students

Current General Education/Core Curriculum Requirements

All Purchase undergraduates complete coursework in a common core curriculum as they progress toward graduation in their chosen majors. The core curriculum ensures that students in all majors develop a foundation in a broad range of general education knowledge and skill areas, expressed in terms of student learning outcomes (SLOs).

Because these SLOs are shared across all 64 SUNY campuses, meeting a general education requirement at Purchase satisfies that requirement at any SUNY campus and vice versa. Completing the Purchase College core curriculum satisfies all SUNY general education requirements. Transfer students who have completed 30 general education credits and any seven of the 10 SUNY general education content categories before admission to Purchase College will be awarded credit for fulfilling the Purchase core curriculum.

The student’s advisor and the registrar monitor each student’s progress toward the fulfillment of the core curriculum requirements; however, the final responsibility for completing the requirements rests with the student.

Core Curriculum Requirements:
All Undergraduate Degree Programs (BA, BS, BFA, and MusB)

For the most current list of approved courses in each category, please consult the current or upcoming semester’s myHeliotrope course schedule at my.purchase.edu. For additional information, please refer to courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements.

By taking at least 30 credits from the core curriculum’s knowledge and skill areas listed below, including a minimum of one course (at least 3 credits) in each of the first seven areas—plus at least one 1-credit course chosen from a list of approved health, wellness, or physical education courses—students simultaneously satisfy the student learning outcomes (SLOs) defining each area:

  1. Basic Communication:
    Freshmen complete WRI 1110/College Writing in their first year.
  2. Mathematics:
    Students choose from a list of approved courses. Math fluency may be required as a prerequisite for certain courses (e.g., in mathematics and other natural science disciplines, in economics, and in new media).
  3. Natural Science:
    For (a) freshmen who have not declared a major and (b) freshmen in the BA and BS degree programs in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (except those who have declared a major in biology, chemistry, environmental studies, or psychology), FRS 1200/Science in the Modern World; all other students choose from a list of approved courses.
  4. Social Sciences:
    Students choose from a list of approved courses.
  5. The Arts:
    Students choose from a list of approved courses, including arts courses approved for students in all disciplines, or BFA or MusB courses for which they meet the prerequisites.
  6. Humanities Group:
    Students choose from a list of approved courses in the humanities, American history, or Western civilization, including many courses specially designed and recommended for freshmen.
  7. Languages and Cultures:
    Students choose from a list of approved courses, including courses designated as “foreign language” and “other world civilizations.” Students must complete a foreign language placement test for enrollment at the appropriate foreign language level.
  8. Health and Wellness: Students take 1–2 credits from a list of approved health, wellness, or physical education courses. These credits do not count toward the minimum of 30 credits required in core curriculum courses, but all students must complete this category.

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Student Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Skill Areas
Basic Communication | Critical Thinking | Information Management | Mathematics | Natural Science | Social Science | The Arts | Humanities | American History | Western Civilization | Foreign Language | Other World Civilizations | Health and Wellness

  1. BASIC COMMUNICATION:
     
    Basic Communication:
     
    Students will:
    • produce coherent texts within common college-level written forms;
    • demonstrate the ability to revise and improve such texts;
    • research a topic, develop an argument, and organize supporting details;
    • develop proficiency in oral discourse; and
    • evaluate an oral presentation according to established criteria.

    Critical Thinking:
     
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments as they occur in their own or others’ work; and
    • develop well-reasoned arguments.

    Information Management:
     
    Students will:
    • perform the basic operations of personal computer use;
    • understand and use basic research techniques; and
    • locate, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources.

  2. MATHEMATICS:
     
    Students will show competence in the following quantitative reasoning skills:
    • Interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics;
    • Represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically, and verbally;
    • Employ quantitative methods such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, or statistics to solve problems;
    • Estimate and check mathematical results for reasonableness; and
    • Recognize the limits of mathematical and statistical methods.

  3. NATURAL SCIENCE:
     
    Students will demonstrate:
    • an understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical analysis; and
    • the application of scientific data, concepts, and models in one of the natural sciences.

  4. SOCIAL SCIENCE:
     
    Students will demonstrate:
    • an understanding of the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical and interpretive analysis; and
    • knowledge of major concepts, models, and issues of at least one discipline in the social sciences.

  5. THE ARTS:
     
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of at least one principal form of artistic expression and the creative process inherent therein.
     
  6. HUMANITIES GROUP:
     
    Humanities:
     
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • read and analyze the main themes of written, visual, aural and/or cinematic texts;
    • articulate the central arguments of such texts orally and in writing;
    • situate a text in a larger generic, cultural, and/or historical context; and
    • comprehend, raise questions about, and synthesize classroom lectures and discussions with assigned texts.

    American History:
     
    Students will demonstrate:
    • knowledge of a basic narrative of American history (political, economic, social, and cultural), including knowledge of the unity and diversity in American society;
    • knowledge of common institutions in American society and how they have affected different groups; and
    • an understanding of America’s evolving relationship with the rest of the world.

    Western Civilization:
     
    Students will:
    • demonstrate knowledge of the development of the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc., of Western civilization; and
    • relate the development of Western civilization to that of other regions of the world.

  7. LANGUAGES AND CULTURES:
     
    Foreign Language:
     
    Students will demonstrate:
    • basic proficiency in the understanding and use of a foreign language; and
    • knowledge of the distinctive features of culture(s) associated with the language they are studying.

    Other World Civilizations:
     
    Students will:
    • demonstrate knowledge of either:
      a broad outline of world history; or
      the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc., of one non-Western civilization;
    • relate the development of Western civilization to that of other regions of the world.

  8. HEALTH AND WELLNESS:
     
    Students will demonstrate:
    • positive health and wellness concepts and practices; and
    • an understanding of how such practices contribute to mental and physical well-being.

Updated Nov. 7, 2014

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