General Education Requirements

For All Students Who Enter Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

The General Education Program at UB focuses on a broad array of skills, knowledge, and issues that the university’s faculty considers to be particularly important for all college graduates. The program is intended to help students prepare for success and fulfillment in a continually changing world. General education complements the departmental major. The major provides depth of study in a particular area of specialization and prepares students for certain careers or for advanced study. General Education assures skill mastery in written and oral communication, information technology, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking as well as requirements in a broad liberal arts array in Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, American Pluralism, Languages, Natural Sciences, and depth of experience in science or language.

The skills and knowledge areas of general education encompass both fundamental proficiencies that contribute to readiness for entry into a major field of study such as introductory writing, information technology, quantitative reasoning, or basic sciences as well as those expected in a student at an advanced level, such as oral communication and critical thinking. The latter two are embedded in UB’s major curricula. To ensure a broad experience however, certain areas of general education are specifically intended to enroll students in disciplines outside their major field of study. Upon successful completion of the General Education program, students will have met all the expected learning outcomes for the State University of New York General Education Requirements (DOC).


Complete ENG 101 and ENG 201, as placed, unless exempted.

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Library Skills

Complete the Library Skills Workbook within the first year of study at UB.

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Mathematical Sciences

Complete one course from the following lists.

Recommended Courses for Students Who are Not Meeting a Specific Requirement of a Major

  • CSE 111 Great Ideas in Computer Science I
  • STA 119 Introduction to Statistics

Additional Courses that Satisfy the Mathematical Sciences Requirement

  • CEP 207 or GEO 211 or MGQ 301 or PSC 408 or PSY 207 or SOC 294 or SOC 404 or SSC 225 or STA 111 - STA 112*
  • CSE 113 Introduction to Computer Science I
  • CSE 115 Introduction to Computer Science for Majors I
  • CSE 116 Introduction to Computer Science for Majors II
  • CSE 191 Introduction to Discrete Structures
  • MTH 115 or ULC 148 Survey of Algebra and Trigonometry
  • MTH 121 or MTH 131 or MTH 141 or MTH 153*
  • MTH 122 or MTH 142 or MTH 154*
  • MTH 181 Conceptual Mathematics I
  • PHI 215 Symbolic Logic
  • PHI 415 Logical Theory I
  • PHI 416 Logical Theory II

*Courses grouped together are equivalent courses. Students should not take more than one course from each group

World Civilizations

Complete UGC 111 and UGC 112 World Civilizations I-II. (**See note at end of this section.)

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Natural Sciences

Students must complete a two-course sequence, including at least one semester of laboratory. Allowable two-course sequences are outlined in lists below.

Recommended Course Sequences for Students Who Are Not Meeting a Specific Requirement of a Major

  • BIO 129 - BIO 130 Perspectives in Human Biology
  • GEO 101 and GEO 106 Physical Environmental Geography, for students taking GEO 106 Fall 2016 and later, GEO 105 is also required.
  • GLY 101 - GLY 102 Global Environmental Science, for students taking GLY 101 and GLY 102 Fall 2016 and later, GLY 105 is also required
  • NTR 108 - NTR 109/NTR 110 Human Nutrition/Nutrition in Practice
  • PHY 121 - PHY 122 Descriptive Astronomy

Additional Course Sequences that Satisfy the Natural Sciences Requirement

  • BIO 200 Evolutionary Biology and BIO 201 Cell Biology
  • BIO 200 Evolutional Biology and BIO 309 Ecology
  • CHE 101 - CHE 102 General Chemistry
  • CHE 105 - CHE 106 Chemistry: Principles and Applications
  • CHE 107 - CHE 108 General Chemistry for Engineers
  • GLY 103 - GLY 104 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System
  • PHY 101/PHY 151 - PHY 102/PHY 152 College Physics I-II/Lab
  • PHY 107 - PHY 108/PHY 158 General Physics I-II/Lab
  • PHY 117 - PHY 118/PHY 158 Honors Physics I-II/Lab

Note: School of Architecture majors only may complete ARC 352 and PHY 101; Nursing majors only may complete ANA 113 and PGY 300. School of Public Health and Health Profession majors only may complete ES 207 and PGY 300.

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American Pluralism or Cognate (approved equivalent courses)

Complete UGC 211 American Pluralism and the Search for Equality or any one of the following: AAS 261, ARC 211, AHI 390, DMS 213, GEO 231, HIS 161, HIS 162, LIN 200, SOC 211, TH 220. (**See note at end of this section.)

Note: UGC 111 - UGC 112 World Civilizations I-II should be completed first.

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Complete one 3-credit course offered by APY, CDS, COM, ECO, GEO, LIN, PSC, PSY, SSC, or SOC; or END 120, END 212.

Note: Courses used to satisfy any other general education requirement are excluded.

