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CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies

The Graduate Center,
Suite 6412 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016

In the late 1960s, a group of faculty and students suggested that CUNY allow individual faculty and students to define their own programs of study, with access to courses across campuses. On February 22, 1971, the NYS Board of Higher Education agreed, authorizing first a University- wide B.A. and, soon after, a B.S. First known as the CUNY Baccalaureate Program and renamed in 2008 the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, the degree is commonly called CUNY BA or CUNY Baccalaureate. Since CUNY BA’s establishment, the program has been housed, operated, and accredited under the auspices of the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, which authorizes the degree on behalf of the University. CUNY BA is an individualized degree intended for highly motivated, academically strong students who have well-formulated academic and career goals and the vision and drive to design, with faculty men- tors, their own areas of concentration. This degree is for students who wish to pursue areas of concentration not available as majors at any of the four-year CUNY colleges. Sixty-five percent of CUNY BA students are over the age of 24, many are working adults (often raising families), and a significant number are returning to school, often after a hiatus of from five to even 30 years. The program has an annual enrollment of approximately 500 students with over 7,000 alumni. At any given time, over 400 full-time CUNY faculty are serving as mentors. Students must matriculate at a CUNY college (their “home college”), but are able to take courses through- out the CUNY system (including The Graduate Center), and are encouraged to pursue independent research, fieldwork, study abroad, and other academic opportunities.