Required Core

4 courses

  • College Writing 1: ENGL110 (EC1)
  • College Writing 2 (EC2)
  • Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR)
  • Life and Physical Sciences (LPS)

Flexible Core

6 courses*

  • World Cultures and Global Issues (WCGI)
  • U.S. Experience in its Diversity (USED)
  • Creative Expression (CE)
  • Individual and Society (IS)
  • Scientific World (SW)
  • An additional Flexible Core course

*No more than two courses in any discipline or interdisciplinary field

College Option

4 courses

  • Literature (LIT)
  • Language (LANG)
  • Science (SCI)
  • An additional course:

Life and Physical Sciences (LPS),
Flexible Core,
College Option, or
A Synthesis course (SYN)



    Students who entered Queens College in the Fall 2013 semester or later must satisfy a set of General Education requirements called Pathways. The Pathways framework has three parts: the Required Core, the Flexible Core, and the College Option. While the Required Core and Flexible Core are common to all CUNY colleges, the College Option is required only at the senior colleges, including Queens. College Option requirements are structured differently from senior college to senior college. It is possible to transfer college option credits previously completed at another CUNY senior college to QC, but once you enroll at Queens, all your remaining College Option credits must be completed by taking designated courses in residence at Queens College.

    Some courses can be used to satisfy one of several different Pathways requirements, but taking a single course will never satisfy more than a single Pathways requirement. The Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217) will help you make sure that the courses you take get assigned to the various Pathways requirements in an optimal way.

    As part of your general education requirements you must also complete two Writing Intensive courses (courses with a “W” in their course number), which may overlap with courses taken for Pathways or Major requirements. To avoid the need to take extra courses, students should plan their course of study at Queens College in a way that maximizes this overlap. Students who transfer from institutions that do not indicate writing-intensive courses on the transcript should make sure they receive credit for having completed the proper number of W courses. Contact the Advising Center (Kiely 217) if there are problems.


    To obtain a bachelor’s degree from Queens College, you must complete 120 course credits, typically about 40 courses. Within those 120 credits you must complete the general education requirements and the requirements for at least one major course of study (“a major”). It is quite likely that some of your general education courses will overlap with courses within your major. Credits not used to satisfy your general education and/or major requirements may be used to take courses in a second major, a minor, or may be used as free electives.

    Of the 120 credits required for a degree, at least 45 credits must be completed in residency at Queens College and at least 30 of the last 64 credits must be taken at Queens College or at the CUNY Graduate Center. See the latest College Bulletin for complete information on degree requirements, general education requirements, and university policies.


    For a list of all courses that have been approved for the various Pathways requirements, see the PATHWAYS COURSE LISTS page.

    For lists of General Education courses currently being offered at Queens College, please see the SCHEDULED GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES page. That page includes PATHWAYS COURSES, WRITING-INTENSIVE COURSES, and the earlier general education program, PERSPECTIVES COURSES.

    Register for courses via CUNYfirst, or speak to an advisor at the Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217).



    When you transfer to Queens College, all your prior courses will be evaluated for possible Pathways credit. If you feel that any courses were evaluated incorrectly, speak to an advisor at the Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217) about reevaluating your courses. If any course qualifies for reevaluation, the Director of Academic Advising will file an appeal on your behalf to the Director of General Education. If you still feel a course was evaluated incorrectly after following this procedure, Academic Advising can provide you with an appeal form to submit to the Queens College Transfer Appeals Officer. If you’ve completed this process at Queens College, and you still feel a course has been evaluated incorrectly, you may then file a Transfer Credit Appeal with the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs.


    • Transfer students who have completed a bachelor’s, AA or AS degree from SUNY have completed Pathways Required and Flexible Core requirements.
    • Transfer students who’ve completed the 30-credit SUNY GER requirement have completed Pathways Required and Flexible Core Core requirements.
    • In cases where a SUNY GER course has been deemed equivalent to a CUNY Pathways course, the Pathways requirement is deemed fulfilled.


    Although it is possible to complete some or even all of your College Option credit requirements at another CUNY senior college before transferring to Queens, once you have enrolled here, all remaining College Option credits must be completed at QC. For transfer students, the number of credits required to complete the College Option varies based on several factors. See the table below for details, or consult the College Option Calculator in the next section to assess your particular situation. To verify your individual requirements, visit an advisor at the Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217).

    Transfer students from a CUNY or non-CUNY associate program

    • Students with 30 or fewer transfer credits:

    4 courses / 12 credits

    • One Literature course
    • One Language course
    • One Science course
    • One additional Core course
    • Students with 31 or more transfer credits:

    3 courses / 9 credits

    • One Literature course
    • One Language course
    • One Science course
    • Students with an associate’s degree: (A.A., A.S., A.A.S)
      • Note: Students with AAS degrees need to complete any areas of the Required and Flexible Core that they did not complete when obtaining their AAS degree.

    2 courses/ 6 credits

    • One Literature course
    • One Language course

    Transfer Students from a CUNY or non-CUNY baccalaureate program

    • Students with no College Option credits from a senior CUNY college:

    4 courses / 12 credits

    • One Literature course
    • One Language course
    • One Science course
    • One additional Core course
    • Students with 3 credits of the College Option from another senior CUNY college:

    3 courses / 9 credits

    • One Literature course
    • One Language course
    • One Science course
    • Students with 6 credits of the College Option from another senior CUNY college:

    2 courses/ 6 credits

    • One Literature course
    • One Language course
    • Students with 9 credits of the College Option from another senior CUNY college:

    1 courses/ 3 credits

    • One Literature course
    • Students who have fully completed the College Option at another senior CUNY college:

    Multiple Transfer Students

    • Students who began at a 4-year baccalaureate program are required to complete 12 Queens Core credits. Any College Option courses taken in a baccalaureate program will count towards the Queens Core requirement at QC.
    • Students who began at a 2-year associate program may have to complete 6, 9, or 12 Queens Core credits depending on their status when they first transferred from the associate program.

