experiences (Kuh, 2008), the program offers access to an opportunity not often available until much later, in doctoral study. The CUNY BA provides a rewarding degree route for highly motivated, self-directed students whose academic goals transcend traditional majors. Students admitted to the CUNY BA create their own degree plans working directly with faculty mentors and academic advisors. With over 8,000 graduates, alumnx report that the meta-learning, or learning how to learn in the process of creating their degree, is impactful.

Degree Overview

Working with CUNY faculty mentors, students create specializations (referred to as Areas of Concentration, or AOCs) designed to help them achieve their academic and career goals. With their degree requirements fulfilled, CUNY BA students are eligible to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

The degree requires at least 120 credits and has three primary components: (1) a General Education Requirement; (2) an Area of Concentration (or two); and (3) electives. These degree elements provide a balance between structure and flexibility that gives ample opportunity for innovation and creativity while ensuring that the degrees students earn have academic merit and validity.

CUNY BA students are encouraged to take advantage of the enormous range of academic opportunities offered in CUNY by completing courses at different colleges. With the appropriate permissions, qualified students may also take graduate courses for undergraduate credit at the CUNY senior colleges and at The Graduate Center. Independent study, internships and independent research are other way for students to individualize their degrees. Students are encouraged to build out their academic experience with a robust co-curriculum, such as study abroad, undergraduate research, internships and other high-yield activities.

Students can enrich their undergraduate experience by earning up to 30 credits for non-collegiate work, such as credit by examination. Of those 30 non-collegiate credits, a maximum of 15 credits can be earned for properly documented prior experiential learning (life experience credits).

CUNY BA maintains high academic standards. Students must have at least a 2.80 cumulative GPA to be admitted and must maintain at least a 2.50 GPA overall and in their Area(s) of Concentration in order to remain in the program and earn their degrees. CUNY BA students are regularly among the recipients of prestigious awards and scholarships in and beyond CUNY. Routinely, more than half of our students graduate with academic honors, and many go on to graduate school.

The Home College


In addition to being part of CUNY BA, each student must be matriculated in a CUNY college. This is the student's “home college” where a student pays tuition and fees, handles non-academic matters[1], such as financial aid, avails themself of student services, such as accessibility services, and gains access to facilities and extracurricular activities.

At the time of admission, CUNY BA asks a student’s home college to change their program plan to CUNY BA in CUNYfirst. If a student transfers home colleges while they are in the program, they are responsible for notifying the CUNY BA registrar (via their CUNY BA academic advisor); CUNY BA will ask their new home college to update their record to reflect the CUNY BA program plan.

Home College Matriculation

All CUNY BA students must eventually be matriculated at a CUNY senior college. A CUNY community college may be the home college until a student has earned an Associate's degree or accumulated 68 credits, whichever comes first. At that point, the student must transfer to a senior college which becomes the new home college.

Students attempting to earn their Associate’s degree en route to the BA/BS degree should take extra care in discussing their community college credit options and limits with their CUNY BA academic advisor. No more than 68 community college credits, however, will be applied to a student’s CUNY BA degree.

Campus Coordinators

Each CUNY campus has designated a faculty member or an administrator to serve as a liaison to CUNY BA. The campus coordinators monitor the operation of CUNY BA at their colleges, share information about the CUNY BA program with active and prospective students, and may be able to assist with campus-related matters.

Degree Requirements


The CUNY Baccalaureate degree requires at least 120 credits and comprises: a Liberal Arts and Sciences component, which includes a series of courses that make up the General Education Requirements; the Area of Concentration; electives.

While CUNY BA students are not bound by academic requirements at their home college or at the colleges where they take courses, they are expected to satisfy course prerequisites unless academic departments grant them an exemption.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirement

CUNY BA is a Liberal Arts and Sciences program, offering two degrees: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. In accordance with the requirements of the New York State Department of Education, these degrees are distinguished by the number of credits in the Liberal Arts and Sciences required for each:

  • Bachelor of Arts: At least 90 credits must be in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Bachelor of Science: At least 60 credits must be in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The General Education Requirement

The current General Education Requirement, Pathways, is for students who entered CUNY BA during or after Summer 2013 or after (see Section 7) Students who entered CUNY BA prior to Summer 2013 should refer to Appendix A. General Education courses contribute to the larger Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement.

Area(s) of Concentration

General education requirements give students a broad range of skills and information, while the in-depth study in an Area of Concentration (AOC) includes developing an interdisciplinary knowledge base, encountering and integrating increasingly complex ideas, and ultimately utilizing this scholarship in graduate studies and/or in a professional capacity. Students are encouraged to incorporate integrating experiences, such as research (e.g., a thesis or independent study), internships, or applicable capstone courses. Students are also encouraged to incorporate methods courses, and courses that provide historical and cultural context.

Classroom and Non-collegiate Credits

Of the 120 credits required for the Baccalaureate degree, a minimum of 90 must be completed in the classroom. (CUNY online courses, as well as internships, independent study, and study abroad registered through a CUNY college count as CUNY classroom credit.) A maximum of 30 non-collegiate credits, such as credit by examination and life experience credit, can be applied toward the degree.

Community College Credits

A maximum of 68 credits of community college (also known as two-year college or junior college) coursework can be accepted toward the bachelor’s degree.

Grade Point Average

A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 overall and in the AOC(s) is required for graduation.

Students admitted provisionally, in order to remain in the program, must earn at least a 2.50 GPA average every semester; maintain at least a 2.50 GPA in their AOC(s); have no INC grades; and, in order to graduate, have an overall institutional GPA (the combined GPA of all work done in residence as a CUNY BA student) of at least 2.50.

Residency Requirement

A minimum of 30 CUNY classroom credits must be completed as a CUNY BA student. Credits awarded for prior learning experience and credit by examination are not counted toward this residency requirement.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirement

Students are required to complete at least 60 Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) credits to graduate. The Bachelor of Science degree requires between 60 and 89 LAS credits. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires at least 90 LAS credits.

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 Pathways courses, AOC courses, and electives. The colleges determine LAS designations. Students should consult with their assigned CUNY BA academic advisor to check their current total of LAS credits.

The General Education Requirement


Students entering CUNY BA in Summer 2013 and beyond follow a CUNY-wide general education requirement called Pathways. It constitutes a subset of the overall liberal arts requirement, in two parts:

Common Core

Required Core, Four Courses / 12 Credits

English Composition I and II (2 courses)[2]

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (1 course)

Life and Physical Sciences (1 course)

Flexible Core, Six Courses / 18 Credits

One course in each category plus an additional sixth course from any one of the categories.

World Cultures and Global Issues

U.S. Experience in Its Diversity

Creative Expression

Individual and Society

Scientific World

The College Option

In addition to the 30-credit Common Core, students must fulfill a College Option requirement specified by CUNY BA. The number of College Option credits is 6 to 12, depending on how many credits the student had at the time they began the program. CUNY BA determines which elective courses are appropriate for this requirement and applies them accordingly. This is not a requirement that students are required to keep track of. Students who have questions about the College Option for CUNY BA should speak with their CUNY BA academic advisor.

