Office of Academic Advising

Advising Modules

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Advising Modules: Academic Requirements 

All new students entering for the Fall 2023 semester need to become familiar with SUNY New Paltz degree requirements and academic policies and procedures. The modules below cover essential information students every entering student needs to know when beginning their college career at New Paltz. 

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements are the academic requirements you must complete in order to earn your BA, BS, or BFA at SUNY New Paltz.

Your DegreeWorks progress report keeps track of your completion of these requirements. This report is automatically updated when you add, drop, and complete coursesA helpful overview of degree requirements is located at the top of your progress report and indicates if the requirement is in progress, completed, or not yet started. 


Courses can count towards multiple categories. For example, ENG308 fulfills the GE5 Humanities requirement as well as counting for Writing Intensive (WI) and upper division. (However, a GE course cannot double for another GE course.)

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for monitoring your progress in completing degree requirements and bringing any questions to your advisor.  

YOUR ADVISOR WILL HELP you understand degree requirements and make any corrections (workflows) that may be needed to your progress report. 

Periodic review of your progress report (especially before and after registration) will help you stay on track for graduation.  

General Education 5

General Education 5 (GE5) is the set of requirements in effect for freshmen and transfer students who matriculate at New Paltz Fall 2023 or later. Our GE5 curriculum consists of diverse course offerings that provide you with a broad knowledge base and essential communication skills. Through GE courses you have the opportunity to explore new perspectives, ways of thinking, arguing, and being. The GE program can help you choose a major and will prepare you to specialize in one academic field. Each category must be complete by the time you graduate. 

Transfer Students: Have you earned an AS or AA degree? If so, then you have also completed the SUNY General Education Requirement (GER) and do not have to take any additional GE courses at New Paltz. Once our Office of Admission receives final transcripts indicating the completion of an AA or AS degree, your progress report will be updated to reflect completion of the GE program. See our Transfer Credits policy for more information.

Placement Levels for GE Math, World Language, and Communication 

All students receive placements levels for these GE5 requirements: Communication, Math, and World Language.  

For freshmen, previous high school coursework and SAT/ACT test scores may determine how levels are assigned for Communication; World Language placement levels are based on prior experience in the language; and math levels are determined by results from the ALEKS placement test. Transfer courses from other colleges may also determine levels. 

You and your advisor will discuss your placements and which courses would be most appropriate for you to register for in the fall or spring semester. 

Understanding Your Math Placement Level (MPL) 

Math courses have Math Placement Level restrictions (math, science, business, and economics). Your MPL tells you what courses you are prepared for and eligible to take.  Math prerequisites are strictly enforced at SUNY New Paltz Your major also can determine which math course you take. For example, an English major with an MPL3 may take MAT145 Stats & Public Policy to fulfill the GE requirement while a math/science/business major will take MAT152 College Algebra. 

Math levels range from 2 to 5. Placement levels, and the courses which may be taken for each level, are explained here.  Please review this information carefully and work with your advisor in selecting the appropriate course. 

All courses in the GE5 math category require a minimum MPL of 3. Students who are assigned an MPL of 2 can raise their MPL by taking one of these courses:

FreshmenAll incoming freshmen must take the ALEKS assessment in order to receive a Math Placement Level. Information about ALEKS PPL assessment is sent via email. It is important to read through this information carefully and pay close attention to deadlines. 

Transfer Students:  Your MPL is based on the math courses taken at your previous college. If a college level course was not taken, you can take the ALEKS PPL assessment so you can be assigned a level. If you do not take ALEKS, you will be assigned MPL 2. (If you earned an AA or AS, all General Education requirements are considered to be completed.) 

Transferring Your Credits

How do I get credit for previous college coursework? 

It's up to you to ensure SUNY New Paltz receives official transcripts for AP, IB, and college courses. Your high school cannot submit them on your behalf.  

To ensure the selection of appropriate courses in your first semester, reduce the chances of repeating a course for which you will have transfer credit, and maintain proper financial aid eligibility, have your final transcripts and AP/IB scores sent as soon as possible (prior to the first day of classes).  

To have official transcripts and scores sent, contact the institution that granted the credits: 

  • For Advanced Placement (AP) courses, scores of 3, 4, or 5 are accepted for college credit. Contact CollegeBoard. 
  • For International Baccalaureate courses, scores of 5 or higher are accepted for college credit. Contact International Baccalaureate. 
  • For college courses, including those taken in high school, contact the college that granted the creditsConfirm that final grades have been noted on your official transcripts before they are submitted to New Paltz. 

How will my college credits be applied at New Paltz? 

