Pathways FAQ

Pathways FAQ

Questions List

  1. What is Pathways to Degree Completion?
  2. Does Pathways apply to me?
  3. What is General Education?
  4. What is the Common Core?
  5. What is the College Option?
  6. What are Gateway Courses into Majors?
  7. What elective courses should I take under the Pathways program?
  8. How do I opt in to Pathways?
  9. If I opt in to Pathways, will it affect my major requirements?
  10. Where should I go if I have questions about Pathways not covered in these FAQs or on this site?

Questions & Answers


What is Pathways to Degree Completion?

Pathways establishes a new system of general education requirements and new transfer guidelines across CUNY — and by doing so reinforces CUNY’s educational excellence while making it easier to transfer between CUNY colleges.

CUNY’s Pathways approach to General Education has several components:

  • The 30-credit Common Core
  • The 12-credit College Option
  • Identification of transferable gateway courses into many of CUNY's largest majors.
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Does Pathways apply to me?

If you begin studying at a CUNY college in or after Fall 2013, including transferring from one CUNY College to another, Pathways applies to you.

Pathways also applies to students who have returned to CUNY after an absence of more than one semester.

If you are a continuing student who entered before Fall 2013, you will be able to choose whether you remain with your existing requirements or change to Pathways. You should consult with an advisor.

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What is General Education?

To assure that students leave college with a rich understanding of the world and the skills needed for success in a competitive global environment, CUNY undergraduates must satisfy Pathways requirements that provide a broad-based General Education, which includes:

    • Well-rounded knowledge of the humanities, sciences and social sciences
    • Critical appreciation of diverse cultures and intellectual traditions
    • Ways to relate the past to today’s complex world
    • The ability to help society create a fresh and enlightened future

    Pathways in General Education:

      • Grounds students in the fundamentals of English, Mathematics and Science
      • Strengthens critical reading and thinking skills
      • Strengthens oral and written communication skills
      • Encourages intellectual curiosity, with the goal of sparking a commitment to lifelong learning

      Faculty from across the University have set rigorous academic standards and defined learning outcomes for each requirement and course.

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      What is the Common Core?

      The 30-credit Common Core has two parts:

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      What is the College Option?

      Students in bachelor’s degree programs must take 6 to 12 additional credits of general education as defined by each individual college. Requirements may vary based on a student’s area of study.  The number of College Option credits students must complete is determined by the number and kind of college credits they earned before entering their current bachelor’s program.

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      What are Gateway Courses into Majors?

      Although complete major requirements vary in most cases from one CUNY college to another, faculty committees have recently designated a minimum of three "gateway" courses leading into each of CUNY's most popular majors. Students who anticipate pursuing one of these majors can take the designated courses and will be able to transfer them for major credit seamlessly between CUNY colleges that offer the major.

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      What elective courses should I take under the Pathways program?

      Elective courses allow you to pursue areas of interest not stipulated in the Pathways general education curriculum or your chosen major.  However, be sure that you complete enough liberal arts electives courses to meet graduation requirements. B.A. students must take 90 credits of liberal arts.  B.S. students must take 60 credits of liberal arts.

      You should consider using elective courses to pursue an academic minor.  An academic minor can help you develop expertise in an area of interest to you.  Speak to your academic advisor about how best to use your elective credits.

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      How do I opt in to Pathways?

      Each CUNY college will provide a mechanism for students to opt in to Pathways.

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      If I opt in to Pathways, will it affect my major requirements?

      If you decide to opt in to Pathways, you must take the major requirements in place at the time you opt in.  For instance, if a student entered York with a declared major in Fall 2012, but then switched to Pathways in Fall 2013, the student would need to fulfill the major requirements in place in Fall 2013, not Fall 2012.

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      Where should I go if I have questions about Pathways not covered in these FAQs or on this site?

      For more information on Pathways, contact:

      The York College Advisement Center

      Room AC-2C01, 718-262-2280

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