Students with Pathways coursework left to complete after admission to CUNY BA are able to identify online the pertinent courses CUNY has designated for the Pathways categories. The CUNY schedule of classes will also indicate the courses that fulfill Pathways categories.

Note that: (1) students who have completed an AA, AS or already hold a bachelor’s degree prior to CUNY BA admission are considered to have fulfilled the Pathways curriculum. (2) 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 Credit/No Credit basis when that option is available to them at the college. (3) Upper-level courses applied to Pathways requirements may also be used, if approved, in CUNY BA AOCs. (4) CUNY BA students are not required to complete the 6-12 credit College Option courses at their home colleges.

Students who entered the program prior to Summer 2013, stopped out of CUNY BA, and are returning, are bound by these requirements but can appeal to the program to enter under the old general education requirements (see Appendix A) if that will expedite their graduation.

Students should consult with their assigned CUNY BA academic advisor before registering for Pathways courses if they have any questions.

Area(s) of Concentration


The primary goal of CUNY BA is to give students the ability to create their own unique specialization, known as an Area of Concentration (AOC). There are no minors in CUNY BA, so students who have an interest in two areas may pursue a dual AOC track.

Students develop their curricula under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The faculty mentor must be a full-time CUNY professor (not an adjunct) at one of the CUNY colleges (including the senior and community colleges) in a discipline directly related to the student's AOC. The mentor does not have to be at the home college or the college where the student is taking most of their courses, nor does the mentor need to be teaching in a department that grants a bachelor’s degree. Students planning to complete two AOCs or an interdisciplinary concentration may have two faculty mentors.

Courses used in the AOC plan need to be intermediate- to advanced-level, above and beyond any introductory or prerequisite courses. Intermediate and advanced courses (also known as upper-level courses) are generally those that have at least one prerequisite course within the same discipline. Faculty mentors will help students identify and choose upper-level courses for their concentrations. Students can check with their CUNY BA academic advisor when they have questions about course level.

Area of Concentration (AOC) Policies and Guidelines

Students pursuing a single AOC complete at least 8 intermediate- or advanced- level courses for letter grades, totaling at least 24 credits (both the class and credit minimums must be met). Students pursuing two AOCs (the dual AOC track) complete at least 6 intermediate- or advanced- level courses for letter grades, totaling at least 18 credits (both the class and credit minimums must be met), in each AOC. The student’s faculty mentor may require that more than the minimum number of courses or credits be completed to fulfill an AOC. The AOC should prepare the student for graduate study or for professional work in their chosen field.

Every AOC must additionally meet the following requirements:

  • The title of the AOC should be appropriate and accurately reflect the chosen courses. The courses should likewise align with the AOC title.
  • The courses should form a coherent plan of study that maintains an adequate level of academic rigor for an undergraduate degree and increases in complexity over time.
  • Each course should be from a department that offers a bachelor’s-level (or higher) program in a senior college. Graduate courses may be included, with permission.
  • Each course is at an intermediate or advanced level and no introductory courses are included. If an intermediate course listed is labeled as introductory, it has at least one pre-requisite in the same discipline or is considered to be at an appropriate intermediate level (CUNY BA academic advisors can provide guidance on this).
  • At least 50% of the minimum required credits listed for the AOC are to be completed in residence. Also, no more than 50% of the AOC courses can be applied from outside of CUNY.
  • The courses must be taken for letter grades (not Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit, unless a particular course is only offered P/F or CR/NC or for CUNY courses where CR was earned in Spring 2020 or Fall 2020[3]).
  • The courses must be completed with grades of at least C- for students who entered CUNY BA after Summer 2008.
  • Two independent studies/internships in a single AOC or one in each of a dual AOC (6 credits total) can be included. If there is an academic reason for this limit to be exceeded, the student’s faculty mentor should consult with the CUNY BA academic director. The student must provide the independent study title.
  • For all AOCs in psychology, Experimental Psychology must be included. (Statistics is a prerequisite and can be used as an elective or general education course.)
  • Two mentors are typically needed for dual AOCs or for an interdisciplinary AOC, though sometimes a mentor with appropriate expertise in both AOCs or multiple relevant disciplines is an option.

Non-collegiate work such as credit by examination or prior experiential learning does not satisfy requirements for an AOC. Co-requisite labs, usually offered for 0, 1, or 2 credits, generally do not count as one of the required 6 or 8 courses in an AOC. Any changes made to an AOC already approved by CUNY BA must be approved by the faculty mentor(s) and resubmitted in writing to the academic director. Students must earn at least a 2.50 GPA in their AOC to qualify for graduation.

Declaring the Area of Concentration

With their faculty mentor's guidance and approval, students complete an AOC form specifying the AOC title and listing the courses they plan to complete. The form must be submitted to the CUNY BA office for approval by the end of the student's first semester in the program unless an alternate due date has been assigned. CUNY BA reserves the right to request changes to the AOC form before approving it. Students who delay submitting the completed form or delay having their faculty mentor approve subsequent course substitutions run the risk of finding out too late that courses taken may not be acceptable, or even dismissal from the program.

Students admitted to CUNY BA for Spring 2020 or later are required to submit to their faculty mentor and CUNY BA, with their AOC form, an AOC narrative outlining their goals and explaining their AOC-related selections. The AOC narrative is only required with the submission of a new, initial AOC form (i.e., it is not required when an AOC form is revised and submitted).

Changing the Area of Concentration

To choose substitute courses in a Concentration after it is approved, students should consult their faculty mentor and submit a revised AOC form. Students who want to change their AOC entirely (i.e., switch from one AOC to another, add or drop a second AOC, etc.) must complete the AOC Change Form and include an explanation for the change. If the change is approved by the CUNY BA academic director, the student should schedule a credit check with their CUNY BA academic advisor to review their remaining degree requirements.

Students who receive permission to drop an approved AOC, to change it in such a way as to necessitate a different faculty mentor, or who have otherwise received permission to change their faculty mentor, should write a letter of thanks to the faculty mentor for their services.

Faculty Mentors


Faculty mentors play a central role in CUNY BA. They guide students in planning their Area(s) of Concentration (AOCs) 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 graduate study.

CUNY BA does not assign faculty mentors. Each student is responsible for finding and working with a CUNY faculty member who agrees to help design and then supervise the student’s AOC. It is recommended that students begin seeking a faculty mentor within their first few weeks in the program. It is each student’s responsibility to network, research, and contact a faculty member with whom they wish to work, and to ask that person to serve as their faculty mentor. If the professor has questions about the program that the student cannot answer, the faculty member can read about the program online and/or contact the program’s academic director.

Additional details about the role of the CUNY BA faculty mentor and guidelines for serving in this capacity can be found in the faculty mentor handbook.

