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212.772.4882  •  1119 East Building  •  AdvisingServices@hunter.cuny.edu

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Education Requirement (GER)
Distribution Requirements (DR)
Major
Minor
General Advising
Academic Support Services

General Education Requirement (GER)

What's the General Education Requirement (GER)?
All students who matriculated at Hunter College in Fall 2001 or later must fullfil the General Education Requirement (GER), a set of competencies, knowledge areas, and perspectives that Hunter College considers essential to the intellectual development of its undergraduates. For more information, visit
GER.

Who can answer my GER questions?
An Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building, can answer your questions about the GER and can help you define your academic goals. You can arrange an appointment by calling (212) 772-4882 during regular business hours, or by visiting room 1119 in the East Building. Walk-in hours also are available. For more information, visit GER.

Are exemptions from the GER Core Requirement possible?
Only students who have earned AA or AS degrees from CUNY colleges can receive a full exemption from the GER Core Requirement. However, they are responsible for the GER Graduation Requirements (Foreign Language, Writing, and Pluralism and Diversity). Students who have earned AAS degrees from CUNY colleges or transferable credits from CUNY and non-CUNY colleges will have their accepted courses evaluated on a course-by-course basis for all areas of the GER, with the exception of the Writing Requirement. If you believe that one of your transferred courses is equivalent to a GER Core course, meet with an Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building. If the "See Department" notation appears on your Hunter transcript, ask the faculty advisor in the appropriate department to review the transferred course. Be prepared to provide a course description and, in some cases, a course syllabus.

Are exemptions from the Foreign Language Requirement possible?
Yes, if you satisfy one of the following:

  • earned a high school diploma in a foreign country
  • completed 4 years of foreign language in high school
    (one year of study in a single foreign language beyond the New York State Regents Examination)
  • passed an assessment examination administered by the appropriate Hunter department or a recommended testing service

If you do, submit documentation (high school transcript, examination results), in translation if necessary, and a completed Appeal form to the Office of Advising Services. Appeal forms are available in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building. For more information, visit GER or Academic Appeals.

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Are exemptions from the Writing Requirement possible?
No. All significant writing courses—courses with the (W) designation—must be taken at Hunter College. The number of (W) courses required is determined by the number of credits at the time of matriculation at Hunter.

  • If you matriculated with fewer than 31 credits, you must complete three (W) courses.
  • If you matriculated with 31-59 credits, you must complete two (W) courses.
  • If you matriculated with 60-90 credits, you must complete one (W) course.

For more information, visit GER.

Are exemptions from the Pluralism and Diversity Requirement possible?
No, but students may receive permission to substitute a completed course for one of the specified Pluralism and Diversity courses through the Appeal process. For more information, visit GER or Academic Appeals.

Are there placement examinations for foreign language?
Yes. Foreign language placement exams are administered by the appropriate Hunter department or a recommended testing service.

Can I use my AP/CLEP/College Now/RCE credits to satisfy requirements?
Yes. If your AP/CLEP/College Now/RCE credits have been accepted in transfer, you may be able to use them to satisfy Hunter requirements. If the courses are not noted on your Hunter transcript as satisfying specific GER requirements, you may have to seek formal approval from the appropriate academic departments or complete an Appeal form and submit required documentation. For more information about AP/CLEP/College Now/RCE credits, visit Transfer/Testing Credits. For additional information about the appeal process, visit  Academic Appeals.

Can I use my transfer credits to satisfy requirements?
Yes. If your credits from your previous college(s) have been accepted in transfer, you may be able to use them to satisfy Hunter requirements. For information regarding GER equivalencies, meet with an Advisor in the the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building; for information regarding major and minor course equivalencies, meet with your major advisor. If the courses are not noted on your Hunter transcript as satisfying specific GER requirements, you may request a transfer course review by submitting a completed Appeal Form to an Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building. If your Hunter transcript has the "See Department" notation, you may seek formal approval from the appropriate academic departments. For additional information about the appeal process, visit Academic Appeals.

Can I use courses in my major or minor to satisfy the GER?
See General Education Requirement (PDF) for specific information.

How will I know if I have satisfied the GER?
An Advisor in the Office of Advising Services can review the results of your  GER Worksheet (PDF) with you, but you must meet with an advisor before you have completed 95 credits. You can arrange an appointment by calling (212) 772-4882 during regular business hours, or by visiting room 1119 in the East Building. Walk-in hours also are available. For more information, visit GER.

