Academic Policies


General Education

The General Education Curriculum, also called Common Core Curriculum, is an educational experience shared by all CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (CUNY SLU) students. The CUNY SLU General Education Curriculum is part of CUNY’s Pathways General Education Framework, requirements that undergraduate students across CUNY must satisfy. The three elements of this framework: the Required Common Core, the Flexible Common Core, and the CUNY SLU College Option Core, foster knowledge of human culture and the natural world (in science, social science, mathematics, humanities and the arts), intellectual and practical skills (in communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, critical thinking and inquiry), and individual and social responsibility (civic engagement, ethical reasoning, and intercultural awareness).

Students may discuss with their advisor other courses from other CUNY schools that may fulfill their General Education requirements.

CUNY General Education Requirements Consist of:

  • Common Core (all students)

  • College Option (students in bachelor’s degree programs)

Common Core

Required Common Core (12 credits / 4 courses) **

  • English Composition (2 courses)

  • Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (1 course)

  • Life and Physical Sciences (1 course)

Flexible Common Core (18 credits / 6 courses) **

  • World Cultures and Global Issues (1 course)

  • U.S. Experience in Its Diversity (1 course)

  • Creative Expression (1 course)

  • Individual and Society (1 course)

  • Scientific World (1 course)

  • One additional course will be taken from one of the above areas.***

In addition to the 30-credit Common Core, students in bachelor’s degree programs also must fulfill a College Option requirement specified by their college. The number of College Option credits is 6 to 12, depending on whether a student transferred into the college and, if so, how many credits he or she had at the time of transfer. More information on how many College Option credits a student needs can be found here.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Undergraduate transcripts from other institutions are carefully evaluated to give applicants credit for courses taken elsewhere that fulfill Common Core requirements. If you have concerns about how courses completed at another institution have been evaluated for transfer credit, please contact your advisor to review your Transfer Evaluation Credit Report. If, after appealing your Transfer Evaluation Credit Report, CUNY SLU determines that additional credit is not warranted, SLU will issue its decision in writing within fifteen business days. If you wish to appeal CUNY SLU’s decision, you may submit your appeal to CUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs. For more information regarding the Transfer Credit Appeals Process, click here.

For more information about student rights and responsibilities under the Pathways Common Core Curriculum, click here.

Transfer Credit Policy for Bachelor of Arts

All bachelor’s degree candidates are eligible to transfer up to 90 academic credits from previous educational institutions. Students must successfully complete at least 30 academic credits after matriculation to the degree in the BA in Urban and Community Studies at the CUNY School for Labor and Urban Studies.

During the transfer evaluation process, courses taken at other institutions are used to fulfill CUNY SLU requirements, where possible. The credit value of transferred courses is assigned to match the credit value of the equivalent course. Other acceptable forms of transfer credit include credit for college-level subject- area examinations such as CLEP, UExcel or DANTES/DSST; and credit for ACE-evaluated corporate or military training.

Official transfer credit evaluations are made after CUNY SLU has received all final and official transcripts from all institutions attended, and a student is accepted into the program. All transfer credit evaluations must be approved by the Chair of the Department of Urban Studies. Students can expect to receive the official transfer credit evaluation prior to registering for their first term of enrollment. Transfer credit grades do not compute into the bachelor’s degree grade point average.

Transfer Credit Policy for Master of Arts

Once admitted into the MA in Labor Studies or Urban Studies, students may transfer from 3 to 12 academic credits from previous graduate programs into the degree, provided that the courses were completed with a grade of B or higher within five years of the time of application and are equivalent to comparable courses in the program.

Newly-enrolled students should work with their academic advisor in the first semester to complete the transferal process. Students applying to transfer credits must provide a course description and syllabus. The Department Chair will review these materials and evaluate transfer credits for their equivalence to specific courses and consistency with program learning objectives, standards, and norms.

Exceptions to these requirements may be considered under special circumstances, but students must present authoritative evidence of sufficient and current competence in the learning objectives of the courses whose credits the student wishes to transfer.

Grading Policies – Undergraduate

The undergraduate grades reflect assessment by the instructor of key course components. The following grades URB

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AUD - Auditor, listener.

INC - Incomplete. This is a temporary grade. The outstanding work must be completed by end of the following fall or spring semester. When the course work is completed and the final grade received, the INC grade will be replaced. If the work is not completed by the end of the following semester, the INC is converted to a permanent grade of FIN on the record.

W - Withdrawal. A permanent grade requested by the student after the Add/Drop period, and before the deadline in the academic calendar.

WA - Administrative Withdrawal. This grade, which does not affect the grade point average, is administratively assigned.

