General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements

List of Requirements

Basic Skills 0-9 hours
Foreign Language 0-6 hours
Knowledge Foundations 12-18 hours (counting exemptions)
America & The Western Heritage 6 hours
Human Diversity 6 hours
Intellectual Issues 6 hours
Advanced Expository Writing and Oral Proficiency

For a more detailed list, please review the General Education Checklist

General Education Notes

  • For the current list of approved GE courses, please review the Approved GE2000 Courses
  • General Education courses may not be taken pass/fail.
  • One course can be used to satisfy two (or more) requirements, except that:
    • No course satisfying the American History requirement will at the same time satisfy the Tolerance and Intolerance requirement (in Human Diversity).
  • Courses that satisfy requirements for the major or minor can also be used to satisfy General Education requirements.
  • General Education courses (with the exception of Intellectual Issues) can be taken off-campus, as long as approval is secured in advance.
  • Passing scores on college-level competency exams (e.g., Advanced Placement or CLEP) may be used to earn credits and, where appropriate, satisfy General Education requirements.
  • Waiver exams are given in the three Basic Skills areas (passing one of these exams satisfies a requirement but earns no credits for the student). Open to new students only.
  • Math competency must be demonstrated by the student before she or he enrolls in any Math 106/206 course at Oswego.
  • Foreign Language requirement can be satisfied by high school study of another language through Regents Level 4; high school study of two other languages (through Level 2 in each); or completion of a 102-level college language course or equivalent.
  • Only students in Teacher Education or other programs leading to careers where there is likely to be significant contact with the hearing impaired may use ASL to satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement.
  • Intellectual Issues courses have as a prerequisite the completion of Basic Skills and Knowledge Foundations courses or permission of instructor.

General Education Exemptions by Major

The nature of the course work required of students to fulfill certain majors infuses a level of skills, competency, and/or general knowledge beyond what is needed to satisfy General Education. In those cases, students are considered to be exempt from particular General Education components. The Exemption Table specifies which, if any, General Education components a student is exempt.

Waiver Exams

Waiver exams are given in the three Basic Skills areas (passing one of these exams satisfies a requirement but earns no credits for the student). Open to new students only. For more information please review the Waiver Exams policy.

Transfer Students (Without Degree)

Transfer students without an Associate’s Degree must complete all categories of GenEd 2000. Students matriculated prior to Fall 2000 should consult with the Director of General Education as to which GE Program is deemed most appropriate.

Transfer Students (With Degree)

Program-to-program articulation aims to provide smooth transition in parallel programs, minimum time in completing the bachelor's degree and maximum transfer of credits. If the student attended another SUNY school, you can see which classes will satisfy General Education requirements at Oswego by accessing SUNY's approved courses page.

The general articulation agreement allows students completing associate degrees to have particular general education requirements waived.

Transfer Students (degree-holding and matriculated Fall 2000 and later) with a SUNY A.A., A.S., or A.A.S. degree have the following exemptions and/or waivers:

  • Exempt from lower-division component of the writing plan
  • Computer Literacy considered "infused". Critical Thinking considered "infused".
  • Foreign Language- One College semester or the High School Equivalent of 3 years through Regents exam with a score of 85 or better on the exam. The High School transcript will be needed to verify this requirement has been met.
  • Natural Sciences- 3 hours (waived)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences- 3 hours (waived) 
For more information on these requirements, visit our General Education page in this guide or on our General Education Website.