FAQs and Answers


Should I plan to take all my General Education courses first, before I begin exploring areas that might eventually fit in my major or minor

No. The best course of action is to be aware of your responsibility to complete all the categories of General Education for graduation. You can explore areas of interest and begin work in your major or minor AND make progress on satisfying your General Education program. Basic courses in almost every department in the University contribute to the General Education program. Try to complete a few of the requirements each semester. Some requirements, like those for Information Literacy and for Foreign Language, should be completed by the end of your sophomore year. Consult the advice under Student Planning on this web page for some special considerations that may apply to different programs and plans.


I see many courses count for more than one category in the General Education program, if I take one of those courses will it fulfill my requirements for both categories?

Yes, some courses satisfy more than one requirement and will count for both; however students are required to take a minimum of 30 total credits in General Education during the course of their studies. There is an important exception to double counting for courses that satisfy both Arts and Humanities: courses designated as fulfilling both of these categories can only be used to satisfy one or the other. You will need to take a course in each of those categories.


If I change my major, will I have a different set of General Education requirements to meet?

No. General Education requirements are the same, regardless of your major.


Can a course count as a General Education requirement AND satisfy a requirement in my major or minor?

Yes.


Is there a minimum grade that I must earn in a General Education class at UAlbany in order to have it count in the designated category?

If you minimally pass any General Education course, it will count in the designated category, with the following exceptions: Students must satisfactorily complete Writing Intensive courses with grades C or higher or S in order for them to meet this category. 


I am a transfer student. Is there a minimum grade that I must have earned in a General Education class in order to have it transfer to UAlbany in the designated category?

Even if you receive a non-transferable but minimally passing grade in the course, it can be used in the designated category. Put another way, except for the University’s writing requirement, for which a grade of C or higher or S is required, either pre- or post matriculation transfer work graded D+, D or D- in a course that applies to one or more of UAlbany’s General Education requirements may be applied toward fulfilling the requirements, even if you receive no graduation credit for the course.


I am a transfer student and I earned an Associate's degree. Am I eligible to have my remaining General Education requirements waived?

If you earned an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from a SUNY state-operated campus or SUNY community college, you will be considered to have completed requirements in effect during the 2012-2013 academic year.


I have an Associate's degree degree that would make me eligible for a waiver. Why aren't my General Education requirements waived?

If you matriculated prior to Fall 2012, your audit probably doesn't reflect that you have Associate of Arts (A.A.) or an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from a SUNY state-operated campus or SUNY community college since under the former program, there was no such waiver. Write ugeducation@albany.edu or stop by the Office of the Vice Provost for Education in Lecture Center 30 and we will check your Admissions records to verify your degree.


I am a transfer student and I was close to completing my Associate's degree. Is it still possible for me to finish it?

It may be possible to transfer courses you take at UAlbany back to your previous institution in order to complete  your Associate's degree. That will depend on the policies at your previous school. If you ultimately earn an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree from a SUNY state-operated campus or SUNY community college, you will be considered to have completed requirements in effect during the 2012-2013 academic year.


I plan to study abroad in my junior or senior year. Can I expect any of my courses there to satisfy General Education requirements?

It is likely that some of the courses you take in a Study Abroad Program will satisfy General Education requirements. It depends, of course, on where you are studying and what is available. If you plan to participate in a SUNY sponsored program, discuss your plans with an advisor at the Study Abroad and Exchanges office, located in SL G40, and make them aware of your interest in continuing work on General Education while you are abroad. They will be able to direct you to courses that are likely to count as satisfying those requirements and assist you with the process of having them reflected that way on your audit once you return.

If you plan to participate in a non-SUNY sponsored Study Abroad program, you need to apply for a Leave for Approved Study through the Office of Undergraduate Education in LC 30. When you submit course descriptions to get your planned course work preapproved, you may also petition to have courses reviewed for General Education categories.

Before you submit a petition for a course, be sure to review the General Education requirements and the associated Learning Objectives for each category.


I am a non-native English speaker. Do I have to complete the General Education foreign language requirement?

If you attended high school in another country or are proficient in a foreign language, it is likely that your skills and experience will satisfy the requirement. If you are currently being advised in Advisement Services Center, you should speak to your advisor there about what to do. If you are being advised in your major department, you should contact the Office of Undergraduate Education, LC 30, about ways to document your language proficiency.


I took a language in high school but I did not take the New York State Regents exam, do I have to start all over again?