At Orientation, CUNY BA students receive guidance about choosing and working with faculty mentors. Students are expected to secure a faculty mentor within their first semester; students entering the program in summer/fall by December 1st and those entering in spring by May 1st. The opportunity to work one-on-one with a full-time faculty member is one of the major benefits of CUNY BA. Students are expected to stay in close contact with their mentors, checking in with them at least once per semester (more, if they are working together on an independent study or fieldwork project).

Faculty mentors normally serve until the student graduates. In the event of the resignation of a mentor, the student must select a replacement. Mentors who retire from the University may continue to serve as mentors if they so desire. Except in the case of resignation or retirement, a student may not typically remove or replace a mentor, except in extenuating circumstances.

Criteria to Serve as a Faculty Mentor

A faculty mentor must be a full-time professor at one of the CUNY colleges in a discipline directly related to the student's AOC. Although adjunct (part-time) faculty cannot be official mentors, they can act as mentors in an unofficial capacity: CUNY BA encourages students to continue their good working relationships with those professors. Adjuncts may also be excellent sources of referrals to full-time faculty members with similar academic interests.

Students pursuing two AOCs must have at least two faculty mentors, except where the fields of study are similar enough that the same faculty member has the appropriate background to advise on both. The same holds true for a student pursuing an interdisciplinary AOC (e.g., Environmental Biology, where an Environmental Science professor and a Biology professor, typically, would be required).

The mentor does not have to be at the student’s home college or at a CUNY college where the student is taking most of their courses (although that does usually make the most sense), nor does the mentor need to be teaching in a college or department that grants a bachelor’s degree.

10 Academic Advisement


Academic advisement is an essential component of CUNY BA. The program is committed to providing the individual advice and assistance students need at every step throughout their degree program. CUNY BA academic advisors are available to answer questions about course work, general education requirements, faculty mentors, life experience credits, and other matters related to the degree not covered by the CUNY BA registrar or the faculty mentor. Faculty mentors will guide students specifically on their Area(s) of Concentration (AOCs), although they may also be consulted for advice on general education and elective course selections if the student chooses, and certainly on independent projects, internships, and graduate study.

Each student is assigned a CUNY BA academic advisor based on the student’s last name. Advisors conduct admissions appointments, credit checks, and graduation audits by appointment. To schedule an appointment to see an advisor, the student should contact the program office.

For more details on CUNY BA Academic Advising, visit our website.

CUNY BA Academic Record

All enrolled students have access to their CUNY BA academic record in CUNYfirst. Details regarding CUNY BA degree requirements are tracked individually by the student’s assigned CUNY BA academic advisor.

Students should not rely on their home college record in CUNYfirst for the purpose of tracking their degree requirements and progress in CUNY BA. Similarly, the Degree Works system at the home college is not a reliable tool for CUNY BA students.

11 Other Academic Policies

Conferring the Degree

Students may earn one degree—a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree— through CUNY BA. When students have a graduation audit and complete the CUNY BA degree requirements they will be graduated from CUNY BA.

Course Load

Students may register for up to 18 credits per semester. These limits may be exceeded only with prior written permission of the CUNY BA academic director. To request permission for excess credits, students should write to the academic director stating the reason for the request and the exact number of credits they wish to take. The minimum eligibility requirements for this permission include having a 3.00 GPA and no open grades. Students should note that Hunter College limits students to 17.5 credits per semester, however, permission to take more may be obtained through their petition process. Students must adhere to the credit limits in place at their home college for the winter and summer sessions.

Course Repeat Policies

CUNY BA follows the University policy on 'F' grades which states that effective fall 1990, students may re-take up to 16 credits of 'F,' 'FIN,' or 'WU'[4], earned in courses taken in CUNY after September 1984. The course (same number and title) must be repeated at the college where it was originally taken. The student must earn a full 'C' or better in the repeated course to have only the second grade count in the index, although both courses will continue to appear on the transcript. CUNY BA is not a party to variations on the University policy approved for individual campuses. Also, while some colleges allow 'D' grades to be repeated, CUNY BA does not.

Credit by Examination

There are a number of opportunities for students to receive credit by examination, including the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP, administered by The College Entrance Examination Board and offered on CUNY campuses and online;, the New York University Language Proficiency Exam (offered in over 40 languages through the School of Continuing Education, Foreign Language Department;, the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support program (DANTES), and Excelsior College Examinations.

CLEP is the most common credit-by-exam program. Students will find a list of accepted exams, minimum required scores and credit values for CLEP exams as well as details about other programs on the following page here. The CLEP code for CUNY BA is 7188.

Students must earn grades equivalent to “C” or better to receive credit for exams[5]. Exams in Liberal Arts subjects can be applied toward the CUNY BA Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement. Students should consult with their CUNY BA academic advisor prior to taking any examination for credit to confirm what degree requirements that particular exam may fulfill.

Credit/No Credit Option

CUNY BA students may take up to 12 credits on a Credit/No Credit (Pass/Fail) basis. This applies only to courses for which the college offers this option. Courses for the AOC may not be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis.[6]

Grade Changes

Students are responsible for notifying their CUNY BA academic advisor when grade changes are made at the campus level. College registrars do not transmit this information to CUNY BA. No grade changes will be made after CUNY BA grants a degree.

Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit

Qualified students may take some graduate courses as part of their undergraduate program. Policies about admission of undergraduates into graduate courses vary from campus to campus and from discipline to discipline. Students must comply with those policies. To be eligible to take graduate-level courses, the program requires that a student must have a GPA of at least 3.00, no open grades, and their Area of Concentration (AOC) approved by their faculty mentor and the CUNY BA academic director.

When a student applies for a graduate course via ePermit, the program’s approval of the ePermit serves as the program’s approval to take the course. If the student is applying for graduate-level courses at their home college, they will not use the ePermit system, and should use this form instead.

Students cannot graduate with INC grades from graduate courses on their records; students are responsible for completing all graduate courses in order to graduate. Also, students should note that most graduate schools will not apply graduate courses taken for undergraduate studies to a graduate degree.

If a student will be taking courses at The Graduate Center, once they register for courses, they must obtain proof of registration and be issued a Graduate Center ID card in order to obtain a computer account and gain access to the library.

Macaulay Honors College

CUNY BA students enrolled in the Macaulay Honors College fulfill the Macaulay degree requirements in addition to the CUNY BA degree requirements. They graduate with a jointly conferred CUNY BA-Macaulay degree.

Noncollegiate Credits

Students may earn up to 30 credits for non-collegiate work (college-level work completed outside a college or university). Examples include credits recommended by NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service) and ACE (the American Council of Education), as well as credit by examination (i.e., High School Advanced Placement and CLEP exams). Up to 15 of the 30 non-collegiate credits may be awarded for life experience. Non-collegiate credits do not count toward the program's 30-credit residency requirement.

