General Education Curriculum
As part of Binghamton University's Comprehensive General Education (Gen ED) Curriculum, all students must take courses in the following areas of study: aesthetics, composition and oral communication, foreign language, global interdependencies, humanities, laboratory science, mathematics, health and wellness, pluralism in the United States, and social science. Information on individual requirements is provided here. More information is available about Gen Ed online.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about General Education
How do I know if a course meets a Gen Ed requirement?
Gen Ed courses are identified in the Schedule of Classes. To receive Gen Ed credit, a course must be identified with a Gen Ed letter (A , P, G etc) in the semester in which you take it. Gen Ed designations are finalized by the add deadline for each semester.
Can a course fulfill more than one Gen Ed requirement?
Some Gen Ed courses may carry more then one Gen Ed tag (for example, CHP). However, except for C, O or J classes, Gen Ed courses may be used to fulfill only one Gen Ed category. C, O or J courses may be double-counted with one other Gen Ed requirement. Your DARS report will use double-tagged courses in the category in which they are needed; for example, if you take a course designated CNP, you will receive either the CP or the CN, DARS maximizes your courses.
Can Gen ED courses be taken pass/fail?
Gen Ed courses must be taken for a letter grade (normal grading option) unless a course is only offered pass/fail.
Can my transfer courses fulfill Gen Ed requirement?
Transferred college courses are considered for Gen Ed on a course-by course basis. Contact you adviser for more information.
General Education Requirements
Foreign Language (CS students only)
This requirement may be fulfilled by demonstrating proficiency in high school in one of the following ways:For students from Regents high schools:
- Score of 85 or better in the Foreign Language Regents Exam or a grade of 85 or better in the fourth level of the high school foreign language.
- For students from non-Regents high schools ONLY: Grade if 85 or better or a B in the third level or higher of high school foreign language
- Exam Credit: Score of 3 or better on AP foreign language exam or score of 4-7 on the H1B or standard IB exam
- Demonstrated proficiency: See an adviser.
Students who do not demonstrate proficiency in high school must complete one of the following options:
- third semester college-level course of one foreign language
- second semester college-level course of two foreign languages
Note: Students from Regents high schools who scored between 65 and 84 on the Foreign Language Regents Exam or students from non-Regents high schools who received a grade of between 65 and 85 in the third level of high school foreign language are considered to have completed two semesters of a college-level language and can take either a third semester of that language or two semesters of a second language.
Exemptions: Students in the Watson School's Engineering program are exempt from this requirement. Students in the Watson School's Computer Science program or the Decker School of Nursing who do not demonstrate proficiency in high school are only required to take one college-level course in a foreign language.
The M requirement assumes proficiency in high school mathematics - algebra, geometry and trigonometry. This requirement can be fulfilled in one of the following ways:
- Exam credit: AP score of 5 or better in calculus, statistics or computer science; HIB math score of 4-7; or CLEP scaled score of C or better.
- For students who demonstrate proficiency in high school: Take any designated M course. How do you demonstrate proficiency?
- For N.Y. Regents high school students: Score of 85 or better on the MATH III Regents Exam or a grade of 85 or better in the fourth level of the high school math or IB standard level score of 4-7
- For students from non-regents high schools ONLY: Average of 85 or better or a B average through the third level of high school math or an 85 or better in the fourth level of high school math or IB standard level score of 4-7
For students who do not demonstrate proficiency in high school, complete one of the following :
- Math 107 or 108 plus any designated M course
- Math 220 or above
Physical Activity/Wellness (Y, S, B)
Exercise, body awareness and wellness are essential components of a healthy and productive lifestyle. Physical Activity courses are designated Y; Wellness courses are designated S, and the courses the combine both Physical Activity/Wellness are designated B. Students must complete one of the following:
- 1-credit (or more) T course plus a 1-credit (or more) S course
- 1-credit B course plus one of the following:
- 1-credit Y course
- 1-credit S course
- 1-credit B course
- 2-credit (or more) B course
Pluralism in the United States (P)
P courses consider three or more of the following cultural groups in the United States - African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, Latino Americans and Native Americans - in terms of their specific experiences and how they have affected and been affected by the basic institutions of American society. Most P courses assume a basic knowledge of U.S. history, measured by demonstrating proficiency in high school in one of the following ways:
- Exam score: AP score of 3 or better in US History
- For N.Y. Regents high school students: Score of 85 or better on the U.S. History Regents Exam
- For students from non-regents high schools ONLY: Grade of 85 or better or a B in U.S. History
If you are proficient: Students who demonstrate proficiency can take any designated
If you are not proficient: Students who do not demonstrate proficiency must select from a specific group of P courses that pay significant attention to a broad span of U.S. History. If you are not proficient, your DARS will display a current list of these specialized courses.
A courses enhance students' understanding of the creative process and the role of imagination in it. The A requirement may also be fulfilled with an AP score of 3 or better in art history, art studio or music theory or a HIB fine arts score of 4-7.
Global Interdependence (G)
G courses consider how one or more of the regions of the world have influenced and interacted with the West and with one another, and how the West has been affected by these regions and their distinctive cultures or civilizations.
H courses enhance students' understanding of human experience through the study of literature or philosophy. This requirement may also be fulfilled with an AP score of 3 or better in English lit/comp, French literature, German literature, Latin literature or Spanish literature or a HI-B humanities score of 4-7.
Laboratory Science (L)
L courses emphasize the formulation and testing of hypotheses and the collection analysis and interpretation of data.
Social Science (N)
N courses emphasize the major concepts, models and issues of at least one of the social sciences. The N requirement may be satisfied with an AP score of 3 in American history, economics, European history, human geography, political science or world history or a HIB social science score 4-7.
Composition (C), Oral Communication (O), or Joint Composition/Oral Communication (J)
C courses emphasize writing as a process of revision and require a minimum of 20 pages of expository prose. O courses involve at least two oral presentations and evaluation of speaking. J courses combine both composition and oral communication. Students must complete one of the following options:
- One C course plus one O course
- One J course