General Education Requirements

Through General Education courses, you will become engaged global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators, thoughtful problem-solvers, and conscientious analyzers. The knowledge and skills learned through General Education can be applied across all disciplines and in any career field.

As part of Binghamton University’s comprehensive General Education (Gen Ed) curriculum, all students must take courses one course in each of the following areas:

*One Joint Composition and Oral Communication (J) course can complete both the Composition (C) and Oral Communication (O) requirements.
^Both Physical Activity and Wellness (B) courses can complete both the Physical Activity (Y) and Wellness (S) requirements. At least 2 credits of Y/S or B are required to complete the Physical Activity and Wellness requirement. 

More information is available on the General Education website

General Education Policies:

  • General Education courses must be taken for a letter grade; they may not be taken pass/fail*. 

Transferring General Education Courses from Other Institutions:

  • Transfer credits must be at least 3 credits to fulfill at General Education requirement (exception: Physical Activity (Y), Wellness (S), Both Physical Activity and Wellness (B), and Oral Communication (O) requirements)
  • Internships, independent studies, and developmental courses will not fulfill General Education requirements
  • If the course you wish to transfer appears on the transfer course equivalency tables with the appropriate General Education designation, it is not necessary to petition for general education credit. You will receive the general education attribute noted on the tables.  
  • If you intend to take a course to fulfill a General Education requirement and it does not appear on the transfer equivalency tables, please refer to the General Education and Writing Transfer Guide for Harpur College Students. This guide will help you select an appropriate course to petition for general education credit.

For Transfer Students from SUNY institutions:

For all requirements except Foreign Language, transfer students from other SUNY schools who have been certified as meeting a SUNY-wide General Education requirement prior to matriculation at Binghamton will be certified as having met the corresponding Binghamton requirement. If you have completed a course towards a general education requirement at your previous campus, Binghamton will honor that credit as having met the general education requirement here.

Please see Comparison of Binghamton University and SUNY General Education Requirements on the General Education page for more information. Courses from other SUNY schools taken after matriculation at Binghamton or not certified as meeting a SUNY-wide requirement will be evaluated solely in terms of Binghamton University's General Education requirements.

Foreign Language Requirement

The Foreign Language (FL) requirement for students in Harpur College is determined by admission type. For each admission type (Freshman or Transfer), students need to complete one of the options listed:

Entered as a Freshman

  • Complete four years of high school language with an 85 or better in the fourth year
  • Score 3-5 on the AP Exam
  • Score 4-7 on the IB Exam
  • Complete the equivalent of FL3 (third semester language) in one language
  • Complete the equivalent of FL2 (second semester language) in two different languages

Entered as a Transfer

  • Complete three years of high school language with an 85 or better in the third year
  • Score 3-5 on the AP Exam
  • Score 4-7 on the IB Exam
  • Complete the equivalent of FL2 (second semester language) in one language

Students may also complete the foreign language requirement by demonstrating equivalent proficiency in some other fashion. 

Pluralism in the United States (P or USP) Requirement

All students must take a college-level course that completes the Pluralism (P or USP) general education requirement. Based on coursework taken in high school, students are considered "proficient" or "not proficient" and are required to take specific courses to complete this requirement. 

Students are not proficient and must take a USP course if:

Students are PROFICIENT and can take any course with a P or USP attribute if:

  • Did not earn a grade of 85 or higher on the US History Regents exam
  • From a non-Regents/Out of State school, did not earn a final grade of 85 or higher in a US History Class
  • Did not scored at least 3 on the AP American History exam
  • Earned a grade of 85 or higher on the US History Regents exam
  • From a non-Regents/Out of State school, earned a final grade of 85 or higher in a US History Class
  • Scored a 3-5 on the AP American History exam

Students can transfer a college-level US History course from another institution to fulfill the Pluralism requirement. 

SUNY Transfer Students: If at your previous SUNY institution, you completed the US History general education requirement with a grade of C- or better, that course will complete your Pluralism requirement at Binghamton.