Once your transcripts are received and processed by our Office of Admission, the transfer credit will be noted on your progress report.  Transfer credits are indicated on the report with the letter "T" before the grade.  In-Progress courses are indicated by "TIP" and are not final until the Office of Admission receives official and final transcripts.  Transfer course grades do not factor into your New Paltz GPA. 

Your transfer credits may count as electives (which can fulfill degree requirements such as 120 credits to graduate, liberal arts credits, or upper division credits), or they may fulfill a General Education requirement or a major or minor requirement.   

Articulated courses transfer in as direct matches with New Paltz courses. 

Non-articulated courses are accepted as elective credits and do not have a specific New Paltz course number (for example, the course number may include "000"). These credits can be reviewed for major or General Education credit. Ask your advisor about how to have a non-articulated course reviewed. 

Your advisor can help you understand how your transfer credits fit into your overall plan of studyThese questions can be addressed in initial and/or subsequent meetings during your time at New Paltz.

For More Information:

Understanding Your Progress Report

Your progress report is a dynamic online document in that tracks degree requirements by indicating which ones are in progress, completed, or not yet started. It is an important tool you will use on a regular basis to monitor your academic progress. You can access your progress report in your account, under “Advising” and “Progress Report.” 

With careful planning you can complete your degree in four years by taking about 30 credits each year and by regularly checking your progress report and meeting with your advisor. 

Use your progress report to check: 

  • What GEs you need to complete 
  • How far along you are in your major 
  • How well you are fulfilling other degree requirements (upper division, liberal arts, Diversity, Writing Intensive)
  • How your AP/IB/transfer courses transfer in (as direct equivalents to New Paltz courses or as electives) 
  • Who your advisors are 
  • And more! 

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for reviewing your progress report and bringing any questions to your advisor. 

YOUR ADVISOR WILL HELP you understand your progress report and make any corrections (workflows) that may be necessary. 

PEER ADVISORS CAN HELP you review your progress report and show how to select appropriate courses and stay on track for graduation. Learn about Peer Advisors here

Periodic review of your progress report (especially before and after registration) will help you stay on track for graduation.  

Your progress report has a What-If feature that reconfigures your progress report for any major or minor at New Paltz. You will then see how courses you have taken will count for your proposed major/minor and what courses you have left to complete.  

Building Your Schedule

For first-year students, your schedule usually begins with General Education (GE5) courses. GE courses are a good way to explore the range of academic programs, as well as develop skills in writing, researching, and critical inquiry. For those in majors with very structured curricula (for example, engineering, sciences, and art), your schedule will also include your major’s required introductory or foundation courses. GE courses may also fulfill major requirements; therefore, it is helpful to select GE courses that allow you to explore a major.

Students typically select five classes their first semester, or about 15 credits. A minimum of 12 credits each semester is required to be a full-time student.

Completion of at least 30 credits in your first year qualifies you for Sophomore status, which allows you to take upper division (300-400) level courses

NOTE: If you took AP/IB or college courses during high school, send your official transcripts to New Paltz as soon as possible. Work with your advisor to make sure you do not repeat a course for which you already received credit. 

Follow these guidelines when drafting their schedule in My Schedule Planner. Your schedule will be reviewed by your advisor. 


  • Select 100-200 level courses if you are a first-year and have less than 30 college credits earned.
  • Refer to your progress report as a guide for what General Education courses you need as well as what courses you need for your major (if you are entering with a major). 
  • Make sure you register for the correct level/course for math, world language, and communication.
    • Placement levels are indicated on your progress report
    • If you are placed in ENG160, you should take it in your first semester. If you are placed in ENG170, you may it in the fall or spring semester.  
    • If you are unsure of which courses to take, wait to choose these until you meet with an advisor
  • Register for about 15 credits.
    • Include labs with lectures, if appropriate, and if you have the required math placement level
    • Understand the appropriate courseload
    • While an average load of 15 credits per semester helps keep students on track to graduate in four years, individual circumstances dictate a student's course load. 
  • Read course descriptions to learn about the course and any pre- or corequisites or restrictions or permissions it may have. Refer to the Schedule of Classes for this information.
  • Understand how/when to register and change your schedule.

Academic Standing

Academic Standing is an indication of whether or not your GPA meets the degree requirement for good standing, which is a GPA of 2.0 or higher.  Academic Standing monitors both your semester GPA and cumulative GPA.

New Paltz students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher at the end of each fall or spring semester to remain in good academic standing. Changes to your academic status are reflected on your Progress Report and unofficial transcript and will appear as Good Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation, or Academic Dismissal 

The policy for academic warning, probation and dismissal can be found here. 

The policy for placement on the Dean's List can be found here.

Because of the notification of your academic standing, you are able to address the issues that interfered with your academic performance by meeting with your advisor and, if appropriate, participating in the Academic Success Program