Non-CUNY Courses

Students may take courses at colleges outside of CUNY toward their CUNY BA degree. Those colleges must be either regionally accredited or accredited by the New York State Department of Education. Courses taken at non-CUNY colleges for AOCs must be approved in advance by the faculty mentor and the CUNY BA academic director. Students must attain grades of 'C' or better to transfer non-CUNY courses into the program. Non-CUNY courses will appear on the CUNY BA transcript as “Non-CUNY College” and with grades of 'CR' (“credit”).

Students are responsible for registering at the non-CUNY school, paying tuition there, submitting the course information on the CUNY BA registration form, and arranging to have official transcripts sent to CUNY BA at the end of the semester. Students must also remember that they are responsible for satisfying their 30 CUNY credit residency requirement and that non-CUNY college credit does not satisfy any part of the residency requirement.

Online Courses

CUNY BA students can use online courses in their degree. Students should visit the Schedule of Classes page for listings of CUNY’s online offerings. Note that some courses with an online component are called “hybrid courses” and require some in-class sessions. By contrast, online “synchronous” or “asynchronous” courses are conducted completely online with no in-person classroom meetings. Courses taken online from outside CUNY must be from undergraduate or graduate programs at regionally accredited or New York State Department of Education accredited colleges. Students can contact their CUNY BA academic advisor with the specific course information to confirm the status of the courses they wish to take before registering. CUNY online courses count toward the residency requirement; non-CUNY online courses do not.

Open Grades

INC is an open (unresolved) credit designation that converts to FIN, generally after one semester, although students should be aware of the college’s INC policy. Z grades, posted when a professor does not submit a grade, must also be resolved. INC grades at the graduate level did not convert to FIN prior to Fall 2021, and thus must be resolved. Students cannot graduate from CUNY BA with unresolved grades on their records.

Remedial/Developmental & English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) Courses

No credits earned in remedial courses or ESL courses are accepted toward the CUNY BA degree. Such courses do, however, appear on the student's transcript when taken within CUNY (with the grades earned, but without any credits).

Repeated Courses

If a student repeats a course for which any passing grade has been received ('D-' or better), only the first passing grade will be counted toward the CUNY BA degree. The second course and grade will appear on the transcript, but will not be counted in the GPA.

Note, also, that if an individual CUNY college gives a student its college credits for any course in transfer, the student should not take that particular course again; that is, if a CUNY college assigns a course equivalency to a prior course within the framework of a transfer credit evaluation, that equivalent course is considered to have been completed and should not be taken again.

Second Degree

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a program other than CUNY BA may apply to the program for a second degree. Students who have earned their bachelor’s degree through CUNY BA may not re-apply to the program to earn a second degree.

Study Abroad

International Education is a natural fit for many CUNY Baccalaureate students. Students should consult with their academic advisors as they begin the planning process and continue to work closely with their advisor to ensure that their plans for studying abroad are reasonable, that they are registered correctly and that their credits will be transferable.

Any student studying abroad independently or on a non-CUNY program must work with CUNY Baccalaureate staff to ensure that they are in compliance with the CUNY International Travel Guidelines and that, as part of those requirements, they are appropriately insured and registered in the CUNY Travel Registry. Students must also ensure that their chosen destination is allowable under CUNY guidelines. There are a variety of scholarships available to support students in studying abroad. Ask your academic and study abroad advisors for more information.

All students planning to study abroad are required to complete the CUNY BA Study Abroad Participation Form as soon as they have been accepted into a study abroad program; this is critical in ensuring that credits will be transferred and applied to your degree. If you have any questions about the process of studying abroad as a CUNY BA student, please contact Senior Academic Advisor and International Education Liaison, Kate McPherson.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students who drop a course during the semester must follow the withdrawal procedure in place at the college where the course was to be taken to ensure that the withdrawal is handled properly and that, if done before the deadline, no academic penalty is imposed. If the course was taken on permit, the student must also officially notify the home college. Finally, the student must write to the CUNY BA academic advisor informing the program of the course that was dropped.


12 Academic Honors

Graduation Honors

Graduation honors are determined by calculating the grade point average (GPA) for all grades the student has received (CUNY and non-CUNY, including those grades that were not transferable) and separately calculating the GPA of CUNY courses which appear on the CUNY BA transcript. The required GPA for graduation honors must be met in both cases. The lowest of the two GPAs determines the honors. Note that students’ non-CUNY grades are not posted to their CUNY BA transcript but are entered as “CR,” and therefore are not reflected on the transcript GPA.

Honor Required GPA
summa cum laude 3.80
magna cum laude 3.50
cum laude 3.20


Overall GPA(CUNY & Non-CUNY) CUNY BATranscript GPA Honor
3.20 3.90 cum laude
3.51 3.60 magna cum laude
3.19 3.25 none

Computing a GPA

The number of credits is multiplied by the appropriate Quality Points, as shown here:

Grade Quality Points
A+ 4.00
A 4.00
A- 3.70
B+ 3.30
B 3.00
B- 2.70
C+ 2.30
C 2.00
C- 1.70
D+ 1.30
D 1.00
D- 0.70
F, FIN, FAB 0.00

Open grades such as 'INC' and 'Z' are not computed in the GPA.


 Grade Quality Points Credits Total Quality Points
A- = 3.70 x 3 = 11.10
B = 3.00 x 4 = 12.00
C+ = 2.30 x 3 = 6.90
F = 0.00 x 3 = 0.00
13 30.00

Divide the total quality points (30.00 in this example) by the total credits attempted (here, 13) to get the cumulative GPA (2.307 in this case; the index is computed to three decimal places and is not rounded off).

Dean's Certificate for Academic Excellence

This award recognizes those graduates who do outstanding academic work while they are enrolled in CUNY BA (a 3.50 GPA or higher) but who are not eligible for graduation honors.


Overall GPA CUNY BA Transcript GPA Recognition
(CUNY & Non-CUNY) (CUNY BA Residency GPA)
3.00 4.00 Dean’s Certificate

The Dean's List

Students who maintain a 3.50 average for 30 consecutive graded credits (with no open grades) while in CUNY BA are placed on the Dean's List. For each subsequent 12 consecutive credits earned with a 3.50 average, the student is placed on CUNY BA's Dean's List again. The Dean’s List recognition will appear on the transcript.

College Honors

Departmental honors are awarded directly by individual programs at the colleges. Information about departmental honors, and college and national honor societies, can be obtained at the home college.

13 Scholarships and Awards

CUNY Baccalaureate Scholarships

The program is pleased to offer several scholarships, subject to the availability of funding. Full details about each scholarship as well as the application process can be found on our website.

Commencement Awards

The CUNY Baccalaureate Alumni Association Awards support outstanding graduates who will be continuing their studies in graduate or professional programs. Several awards are made each year and range from $250 to $1,000 each. Graduating students receive application details in March as part of the materials related to the commencement ceremony; the application deadline is in mid-May, and the awards are presented at Commencement.

Other Awards

Information about other scholarships is provided to CUNY BA students as it becomes available. Students should also inquire about scholarships available through their home college.

