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The UB Curriculum

Our Innovative, Student-centered Approach to General Education

The UB Curriculum is a program of core study built around intellectual discovery and integrative learning. It emphasizes critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global learning, and strong communication skills, providing the tools students need to succeed in their professional lives and to meet the responsibilities of citizenship in a diverse and interconnected world. The Program consists of four main components — UB Seminar, Foundations, Pathways and Capstone — and comprises 40 credits of study for all students, irrespective of major. To learn more about each of these components, please visit the UB Curriculum website.

Upon completion of the UB Curriculum students will:

  1. Attain and apply knowledge in written, oral and visual communication; mathematics and quantitative reasoning; and natural sciences.
  2. Acquire, apply, analyze, evaluate and integrate knowledge from a wide range of disciplines.
  3. Attain and apply critical thinking skills to define and solve problems.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of human and cultural diversity within local and global contexts.
  5. Acquire the knowledge, skills, technologies, ethical judgment and personal responsibility for effective citizenship, professional leadership, and lifelong learning.

Students completing a degree encompassing the UB Curriculum and major requirements will also have met all the expected learning outcomes for the State University of New York General Education Requirements. SUNY General Education Requirement designations for UB courses may be found at TAURUS.

UB Curriculum Requirements

UB Seminar

Complete any academic department’s UB Seminar course numbered 199.

The following students must complete any academic department’s UB Seminar course numbered 198:

  • Transfer students entering UB with 45 or more credits from an accredited domestic institution.
  • Reentering students who have completed 45 credits or more of coursework (either transfer or UB credits) prior to their reentry to UB.
  • Reentering students who have completed one of the following courses prior to fall 2016:  CAS 101, CPM 101, CPM 203, EAS 140, HON 102, UBE 101, UBE 102 (Leadership House section only), UE 101, UE 140, or UE 141.

All students are required to complete their UB Seminar during their first semester of enrollment regardless of full or part-time status. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible to enroll in UB Seminar. This includes 60+ and Visiting students.

Students who resign or fail the UB Seminar may not be able to retake the course during the fall or spring semester, per the Course Enrollment Control Policy. Students with a passing grade may not repeat the course.

Any student who fails, resigns, or withdraws from the UB Seminar in their first semester at UB must complete it within one year of their start at UB.

Retaking UB Seminar
First semester at UB:Must re-take UBS before:
Fall 2022Fall 2023
Spring 2023Spring 2024

Communication Literacy I

Complete ENG 105 or ELI 105 (enrollment restrictions apply).

Students may fulfill this requirement through additional means such as AP English Language and Composition score and SUNY GETA. Please consult the placement guidelinesBased on TOEFL or IELTS scores, some students may be required to complete ENG 100 or ELI 100 as a prerequisite to ENG 105/ELI 105.

Communication Literacy II

Complete one course from the list below. Some of the approved Communication Literacy II courses also serve as a major requirement (indicated with an asterisk).

Students must have 30 or more completed credits in order to register for a CL2 course.

  • AAS 320: Research Methods*
  • AMS 364: Research Methods*
  • APY 408: Ethnographic Field Methods
  • BIO 387: Communicating in Biology
  • BIO 487: Honors Research Methods
  • CL 305: Heroes
  • CL 309: Writing Across the Curriculum: Classics
  • COM 300: Written Communication
  • DMS 413: Filmic Text: Color & the Moving Image
  • DMS 480: Social Media & Networks
  • EAS 360: STEM Communications*
  • END 350: Environmental Design Workshop 1*
  • ENG 350: Introduction to Writing Poetry and Fiction
  • ENG 351: Writing about the Environment
  • ENG 352: Writing for Change
  • ENG 353: Technical Communication
  • ENG 354: Writing about Literature
  • ENG 355: Writing about Science
  • ENG 356: Professional Writing
  • ENG 357: How to Write Like a Journalist
  • ENG 358: Writing in the Health Sciences
  • FR 343: Advanced Communication for Students of French*
  • GLY 303: Geological Mapping Techniques and Communication*
  • HIS 301: Historical Writing
  • ITA 322: Advanced Communication for Students of Italian*
  • JDS 303: Money & Ethics
  • JDS 385: Maimonides: The Guide of the Perplexed
  • JDS 396: Science and Politics in Jewish Thought
  • LAI 301: Composing in Human Sciences
  • LIN 356: Introduction to Contemporary Theories of Metaphor
  • MGG 303: Communication Literacy for Business*
  • MT 426: Technical Communications for the Scientific Professional*
  • NSG 348: Evidence Based Practice and Nursing Research*
  • PHC 330/331: Case Studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences Writing Lab*
  • PHI 301: Writing Philosophy
  • PSY 300: Communicating for Psychological Sciences
  • SOC 421: Writing Sociologically
  • SPA 314: Advanced Communication for students of Spanish*
  • SSC 327: Autoethnographic Writing
  • SSC 328: Communicating for Health and Human Service Professionals*
  • SSC 443: Law, Legal Writing and Advocacy
  • TH 330: Writing about Performance
  • TNS 309: Writing Human and Social Diversity
  • TNS 310: Writing Across Cultures