    All Multiple Transfer Students should speak with an advisor at the Academic Advising Center in Kiely Hall room 217 to verify their individual Queens Core requirements.



    Answer the following questions to see what College Option courses you will need to take at Queens College.
    You may also display technical explanations with the results.

    Do you have a Bachelor’s degree?

    Do you have an Associate’s degree?

    Did you first start taking college level courses in a 2-year program, or in a 4-year program?

    Are you transferring more than 30 credits to Queens from another college?

    Have you received credit for College Option courses from another CUNY senior college?
    How many College Option credits have you completed at another CUNY senior college?
    Your College Option Requirements

    Based on the questions above:

    You need to enable JavaScript to use this web page.

    Note: The result is only as accurate as your input!
    To be sure you answered each question correctly, consult with an advisor in the Office of Academic Advisement.



    Although major requirements vary from one CUNY college to another, Pathways has designated Gateway Courses leading into CUNY’s most popular majors so that students who anticipate pursuing one of these majors can take these designated courses, and be able to transfer them for major credit seamlessly between CUNY colleges. Consult an advisor at the Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217) about registering for Gateway Courses at Queens College.


  • What is the CUNY Pathways Initiative?

    The CUNY Pathways Initiative is the general education framework and transfer system that applies to all colleges within the City University of New York. The Pathways framework guarantees that general education requirements fulfilled at one CUNY college can be transferred over seamlessly to any other CUNY college. From Fall 2013 and after, all university students follow Pathways Guidelines. At Queens College, students will follow a liberal arts and sciences curriculum designed to meet the requirements of the CUNY Pathways Initiative.

  • Does CUNY Pathways apply to me?

    Pathways applies to every student entering Queens College in Fall 2013 and after. Continuing students who entered Queens College prior to Fall 2013 may choose to “opt in” to Pathways, or can remain under their previous general education requirements. See an advisor at the Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217) to discuss which curriculum is a better fit for you.

  • What is an “RD”?

    “RD” is shorthand for “Requirement Designation”. Every Pathways course is assigned a requirement designation, or RD, to denote which area within the Pathways framework the course satisfies. This ensures that general education requirements fulfilled at one CUNY college will carry over seamlessly if a student transfers to another CUNY college. For example, Drama 100 satisfies “Creative Expression” and is denoted by the requirement designation “CE”.

  • What is a STEM variant?

    STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and refers to the areas of study that fall into those four categories. STEM variants are courses in STEM fields that also serve as requirements for a major (STEM courses are often more challenging than non-STEM courses). STEM variants can be found in three areas of Pathways: Life and Physical Sciences (LPS), Scientific World (SW), and Queens Core Science (SCI). Some STEM courses can satisfy either LPS or SW, in which case students may choose which RD they wish the course to fulfill. STEM variants may also be more than three credits.

  • Should I take a STEM course to fulfill my LPS requirement?

    Because STEM variants are also courses within a major, they can be more challenging than non-STEM courses. If you do not need to take a STEM variant to fulfill a requirement for your major, you may want to wait until more non-STEM courses are available in the Life and Physical Sciences (LPS) area of the Required Core. Consider satisfying your Scientific World or Queens Core Science requirements with non-STEM courses in the meantime.

  • Can I take general education courses that also satisfy requirements for my major?

    Absolutely! Speak with an advisor at the Academic Advising Center (Kiely 217) to learn more about how you can plan your course career with classes that fulfill both general education and major requirements. For example, a student majoring in Biology might prefer to take a calculus course to satisfy their MQR requirement, and Biology 105 to satisfy LPS, and Biology 106 to satisfy SW since these courses are also requirements for the major.

  • What is the Writing Intensive Requirement?

    To encourage excellence in writing across the disciplines, all students are required to complete two Writing Intensive (W) courses, which may be taken within general education courses, courses for a major, or electives. Writing intensive courses incorporate writing as an integral part of coursework and are designed to help students practice their writing, discover writing as a tool for learning, and to introduce them to the writing practices of particular fields and disciplines.

  • What is the policy on Foreign Language?

    Students may fulfill the Queens Core Language requirement by completing any course on the Language list (Lang) in the Queens Core.  Not all of these courses are foreign language courses. Foreign Language is an option within the Queens Core Language requirement, and students choosing to take a foreign language should seek advisement on placement.

  • Can I satisfy the MQR requirement with a non-math course?

    Yes, students may fulfill the Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning requirement by taking any course on the MQR list. Not all of these courses are math courses. However, if you are considering a major that requires a math course, we strongly encourage you to take the CUNY Mathematics Skills Assessment Test (COMPASS). Several academic majors require students to take calculus: Accounting, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, and Physics. Also, many health professions, pre-med, physical therapy, etc. also require one or two semesters of calculus. Students can arrange to take the COMPASS test through the Testing Center in Kiely Hall, Room 232 (718-997-5680).

  • Are Pathways courses eligible for the P/NC option?

    Starting Fall 2015, Pathways courses will not be eligible for the P/NC option. Other exceptions include writing-intensive courses, graduate level courses, and courses taken for a major. For more information, click here.

  • What is DegreeWorks?

    Degree Works is an online advising tool designed to assist you in reviewing your progress towards your degree at Queens College. DegreeWorks will show you which requirements have been met, which are in progress, which General Education requirements you have yet to complete, as well as major and/or minor requirements and other requirements you need for a Queens College degree. To access DegreeWorks, log into the CUNY Portal and click Student Advisement Degree Audit. If you have trouble accessing DegreeWorks, consult Academic Advisor or see DegreeWorks FAQ page.

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