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Language Requirement

NOTE: See the Foreign Language Placement section of the catalog for appropriate placement level.

For native speakers of English, students must demonstrate elementary-level proficiency in a language other than English by doing one of the following:

  • Completing a 2-semester first-year sequence of college-level courses in a language other than English (e.g. Spanish 101-102, Modern Greek 191-192).
  • Completing a 1-semester college-level Transitional or Heritage language course (Spanish 104, 171, French 104, German 104, Italian 106, Chinese 104 or 105, Russian 104).
  • Achieving a minimum score of 600 on a College Board Foreign Language Achievement Test
  • Achieving a minimum score of 3 or 4 (depending upon the language and the test) on an AP test in a foreign language

Native speakers of English and native speakers of other languages may also demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English by doing one of the following:

  • Showing a high school diploma from a country whose language of instruction is other than English
  • Passing a proficiency examination administered by the department which houses the appropriate language. Romance Languages and Literatures: French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese; Classics: Latin, Ancient Greek; Jewish Studies: Hebrew; Linguistics: all other languages taught at UB. It is suggested that students contact the relevant department to arrange for the proficiency examination as soon as they are in residence at UB. For speakers of languages not taught at UB, see the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Student Advisement and Services.

Note: Majors in the following schools and programs are not required to complete language study: Architecture; B.F.A. in Art, Dance, Music Theatre; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; Biomedical Sciences; Biotechnology; Engineering (except Computer Science); Informatics; Management; Medical Technology; Medicinal Chemistry; Nuclear Medicine Technology; Nursing; Pharmacology and Toxicology; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Public Health and Health Professions with the exception of the Public Health BS.

Note: Some majors and minors require additional semesters of language study.

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Students completing ENG 101 and ENG 201 have met this requirement; other students must complete one 3-credit course offered from AAS, AS, AMS, CL, COL, ENG (excluding ENG 101/ENG 201), FR, GER, GGS, HIS, HMN, ITA, JDS, LLS, PHI, RSP, SPA, TNS , and other languages.

Note: Courses used to satisfy any other general education requirement are excluded.

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Complete one 3-credit course offered by ART, AHI, DMS, MTR, MUS, TH, or THD; VS; ARC 121 is also an option. (**See note at the end of this section.)

Note: Courses used to satisfy any other general education requirement are excluded.

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Depth Requirement

Complete any one of the following:

  • Third-semester language proficiency (e.g. SPA 151)
  • An additional course from the listing of mathematical sciences courses
  • UGC 302 or UGC 303 Great Discoveries in Science
  • A natural sciences course numbered 200 or higher
  • Any one of the following courses: ANA 407, APY 338, APY 344, APY 345, APY 348, APY 350, ARC 442; CDS 288, CDS 382; GEO 345>, GEO 347, GEO 348, GEO 350, GEO 352, GEO 356, GEO 435, GEO 449; MT 402; PSY 351, PSY 402, PSY 434, PSY 435, PSY 436, PSY 439

Note: Courses used to satisfy any other general education requirement are excluded. Transfer courses must be articulated (i.e., matched) to specific UB courses or requirements in order to satisfy UB’s Depth Requirement. SUNYGE waivers do not apply toward UB’s Depth Requirement. Students may not petition this policy.

**Note: Students who entered UB with 24 or more transferable credit hours from an institution of higher education other than UB are exempted from the World Civilizations, American Pluralism, and Arts requirements. These credits must have been earned prior to enrollment at UB.

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General Education Requirements

Requirements differ by student status. Please note that there are different requirements for: (1) students who enter as freshmen; (2) students who enter as transfer students; (3) students who enter as transfer students with a completed AA or AS degree from a SUNY institution and with a GETA (General Education Transcript) showing completion of all SUNY general education requirements; (4) re-entering students who were recently enrolled at UB; (5) re-entering students last enrolled more than five years ago; (6) students enrolled for a second bachelor’s degree; (7) students enrolled who have a completed bachelor’s degree from a foreign institution; and (8) students with a registered learning disability. See an academic advisor for details.

General Education Advising Notes

S/U grading is not an option in any course used to satisfy General Education requirements. Internship, Independent Study, Undergraduate Teaching, Experiential Learning, and other courses not based on classroom experiences may not be used to meet General Education requirements.

Any given course may be applied toward only one General Education requirement unless explicitly noted otherwise.

Only the specified courses or those that articulate to the specified courses listed for each respective General Education requirement may be used to fulfill that particular requirement. No other courses qualify.

SUNY has established minimum General Education requirements for campuses across the SUNY system. UB’s General Education program meets, and in many cases exceeds, these requirements. Students should understand that meeting SUNY General Education requirements at other campuses does not necessarily mean that they have met all of UB’s requirements or that they are exempt from certain UB requirements.

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