Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Pathways?

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 easing student transfer between CUNY colleges.

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

  • The 30-credit Common Core
  • The 6- to 12-credit College Option, which applies to students in bachelor's degree programs and varies by campus.
  • Identification of common, easily transferable gateway courses into many of CUNY's largest majors.

Does Pathways apply to me?

If you begin studying at a CUNY college in or after Fall 2013, Pathways applies.

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.

What is General Education?

To assure that students leave college with a rich understanding of the world, CUNY undergraduates must satisfy Pathways requirements that provide a solid 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 thinking skills
  • Encourages intellectual curiosity, with the goal of sparking a commitment to lifelong learning

Students can choose among courses to meet most requirements and must communicate effectively in all of them, orally and in writing.

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

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 are 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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ADDITIONAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)



This website complements the Pathways websites maintained by the colleges. It is very important that students, faculty, and staff consult their own colleges’ websites.

This list of college links will be updated as colleges finalize their campus guidelines.