2019-20 University Bulletin 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2019-20 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Program

General Education Office
Science Building, Room 123
p - (516) 877-4127

Part of the mission of Adelphi University is to provide its students with the skills and knowledge that all individuals need to lead good and productive lives and to become valuable citizens of their communities. These aims are addressed explicitly in the General Education program, a set of course  requirements that all Adelphi undergraduates must complete in order to graduate.

The General Education program is designed to ensure that students gain exposure to subjects from different areas of knowledge and that students receive direct instruction and feedback in six fundamental areas, which have been designated as general learning goals:

  • Critical and Integrative Thinking
  • Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Information Literacy
  • Creative Thinking
  • Global Learning/Civic Engagement


General Education Requirements

Freshman Year Requirements (applies to all undergraduate students)


*Transfer students are generally exempt from this requirement, and may be exempted from other requirements depending on which courses they are granted transfer credit.

Distribution Course Requirements

  • Two courses in the Arts (A)
  • Two courses in the Humanities (H)
  • Two courses in the Social Sciences (SS)
  • One course in Natural Science (NS)
  • One course in Formal Science (FS)

Learning Goal Requirements

  • Two course in Communication. One may be in Oral Communication (CO). At least one must be in Written Communication (CW)
  • Two courses in Quantitative Reasoning (Q)
  • Two courses in Global Learning/Civic Engagement (G)
  • One course in Information Literacy (L)


  • After a student matriculates at Adelphi, courses taken at other institutions may not be used to fulfill a Learning Goal requirement.
  • The letters in parentheses above, for example the “(SS)” after “Social Sciences”, are the codes used in course listings to indicate which distribution and/or learning goal requirement(s) a course fulfills. The numbers of credits and courses required to fulfill General Education requirements for the above students are variable because a single course may fulfill up to two Learning Goal Requirements and one distribution requirement, and because the requirements are for courses rather than credits. Courses that fulfill the above requirements appear on a list on our web site and may be searched for on course listings, in CLASS or in Course Search, all accessible via the electronic portal, eCampus.

Capstone Requirement

Every undergraduate is required to complete a capstone course or project as part of the major. See the section at the end for a fuller explanation. The specific capstone requirement for each major is given in the program of study for the major.

Details of the General Education Course Requirements

Freshman Year Requirements

In the first semester of the freshman year, students take the following:

1. A four-credit GEN (0952) 100 - First Year Orientation Experience . The First Year Seminar is a required four-credit course for all First Year Adelphi students, except those enrolled in the Honors College or General Studies. While First Year Seminars are taught by faculty from various disciplines on a range of academic subjects, all FYS classes share a common focus on helping students understand and develop the skills required to succeed in college. Seminars are designed to intellectually engage students from the moment they arrive on campus, introducing them to models of active learning they will continue to develop throughout their academic careers. As part of this work, the First Year Seminar program encourages students to experience the Adelphi campus as a dynamic and living resource.

In the first or second semester of the freshman year, students take the following:

2. A three-credit English Composition course ENG (0122) 107 - Art & Craft of Writing . This course helps develop and improve writing skills that are essential to clear thinking and to success in college and beyond.

Additional Requirements

Distribution Course Requirements

This component of the General Education program is designed to encourage students to learn the methods of inquiry and subject matter in a wide spectrum of disciplines. Every student must complete at least two courses that have been designated as exemplifying each of the following three areas: the arts (A), humanities (H), social sciences (SS); and at least one course in each of the following two areas: natural sciences (NS) and formal sciences (FS) includes mathematics and logic). These distribution requirements can be fulfilled by introductory level non-major courses and by courses that meet major or minor requirements in the discipline, designated with the appropriate codes in the course listing. The intention of this provision is to permit students who become intrigued with a discipline while meeting distribution requirements to use the course(s) taken toward a major, minor, or second major.

Learning Goal Requirements

Adelphi’s faculty have specified six learning goals for Adelphi undergraduates–skills and areas of knowledge that the faculty believe are essential for educated citizens. These learning goals are:

  • Critical and Integrative Thinking
  • Communication, Written (Cw) and Oral (Co)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (Q)
  • Information Literacy (L)
  • Creative Thinking
  • Global Learning/Civic Engagement (G)

Critical and Integrative Thinking, as well as Creative Thinking, are developed in courses throughout the curriculum. To ensure that the other learning goals are met, students must take two courses designated as emphasizing quantitative reasoning (Q), two courses that emphasize global learning/civic engagement (G), two courses that emphasize communication (CO); at least one of which must emphasize written communication (CW), and one course that emphasizes information literacy (L). The courses that meet each learning goal are designated by the corresponding one or two-letter codes.

Note that courses taken at other institutions after a student matriculates at Adelphi may not be used to fulfill Learning Goal requirements.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be exempt from some of these requirements and will receive credit for courses taken at other institutions that are equivalent to Adelphi’s General Education courses. University advisers and admissions officers can counsel students in these matters. Specific requirements for transfer students are also available on the University’s Web site at admissions.adelphi.edu/transfer/

Students who have received an A.A. or A.S. degree (but not an A.A.S. degree) from an accredited institution prior to their transfer to Adelphi are exempt from all General Education requirements.

Students who matriculate at Adelphi with 60 or more transfer credits but without an A.A. or A.S. (or B.A. or B.S.) degree can fulfill the General Education Distribution requirements by successfully completing 6 credits of approved Social Science courses, 6 credits of approved Science/Math courses, and a total of 12 credits in any combination of approved courses in the Humanities and Arts prior to graduation. (These may include courses taken at the prior institution from which they have earned credits.)

Under this program, courses taken at other institutions after a student matriculates at Adelphi may not be used to fulfill learning goal requirements.

Undergraduate Language Requirements

Only undergraduates majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences and in a B.A. degree program are required to complete courses in a language other than English, although all students, whatever their major, are encouraged to study another language. 

Both freshmen and transfer students, including those in the STEP program, have to meet Level 4 language competency if they are majoring in the College of Arts & Sciences with a B.A. degree.

Level 3 and Level 4 language requirements may be met by evidence of transfer college level language credit, by on-line exam (under Adelphi supervision), or by taking relevant language courses at Adelphi. You may view details at

Undergraduate Capstone Requirement

Every undergraduate is required to complete a capstone course or project as a requirement for graduation. The particular requirement is determined by the major in which the student is enrolled.

The capstone is a culminating course or project in which students are expected to integrate their learning and produce a significant piece of intellectual work, such as a research project, a policy paper, an art object, or some similar product that demonstrates their learning. The experience may be organized in any number of ways, including senior seminars, group or individual research projects, presentations, exhibitions, performances, independent study, portfolios, or internships.