Glossary of Pathways terms

AP Credits -- Many high school students take Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and these may count for credit toward a CUNY degree.

College Option -- A requirement for a CUNY bachelor's degree; specific College Option requirements and courses vary by campus, and the number of credits required (6 to 12) varies by student type.

Common Core -- A 30-credit course of study required of CUNY students. The Common Core is broken into two areas: the Required Common Core and Flexible Common Core.

CUNY Common Core Course Review Committee -- Committee of CUNY faculty members who assess whether courses submitted by CUNY colleges meet the standards for designation as Required Common Core or Flexible Common Core courses.

DegreeWorks -- A web-based computer application that allows CUNY students to view their progress toward a degree, including which Common Core requirements they have fulfilled.

Elective Credits -- Credits that CUNY students earn that do not count toward their general education or major requirements but count toward the total credits they need to earn a degree.

Flexible Common Core -- Part of the CUNY Common Core, it is a 6-course, 18-credit requirement for CUNY students.

Flexible Common Core Area -- The Flexible Common Core contains five "areas" in which students must take at least one course: World Cultures and Global Issues, U.S. Experience in Its Diversity, Creative Expression, Individual and Society, and Scientific World.

Gateways into Majors -- A minimum of three shared and transferable courses per major for students in popular CUNY majors.

General Education -- The non-major, non-elective requirements for a student's course of study.

Learning Outcomes -- The educational goals that a course intends to meet. Courses for CUNY Common Core credit must meet a specific set of learning outcomes.

Major Credit -- The courses and credits that students must take as part of the requirement for their major.

Major Committees -- Committees of CUNY faculty representing several popular majors that have designated a minimum of three common and transferable courses per major.

Opt In/ Opt Out -- Continuing CUNY students who started their degrees before fall 2013 choose whether to "opt in" to Pathways or to continue with the general education requirements that were in place at their college when they started their degree.

Pathways -- A plan for CUNY undergraduate education approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees in June 2011 that will take effect in September 2013. The four main elements of Pathways are the Common Core, College Option, Gateways into Majors, and Transfer Guarantees.

Required Core -- Part of the CUNY Common Core, the Required Core is a 4-course, 12-credit requirement for all CUNY students.

Required Core Area -- The Required Core contains three "areas" in which students must take courses. These areas are English Composition, Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning, and Life and Physical Sciences.

STEM -- An acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and refers to the areas of study that fall into those four categories.

STEM Variant -- Some Common Core courses in STEM fields serve also as major requirements. These courses, labeled STEM variant courses, may be found in three areas of the Common Core: Life and Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning, and Scientific World. A particular STEM variant course may appear in more than one area of the Common Core. When this occurs, students may choose which area of the Common Core they want the course to fulfill. STEM variant courses may be more than three credits. In such cases, three credits will apply to fulfilling the Common Core; all of the course's credits will apply to the major.

Transfer Guarantees -- The guarantees made under Pathways to CUNY students that their general education (Common Core and College Option), major, and elective credits will transfer smoothly between CUNY colleges.