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General Education at SUNY Plattsburgh

What is General Education?

General Education courses are opportunities to gain skills and insights that will be useful in one’s entire life, no matter what the choice of major or career objectives. SUNY Plattsburgh considers General Education courses to be an integral part of the total degree program—of equal importance to courses in the major field of study.

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GE5 Program Requirements

A. GE5 The Skills Requirements (6 – 12 credits plus 0-7 credits to meet prerequisites). Students must complete each of the following:
  • Written Expression (3-4 credits plus 0-4 credits of ENG 100 to meet prerequisite)
  • Oral Expression (0-3 credits)
  • Mathematics (3-4 credits plus 0-3 credits of MAT 101 to meet prerequisite)
  • Information and Technology Literacy (0-1 credits)
B. GE5 The Knowledge and Understanding Requirements (12-16 credits plus 0-3 credits to meet prerequisites). Students must complete each of the following:
  • Natural Science (3-4 credits)
  • Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • Either U.S. Civilization (3 credits) OR Western Civilization (3 credits)
  • Either World Systems (3 credits) OR Foreign Language (0-3 credits of second level foreign language plus 0-3 credits of first level foreign language to meet prerequisite)
  • Either Humanities (3 credits) OR The Arts (3 credits)
C. GE5 Additional Approved General Education Courses (2–12 credits)
  • Additional SUNY-approved courses from categories A and/or B above to bring total General Education course credits for sections A, B, and C to a minimum of 30. Credits received in the Information and Technology Literacy category do not count toward the minimum 30 credits of SUNY-approved General Education courses.
D. GE5 The Integration Requirement (3-4 credits)
  • Global Issues (3-4 credits)
Total credits (33–34 credits plus 0-10 credits in prerequisites)

General Education Policies for All Students

Students should contact their academic advisor or the academic advising office at (518) 564-2080 if they have questions concerning General Education.

  • Relationship to the Major: Courses completed to fulfill The Skills and The Knowledge and Understanding requirements may also fulfill a major requirement. To fulfill The Integration requirement, a course must be outside the major department and cognate requirements for the major. (Students with double majors may use courses within either major to complete The Integration requirement; some education majors may use courses in their concentration to satisfy The Integration requirement.) All students including B.A./M.S.T. adolescence education students must complete an approved Oral Expression course.
  • Relationship to Minors and Second Majors: Courses taken to fulfill General Education requirements can also be applied to minor and/or second major requirements.
  • Suggested Time Frame for Completing General Education Requirements: Students are expected to complete The Skills requirement by the beginning of the sophomore year (except for the Oral Expression requirement, which students may complete with a designated upper-division course). Transfer students should complete The Skills requirement by the end of their second semester at the college. The Knowledge and Understanding requirements should be completed before the end of the sophomore year. The Integration course should be taken after The Skills and The Knowledge and Understanding requirements have been met.
  • Transfer Students: The admissions office evaluates all transfer credits. Most transfer students will have completed many of the Skills and Knowledge and Understanding requirements; approved substitutions may be transferred into the program (with the same exception noted above). Questions about transferring work from other colleges should be directed to the admissions office at (518) 564-2040.
  • Study Abroad: Any semester-long, approved and satisfactorily completed course of study abroad will satisfy The Integration requirement.

Contact Information

For more information about the general education program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Stephen Light, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Office: Kehoe 708
Phone: (518) 564-2195
Email: lightsc@plattsburgh.edu