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The College of Liberal Arts and Science


General Statement

The aims of the College of Liberal Arts and Science (CLAS) are several: firstly, to develop students as broadly cultivated and intelligent citizens of the world in which they live; secondly, to impart to students a critical cast of mind that is agile in its reception of new ideas, and accustomed to the mastery of new skills; thirdly, to educate students so that each may be able to perform some particular function in the community in a worthy and ethical manner. In attaining these goals, students fulfill requirements in a broad range of categories, such as art, literature, foreign language, social science, mathematics and natural science.

Academic Standards

The attainment of high academic standards at The City College entails more than the satisfaction of minimum GPA requirements. Diligent attendance of classes, on-time arrival for each scheduled session, careful preparation for class and timely completion of coursework are also significant factors in ensuring academic success.

Undergraduate Majors and Degrees Offered 

The College of Liberal Arts and Science offers courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Fine Arts. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required to formally declare a major.  Some majors have additional requirements. In addition to BA and BS degrees, some departments offer combined B.A./M.A., B.A./M.S., and B.S./M.S. programs (see individual department listings for further information). Through its constituent divisions: 

  • Humanities and the Arts 

  • Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education 

  • Science 

  • The Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership (formerly the Division of Social Science) 

The College of Liberal Arts and Science offers undergraduate degrees in over thirty-five fields. Advisors are available in the office of each divisional Dean to assist students in choosing a major and planning an appropriate academic program. 

Degree Requirements

To be awarded a degree by the College of Liberal Arts and Science, all students must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 120 credits. These credits are composed of general education requirements, major requirements and free electives.

  2. Maintain a minimum "C" or better average (i.e., a G.P.A. of at least 2.0) for all coursework taken at The City College, as well as a minimum G.P.A. of at least 2.0 in their major. (Note that some majors require a higher minimum G.P.A.)

  3. Satisfy a residency requirement by completing a total of 80 credits or the final 30 credits at City College, as well as at least 60% of their major at City College.

  4. Clear their account of any fees and fines due.

The following applies to all students who enter The City College of New York either as a freshmen or a transfer student:

To obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, students must have a minimum of ninety (90) credits in courses that are classified as Liberal Arts & Sciences courses. For a Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees, a minimum of sixty (60) credits must be earned in courses that are classified as Liberal Arts and Science courses. For Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Music degrees, a minimum of thirty (30) credits must be earned in courses that are classified as Liberal Arts and Sciences courses. Credits taken at or transferred into City College are subject to this requirement based on New York State Regulations.

Transfer Students

 Most college-level liberal arts and science courses taken at accredited institutions for which the student has earned a grade of "C" or better are transferable. Courses from non-accredited institutions may be transferable on a limited basis and at the discretion of the major department. All passing courses from CUNY institutions are transferable. All CUNY Pathways courses and SUNY core courses will transfer for the same Pathways designation to City College. Twelve credits of "D" grades from non-CUNY institutions are transferable. The maximum total number of transfer credits is 90, from non-CUNY institutions. Transferred courses may or may not meet major degree requirements. Students should consult with the academic advisor in the major department for more information.

All students must meet with an academic advisor to discuss the appropriate sequence of courses necessary for their degree.

The CLAS Office of Academic Standards

The Office of Academic Standards (OAS) convenes and coordinates the activities of the CLAS Committee on Course and Standing. The committee acts on all matters relating to academic standards such as second reinstatement appeals for students who had been academically dismissed for failure to maintain a minimum 2.0 G.P.A., requests for core/general education substitutions, and appeals by students who seek to withdraw from courses after the institutional deadline has expired. In special circumstances a CLAS student may also appeal for a limited waiver of the residency requirement to the Committee on Course and Standing. The committee consists of members selected by the CLAS Faculty Council. All student appeals must be signed, submitted in writing with appropriate supporting documents. Faculty who are in agreement with a student appeal may submit letters of support, and advisors may assist the student in preparing the appeal. Neither students nor faculty appear in person before the committee; all appeals are presented to the committee by the Director of Academic Standards, who serves as the non-voting Chair. The Chair may act on the committee’s behalf or advise appropriate action. The Chair also communicates the outcome of the appeal to the concerned student and faculty in writing.

Grade Appeals

Earned grade changes are adjudicated within the Academic Unit: First appeal is to the Professor, next to Department Chair, and next to the Dean. A student has one semester from the end of a course (not including summer term and prior to graduation) to dispute a grade given in a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) course.

Re-entry/Reinstatement Appeals

Students who leave the College of Liberal Arts and Science for a semester or more in good standing can apply to re-enter through the Advisor in their Major Division, CWE and/or the SEEK Advisor if they are in the SEEK Program, or the Gateway or New Student Experience Advisors if they have not yet settled on a major.

Students who seek to re-enter but are in poor standing (<2.0 GPA) having left or been dismissed from the College for the first time, likewise should appeal to their Major Advisor, CWE, the SEEK program or Gateway or New Student Experience Advisors, who, if accepting, will prepare a contract for reinstatement which the student must sign and bring a copy of to the registrar and the Office of Academic Standards.

Students who seek to be reinstated again, after an initial re-entry, need to appeal to the Office of Academic Standards. In all cases, a student may appeal or advisor may refer a decision to the Office of Academic Standards.