How General Education Requirements Prepare You for Your New Career

Liberal Arts

Every degree program at FIT has at its core a required, comprehensive liberal arts curriculum, taught by the faculty of the college’s School of Liberal Arts. Education in the liberal arts develops students’ critical thinking and communications skills, provides them with a global perspective, and nurtures interests that can enrich and inform their professional and personal lives. The School of Liberal Arts also administers the liberal arts minors, FIT’s Presidential Scholars honors program, the Film and Media AAS program, the Film and Media BS program (for implementation in Fall 2016), and the Art History and Museum Professions BS program.


Presidential Scholars is FIT’s honors program, providing motivated and gifted students the opportunity to take part in specially designed liberal arts courses, interdisciplinary group projects, monthly colloquia, and extracurricular activities—art performances, cultural institution visits, and outdoor adventures—that use the entire landscape of New York City as an extended campus.

Presidential Scholars receive an annual merit stipend and are afforded priority registration. Students must complete a separate application for the Presidential Scholars program. For the associate-level program, competitive admission is based on class rank, high school GPA, and SAT scores. For the baccalaureate-level program, students must have a GPA of 3.5. Information about and applications for the Presidential Scholars program can be found on the program’s website.


The Educational Skills Department (ES) offers courses in English as a second language and college-level preparation in reading and writing. The department also supervises the Academic Skills, Academic Placement, and Liberal Arts Academic Advisement centers and the cover letter writers. The English and Speech Department (EN) offers courses in literature, speech, theater, and writing. The Modern Languages and Cultures Department offers courses in French (FR), Italian (IT), Japanese (JA), Mandarin Chinese (CH), and Spanish (SP).


All students are required to submit SAT/ACT scores in order to be placed at the appropriate course level. Based upon placement test scores, some students are required to take developmental courses in Educational Skills (ES) or mathematics (MA) in addition to the general requirements listed below. For placement test exemption information, see Requirements for Degree Completion (p. 48) or visit

All two-year AAS degree students must complete a total of at least 24 general education/liberal arts credits. Some majors require specific courses within these general requirements. Some majors’ curricula may also include Health and Physical Education courses. Please refer to the specific major page, in the Majors (p. 82) section of this catalog, for more information.

Academic Minors

Students at FIT have the opportunity to pursue an academic minor, a selection of courses focused on a particular discipline or a combination of disciplines. This provides a more cohesive program of study and a deeper understanding of the chosen fields. These courses may also fulfill some of the major’s liberal arts requirements, and students often do not need to exceed their regular course load to pursue a minor or concentration. Upon successful completion of the selected courses in a minor with a 2.0 or higher GPA, the minor is recorded on the student’s transcript.

There are a wide range of options, including Asian Studies, Communications, Dance and Performing Arts, Economics, English: Literature and/or Writing, Fashion Studies, Film and Media Studies, French, History, History of Art, International Politics, Italian, Japanese, Ethics and Sustainability, Creative Technology, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Psychology, Spanish, and Sociology

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