Academic News

Pathways Update: Fall 2013

October 23, 2013

CUNY’s Pathways initiative is in full effect this fall, as required by the resolution passed by the CUNY Board of Trustees in June 2011.  Pathways ensures that students transferring among CUNY campuses will not lose general education, major, or elective credits.

This is the first fall that all new students—both freshmen and transfers—are required to satisfy the Pathways general education curriculum in order to attain their degrees.  All of these students have to satisfy the Common Core portion of the Pathways general education curriculum, and baccalaureate students have to satisfy the College Option portion as well. Some 39,000 of this fall’s new students have registered in at least one Pathways Common Core course.  Over 2,000 different courses were approved last year by the CUNY Board for offering as part of the Common Core, and there are 16,100 sections of these courses being offered this fall, with a total of over 360,000 total seats occupied in these sections.

In addition, on every campus offering one of ten popular transfer majors, students can now take three to five courses leading into that major and then, if these students transfer to another CUNY campus that has that major, these courses will transfer seamlessly as major courses at the new campus.

Putting all of this into effect has entailed much dedicated work by faculty, advisors, computer programmers, and many others.  Just making sure that everyone knows what they need to has been extremely complex.  One way that everyone involved—students, faculty, advisors, and administrators—can learn about what is going on is through the Pathways websites.  There is a central office Pathways website that applies to all of CUNY, and each campus has its own Pathways website as well (the links for all of the campus websites are given on the central office Pathways website: The websites explain the general and campus-specific aspects of Pathways, and they also explain students’ rights and responsibilities concerning Pathways (see, e.g.,, including students’ right to appeal a decision of denial or restriction of transfer credit.

This year will begin the annual review of Pathways that is also mandated by the June 2011 CUNY Board of Trustees resolution.  The review will focus first on determining whether students are receiving from Pathways what the resolution requires that they receive.

Finally, given that the Pathways general education curriculum will continue to evolve as campuses continue to approve modified and new general education courses, the Common Core Course Review Committee (CCCRC) will be continuing this academic year.  This committee consists of tenured faculty representatives from every campus, and it will continue to review, suggest modifications of, and approve Common Core courses.

Many years of work by many hundreds of people are finally coming to fruition this fall in the full institution of Pathways, to the significant benefit of hundreds of thousands of CUNY students.