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Distribution Requirements (DR)

What's the Distribution Requirement (DR)?
All students who matriculated at Hunter College between Fall 1986 and Spring 2001 are responsible for the Distribution Requirement (DR), a set of competencies, knowledge areas, and perspectives in the liberal arts: Science and Quantitative Reasoning, English Composition, Foreign Language, Literature, Humanities and the Arts, Social Science, and Pluralism and Diversity. For more information, visit Distribution Requirements.

If you matriculated at Hunter College prior to Fall 1986, you should meet with an Advisor in the Office of Student Services, 1119 East building.

Who can answer my DR questions?
An Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building can answer your questions about the DR and can help you define your academic goals. You can arrange an appointment by calling (212) 772-4882 during regular business hours, or by visiting room 1119 in the East Building. Walk-in hours also are available. For more information, visit Distribution Requirements.

If you matriculated at Hunter College prior to Fall 1986, you should meet with an Advisor in the Office of Student Services, 1119 East building.

Can I use courses in my major or minor to satisfy the DR?
See Distribution Requirement (PDF) for specific information.

How will I know if I have satisfied the DR?
An Advisor in the Office of Advising Services can review the results of your DR Worksheet with you, but you must meet with an advisor/counselor before you have completed 95 credits. You can arrange an appointment by calling (212) 772-4882 during regular business hours, or by visiting room 1119 in the East Building. Walk-in hours also are available. For more information, visit Distribution Requirements.

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Major

Must all Hunter undergraduates have a major?
Yes. The key component of the baccalaureate is the major, a concentration of courses in a particular subject area. You must pursue and complete an approved major as part of the requirements for the Hunter degree, and at least one-half of your major credits must be completed in residence at Hunter College.

Are academic departments and majors the same?
No. Academic departments are organizational units of the college. It may be that several disciplines, areas of study, or majors are grouped in one department. For example, Hunter's Department of Romance Languages offers majors in several languages.

What good is a major?
A major gives you depth of knowledge and competencies in an academic area of particular interest to you and prepares you directly or indirectly for graduate school and/or your future career.

Does my major determine my future career?
Not necessarily. Taking courses in a major and training for a job can be different. Some majors are vocationally specific: education and nursing are good examples of such fields. However, other majors are not, and many employers want graduates with transferable skills, regardless of their majors. Therefore, it is wise to consider your possible career interests, but it is not always necessary to be specialized to find an interesting and challeging career.

What if I don't know what my major will be?
Don't panic. Some students choose their majors at the start of their college careers. Others begin college knowing that they do not know. As you think about choosing your major, consider your interests and abilities first. Don't select a major because a friend does, or because your parents suggest it. If you need assistance with your decision, you can seek guidance from an Academic Advisor in any of the academic departments, an Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building, or a career counselor in Career Development Services, 805 East Building.

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When must I declare my major?
All matriculated students must declare a major no later than the semester in which the combination of credits earned and credits in progress totals 61 credits or more. Transfer students entering with 60 credits or more must declare their major before the end of their first semester at Hunter.

Students receiving Federal and/or State financial aid awards, must declare their major and minor before completing 60 credits. Failure to comply will result in the affixing of a "STOP" on the academic record and registration.

If you do not register for courses at Hunter for one or more semesters, you must declare your major and minor again upon readmission to the college.

How do I declare my major?
You need to get a Major/Minor form from the OASIS, 217 North Building, and confer with an Advisor in the major department. The major department is responsible for approving the content of both the major and the minor, except in the case of elementary education, which requires approval fro the School of Education.

Can a department or program refuse to accept me?
Yes. A major may demand a minimum grade-point average (GPA) higher than the 2.0 required of all Hunter undergraduates to remain in good academic standing. Students who do not earn the minimum GPA required by a major may not be accepted into that major, may be dismissed from that major, or may not be certified for graduation with that major.

How do I change my major?
As you learn more about your preferences and abilities, you may decide to change your major. Since the change may require you to adjust your graduation schedule, you should discuss your degree progress with your academic advisor before filing a new Major/Minor Form. The Major/Minor Form is available in the OASIS, 217 North Building.

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Minor

Must all Hunter undergraduates have a minor?
No. However, a minor can increase the breadth of your education beyond the major; deepen your knowledge of the major; and provide an ancillary area of specialization.

