Zero Textbook Cost Courses

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The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is home to CUNY's first bachelor's "Z Degrees." Communication & Media, Sociology, and Liberal Studies undergraduate degree programs can be completed without ever purchasing a textbook.

As of Spring 2024, 97% of General Education sections are ZTC (zero-textbook-cost) or LTC (low-textbook-cost, under $25). The number of ZTC sections offered by the School has grown from 35 sections in Spring 2017 to 307 in Spring 2024, saving CUNY SPS students over $3,500,000 or approximately $80 per seat in ZTC sections.

CUNY SPS faculty and instructional designers continue to convert courses that use expensive textbooks to Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) sections. Additional course conversions and Z Degrees are planned to launch this year.

Graphic of a blue textbook with 'Zero Textbook Cost' written on it and the CUNY SPS logo on the bottom right corner

Instead of publisher's textbooks, ZTC courses use a mix of Open Education Resources (OER), links to scholarly and professional websites, resources from CUNY library databases, and multimedia lectures created by CUNY SPS professors. This work is made possible through generous funding from New York State to promote the use of OER in the CUNY and SUNY systems.

Zero Textbook Cost Sections

To find Zero Textbook Cost and Low Textbook Cost (textbook cost under $25) sections, search for the Zero Textbook Cost and Low Textbook Cost Attributes in CUNYfirst or CUNY Global Search. See the video above for instructions.

ZTC At A Glance

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CUNY SPS student savings

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Gen Ed courses are ZTC or low-cost

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Total zero textbook cost sections