Frequently Asked Questions
What is CUNY Pathways?
The CUNY Pathways Initiative is a new general
education structure and transfer system that applies to all colleges within the
university. The CUNY Pathways system guarantees that general education
curriculum requirements fulfilled at one CUNY college can be transferred to any
CUNY college. Starting Fall 2013, all university students will follow Pathways
guidelines. At Queens College, students will follow our liberal arts and
sciences curriculum that is designed to meet the requirements of the CUNY
Pathways Initiative. We call the new curriculum the QC Core.
What is the QC Core?
The QC Core
consists of 14 courses, a minimum of 42 credits (For students in STEM majors,
your courses may total more than 42 credits). The QC Core contains three
parts, the Required Core, the Flexible Core, and the College Core. All Core
courses are expected to introduce students to the many perspectives and ways of
thinking that are the hallmark of a liberal arts education.
Does CUNY Pathways
apply to me?
CUNY 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 the QC Core (CUNY Pathways) curriculum or can remain under their current
general education requirements.
Who must follow the QC
Core (CUNY Pathways) Curriculum?
Students entering Queens College in the Fall 2013
semester or later follow the QC Core
curriculum designed for CUNY Pathways.
Who must follow the
Perspectives (PLAS) Curriculum?
Students who entered Queens College after Fall 2009
but before Fall 2013 follow the Perspectives on the Liberal Arts and Sciences
How does CUNY Pathways
affect transferring to a CUNY senior college?
CUNY Pathways allows for a seamless transfer of credits
from one CUNY college to another. Once a student has completed a course that meets a Pathways requirement at
a CUNY college, that requirement is accepted at any other CUNY college.
I started Queens
College before Fall 2013. Should I Opt In to the QC Core curriculum?
You should consider a number of factors before you
decide to opt-in
to the QC Core curriculum. How many general education courses
have you already completed? What courses remain? How far are you from
graduation? There are differences between the old curriculum and the new
curriculum that may affect financial aid. The decision should be made in
consultation with an academic advisor, who can help you consider your
options. You can compare the differences between the old and new
curricula in the Crosswalks from
Perspectives to Pathways.
Who can help me
understand my Core Curriculum requirements?
Visit our Student
page to see which core curriculum applies to you, then view our Core Curriculum
Requirements pages to download complete degree requirements under your core
curriculum. You can also log into CUNYFirst to view your requirements using
Degreeworks or visit the Academic Advising Center at Kiely Hall Room 217 to
speak with an advisor.
QC Core Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the three
parts to the QC Core?
Required Core courses develop your
critical academic abilities, such as the ability to read analytically, write
clearly and coherently, research and interpret information, and communicate
effectively. These courses prepare you for the challenges of advanced college
Flexible Core courses continue to
cultivate your intellectual and practical abilities as you study various areas
of knowledge from diverse perspectives. These liberal arts courses allow you to
better understand yourself and the world around you as you develop the
capacities for critical inquiry, innovation, and independent thinking.
College Core courses aim to broaden
your perspective and further your education in the liberal arts and sciences.
The College Core corresponds to CUNY Pathway’s “College Option”. While
Pathways Required Core and Flexible Core requirements are common to all CUNY
colleges, Pathways College Option requirements vary from campus to campus. Here
at Queens College we’ve made this component of the Pathways framework truly our
own and named it our College Core.
What is an “RD”?
“RD” is shorthand for “Requirement Designation”.
Every QC Core course is assigned a requirement designation or RD. Core
curriculum courses are given RDs to denote that an area within the Pathways
framework has been satisfied. This ensures that core curriculum requirements
fulfilled at one CUNY college will carry over seamlessly if a student transfers
to another CUNY college. For example English 110 satisfies “College Writing 1”
within the QC Core and is denoted by the requirement designation “EC1” (English
Composition 1), Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning courses have the RD
“MQR”, Creative Expression courses “CE”, and so on. Similarly, all College Core
courses satisfy the requirement designation “CO”, which is short for “College
What is a STEM
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 variants can be found in three
areas of the QC Core: Life and Physical Sciences (LPS), Scientific World (SW),
and College Core Science. All STEM courses can satisfy one of these areas and
students may choose which RD they want 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 College Core Science requirements with non-STEM courses in the
Can I take QC Core
courses that also satisfy requirements for my major?
Absolutely! Speak with an advisor to learn more
about how you can plan your course career with classes that fulfill both QC
Core and major requirements. For example, a student majoring in Biology might
prefer to take a calculus course to satisfy their MQR requirement, Biology 105
to satisfy LPS, and Biology 106 to satisfy SW since these courses are also
requirements for the major.
What is the Writing
To encourage excellence in writing across the
disciplines, all students are required to complete two Writing Intensive (W)
courses, which may be taken within the QC Core, 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
Students may fulfill the College Core Language
requirement by completing any course on the Language list in the College
Core. Not all of these courses are foreign language courses. Foreign
Language is an option within the College Core Language requirement, and
students choosing to take a foreign language should seek advisement on
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
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 QC Core requirements
you have yet to complete, as well as major and/or minor requirements and any other
requirements you need for a Queens College degree. To access DegreeWorks, log
into the CUNY Portal at www.cuny.edu and click Student Advisement Degree