Does a minor help the career of a graduate?
Like the major, a minor may be taken to support a specific career direction or to develop competencies and skills that will increase your choice of jobs following graduation. Additionally, a minor offers you the opportunity to explore an area of intellectual or personal interest.

What if I don't know what my minor will be?
As you think about selecting your minor, consider your chosen major and your interests and abilities. If you need assistance with your decision, you can seek guidance from your Advisor in the minor department. Your Minor Advisor will help you choose minor courses.

How do I declare my minor?
You need to get a Minor Declaration Form from the OASIS, 217 North Building, and confer with your Minor Advisor. The minor department is responsible for approving courses in  the minor, except in the case of elementary education, which requires approval from the School of Education. If you do not register for courses at Hunter for one or more semesters, you must declare your major and minor again upon readmission to the college.

How do I change my minor?
As you learn about your preferences and abilities, you may decide to change your minor. Discuss any possible changes with your Academic Advisor in the minor department before filing a new Minor Declaration Form with the OASIS, 217 North Building.

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General Advising

What courses should I take next semester?
First, review your completed and in-progress courses. Visit the Registrar on-line for more information about the registration dates, and preview the Schedule of Classes, if its available. If you have questions about the General Education Requirement (GER), use the GER Worksheet to identify your outstanding requirements. Print a copy of the results, and meet with an Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building, or a peer advisor in The Sylvia E. Fishman Student Center, 417 West Building. If you have questions about your major and/or minor courses, review department requirements online and in the Hunter College Undergraduate Catalog. Next, meet with your Major Advisor. To make your advisement sessions productive: arrive on time and be prepared. To help you get started, visit What's an Advisor?, What's a Peer Advisor? and Plan of Study.

What if I can't get the course(s) I need?
What can you do when you cannot register for the course(s) you need? There are several options:

  • wait-list
    Find out if the academic department maintains a wait-list. If it does, ask that your name be added.
  • overtally
    Find out if the academic department allows overtallies, the practice of over-enrolling students during the first days of the semester.
  • permit
    Find out if the academic department will give you permission to take the course at another college. See the Registrar on-line and Study at Another College (Permit).

What's a course overload?
If you wish to register for more than 17.5 credits during the fall or spring semester, you will need permission to do so from the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building. An Advisor will review your transcript and grade-point average, and will discuss your situation with you prior to approving or disapproving your request.

How many times can I choose the Credit/No Credit option?
If you matriculated at Hunter after Fall 2000, you may exercise the Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) option four times while you are an undergraduate in good academic standing in the CUNY system. If you matriculated at Hunter prior to Fall 2000 but after Fall 1993, you may file for the CR/NC option up to ten times. See the Registrar on-line and Grades.

Is it possible to earn credits for an internship?
Yes. To learn more about internship projects and application procedures, schedule an appointment with a career counselor in Career Development Services, 805 East Building. Your Major Advisor will have information about internships, also.

Are there special advising services for international students?
Yes. The International Students' Office, 1109 East Building, is dedicated to serving Hunter's international students. Hunter's Office of Admissions, 203 North Building, also has information for international students interested in matriculating.

Are there special advising services for disabled students?
Yes. The Office of AccessABILITY, 1124 East Building, and its Access and Technology Center, 205 Thomas Hunter Hall, are dedicated to serving Hunter's disabled students. Confidential counseling, advisement, priority registration status, workshops, adaptive technology and other accommodations networking opportunities, and social events are available to Hunter students with appropriate medical or psychological documentation. To learn more, meet with a counselor in the Office of AccessABILITY.

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What are my options if I'm not doing well in a course?
There are a number of options available to you:

