2014-2015 Undergraduate Bulletin

Description of General Education Requirements

The new general education requirements are part of the University’s Pathway’s initiative. Please visit http://www.cuny.edu/academics/initiatives/pathways/about.html for more details about Pathways and for its implications for undergraduates, especially when considering transferring to another CUNY college.

The new General Education program comprises 42 required credits and is based on the learning outcomes listed previously. The curriculum includes a 30-credit liberal arts Common Core and a 12-credit College Option.

The Common Core is composed of two parts: a 12-credit Required Core and an 18-credit Flexible Core.

  • The Required Core includes three credits of Life and Physical Sciences, six credits of English Composition and three credits of Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning.
  • The Flexible Core is composed of six (6) three-credit liberal arts and sciences courses. Students take at least one course in each of the following five categories: A) World Cultures and Global Issues; B) U.S. Experience in its Diversity; C) Creative Expression; D) Individual and Society, and E) the Scientific World.

Students may not take more than two courses in any discipline or interdisciplinary field. If a student has to satisfy the foreign language requirement at the 101 level, the student will need to complete a 101 level foreign language course in the World Cultures category, and the student’s sixth Flexible Core course also will need to be selected from the World Cultures category. See the discussion of the foreign language requirement on the next page for more details.

The College Option includes a six-credit Justice Core and six credits across two additional categories: 1) Learning from the Past, and 2) Communications. In the Justice Core, students take a first year seminar on Justice and the Individual and a 300-level course on Justice in Global Perspective or Struggles for Justice and Equality in the United States.

This diagram depicts the Common Core and College Option of John Jay’s new general education curriculum. The white and gray circles indicate the course requirements for the Common Core, with white corresponding to the Flexible Core and the gray corresponding to the Required Core. The black circles denote the College Option possibilities.


Please note: In accordance with the CUNY Board of Trustees Transfer Policy, students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree (AA) or an Associate of Science degree (AS) from an accredited college will be deemed to have fulfilled the CUNY Common Core portion (Required Core and Flexible Core) of the general education requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Students will still be required to complete two additional courses of John Jay’s College Option. Students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) will also have to complete two additional courses of John Jay’s College Option in addition to any areas of the CUNY Common Core not filled by transfer credit. Students must fulfill all prerequisite requirements for courses.

Foreign Language Requirement In the New General Education curriculum, all students who start John Jay as freshmen in fall 2013 or after are required to complete two semesters (101-102 or 111-112) of one foreign language (FL), unless they have College Now or AP credit, which may fulfill the requirement and be applied in the appropriate general education category. John Jay values education in languages, so transfer students are strongly encouraged to take these or higher-level foreign language courses.

In the College’s general education model, FL 101 courses reside in the World Cultures and Global Issues category of the Flexible Core, while the FL 102 courses reside in the Communications category of the College Option. Freshmen who are not exempt from the foreign language sequence will also be required to take the sixth course of the Flexible Core in the World Cultures and Global Issues category. Students who start at the college as freshmen must take the FL sequence to fulfill these two general education categories and to graduate, unless exempt.

Exemptions. Students with prior knowledge of a foreign language can become exempt from the requirement by taking a placement examination and scoring high enough to place above the FL 102 (or FL 112) level. Those who place into the FL 102 (or FL 112) level will only need one semester of that language to fulfill the requirement.

Students who can provide documentation of a high school degree from a foreign country and whose primary language of instruction is not English are exempt from the foreign language requirement but are not awarded any credits for that language. Students who receive a grade of 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement examination will be awarded 6 credits, thereby fulfilling the foreign language requirement.

Credit by examination (up to a maximum of 6 credits) or exemption by examination may be obtained by taking the CLEP examination. For additional information on CLEP, see Chapter 2, Enrollment Management.

Students who are exempt from the foreign language requirement may choose any course from the World Cultures and Global Issues category and from the Communications category. We encourage students who place above the FL 102 level to continue foreign language study, and depending on the placement, they may be able to fulfill World Cultures and Global Issues area and/or Communications with higher level foreign language courses.

Note: American Sign Language will be accepted on the same basis as all other languages in fulfillment of John Jay’s foreign language requirement. For more details about how the foreign language requirement works, see http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/foreign-language-requirement.