Mathematical & Quantitative Reasoning

Complete one course from the following lists below. Students intending on taking pre-calculus or calculus should refer to the placement guidelines.

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

  • CSE 111: Great Ideas in Computer Science 1
  • LAI 111: Math Reasoning and Communication
  • MTH 101: Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics
  • STA 119: Statistical Methods
  • ULC 148: Intermediate Algebra and Trigonometry
  • CEP 207: Introduction to Statistics and Computing

Additional Courses that Satisfy the Mathematical & Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

  • GEO 211: Univariate Statistics in Geography
  • MGQ 201: Introduction to Statistics for Analytics
  • MTH 115: Survey of Algebra and Trigonometry
  • MTH 121: Survey of Calculus and Its Applications 1
  • MTH 122: Survey of Calculus and Its Applications 2
  • MTH 131: Math Analysis for Management
  • MTH 141: College Calculus 1
  • MTH 142: College Calculus 2
  • MTH 153: Honors Calculus 1
  • MTH 154: Honors Calculus 2
  • NSG 295: Statistics for Health Care
  • PHI 215: Symbolic Logic
  • PSC 408: Basic Statistics for Social Science
  • PSY 207: Psychological Statistics
  • SOC 294: Basic Statistics for Social Sciences

Scientific Literacy & Inquiry

Students must complete at least 7 credits, including at least one credit of laboratory, from the following chart. Laboratory courses must be from the same subject area as one of the completed lecture courses.

Students intending to take Chemistry or Physics should consult the placement guidelines.

Scientific Literacy & Inquiry
 Column AAND Column B

2 lecture courses required:

*ARC 352 and PAS 313 cannot be paired and do not meet all learning outcomes.

1 lab course required:

Diversity in the United States

Complete at least one course from the following list. A single course can count toward both a UB Curriculum requirement and a major, minor, or certificate requirement.  A single course cannot count toward more than one UB Curriculum requirement with one allowance: a course can count toward both the Diversity in the United States requirement and a pathway or CL2 if approved as such.


Complete one Thematic AND one Global Pathway from the list of approved topics.

For the Global and Thematic Pathways, complete one course from each list within the chosen Topic. Each Pathway must include at least 9 credits or 3 courses. If a language is elected for the Global Pathway, some topics may only include 2 courses to satisfy the 9 credit requirement.

Students who elect to take a language as part of their Global Pathway should consult the Languages other than English Placement guidelines.

Except for the language Topics in the Global Pathway, each Pathway must include courses from at least 2 different subjects. For example, all 3 Thematic Pathway courses may not be from Psychology (course subject: PSY).

When completing each Pathway, students are required to cover at least 2 different UB Areas. If a course is designated as fulfilling more than one UB Area, students may use that course to satisfy only one of those UB Areas.

The UB Areas include:

  • Arts
  • Civilization & History
  • Humanities
  • Languages
  • Social Sciences

The Thematic Pathway courses should cover 2 different UB Areas than those covered by the Global Pathway. Thus, students need to complete at least 4 different UB Areas via their Pathways courses.

Students must use the Path Finder to select their Pathway courses. Students are encouraged to do so early in their careers in consultation with their Academic Advisor. If a student selects a particular Pathway via the Path Finder but then fulfills a different series of courses, s/he must update his/her selection in the Path Finder.

Transfer students may use transfer coursework that fulfills a UB area. Transfer students will be able to view such coursework in their Path Finder.