14 Other Program Information

Changing the Home College

CUNY BA students who have a community college as their home college must transfer to a senior college upon receipt of an Associate’s degree or upon completion of 68 total credits, whichever comes first. Students also have the option of transferring from one senior college to another if they so desire. Upon transfer, students must send a copy of the letter of acceptance from their new home college to the CUNY BA registrar's office. The transfer process can be completed online at

Credit Check

Students may arrange to meet with their CUNY BA academic advisor to review their academic record and receive clarification regarding which degree requirements have been completed, and which remain to be fulfilled. To schedule a credit check appointment, students should contact their academic advisor.

Degree Verification

Employers who need to confirm that a degree was awarded through the program must contact the CUNY BA registrar’s office at or (212) 817-8227. Employers should not contact the student’s home college.


Diplomas contain either the degree name Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, the student’s name, their graduation date, and graduation honors, if any (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude). The diploma is awarded by the City University of New York, not the home college. The name on the diploma must be the student’s legal name (students can add a middle name or initial). Students who have had their name legally changed must officially make changes to their student record at their home college and alert CUNY BA to those changes at least one month prior to graduating.

CUNY BA AOCs are unique and are therefore not registered with the New York State Department of Education in the same way that traditional majors are. The title of the Area of Concentration (AOC) will not appear on the diploma. This practice is consistent within CUNY: many of the four-year colleges do not include majors on the diploma. The AOC title(s) and the name(s) of the faculty mentors appear on the transcript.

Diplomas are not presented at commencement. Students receive a digital diploma via email shortly after their degree is conferred and a printed copy by mail a few months later. Students who graduated before January 2021 can arrange to pick up their diploma at the CUNY BA office or to have it mailed to them.

ePermit (Electronic Permit System)

Instructions on how to use the ePermit system to request a registration date for courses on permit (that is, at a CUNY college other than the home college) can be found on our website.

It is the student’s responsibility to pay the full tuition for permit and home college courses at the home college when it is due. Students must remember to cancel any ePermits that they will not be using, or they will be billed.

When CUNY BA approves a student’s ePermit request, the program is confirming only the student’s CUNY BA enrollment and their class status, not the appropriateness of the specific course for their degree. Students should work with their CUNY BA academic advisor to determine appropriateness.

Financial Aid

Students apply for financial aid through their home college. Students who transfer to a different home college should contact their new college’s financial aid office to be sure their records have been transferred. Students who encounter any difficulty with financial aid based on their academic standing should contact their CUNY BA academic advisor immediately.

Graduation Audit

Students with AOC form(s) approved by the CUNY BA academic director and 90 or more credits must make an appointment to meet with their CUNY BA academic advisor for a graduation audit. The audit informs students of exactly what they need to do in order to graduate. CUNY BA students must complete a graduation audit to be eligible to graduate. To schedule a graduation audit appointment, the student should contact their academic advisor.


Students may file for graduation no later than the first day of classes of their final semester. Degrees are issued three times a year: on January 31 for students completing degree requirements in the fall semester, June 30 for students completing degree requirements in the spring semester, and September 1 for students completing degree requirements during the summer session. Students who wish to complete their degree requirements during the winter session will receive their degree on June 30.

Graduation Ceremony (Commencement)

Commencement is held in early June for all September, January, and June degree recipients. Students who are eligible to participate receive information about the ceremony around March. The CUNY BA registrar sends a list of potential graduates to each of the senior colleges. Students are eligible to participate in their home college commencement as well as the CUNY BA commencement. Note that while the program allows students graduating at the end of the summer—in September—to participate in the June ceremony, some of the CUNY colleges do not.

Graduate Study

Students planning to continue their education at the graduate level should check catalogs of graduate schools for admission and course prerequisites for the program(s) that interest them, so they can take undergraduate courses required by graduate schools while still enrolled in CUNY BA. They should also discuss their goals and future plans with their faculty mentor and with departmental advisers in their fields of interest. CUNY BA can help identify additional resource staff on the CUNY college campuses and can provide additional information about, for example, special preparation programs for admission to graduate schools and the GREs (Graduate Record Examination). Students can find additional information about applying to graduate school through the office of Graduate Studies and should look in and outside of CUNY for graduate school preparatory programs, such as the CUNY Pipeline Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

CUNY BA has its own CEEB code number for the GRE (2479). CUNY BA’s school code for graduate school applications is 004765. For the LSAT, the program is listed under the CUNY Graduate School and University Center and the code number is 2113. For the MCAT, the program is listed as the CUNY Baccalaureate Program.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Educational Testing Service

Independent Studies and Internships

CUNY BA students are encouraged to branch out of traditional classroom study and embark upon independent studies or research, and participate in internships and/or internship programs.

A student who has an idea for an independent study should discuss it with a faculty member and come to an agreement about the academic scope and nature of what the independent study will cover. The student must provide the title of the independent study to CUNY BA. Most college departments have registration codes for independent study; in some departments, the number of credits is standard and in some they are flexible. The student should follow the department’s procedures for registration. CUNY BA students often conduct their independent research under the guidance of their faculty mentors; however, students can also choose to work on their research with full-time professors who are not faculty mentors. Sometimes, students arrange to do an actual CUNY course as an independent study with a professor, if that course is not being offered in the semester in which the student needs to take it.

Internships are another way to earn academic credit (and sometimes monetary compensation), and they offer valuable pre-professional work experience as well. Many college departments arrange internships as part of their regular offerings. Most CUNY colleges also have offices of career services that can assist with internship placement. CUNY has a University-wide internship program called the Edward T. Rogowsky Internship Program in Government & Public Affairs.

Independent studies and internships can be applied to the AOC with prior approval of the faculty mentor and CUNY BA academic director. Generally, no more than two independent studies or internships can be used in an AOC (or one in each of a dual AOC; 6 credits total). If there is an academic reason for more than two to be used, the student and faculty mentor should submit that explanation in writing to the academic director. Students need to provide information on the independent study, including the projects that will be submitted, such as a paper or presentations.


Students register and pay for all credits (including credits being taken on permit) at their home colleges. Course changes (adds, drops, or withdrawals) and grade changes must be reported in writing to the CUNY BA registrar. Students must be sure to take care of changes to permit courses at both the host and the home college.

CUNY BA automatically receives registration and grade information (except for grade changes) for each student unless a student is taking courses outside of the CUNY system, in which case they must inform their CUNY BA academic advisor in writing.

Each College Registrar’s Office has at least one person familiar with CUNY BA who can help resolve issues. Registration contacts can be found on our website.

Résumés and Job Applications

Students may specify Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from the City University of New York Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, their graduation term, the name of their AOC(s), and any honors they received on their résumé and on job applications. They may also include the name of their home college. Employers who need to confirm their degree must contact the CUNY BA registrar’s office, not the home college.

