Sep 23, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog

General Education: The Cardinal Core Curriculum

The Cardinal Core Curriculum is SUNY Plattsburgh’s general education program for the 21st century citizen. This program provides students with a rigorous and robust liberal arts education, grounded in perspectives of diversity and social justice. Undergraduate baccalaureate students complete the Foundation, including a selected Cardinal Foundation Seminar, as well as lower-and upper-division coursework in six Cardinal Core Categories.

Cardinal Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes  

The Cardinal Core Curriculum will guide the educational requirements for students who enter SUNY Plattsburgh as first year students, as well as students who transfer in with fewer than 24 credits, beginning in Fall 2021. Students who transfer in with 24 credits or more will be responsible for completing only the SUNY-mandated general education requirements rather than the complete Cardinal Core Curriculum.

Students who enrolled in SUNY Plattsburgh for the first time prior to Fall 2021 will follow the previous General Education Program  (GE5). Please consult with an academic advisor for questions related to general education and degree requirements.

Cardinal Core Curriculum

Foundation 6-14 Credits

The Foundation is a set of courses and/or competencies designed to introduce new college students to academic expectations at SUNY Plattsburgh. The keystone of the Foundation is the topical first-year course, the Cardinal Foundation Seminar. Here and in other Foundation courses, students begin to explore their roles and identities as members of a pluralistic society. The Foundation also prepares students with essential skills in written communication, mathematics competency, and information literacy.

Cardinal Foundation Seminar

Students explore interesting topics and are supported in the transition to college in the Cardinal Foundation Seminar. Designed to be taken by first year students.


Students should complete the Directed Self Placement process to determine if ENG 100 - College Writing I (4 cr.)  is recommended as the first step in meeting the Writing requirement. It is recommended that students meet the Writing requirement in the first year.

Information Literacy

Students should take LIB 190  with ENG 101  during the first year; thereafter, it is recommended that LIB 190  be taken before or at the same time as ENG 101 . The Information Literacy Competency Exam meets the requirement but does not award credit, does not replace a previously earned grade in LIB190, and can only be attempted once per academic year.


To enroll in a math course other than MAT 101 MAT 106 MAT 108 , or a course in the Quantitative Reasoning category of the Cardinal Core Curriculum, students must first demonstrate competency in Mathematics. This can be accomplished by meeting one of the following:

Cardinal Core Categories 27 Credits

The six Cardinal Core Categories provide students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of multi-disciplinary topics. Each course within the Categories addresses content knowledge, skills (including communication, critical thinking, discovery and inquiry, and quantitiative reasoning), and perspectives on responsibility in the areas of individual development, social justice, and global awareness.

Students must complete at least one course from each category, a minimum of 27 credits from among the categories, and at least six credits must be from upper division courses (300 or 400 level) in any category. No more than 3 courses with the same prefix (except for HON) may be used towards the Cardinal Core Categories.