UB Capstone

Complete UBC 399. All other UB Curriculum components must be complete or in progress in order to enroll in the UB Capstone. UB Seminar is a prerequisite to UBC 399 and therefore cannot be taken concurrently. The Capstone will require reflection on all components of the UB Curriculum. Any student enrolled in UBC 399 who does not meet the enrollment requirements will be dropped from the course.

General Education Policies

Continuing students who entered between fall 2002 and spring of 2016 will adhere to the 2002-2016 General Education Program

Students who entered UB's Singapore Institute of Management prior to fall 2017 will adhere to the 2002-2016 General Education Program.

Students entering or reentering UB who have previously earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited US college or recognized foreign institution will not be required to complete the UB Curriculum when earning their subsequent degree.

Reentering Students

Reentering students may be allowed to graduate under the general education program in effect during their previous enrollment at UB if one of the two following conditions has been met. They may do so by submitting a General UBC Petition Form

If a reentering student's previous catalog year is 2002-2015, they may be allowed to graduate under the 2002-2016 General Education Program in effect during their previous entry to UB if one of the following conditions have been met.  Any transfer coursework completed since the student's time at UB will be reviewed and applied to the student's degree requirement per transfer articulation rules and SUNY General Education Transcript Addendum (GETA) policies

  • Student had previously completed the former general education program (2002-2016), or 
  • Is within 3 courses of completing the former general education program (2002-2016); they may complete the remaining courses and graduate with the previous general education program. 

Reentering students whose initial catalog year pre-dates 2002 will adhere to the general education program that is active at the time of their reentry regardless of the number of courses completed prior to their break in attendance. Students should review their previous coursework with an academic advisor for potential application to the UB Curriculum via course substitution. A Pre-2002 Curriculum Mapping Form should be submitted for these requests.

Course Applicability

With the exception of the Diversity in the United States requirement, a given course may be applied toward only one UB Curriculum requirement.

Courses in which the student opts for S/U grading may not be used to satisfy UB Curriculum requirements.

Internship, independent study, undergraduate teaching, experiential learning, and other courses not based on classroom experiences may not be used to meet UB Curriculum requirements.

Transfer Coursework and Test Credit

Transfer courses from accredited institutions and other alternative credits that articulate directly to the specified courses listed for each respective UB Curriculum requirement may be used to fulfill that particular requirement.

SUNY has established minimum General Education requirements for campuses across the SUNY system. Students should understand that meeting SUNY General Education requirements at other campuses does not mean that they have completed the UB Curriculum.

A SUNY General Education Transcript Addendum (GETA) will be accepted as meeting the relevant UBC requirement, regardless of the direct course it articulates to at UB, if the GETA is earned prior to matriculation (for new students) or re-matriculation (for reentering students) at the University at Buffalo. For such students, SUNY GETAs will apply to the UB Curriculum as follows:

  • Basic Communication will fulfill the Communication Literacy 1 requirement.
  • Mathematics will fulfill the Math and Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
  • Natural Sciences will fulfill one lecture course of the Scientific Literacy and Inquiry requirement. (Articulated courses may be used to fulfill the remainder of this requirement.)
  • American History, Arts, Foreign Language, Humanities, Other World Civilizations, Social Sciences, and Western Civilization may be used to fulfill 2 of the 3 courses required for the Thematic or Global Pathway. (Articulated courses may be used to fulfill the remainder of this requirement.)

When courses are taken elsewhere while a student is matriculated at UB, only the direct course articulation will apply to the UBC/General Education requirement. GETAs earned by UB students during their matriculation at UB will not be applied. This includes (but is not limited to) GETAs earned at other institutions via cross registration, while on Leave of Absence, or during summer or winter sessions of an academic year during which the student is an active UB student.

UB students transferring to other SUNY schools will be awarded a SUNY GETA as follows:

  • Communication Literacy 1 fulfills Basic Communication.
  • Math and Quantitative Reasoning fulfills Mathematics.
  • The first lecture course for Scientific Literacy and Inquiry fulfills Natural Sciences.
  • Pathways and Diversity Learning courses fulfill American History, Arts, Foreign Language, Humanities, Other World Civilizations, Social Sciences, and/or Western Civilization.
Published: Oct 06, 2022 08:27:04