Student Conduct

Students are bound by the University's Rules and Regulations for the Maintenance of Public Order Pursuant to Article 129 of the Education Law, which can be found in the Bulletin of The Graduate Center as well as in the bulletins of the respective CUNY colleges. In addition, students are bound by the CUNY campus rules and codes regarding behavior and conduct and should familiarize themselves with these rules, which are detailed in the respective CUNY college catalogs and student handbooks. CUNY BA abides by the same conduct rules and codes as the colleges. Students found to be involved in unlawful activity, such as theft, gambling, and use of drugs or weapons; academic dishonesty; or other prohibited, dangerous, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior, will be subject to disciplinary charges by the college. Penalties may include dismissal from CUNY BA, the college, and the University.

Student Records and Degree Transcript

An official transcript is maintained by the CUNY BA registrar and shows all courses taken within and outside CUNY and all noncollegiate credits counting toward the CUNY Baccalaureate degree. The transcript also indicates the name of the student’s AOC(s), name of the faculty mentor(s), the home college, the cumulative GPA, the program's Dean's List, and graduation honors. It constitutes the student's official academic record which should be requested when application is made to graduate schools or to other institutions requiring transcripts. Please note that most graduate schools require students to submit not only the CUNY BA transcript showing completion of the degree, but also original transcripts from every CUNY and non-CUNY college attended before CUNY BA, even though those credits may be reflected on the CUNY BA transcript. Students are expected to find out exactly what documents graduate schools require for admission.

Official transcripts must be requested by the student.

Students’ Rights Concerning Education Records

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the registrar, the academic director, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. If the records are not maintained by the official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

Pursuant to the guidelines issued by the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York, all requests shall be granted or denied in writing within 15 days of receipt. If the request is granted, the student will be notified of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the request is denied or not responded to within 15 days, the student may appeal. Additional information regarding appeal procedures will be provided to the student if a request is denied.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the college to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

(3) The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing their tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if access is reasonably necessary in order to perform their instructional, research, administrative, or other duties and responsibilities.

Upon request, the college discloses education records to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirement of FERPA.

The items listed below are considered to be CUNY BA directory information and may be released to a third party without written consent of the student: name, address, AOC, dates of attendance, verification of degrees, and awards received.

The office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education. 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Transfer or Withdrawal from CUNY Baccalaureate

CUNY BA students who wish to withdraw from the program are strongly advised to consult first with their CUNY BA academic advisor. Those who plan to transfer out of CUNY BA and enroll in another degree program are advised to first consult with a counselor at that program to understand the degree requirements. Students who make the decision to leave the program must do so in writing. Students can re-apply by contacting the CUNY BA Admissions Office at or at 212-817-8230.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees schedules are available and payable at the home college. They are subject to change without notice upon action of The City University of New York.

15 Progress Toward the Degree

University Policy

Under the Board of Trustees' policy, all CUNY students are required to make progress toward their degree. The CUNY BA academic director is responsible for certifying that CUNY BA students are in compliance with this policy. Students may be dropped from the program for:

  • Poor academic performance;
  • Excessive withdrawals or incomplete grades;
  • Failure to make progress toward the degree;
  • Persistent failure to observe program regulations, including failure to submit an Area of Concentration (AOC) form on time.

"Under Academic Review" Status (formerly Academic Probation)

Students admitted to the program with overall GPAs of 2.80 or higher (that is, not admitted “provisionally”) whose cumulative grade point average overall or in the AOC(s) drops below the program's minimum requirements (2.50) are placed on “Under Academic Review” status. Students on review who are unable to improve their academic performance to at least a cumulative 2.50 during the following semester are subject to dismissal from CUNY BA.

Academic Dismissal

Students admitted to the program provisionally (with cumulative GPAs below 2.80) will be subject to academic dismissal immediately following any term in which their semester GPAs fall below 2.50 or immediately following any term in which they receive any incomplete grades (unless the student experienced extenuating circumstances for which they received an incomplete grade and can provide supporting documentation).

Students admitted under the regular admissions policy who do not maintain the minimum cumulative grade point averages required by the program, or who consistently fail to observe other program or CUNY requirements or regulations, are subject to dismissal.

Leave of Absence

Students who require a leave of absence for fall or spring must inform both the home college and the CUNY BA registrar in writing. Leaves are granted for one semester only; normally, no more than two leaves of absence will be granted during a student's enrollment in the program. Before resuming studies, students must complete a re-admission application at their home college in order to reinstate their matriculation status.


Students who withdrew or were dropped from the program can complete the online application for readmission. Readmitted students must satisfy the degree requirements in effect at the time of their readmission. There is no fee to reapply to CUNY BA, however students no longer matriculated in a CUNY college must reapply and pay the reapplication fee required by that college.

16 Program Governance

The Graduate School and University Center (GSUC)

CUNY BA is administered by The Graduate School and University Center (GSUC). Its degrees are awarded by the University, not by individual colleges.

The University Committee

The University Committee on the CUNY Baccalaureate is the governing body of CUNY BA. It advises the academic director of CUNY BA on the administration, coordination, and development of the program. The faculty members of the CUNY BA University Committee are responsible for recommending the awarding of degrees to the CUNY Board of Trustees. This committee is responsible for approving, auditing, and certifying the academic policies and procedures governing the CUNY BA. The Committee also serves as an appeal body for CUNY BA matters, policies, and procedures (students cannot appeal a local home college matter such as a grade to this Committee). All appeals to the University Committee must be filed in writing through the office of the academic director.

The University Committee on the CUNY Baccalaureate is composed of faculty, students, and administrators. Students interested in serving on this Committee should contact the program’s academic director. The specific membership of the Committee is fourteen (14) members and two (2) alternates as follows: the President of The Graduate School and University Center or his/her designee, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or his/her designee, a CUNY college president chosen by the Council of Presidents for a one-year term, or his/her designee, six (6) faculty members and two (2) alternates from different colleges and different disciplines chosen by the University Faculty Senate for staggered [two] three-year terms, and five (5) CUNY BA students nominated by the Academic Director and approved by the University Student Senate for one-year terms. Each academic year, the University Committee elects a chairperson from among the Committee’s faculty members.

Names of the members of the University Committee on the CUNY Baccalaureate can be found on our website.

17 Appeals

CUNY BA Appeals Policy

CUNY BA students are reviewed at the end of each semester to evaluate academic progress, such as GPA, degree progress, and any necessary paperwork, such as an application for graduation, course audit, or approved Area of Concentration plan.

In cases of dismissal (or if a request to resume studies is denied), you have the option to appeal to the CUNY BA Faculty Appeals Committee. Students will be reviewed with the goal of supporting student success, taking a holistic approach to the whole student.

Appeals Policy and Process

To appeal, email your Academic Advisor a letter explaining your plan for improvement. For example, include:

  • an explanation of your plans to improve your academic situation if allowed to return, for example, plans to complete incomplete courses or to retake courses in which you received an ‘F’.
  • Strong appeals will explain how your academic progress would be different, such as life changes (e.g., working less), study strategies, resolved challenges, etc.