  • The "Keep Trying" Option
    Be realistic about your academic performance to date. Are you overreacting to a less-than-perfect score on your first course exam? Or, are you earning poor scores on tests and papers because you aren't allocating enough time for coursework? If it's the latter and you are ready to change your ways, speak with your instructor. Only s/he can explain what it will take for you to earn a passing grade during the remaining weeks of the semester.
  • The "Save the GPA" Option
    If, after meeting with your instructor, you realize that there is no way for you to earn a passing grade in the course, find out how an official withdrawal will affect you academically and financially by meeting with an Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building, and a financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid, 241 North Building. You have up until the first day of the tenth week of the semester to withdraw officially. See the Registrar's academic calendar for the actual date.
  • The "Emergency" Option
    If you miss the withdrawal deadline, you will need to meet with an Advisor in the Office of Advising Services, 1119 East Building. Be prepared to provide a compelling rationale and supporting documentation for your late withdrawal request. The Office will not approve course withdrawals after the tenth week of the semester because of a student's poor academic performance.
  • The "Don't Do This!" Option
    It's simple: if you register for a course, attend it regularly or withdraw from it before the first day of the tenth week of the semester. If you never attended or stopped attending at some point in the semester without officially withdrawing, you will still earn a grade: WU (unofficial withdrawal). A grade of WU counts as a grade of F in the calculation of your GPA. Don't do this! For more information about grades, visit Grades, visit the Registrar on-line; or consult the Hunter College Undergraduate Catalog.
  • What about graduate study?
    Hunter College currently offers master-level degree programs through specific departments in the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Social Work, and the Schools of the Health Professions. To learn more about the programs, degree requirements, and admissions process, speak with your Major Advisor; visit the individual schools online; visit the Graduate Study Advisement website, or consult the Hunter College Graduate Catalog. You also should plan to attend the Hunter College Graduate and Professional School Fair in November, which provides opportunities to speak with representatives of graduate schools in the metropolitan area and nationwide.

How do I obtain a Dean's Reference for my graduate school application?
Some graduate programs, professional schools and other colleges, potential employers and other organizations require students to obtain a Dean's Certification statement. This is sometimes known by other names, including Statement of Good Standing, Statement of Good Conduct, Dean's Recommendation, Disciplinary Record Certification, etc. In most cases, this is essentially a certification by the Dean of Students Office that you record at Hunter does not include any incidences of disciplinary action or inappropriate behavior. It is NOT necessary to be known personally by the Dean in order to obtain a Dean's Certification.

In order to request a Dean's Certification, students should bring the form(s) to Advising Services reception, room 1119 , East Building. For forms to be mailed, it will expedite the processing and mailing of your form if you include an envelope addressed to the institution the form should be sent to, with postage affixed.

Dean's Certification Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pick the form up when it is completed?
If you wish, you can inform the staff in room 1119 East that you would like to pick up the form(s) when they are ready. However, some institutions may require that the forms be mailed directly from the college. Unless otherwise specified, we will mail the forms.

I’m applying to law school. Is the process any different?
Yes. For more information, please visit the Pre-Law website.

How long will it take for my form to be completed?
Your form should be processed within two to three weeks.

What if I have a lot of forms for different schools?
That's fine!  Bring as many as you need completed. 

What if the institution requesting a Dean's Certification does not have a specific form to be used?
Please make certain that this is the case, as most institutions do have specific forms for this purpose. If they do not, just inform the staff in room 1119 East and we will process a form letter from the Dean's office providing the appropriate information.

What if I have other questions?
Please contact Arthur Ford at arthur.ford@hunter.cuny.edu

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Academic Support Services

Is tutoring available?
Hunter has a number of resources available to matriculated students, including the Reading and Writing Center and the Mary P. Dolciani Mathematics Learning Center. See Campus Resources (PDF) for a full listing of other centers and programs offering support.

What happens to students who plagiarize or cheat?
Any deliberate borrowing of ideas, terms, statements, or knowledge of others without providing the proper acknowledgment of the source is plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty. The intellectual crime of plagiarism will be addressed through disciplinary proceedings that can result in suspension from the college. For more information about plagiarism, visit the Hunter Library's "Turn It In" web site. Other forms of academic dishonesty include cheating on examinations, submitting the same paper in more than one course, and purchasing or selling course papers.

Where can I find information about grants, scholarships, and financial aid?
The Hunter College Grants Guide, available on-line, has information about more than 100 scholarships, as well as a listing of other resources. Throughout the academic year, various announcements are posted on campus and on The Hunter Gatherer, an electronic newsletter. The Office of Financial Aid, 241 North Building, also has information about federal and state aid programs, educational loans, and grants and scholarships.

Where do I find out about Veterans' Benefits?
For information about Veterans' Education Benefits and Veteran Services, please see the Veterans website, or contact the Veteran Student Services Coordinator in 1119E at 212-772-4882.

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contact us

To contact the Office of Advising Services, please call 212.772.4882, visit Room 1119, East Building, or email: AdvisingServices@hunter.cuny.edu