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Please keep in mind that information on this page is for advising puposes only, and is intended to explain and illustrate the Hunter Core Requirement (HCR).  It is in no way an official or binding agreement regarding the rules of attaining a degree.  The official HCR guidelines are found on the Hunter College Catalog.

Below is an overview of the college's graduation requirements that undergraduates are expected to understand, and to follow, to ensure timely graduation.  Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors, regularly, to discuss and review progress with educational and personal goals. 

  • Minimum of 120 Credits
  • Completion of the Hunter Core Requirement (HCR) or General Education Requirement (GER)
  • Completion of a Major
  • GPA of 2.0 or better
  • NY State Rule for Liberal Arts & Sciences Courses - Minimum of 90 credits, part of the 120 total credits.  Applies to freshmen or transfer students who entered Hunter College as of Fall 2016.

What's Your 120?


Though every 120 credit bachelor's degree will be completed differently, the typical degree looks like this:

Are You GER or HCR?

If you began taking courses at Hunter College before Fall 2013 then you will follow a different set of requirements called General Education Requirements (GER).  Academic advisors can help explain this set of requirements during an advising appointment. For more information on GER, view an archived earlier version of the College Catalog. Here is a link to the 2012-13 GER page. 

Students who are following GER may decide to opt in to HCR. Likewise, if you began with GER and are now following HCR, you can decide to opt back in to GER. Consult with an advisor to determine which option is right for you. Click here for more info.

Hunter Core Requirement (HCR)

CUNY Common Core

The CUNY Common Core contains courses in 9 categories, with at least one course to be taken in each subject. These 9 categories are the same for every new student in every CUNY college -that's what makes it "common." The total amount of credits for CUNY Common Core is 30. These 30 credits are unique, but can satisfy concurrent requirements, Pluralism and Diversity and the Writing Intensives.
Category Courses
A. English Composition (6cr) A1. ENGL 120 (3cr) &
A2. ENGL 220 or AFPRL 238 (3cr)
B. Math and Quantitative Reasoning Choose one course.
Initial placement for some courses to be determined by Mathematics Placement Test.
C. Life and Physical Science Choose one course.
D. Scientific World Choose one course.
E. Creative Expression Choose one course.
F. US Experience in its Diversity Choose one course.
G. World Cultures Choose one course.
H1. Individual and Society – Humanities Choose one course.
H2. Individual and Society – Social Science Choose one course.

Total Credits for CUNY Common Core: 30

Hunter Focus

Foreign Language

Hunter Focus refers to the core requirements that are specific to Hunter College. To help students attain cross-cultural knowledge and communicate in a language other than English, this section requires that you show proficiency in another language. If you are already proficient, you may choose to focus on a different academic discipline. There are a number of ways to fulfill the Hunter Focus Requirement:

  • Complete four semesters (12 credits) of a non-English language at the college level.
  • Qualify for a full language exemption, then declare a 12-credit Concentrated Study (see below).
  • Show partial proficiency in a language other than English, then declare a Concentrated Study for the remaining 3-9 credits (see below)

Degreereqs HCR HF view

The full list of rules for language placement and exemption can be found on the catalog's Foreign Language page. The Chanin Language Center offers testing for French, Italian, and Spanish. Meeting the language requirement can sometimes be tricky, so do not hesitate to ask an advisor for help.

Concentrated Study

Students who have gained language proficiency may complete the remaining credits of the 12 credit Hunter Focus by taking courses from a minor (if not formally declared) or a certificate program offered at the college.  To ensure that this requirement is satisfied correctly Advising strongly recommends students meet with their advisor for clarification and proper next steps.

If you are pursuing a minor, second or third major, or certificate, you do not need to declare a Concentrated Study to complete your Hunter Focus credits. (More on that in the final section of this page.)

Here are a few examples of how a student can complete the Hunter Focus:

Concurrent Courses: Writing Requirement and Pluralism & Diversity


These two parts of the Hunter Core Requirement can often be easier to complete because the credits can be used to simultaneously fill other requirements, such as CUNY Common Core, major, or minor requirements.

Writing Requirement

Strong writing skills are an essential part of a liberal arts education. Students who begin at Hunter College must take 9 credits of Writing Intensive courses. In the Hunter College catalog these courses are shown with a (W).*

Click here for a full list of Writing Intensive courses.