Probably not, and students should begin their college study of languages at the most appropriate level, given any prior experience or training. Students from states other than New York, or who studied in schools that did not require the Regents exam, can consult UAlbany staff for assistance in understanding how time and experience could factor into determining language placement. The Advisement Services Center in LI 36 (down the steps from the University Library) administers a placement exam in French or Spanish for students who believe their training in those languages would satisfy the requirement. In some cases, it might make sense for students to visit the department that represents the specific language that interests them to get assistance in determining where they should be placed. The Advisement Services Center can help students decide whether their situation requires consultation with the department and identify the appropriate person in the language.


I am a transfer student and I got an 85 or above on my language Regents exam; however my foreign language requirement has not been waived. What do I do?

If you are a transfer student who attended high school in New York, your performance on a language Regents is not included as part of your admissions file. If you did receive an 85 or above, it is necessary for you to obtain these records from your high school to have the fact that you have satisfied the requirement reflected on your audit. Once you have a sealed transcript from high school, send it to the Office of Undergraduate Education in LC 30.


I took the full course of language available in high school but got less than 85 on the Regents exam, is there any way I can have the language requirement waived?

General Education requirements are not waived, but your experience in the language may be sufficient to satisfy the requirement. The Advisement Services Center administers a placement exam in French or Spanish for students who believe their training in those languages would satisfy the requirement. In some cases, it might make sense for students to visit the department that represents the specific language that interests them to get assistance in determining where they should be placed. The Advisement Services Center (in LI 36, down the steps from the library) can help students decide whether their situation requires consultation with the department and identify the appropriate person to speak with in the language.


The Professor/My Advisor said a course would count as a General Education course, but it isn’t appearing on my audit in the category. How can I make it count?

If you still think it should be considered for that category, you may petition to have it reviewed by the General Education Committee. The petition is available in LC 30. You will need to provide a syllabus for the course you took.

Before you submit a petition for a course, be sure to review the General Education requirements and the associated Learning Objectives for each category


I took a course here that seems to fit the description of a category perfectly, but it isn’t showing up on my audit as fulfilling the requirement. What should I do?

There are a number of specific criteria that a course needs to fulfill in order to be included in the General Education program; some criteria are ‘locally’ determined by faculty and administrators on this campus and some are determined by SUNY System administrators. So, there are a range of factors that could lead to a course seeming to fit a category but not being designated as a part of the General Education program. At the same time, if a course does reflect the goals and content of a General Education course, it should be considered for the program. If you think the course you took could substitute in a General Education category, you may petition to have it reviewed by the General Education Committee. You will need to provide a syllabus for the course you took.

Before you submit a petition for a course in LC 30, be sure to review the General Education requirements and the associated Learning Objectives for each category.


I took a course at another school that seems to fit the description of a category perfectly, but when I transferred it in it does not appear on my audit as fulfilling the requirement. What should I do?

It is possible that a course you have taken at another institution should fulfill a General Education requirement but is not appearing that way on your audit. You may petition to have it reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Education in LC 30. You will need to provide a course description for the course you took.

Before you submit a petition for a course, be sure to review the General Education requirements and the associated Learning Objectives for each category..


I want to take a course over the summer at another college and make sure it transfers in as a General Education course. Can I do that? What do I do?

Courses from other colleges that are similar in content to UAlbany General Education courses may satisfy our General Education requirements. If the course is offered at a New York State school, you may be able to check the direct equivalency through the Registrar’s equivalency database. If the course is equivalent to a course already designated as a General Education course on this campus, it will indicate that on the database and it should automatically transfer in fulfilling that requirement. If you think it should be considered for that category but it is not designated as filling the requirement, or if you are attending an institution not included in that database, you may petition to have it reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Education in LC 30.You will need to provide a course description for the course you are planning to take.

Before you submit a petition for a course, be sure to review the General Education requirements and the associated Learning Objectives for each category.


I’m a graduating senior and I still need to fill one of my General Education requirements. Can I have it waived?

It is not possible to waive a General Education requirement. You should talk with your major department’s Undergraduate Director or your academic advisor in the major about options available to you to complete the requirement.


Who should I contact if I have more questions about the General Education program at UAlbany?

Contact information for individuals who can assist you with your questions is available at this site. You may also write ugeducation@albany.edu or stop by the Office of the Vice Provost for Education in Lecture Center 30.