2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin

Description of General Education Requirements

John Jay College's general education program is part of the CUNY’s Pathways initiative. Please visit the Pathways section of the CUNY web site for information about Pathways, especially when considering transferring to another CUNY college.

The General Education program consists of 42 required credits including 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 includes 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 fulfill the Flexible Core requirements with more than two courses in any discipline or interdisciplinary field. 

Students who are required to take a foreign language at the introductory level (101 or 111) fulfill the World Cultures and Global Issues category with this course. They must select an additional World Cultures and Global Issues course to fulfill the sixth Flexible Core course requirement. See the Foreign Language Requirement 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 The Struggle for Justice and Equality in the United States.

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 are deemed to have fulfilled the CUNY Common Core portion (Required Core and Flexible Core) of the general education requirements for the baccalaureate degree. They are required to complete two additional courses in the College Option. Students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) have to complete two additional courses in the College Option and must fulfill any areas of the CUNY Common Core not fulfilled by transfer credit. Students must fulfill all prerequisite requirements for courses.