As an option, students may also send in:

  • Supporting documentation
  • A letter of support from a faculty member

You do not need to send in a transcript; your academic advisor will pull your academic records.

Review Process

An ad hoc appeals committee, consisting of the CUNY BA Academic Director and two to three faculty members from the CUNY BA University Committee, will review the appeal.  Potential decisions of the committee include:

  • Appeal accepted, with provisional status. The committee will outline conditions to remain in the program, for example, required GPA target, biweekly meetings with advisor, and resolution of incomplete or ‘F’ grades.  Recommendations may also be included, such as utilizing campus support services (tutoring, campus writing centers, counseling services, etc.) After reentering, students’ progress will be reviewed each semester to evaluate progress toward good standing. Students who have not met the conditions of provisional status will be dismissed from the program.
  • Appeal denied, but student can appeal later.While not reinstated, the committee will set conditions under which a student would be allowed a second appeal at a later date, e.g., required GPA, resolving incomplete grades, taking one course to raise GPA, etc.
  • Appeal denied, final decision. In this case, students may not appeal again.

If you have questions, you may speak with your Academic Advisor.

            --policy approved by the CUNY BA University Committee 5/17/23

Appendix A

Pre-Summer 2013 Admits

(Formerly known as the CUNY BA Core Distribution)

Students who entered CUNY BA before Summer 2013 follow this general education requirement. As mentioned above, students who stopped out of CUNY BA may appeal to the program to re-enter under these general education requirements if that will expedite their graduation.

Courses for this requirement may be introductory, intermediate, or advanced college-level courses, and each must be taken for at least two credits. They can be taken at the community college level provided the student has room for community college credits. They must be taken for letter grades (not Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit). Students cannot complete the Humanities or Social Science categories with three courses all from the same discipline; at least one course must differ.

Students are advised to check with their CUNY BA academic advisor before registering for general education courses.

A. Two Courses in Literature

Literature courses must involve literary texts and cover literary theory and analysis. (Examples: Introduction to Literature, World Literature in Translation, Children's Literature, Women's Literature, Dramatic Literature, African-American Poetry, Classical Literature, Literature of the Renaissance, etc.)

Composition I and II and other writing courses (i.e., Poetry Writing, Creative Writing), as well as journalism courses, will not count toward the literature requirement. Students are generally required to take at least one composition course (also known as expository writing) as a pre- requisite before taking a literature course; that will count as elective Liberal Arts credits.

At least one of the two required literature courses must be taught in English (with texts and written assignments in English). The second literature course can be taught in another language.

The course Oral Interpretation of Literature, generally found in Speech and Theater departments, will not count toward the Literature requirement as it deals primarily with voice, diction and performance, not literary analysis.

Some film courses can satisfy the literature requirement. The following is guidance for determining if a film course is a literature course: if literature is in the title (Fiction into Film; Literature of Film); and/or if literary texts, literary theory, and literary analysis are read/used extensively in the course. Students should consult with their academic advisor before registering for any film course with the intention of applying it to their literature requirement.

B. Three Courses in Humanities

Archaeology, Art Appreciation, History and Theory, Classics, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing (not basic Composition), Drama, English, Film Analysis, Appreciation and History, Journalism (history, writing, analysis), Upper-level Language courses (beyond the second year of study), Linguistics, Literature, Music History and Appreciation, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Dance and Theater Appreciation and History, Theology, Semantics, select upper-level Speech and Communication courses, and Media studies courses with Humanities-based content.

Non-Liberal Arts courses with a practical or applied focus such as Studio Art, Music, Dance and Theater Performance, and Film, Television and Radio Production cannot be used.

Interdisciplinary courses in topics such as Black and Latino Studies, Judaic Studies, Women’s Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, etc., may be applied when the major themes taught include art, drama, film, history, literature, music, media, philosophy, or religion.

Language courses teaching vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, speaking, etc. (up to 4, the end of the second year) cannot be used – courses beyond that level can be; content courses taught in a language such as Hunter CHIN 301 Journalistic Chinese Literature I, Queens SPAN 310 The Culture and Civilization of Spain and Brooklyn’s FREN 2120 Understanding Texts in French can be used in this category.

No basic or applied Speech course can be used to fulfill this requirement such as Public Speaking, Effective Speaking, Voice and Diction, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, and Speech Pathology. Upper level Speech courses based on an extensive study of texts, using a theoretical/analytic approach, can be used, such as Brooklyn’s SPE 1714 Oral Interpretation: Prose. Students should consult with their CUNY BA academic advisor before registering for any Speech course with the intention of applying it to the Humanities requirement.

C. Three Courses in Social Science

Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Government, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Studies.

Interdisciplinary courses in topics such as Black and Latino Studies, Judaic Studies, Women’s Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, etc., may be applied toward the Social Science requirement when the major themes include anthropology, economics, geography, politics, psychology, urban affairs, or social class, race and gender issues.

For B. and C., students must take courses in at least two disciplines. For example, students may not take three Sociology courses toward the Social Science requirement; their third Social Science course must be in another discipline (i.e., Anthropology or Economics).

D. One Year of a Language Other Than English

(Completion of the Second Semester of the First Year of a Language)

Students may use American Sign Language for this requirement, in addition to the traditional modern languages and ancient languages.

This requirement can be waived for students who: (1) successfully completed three years of a language in high school; (2) demonstrate equivalent proficiency by examination through an approved language program or a college language department; (3) attended high school or college in another country where the dominant language and instruction were not in English; or (4) are exempted from the language requirement by a CUNY college.

E. Three Courses in Mathematics and Science

Examples: College Level Mathematics, Statistics, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Physical/Biological Anthropology, Physical Geography, Physics, Science Survey, Zoology. Symbolic Logic (Philosophy) may be used as a Math course as well. Lab courses are not required. Students may take interdisciplinary courses such as the History of Math, Biology and Bioethics, or Chemistry and the Environment to fulfill this requirement.

Students must take one Math and one Science course. The third course may be a Math or Science course, or a Computer Science course that is designated by CUNY BA as a Liberal Arts and Sciences course; there are, however, a limited number of such courses. Students are urged to consult their academic advisor about computer science courses for this requirement prior to registration.

Appendix B

Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy for the Spring 2020 Semester

The following memo was issued by CUNY in the Spring 2020 semester:

As part of The City University of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades they earn in their classes, during the spring 2020, to Credit/No Credit grading.

  • Before choosing this grading option for one or more of their classes, students will consult with their academic and financial aid advisors regarding potential impact to their financial aid, licensure requirements, and graduate school admissions.
  • Students will be able to make this decision up to 20 business days after the University’s final grade submission deadline or the date of actual grade posting, whichever is later.
  • A passing letter grade will convert to ‘CR’ with credit for the class being awarded, while a failing grade will convert to ‘NC’, with no credit awarded. Credit/No Credit grades will not impact the student’s GPA.
  • Students with Credit/No Credit grades will be able to transfer those courses across colleges within CUNY, per current policy.
  • This policy will override all program-level grading policies currently in effect at CUNY institutions, including those related to courses within the major, pre-requisite courses, honors courses and maximum number of credits that a student can earn with Credit/No Credit grades.