Pluralism and Diversity

This group of courses addresses topics that help students broaden their horizons and gain new perspectives. The Pluralism and Diversity courses are grouped into four categories (A, B, C and D). One course must be taken from each group*:

A. Non-European societies, particularly those of Africa, Asia, Latin America, or those indigenous to the Americas

B. One or more of the following groups in the US: African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans,

C. Women and/or issues of gender or sexual orientation

D. Europe, including ways in which pluralism and diversity have been addressed.

Click here for a full list of Pluralism and Diversity Courses.

*Transfer students may be required to take fewer Writing Intensive or Pluralism and Diversity credits. Confirm with your advisor

Major Requirements

A major program of study, or major, is a concentration of courses in a particular subject area. All students must declare a major to graduate.

Foundational courses (sometimes called prerequisites or "pre-req's") must be completed before declaring a major, or before taking more specialized courses in the major. Foundational courses may count towards the requirements of some majors, but often they do not. They might be Hunter Core Requirement courses or electives, depending upon the major.

A major for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree usually consists of 24 to 45 credits, while a major for a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree can be 60 credits or more.

Each major is completely different. The best resource to explore all of Hunter College's majors is the college catalog, particularly the Programs of Study page. Each link leads to a major's requirements as well as any foundational courses or admission requirements there might be.

Helping you choose a major is one of the most important jobs we advisors have. Please make an appointment with your advisor to talk about possibilities for your major.

Electives, Minors, Additional Majors and Certificates

In order to graduate you must have earned at least 120 credits. Often this means that even if other degree requirements such as GER/HCR and your major have been fulfilled, you will need to take additional classes to reach 120 credits. This is actually good news, because you can use your remaining credits to explore new areas of study, satisfy your curiosity, and take advnatage of exciting opportunities which might not fit into other requirements.


Any courses or credits necessary to reach 120 but do not fit into any other category are called electives. What kind of courses can be electives? Nearly anything. Consult your advisor, and consider the wide-open possibilities when choosing what to do with these remaining credits. And of course, consider some of the options below...


Hunter offers 49 different undergraduate minors. Minors are between 12-18 credits. You can declare up to 2 minors.

Many colleges and universities require a minor, but Hunter College does not. Fulfilling the requirements for a minor is an option for students who want to document abilities in an academic field in addition to their major(s). Scroll to the bottom of the Programs of Study page on the college catalog for a complete list of minors and their requirements.

Additional Majors

Every student must complete at least one (1) major to earn a BA or BS degree. But students pursuing a BA can declare a second major, also called a double major. In fact, one can pursue up to three BA degree programs.

For each additional major you must also fulfil all of the foundational courses and any other requirements that go along with them. This can add up to a lot of credits, often more than 120. Consult your advisor and others in your network to determine if this might be the right choice for you.


Are you passionate about social change? Do you want to apply your education to making your city and your community a better place? Do you want help empower people to rise above oppression? Perhaps you should consider one of Hunter's two certificate programs in Public Policy or Human Rights.

Though similar in scope to major programs, Hunter's certificate programs do not satisfy the major requirement.  See your academic advisor for more information.

NY State Rule for Liberal Arts & Sciences Courses

To obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, students must have a minimum of ninety (90) credits in courses that are classified as Liberal Arts & Sciences courses.  For a Bachelor of Science degree, a minimum of sixty (60) credits must be earned in courses that are classified as Liberal Arts & Sciences.  Credits taken at Hunter or credits transferred in are subject to this requirement, which is based on a New York State law.  Most courses offered at the college will be Liberal Arts & Sciences courses, though several academic programs offer a number of courses that do not.  See an advisor to ensure that your courses follow the New York State guidelines.

Next Steps

Ask your Advisor

Yes, this is a lot of information to take in. Make an appointment and see how it all relates to your personal situation.

Check Degree Works

Degree Works is an online tool for students that shows their academic progress towards graduation as it relates to their  HCR/GER, major and electives.  Check to see how your doing and meet with an advisor to stay on track to graduate.

Talk with your Network

Faculty advisors, family and friends can also be great resources to explore your major and career interests.   Leverage everyone in your network to make the best decision.  Your future career awaits!

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