General Education Requirements

The core of academic study at the College is a general education program that provides students with a broad multidisciplinary liberal arts education that serves as the intellectual foundation for further education, career preparation, and participation in our increasingly complex society.

Complete information about the College’s General Education Program is available in the General Education Bulletin:  

Old Westbury's current General Education Program (GEP) was developed to meet SUNY-wide requirements while maintaining the College's commitment to diversity, interdisciplinary education, and critical inquiry. In order to fulfill the GEP requirements, students must satisfy the College-Wide Proficiency requirements in Mathematics and Basic Communication, plus one course in each of the other nine  domains (note that some courses satisfy more than one domain, but SUNY requires that all students take a minimum of 30 credits worth of General Education courses).

General Education Domains

  • Mathematics (GE MA)
  • Basic Communication (GE 1)
  • Creativity and the Arts (GE 2)
  • The Western Tradition (GE 3)
  • The American Experience (GE 4)
  • Major Cultures (GE 5)
  • Foreign Languages (GE 6)
  • Natural Sciences (GE 7)
  • Humanities (GE H)
  • Social Sciences (GE SS)
  • Diversity (GE D)

How to find out what GEP courses are being offered

During course registration periods for each semester, the Course Schedule is made available online via the Office of the Registrar.  To determine what classes satisfy a given General Education domain:

  1. When looking up classes online, select the class term for which you are scheduling (i.e. summer 2014, fall 2014)
  2. Highlight all departments (click the first department, then hold down the “Shift” key and click the last department).
  3. In the "Attribute Type" menu (located near the bottom of the page) select the domain you’d like to complete.
  4. Hit "Class Search" and the system will then show you all the courses being offered that semester in the given domain.

GEP Tips for Successful Students

  • Be sure to keep track of the courses you have completed and those you need to complete.  Use the “General Education Worksheet” available in the General Education Bulletin to record your progress.
  • Create a plan over several semesters to map out your GEP requirements. Don’t wait until your last few semesters to complete your Gen Ed requirements.
  • Be sure to speak about the GEP requirements with your advisor and, most importantly, ask questions!

General Education for the Transfer Student

Many transfer students will have completed some of their General Education requirements before arriving at Old Westbury. After your transfer credits have been processed by the Registrar’s office, you will be able to see whether those courses count toward Gen Ed by looking at your degree evaluation (ask your advisor if you do not know how to access this).

  • Courses that satisfy a General Education domain at another SUNY school will automatically satisfy that domain at Old Westbury. Note, however, that Old Westbury’s Math and Basic Communications proficiency requirements have specific additional requirements.
  • Courses that transfer in as equivalent to courses offered at Old Westbury will receive the General Education credit given to that OW course.
  • Other transfer courses that meet the learning outcomes of domain can be considered for Gen Ed credit by petition to the General Education Committee (GEC). Such requests should be directed first to the Transfer Articulation Manager, Rachel Littenberg (, who will consult with the GEC on your behalf. Note that you will be asked to submit syllabi and catalog descriptions for the course in order to have it considered.