Pending approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees, this policy is effective April 1, 2020 and applies to all CUNY institutions except the School of Law and the School of Medicine, which will implement their own Pass/Fail policies to conform to norms in legal and medical education. The University Provost has discretion to extend this policy to future terms if indicated.

Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy for the Fall 2020 Semester

The following memo was issued by CUNY in the Fall 2020 semester:

At the December 2020 Board of Trustees meeting, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez announced that the University would extend the Spring 2020 Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy (Spring 2020 CR/NC Policy) to the Fall 2020 term, providing colleges the opportunity to localize the policy.

Most colleges (25) opted to allow the use of CR/NC grades for Fall 2020. A total of 19 colleges chose to do so with designated course exceptions. Campus liaisons indicated that course exclusions generally included: important prerequisite courses for specific sequences, courses considered to be vital to future academic success, and courses related to programs that require professional licensure. Six colleges allowed the use of CR/NC for all Fall 2020 courses as in the Spring 2020 term. The School of Medicine at City College did not allow the use of CR/NC grades in Fall 2020.

The CR/NC opt-in window opened on December 24, 2020, and will close on January 12, 2021. Colleges with an additional fall term are working with the University Registrar to ensure that the CR/NC policy will be available for students who took courses in the later fall term.

The Office of Academic Affairs has been working closely with campus liaisons regarding implementation: updating a range of communication materials, including the CR/NC FAQ document; supporting the development of and creating a central repository for locally customized communications; and creating grading dashboards that colleges can access and analyze. The colleges themselves have also been working tirelessly to roll out their policies, including conducting aggressive outreach campaigns to eligible students.

CUNY does not intend to use any iteration of Credit/No Credit during the winter or spring terms, though 12/6 colleges will be able to extend CR/NC to students in their second fall (winter) session. Instead, colleges have been invited to take this opportunity to reflect on their local grading policies and consider whether or not they wish to create or revise their local Pass/No Credit grading policies. Any policy updates that are submitted by colleges this semester or beyond will come through the CAPPR dashboard.

Glossary of CUNY Baccalaureate Terms

Academic Advisor: Academic advisors are CUNY BA staff members who advise students about the program’s degree requirements, rules, and regulations.

ACE: The American Council on Education, which is the accrediting body for nontraditional coursework, such as military courses.

Area of Concentration (AOC): A set of related intermediate and/or advanced courses planned in consultation with the faculty mentor (similar to a major).

Area of Concentration (AOC) Form: A form listing the courses in the Area of Concentration, to be signed by the faculty mentor and sent to the CUNY BA Office for review and approval of the program’s academic director. This completed form is due at the end of the student’s first semester, unless another deadline has been set.

Campus Coordinator: Designated staff or faculty member at each CUNY college who are liaisons for CUNY BA on their campus.

CLEP: The College Level Examination Program, run by the College Board, that offers academic exams for recommended college credit.

Credit Check: An appointment with a CUNY BA academic advisor to review a student’s record and clarify remaining degree requirements.

CUNY Assessment Tests: Entrance examinations in reading, writing, and mathematics. Your home college informs you of whether or not you must take these tests or if you are exempted. These same tests are used for placement purposes, as well.

CUNYfirst: City University of New York's fully integrated resources and services tool, a university-wide information platform serving students, faculty, and staff.

Dean's Certificate for Academic Excellence: A recognition of graduates who do outstanding academic work in CUNY BA but who are not eligible for graduation honors.

Degree Requirements: An umbrella term for various types of categories (i.e., residency, general education, Area of Concentration, GPA, total credits, etc.) that must be fulfilled to earn the CUNY Baccalaureate degree.

Elective: A course not required for, or being used to fulfill, any specific course requirement in the general education requirement or Area(s) of Concentration, but rather being used simply to reach the minimum number of total credits required for the degree (120).

ePermit: The online process by which a student requests an appointment to register for courses on permit (at a CUNY college other than their home college).

Faculty Mentors: Full-time faculty members at CUNY colleges who advise students in their Areas of Concentration.

General Education Requirement: A series of Liberal Arts and Sciences courses designed to ensure a well-rounded education.

Graduation Audit: An appointment with the student’s CUNY BA academic advisor to review remaining degree requirements that must be held when the student reaches 90 credits (and has a faculty mentor approved Area of Concentration form on file with the program office).

Graduation Honors: Cum LaudeMagna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude are the graduation honors for students whose GPA’s prior to the program and in the program at or above 3.20, 3.50, or 3.80, respectively. These distinctions are recorded on the student’s transcript and diploma.

Summa Cum Laude means "with the highest praise" and is the highest distinction awarded at graduation; Magna Cum Laude means "with great praise" and is the second highest distinction awarded at graduation; Cum Laude, meaning "with praise,” is the third distinction awarded at graduation

Home College: The student’s CUNY college of matriculation.

Liberal Arts and Sciences: Those courses in which broad theory is the focus, as opposed to courses that focus on applied, vocational, professional or technical skills.

Life Experience Credits: Non-collegiate learning experiences awarded academic credit by portfolio evaluation.

NCCRS: The National College Credit Recommendation Service which is the accrediting agency for nontraditional courses such as those offered by businesses and organizations.

Non-collegiate Credits: Credit by examination, military credits, ACE and NCCRS credits, and prior experiential learning credits.

Pathways: A CUNY-wide general education requirement, beginning in Summer 2013, consisting of 10 courses/30 credits.

Permit Courses: Courses taken at CUNY colleges other than the student’s home college (also known as E-Permit courses).

Provisional Status: A condition of admission in which a student was admitted under the program’s admissions academic forgiveness clause (a cumulative GPA below 2.80 but demonstrating promise for this degree program). Provisional students must maintain a 2.50 grade point average for every semester in CUNY BA (in addition to maintaining a 2.50 GPA in the Area of Concentration).

Registration Forms: This form is only needed in certain circumstances; please refer to the Registration entry in the Handbook.

Residency Credits: Course work completed in CUNY while the student is actively enrolled in CUNY BA.

[1] For academic matters, including academic advising, students should consult with their CUNY BA academic advisors.

[2] Writing Intensive courses in any subject area may be used to fulfill this requirement.

[3] See Appendix B for the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 CR/NC policy.

[4] Per CUNY Memorandum dated 5/22/21: Effective Fall 2021, WU grade will not have punitive impact on student’s GPA. WU grade will continue to be used to denote Unofficial Withdrawal. This Policy shall supersede and override all undergraduate and graduate program-level grading change policies currently in effect at CUNY colleges and schools.

[5] The cutoff scores for receiving credits can be found at: CLEP Credits and other Credits-by-Exam

[6] In Spring 2020 and Fall 2020, CUNY implemented a University-wide CR/NC policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. See Appendix B for more information.