Frequently Asked Questions


What is General Education?

The General Education curriculum at SUNY Geneseo provides the broad knowledge and fundamental skills that are the necessary possession of an educated citizen and the proper foundation for specialized study in a particular discipline. In so doing, Geneseo's General Education curriculum advances the Mission of the College.

Who must complete General Education requirements?

As a general rule, all current candidates for the Bachelor's degree at Geneseo must complete the General Education curriculum in its entirety. Any student who is readmitted to Geneseo following withdrawal, resignation, or dismissal must complete all elements of the General Education curriculum in place at the time of readmission.  Students with Associate Degrees will have the first part of General Education Requirements (and possibly even some of the Breadth Requirements) automatically satisfied.

Will a course in my major discipline count toward General Education?

In most cases, courses in a student's major discipline may not be used to complete the General Education curriculum. There are some exceptions, however. You may use courses in your major discipline to fulfill the Mathematics, Other World Civilizations, and American History portions of the General Education curriculum.

Will a course in my minor count toward General Education?


I'm majoring in two disciplines. Will courses in one of these count toward General Education?

Yes. Courses in the discipline on record as your second (or third, or fourth, etc.) major may be counted toward General Education.

Can I use one course to fulfill more than one portion of the General Education curriculum?

A few courses in the General Education curriculum may be counted toward more than one area. These courses appear in the Undergraduate Bulletin with double prefixes (S/M, S/U). For example, Art History 180 is an F/ and M/ course.

Can I use two courses with the same department prefix to fulfill the two-course curriculum in Natural Science, Social Science, or Fine Arts?

For most students, the answer is "No." Exceptions are made only for certain transfer students. More information is available in the Dean's Office.

I'd like to take two Art Department courses for the Fine Arts portion of the curriculum. Are ArtS and ArtH different prefixes?

As long as you are not majoring in either ArtS (Art Studio) or ArtH (Art History), you can treat the two prefixes as different and complete the curriculum with one course in ArtS and one in ArtH. However, all Art majors, whether ArtS or ArtH, are excluded from applying Art Department courses to the General Education curriculum in Fine Arts.

Can performance courses be use to fulfill General Education requirements?

At least one course must approach the arts from a historical or theoretical perspective. (That is, both may not be studio or performance courses.) For one of the three-credit courses, students may substitute sustained participation (three semesters, totaling three credit hours) in one of the following performance courses: MUSC 160, MUSC 165, DANC 265, THEA 260.

I started at Geneseo before Fall 2000. How much of the General Education curriculum must I complete?

You must complete the Natural Science, Social Science, Fine Arts, Humanities, and Non-Western Traditions portions of the General Education curriculum. You need not complete the Critical Writing/Reading, US History, or Foreign Language portions.

If I take courses at another institution while matriculated at Geneseo, can I count them toward General Education?

In most cases, yes. However, before a taking a non-Geneseo class for transfer credit, you should complete a Transfer Course Approval Form and submit it to the Dean's Office. All transfers of credit are subject to Dean's Office approval.

If I matriculated before Fall 2003, do I need to demonstrate proficiency in a language through the 201 level?

No. Any student who matriculates before Fall 2003 must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language through the 102 level.

How can I demonstrate language proficiency? 

A student can demonstrate proficiency in four ways...

1. Taking four units of high school foreign language (i.e., completion of a high school language sequence through Level IV, one year beyond the Regents Examination) AND a score of 85 or above on the New York State Regents Examination.
2. A score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in a foreign language.
3. Placement above the 201 level on Geneseo's language placement examination. (This examination may be taken during Orientation or by contacting the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.)
4. Completion of college-level work in a foreign language (at Geneseo or another institution) through the 201 (first semester, intermediate) level.