WN - Never attended. Calculated as the equivalent of a "W" in the GPA.

WU - Unofficial Withdrawal. Used when class participation has been established at least once in a term. Effective Fall 2021, WU grade will not have punitive impact on student’s GPA. WU grade will continue to be used to denote Unofficial Withdrawal..

Note: Some programs have additional grade requirements. Refer to the program curriculum pages for specific requirements.

University Policy Concerning the Repeat of Courses In Which A Student Has Earned A Grade Of "F" or "FIN"

When an undergraduate student receives the earned academic grade of "F," "FIN," or an administrative failing grade, and that student subsequently retakes that course and receives a grade of "C" or better, the initial grade of "F" will no longer be computed into the cumulative grade point average. The "F" will remain on the transcript. The number of failing credits that can be deleted from the grade point average calculation shall be limited to 16 for the duration of the student's undergraduate enrollment in the institutions of The City University of New York (CUNY).

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress. Generally, undergraduate programs throughout CUNY expect applicants to present an academic record with a minimum 2.0 GPA. A student is considered in good academic standing and making good academic progress when he/she has completed all coursework and exams in accordance with faculty instructions, no later than the last day of the examination period and has earned a GPA of at least 2.0. In certain circumstances, a student may find it necessary to request a grade of Incomplete (INC), in accordance with the rules above. All INC grades must be completed by the end of the following fall or spring semester or the grade will be converted to FIN. If the course is repeated, it will be a new registration and a second grade on the academic record.

When a student has accumulated more than one incomplete or a GPA below 2.0, he or she may be ineligible to continue in the program since satisfactory academic progress is not being made. Under certain circumstances, a student may be required to carry a reduced course load to improve the GPA or be required to postpone further registration until the INC grades are completed. Typically, students may register for additional courses with one INC grade. Of course, all such academic reviews take into consideration individual circumstances and the potential for improvement.

In addition to academic consequences, failure to make satisfactory academic progress may have implications for the award of financial aid.

Grading Policies – Graduate

The graduate student's CUNY SLU grade (A, B, C, or F) reflects assessment by the instructor of key course components. The following grades are assigned:

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AUD - Auditor, listener.

INC - Incomplete. This is a temporary grade. The outstanding work must be completed by end of the following fall or spring semester. When the course work is completed and the final grade received, the INC grade will be replaced. A graduate student has until the last day of final exams after two regular semesters to finish an outstanding INC grade. Specifically, Fall incomplete grades should resolve by the end of the following Fall, Spring by the end of the following Spring, and Summer by the end of the following Spring as well. If the work is not completed by the end of the following semester, the INC is converted to a permanent grade of FIN on the record.

W - Withdrawal. A permanent grade requested by the student after the Add/Drop period, and before the deadline in the academic calendar. This grade is assigned by the Registrar and Student Services at the written request of the student. It does not affect the grade point average.

WA - Administrative Withdrawal. This grade, which does not affect the grade point average, is administratively assigned.

WN - Never attended. Calculated as the equivalent of a "W" in the GPA.

WU - Unofficial Withdrawal. Used when class participation has been established at least once in a term. Effective Fall 2021, WU grade will not have punitive impact on student’s GPA. WU grade will continue to be used to denote Unofficial Withdrawal.


Satisfactory Academic Progress & Appeals

The minimum passing grade in a graduate course is a C. Students need a B or better average in order to graduate with a master's degree at CUNY, and must maintain a B or better average every semester attending. If the GPA in any semester falls below a B, the student will be placed on probation until such time as the average is raised above a B. Conditions for students on probation that will enable them to raise their GPA will be determined by the graduate degree program they are seeking.

Students who receive a failing grade (F or an INC that reverts to an FIN if not completed) can repeat the same course at CUNY SLU. If the grade obtained is a B or better, the student may petition the Registrar to drop the grade of F from the computation of the GPA. The failing grade remains on the transcript. The F- Replacement option can be used for only one graduate course at CUNY SLU. This F-Replacement option cannot be used for an F resulting from an academic integrity violation.

Incomplete Grade Policy

A student may request a grade of incomplete for a course from their faculty member. To be eligible, the student must have completed over 50 percent of the work required for the course by the time the request is made. If the faculty member agrees to grant an incomplete, the student and faculty member must fill out a form stating the due date for the remaining material owed in the class. The faculty member will submit an incomplete grade (“INC”) for that semester. Extraordinary circumstances will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs.

An INC is a temporary grade. If the work is not completed on time, the INC is converted to a permanent grade of FIN on the record. The course instructor may grant the INC at the request of the student if participation requirements have been met and the only outstanding work is a paper, project, or examination.