Instructor Information

How to Submit Courses for Designation

Faculty, instructors, and departments interested in submitting courses for General Education designations (new or renewing provisional) should use the General Education Course Submission Form.

Please note that these forms require a Binghamton University email address.

Additionally, instructors are not able to to apply directly for the USD designation. Please email Undergraduate Education if you are interested in adding this general education requirement to your course.

General Education designations can be approved to be added for the semester/session up to the Add/Drop deadline.

For all General Education requirements, a course is understood to be four credits. There are exceptions to this rule:

  • Transfer courses that earned three credits at the student’s original school;
  • Physical Activity/Wellness courses;
  • Laboratory Science courses of one and two credits that have a four-credit pre- or corequisite;
  • Oral Communication courses of varying credits;
  • A total of four credits of MUSP courses, taken for a letter grade, may be used to fulfill the Aesthetics requirement;
  • Colleges/Schools or programs in which three-credit courses are the norm.

For more information, please contact Undergraduate Education.

For more information on the new SUNY General Education Framework, please see Policy and Guidance: SUNY General Education. 

General Education Designations and Learning Outcomes

For more information on the different categories including the required student learning outcomes, guidelines from the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and support tools see the pages below.

C - Composition
O - Oral Communication
J - Joint Composition + Oral Communication
D - Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
USD - U.S. Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
M - Mathematics
L - Laboratory Sciences
H - Humanities
N - Social Sciences
A - Aesthetics
G - Global Interdependencies
WL - World Languages
Y - Physical Activity
S - Wellness
B - Both Physical Activity + Wellness
T - Critical Thinking and Reasoning
I - Information Literacy

Combination Limitations

Starting Fall 2023 the Faculty Senate Executive Board has approved the following limitations on designation combinations.

Skills, Activities, and Competencies

(as many from this column as instructors cover and assess)


(only one from this column)

Specific Knowledge Areas

(only one from this column)

C/O/J Composition + Oral Communication H Humanities G Global Interdependencies
T Critical Thinking and Reasoning A Aesthetics D/USD Diversity: Equity Inclusion and Social Justice
I Information Literacy N Social Sciences  
Y/S/B Activity + Wellness L Laboratory Sciences  
WL World Languages    
M Mathematics    

For an example UUCC could approve a course to hold C, T, I, N and D designations.

Requesting General Education Designations FAQ

Who can submit requests for Gen Ed designations?
Faculty, instructors, or staff are allowed to submit requests for Gen Ed designation. The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has left this decision up to  individual departments: some departments have mandated that only the undergraduate director or chair can submit requests, while other departments allow instructors or administrative staff members to submit requests. Please check with your chair or undergraduate director regarding the policy in your department.
When should requests be submitted?
We recommend that requests are submitted early during the course-building period (at least two weeks before the class schedule goes live) so that approved designations can be added to the courses before registration opens. However, we will consider Gen Ed designations up until the Add/Drop Deadline of a semester. 
What is the difference between a "permanent" and a "provisional" Gen Ed designation?

Permanent means that the course will always receive the General Education designation, regardless of when the course is taught or who teaches it. Only permanent courses can receive permanent designations; topics courses or experimental courses cannot.

Provisional General Education designations are for one semester only or for specific instructors only. Because of their temporary nature, topics courses receive provisional Gen Ed designations. If one instructor teaches a course to meet a General Education requirement but another instructor for the same course does not, we would use a provisional designation.

Can a Gen Ed designation be removed from a course?

Yes. The department chair or undergraduate director (or their designee) may request that a Gen Ed designation be removed because a course is no longer being taught to meet the requirement.  Instructors can also request that a designation be removed; if the request comes from an instructor, the department chair and/or undergraduate director should be copied on the request. All requests to remove a  designation must be made in writing (i.e., via email), not over the phone.

IMPORTANT!   If a course already has students registered, or a course has already started, all students MUST be informed in writing before a designation is removed from a course. We strongly discourage the removal of a designation once a course has started.

If a Gen Ed designation was approved for a course, why isn't it showing up in BU Brain?
Gen Ed designations are added to courses at the end of the course-building period. Although weekly queries are run during registration to look for new courses, they do not always pick up all of the new courses that were built. If your department adds a course after the end of course building, please contact Undergraduate Education