General Education

General Education

General education builds the foundation of knowledge, skills, and competencies for a substantive undergraduate academic experience, a successful career, and a productive lifetime. SUNY’s longstanding commitment to a strong system-wide general education policy dates back to the late 1990s, with the establishment the SUNY General Education Requirement (SUNY GER). In 2021, the SUNY Board of Trustees approved the SUNY General Education Framework (SUNY GE), ensuring that all SUNY undergraduate degree-seeking students will have this critical foundation, regardless of type of degree or area of study.


Newly Approved, 2021
SUNY General Education Framework (SUNY GE)

On November 9, 2021, the SUNY Board of Trustees passed Resolution 2021-48 establishing the new SUNY General Education Framework (SUNY GE).  The new SUNY GE policy is consistent with SUNY’s continuing commitment to a strong general education program—now applicable to all SUNY undergraduate degree programs—that addresses the fundamental aims of postsecondary undergraduate education. This includes proficiency with essential skills and competencies, familiarization with disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways of knowing, enhancement of the values and disposition of an engaged 21st century global citizenry, and encouragement of individual campuses to develop unique signature features, including their respective array of educational offerings and pedagogical approaches.

The SUNY General Education Framework is effective fall 2023, for new first-time students entering AA-, AS-, and all baccalaureate-degree programs; and effective fall of 2024, for new first-time students entering AAS- and AOS-degree programs.


SUNY General Education Requirement (SUNY GER)

In 1998, the State University of New York Board of Trustees established a 30-credit SUNY General Education Requirement (SUNY-GER) that required recipients of baccalaureate degrees to have demonstrated knowledge and skills in ten areas (American History, Arts, Basic Communication, Foreign Language, Humanities, Math, Natural Sciences, Other World Civilizations, Social Sciences, and Western Civilization) and competency in two areas (Information Management and Critical Thinking). Faculty agreed on a set of University-wide student learning outcomes for each area that guides the development of SUNY-GER courses and enables those courses to transfer seamlessly within the University.  In 2010, the Board approved a revised SUNY-GER that offers students greater flexibility (30 credits in seven of ten areas plus the two competency areas) while continuing to promote academic excellence, student mobility and degree attainment – important goals in The Power of SUNY:  Strategic Plan 2010 and Beyond.  The Office of Academic Programs, Planning and Assessment provides guidance and coordination for campuses’ implementation of the SUNY-GER, reviews campus-approved proposals for SUNY-GER courses and campus requests for programmatic waivers, and maintains a database of SUNY-GER courses that supports seamless transfer.

Academic Affairs