General Education

SUNY Poly is dedicated to the idea that a baccalaureate degree should not only prepare students to enter the work force, but also to take part fully in today’s society. SUNY Poly strongly believes that its graduates should be aware of life’s complex nature in the 21st century. They should have sufficient understanding of the present major issues and problems, so they may make informed choices in politics, in professional pursuits, and in personal endeavors.

To help achieve this, SUNY Poly encourages its students to create three major areas of thinking within themselves. The first is an appreciation of the scientific method and the scope of scientific achievement. The second is a familiarity with the diverse traditions, institutions, and cultural expressions of our modern world. The third is an understanding of each person as an emotional, ethical, rational, and creative being. Since our age is marked by rapid change and specialization, SUNY Poly recognizes the compelling need of its students to think so they can easily see the connections that do exist among the distinctive actions of the people and world around us. Each program of study at SUNY Poly has adapted its curriculum to help students achieve this type of comprehensive education.

SUNY Poly, as a member of the larger SUNY system, has adopted the SUNY General Education Framework which requires that every student complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved General Education courses.  SUNY updated its General Education categories and requirements effective fall semester 2023 as outlined below.

For students starting fall 2023 or later

Students beginning their studies at SUNY Poly or another SUNY institution in fall semester 2023 are required to successfully complete coursework in the following areas:

  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Mathematics (and quantitative reasoning)
  • Natural Sciences (and scientific reasoning)
  • Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
  • and at least one course in each of three of the remaining six SUNY GE categories.

For students who started prior to Fall 2023

Students who started their studies at SUNY Poly or another SUNY institution prior to fall semester 2023 are required to successfully complete coursework in the following areas:
NOTE: Students who started prior to Fall 2023 may petition to graduate under the new SUNY GE requirements.

  • Basic Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • and at least one course in each of four of the remaining seven SUNY GER categories.

Please consult the list below for SUNY approved courses meeting the current categories. You may also review the “Notes” which accompany the catalog course descriptions and schedule information for each course to verify the designations. Students under General Education prior to fall 2023 should refer to the prior catalog.

SUNY General Education Categories

The following list of SUNY Poly arts & sciences courses fulfill SUNY general education requirements as noted below.


  • MAT 111 College Mathematics
  • MAT 112 Elements of Calculus
  • MAT 115 Finite Mathematics for Computer Science
  • MAT 120 Precalculus
  • MAT 121 Calculus for Engineering Technology I
  • MAT 151 Calculus I
  • STA 100 Statistical Methods

Communication (Written and Oral)

  • ENG 101 First-Year Composition

Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

  • ANT 200 Race, Class, Gender, Sexual Orientation
  • ANT 303 Cultural Diversity
  • SOC 200 Race, Class, Gender, Sexual Orientation

Natural Sciences

  • AST 222 Astronomy
  • BIO 101T/BIO 101L Introduction to Biology
  • BIO 103T/BIO 103L Biology I
  • BIO 105 -Introduction to Ecology
  • BIO 115 Basic Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 116 Basic Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 122 Insects and Society
  • BIO 130T/BIO 130L Plant Biology
  • BIO 155 Personalized Medicine
  • BIO 215T/BIO 215L Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO 216T/BIO 216L Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIO 222 Nutrition and Health
  • BIO 224 Biology of Aging
  • BIO 225 Biology of the Sexes
  • BIO 241T/BIO 241L Forensic Biology
  • CHE 110T/CHE 110L Essentials of Chemistry
  • CHE 130T/CHE 130L Introductory Chemistry I
  • PHY 101T/PHY 101L General Physics I
  • PHY 102T/PHY 102L General Physics II
  • PHY 201T/PHY 201L Calculus Based Physics I
  • PHY 202T/PHY 202L Calculus Based Physics II

Social Sciences

  • ANT 101 General Anthropology
  • ANT 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • POS 110 American Public Policy
  • PSY 100 Principles of Psychology
  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • ECO 110 Microeconomics
  • ECO 112 Macroeconomics

US History & Civic Engagement

  • HIS 101 American History: Colonies to Reconstruction
  • HIS 102 American History: Reconstruction to the Present

World History & Global Awareness

  • HIS 150 History of Modern Europe
  • HIS 370 Patterns in World History
  • HIS 375 Gender Issues in World History
  • IDS 102 Artand Culture
  • IDS 375 Gender Issues in World History
  • PHI 130 World Religions


  • ENG 310 Topics in American Literature
  • ENG 312 Studies in the Short Story
  • ENG 375 The Novel
  • IDS 103 Science, Technology, and Human Values
  • IDS 201 Perspectives on Knowledge
  • IDS 301 Monsters, Robots, Cyborgs

The Arts

  • ART 110 Principles of Two Dimensional Design
  • ART 135 Drawing
  • ART 140 Painting-Technique and Style
  • ART 350 History of American Art
  • COM 112 Digital Photography and Imaging
  • ENG 205 Creative Writing
  • IDS 220 Creativity and Culture
  • IDS 335 Art and Technology

Foreign Language

  • CHI 101 Elementary Chinese
  • FRE 101 Elementary French
  • JPN 101 Elementary Japanese
  • SPA 101 Elementary Spanish

Core Competencies

  • Critical Thinking and Reasoning
  • Information Literacy

SUNY Poly Liberal Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements
In addition to the SUNY General Education requirement, the New York State Education Department (SED)requires that every college degree program include a specific number of credit hours in the Liberal Arts & Sciences. As approved by the SED, SUNY Poly’s degree programs have the following Liberal Arts & Sciences credit hour requirements:

  • 40 credit hours of Liberal Arts & Sciences for a Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS)
  • 60 credit hours of Liberal Arts & Sciences for a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • 90 credit hours of Liberal Arts & Sciences for a Bachelor of Arts (BA)

SUNY Poly Campus Liberal Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements
As an Institute of Technology, SUNY Poly values the role of Natural Science as an enrichment of our curriculum and understands the importance of good communication skills in any field. For these reasons, SUNY Poly has implemented two local requirements as follows:

Natural Science Requirement
Each undergraduate student must successfully complete a Natural Science course of 3(or more) credits in order to complete their program of study at the Institute.

Writing Requirement
Based upon the recommendation of the President’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Basic Skills (1984), SUNY Poly adopted a campus Writing Requirement. To meet this requirement:

Each student must successfully complete ENG 101 “English Composition” and at least ONE upper division writing course (e.g. COM 306, COM 307, COM 308, COM 311, COM 340, COM 350, COM 400) to ensure a professional level of writing competency.

NOTE: There may be overlap between courses meeting the SUNY General Education Requirements, Liberal Arts/Sciences Requirements, and some Program Core Requirements but a student may receive course credits only once even if multiple requirements are satisfied by a single course.