Geneseo Launches New Undergraduate Curriculum

(SUNY Geneseo photo/Keith Walters '11)

This fall, SUNY Geneseo will introduce Geneseo Education for a Connected World, an undergraduate curriculum designed to prepare all students for success in the 21st century.

“This dynamic curriculum reflects Geneseo’s institutional focus on providing an inclusive, engaging, and relevant liberal arts experience,” says Provost Stacey Robertson. “Students will encounter broad areas of knowledge, become specialists in a particular discipline, develop habits of critical inquiry and civic participation, reflect on their learning, and reach beyond themselves by exploring the diversity of human experiences, cultures, and viewpoints.”

Geneseo’s new curriculum foregrounds the skills students will need to engage the complexities and possibilities of a globally connected world. It invites students to explore courses from across the main academic divisions, make connections between different types of learning opportunities, and integrate work outside of the classroom into their educational experiences. The new curriculum also aligns with SUNY’s recently adopted general education framework and thus gives transfer students the opportunity to seamlessly move into Geneseo academic programs.

“To participate in the social, political, and ethical dimensions of society, and to work toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable world, students need both broad knowledge and a set of common skills,” explains Robertson. Courses that help build skills in communication, scientific literacy, and global participation cover five new categories:

• Diversity, pluralism, and power

• World cultures and values

• Contemporary global challenges

• Creativity and innovation

• Sustainability

In addition to the required courses, all students will complete an integrative or applied learning experience, such as intensive research, international experiences, service- and community-based learning, or internships.

“The integrative learning graduation requirement has been designed to be inclusive and accessible to all students,” says Meg Reitz, associate director of residence life for educational initiatives and a member of Geneseo’s Curriculum Design Working Group (CDWG). “It encourages students to deepen learning gained in their classroom experiences by engaging in and reflecting on their experiences outside of the classroom.”

David Levy, associate professor and chair in philosophy and chair of CDWG, calls the new curriculum much more student-focused, adding that it is both less burdensome and more accommodating. “It requires fewer credits, which makes it more transfer-friendly,” he says. “At the same time, the smaller number of credits devoted to general education will allow more students to pursue a second major or a minor. This makes it a more equitable curriculum, which also means that all students will have more freedom to explore what makes sense to them."

The new curriculum offers a learning experience that reflects Geneseo’s core beliefs and values, says President Denise A. Battles, but it also does much more. “In short, it provides students with the skills, experiences, and knowledge that will help them find meaning, make impact, and position themselves for success in the world.”

Read more about Geneseo Education for a Connected World.

See SUNY’s new general education framework, adopted in November 2021, to be phased in by Fall 2023.


Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529