2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Admissions: Freshman and Transfer Students

Admissions Office
Miller Building, First Floor
Fax: 607-753-5998
Email: admissions@cortland.edu

Evaluation Policy

The State University of New York College at Cortland seeks a diverse and academically strong student body. While competitive in admission standards, the admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Freshman Application and Criteria

All applications are individually reviewed. Admission decisions are based on a variety of factors; however, primary consideration is given to course selection and performance. Results from the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT), class rank, extracurricular activities, essays and recommendations also enter into the admission decision. Completion of the application includes the following:

  1. SUNY Cortland accepts the Common Application, available at www.commonapp.org, and the SUNY Application, available at www.SUNY.edu.
  2. Official secondary school transcript or official results from the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Those with prior military service must also provide a copy of their discharge papers (DD214).
  3. Official results from the ACT or SAT examinations. It is recommended that scores be sent directly from the testing agency.
  4. The appropriate supplemental application or form, depending on which admissions application is completed — the SUNY Application or the Common Application, along with one letter of recommendation. If additional information is needed, the Admissions Office will contact students. While there is no deadline for filing the application, it is recommended that applications for the fall semester be completed before March and applications for the spring semester be completed before December.

Candidates for admission must graduate from a secondary school program or present a General Equivalency Diploma. Preparation for freshman candidates should include the following:

English 4 units
Foreign Language 3-4 units
Science 3-4 units
Social Studies 4 units


1) completion of Regents math course III (with exam) or state math exam B or
2) candidates who attend a school in New York state that does not offer the Regents or who are from out of state will need three to four units.

Students who apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre will need to audition for the faculty in the Performing Arts Department, and those applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Studio will need to submit a portfolio to the Art and Art History Department for review. The academic criteria listed above and a recommendation from the department are needed to be offered admission at SUNY Cortland.

All applicants are expected to be enrolled in a college preparatory track according to their state requirements (Regents level or higher in New York state).

SUNY Cortland is committed to a strong liberal arts foundation in all of its academic programs. Therefore, admission to the College will be granted to those applicants who present the strongest academic programs in English, social studies, mathematics, science and foreign language regardless of the intended major. A challenging college preparatory program with significant achievements both in and out of the classroom will help ensure an application that is competitive.


Notification of fall semester admission decisions begins in early January and continues on a rolling basis, approximately 10 days following a completed application decision. Notification of spring admission decisions occurs on a rolling basis.


A deposit is requested upon acceptance. Deposit fees are waived for Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) candidates. The deposit secures a place in the entering class and a residence hall room for a specific semester. For fall semester applicants, the $200 deposit is due on May 1. Fall applicants accepted after April 1 will have 30 days from the date of the acceptance letter to submit a deposit. Spring semester applicants must submit a deposit within 30 days of the date of the acceptance letter.

The deposit is not refundable beyond the deposit due date. No deposit will be refunded after the beginning of the semester.

Early Action

Freshman applicants for whom SUNY Cortland is a top choice should consider submitting an application under the non-binding early action option. To be considered for early action, applicants should select the "Early Action" option on the application and submit it with all application materials by Nov. 15. Application materials include:

  • a high school transcript
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • the appropriate supplemental application or form, depending on which admissions application is completed — the SUNY Application or the Common Application
  • an essay
  • a letter of recommendation

Early action applications will be reviewed utilizing the same criteria as regular admissions. Applicants will be notified by Jan 1. Through the early action program, applications to other institutions do not have to be withdrawn until May 1.

Early Admission

The early admission option combines the final year of secondary school with the first year of college. Courses are selected during the first year at Cortland that meet requirements for completion of a high school diploma while simultaneously making progress toward a bachelor’s degree.

Highly motivated students who will complete their junior year of secondary school may apply for admission as a college freshman. In addition to the other freshman admission requirements, early admission applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a school counselor, discussing the applicant’s potential for success and outlining the courses needed to satisfy secondary school graduation requirements.

Note: Federal financial aid programs will not be available to early admission candidates until graduation from secondary school is officially confirmed.

Special Admission Opportunities

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

This admission option is designed for motivated applicants from New York state who are ineligible for admission under the traditional admission standards due to under preparation, economic and historical disadvantage but demonstrate the potential for high success in completing a college-level program. EOP students are enrolled in the same degree-granting programs as the traditionally admitted student.

EOP students receive individualized support, including tutoring as well as academic, career and personal counseling, in order to ensure their academic success. In addition, EOP students receive financial aid to help with the cost of room, board, tuition, books and personal expenses.

Eligibility is based on guidelines established by the State University of New York and the State Education Department. Transferring to SUNY Cortland as an EOP student requires previous matriculation in an EOP, HEOP, College SEEK or Discovery program.

Further information is included in the SUNY Application Viewbook. Additional questions should be referred to the Educational Opportunity Program Office, Cornish Hall, Room D-132, 607-753-4808.

Special Talent Admission

SUNY Cortland recognizes that achievements outside of traditional academic areas require exceptional commitment and may indicate further potential for success in college. Special talent admission considers applicants who demonstrate excellence in areas such as performing or visual arts, athletics, or writing.

Those interested in being considered for special talent should send evidence of their accomplishments to the appropriate academic department or coach at SUNY Cortland. Only applicants nominated by a Cortland faculty member or coach will be considered in light of special talents. Students must be nominated as a special talent candidate prior to an admission decision.

Alumni Admission

The College provides the opportunity for those who have enjoyed the benefit of a Cortland education to nominate applicants they believe would be successful here and contribute to the campus. Only four to five students will be offered admission to Cortland through this program each year.

The alumni sponsor should have a direct relationship, through employment, teaching or coaching, with the applicant he or she is endorsing. Nominations from blood relatives are not accepted. The sponsor must complete the Alumni Admissions Program Nomination form as well as a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. For consideration, nominations and letters of recommendation must be submitted to the Admissions Office post-marked by Jan. 15.

Applications of nominees ineligible for regular admission will be reviewed by an Alumni Association Committee, which will invite a select group of candidates to on-campus interviews in March.

The Alumni Admissions Program option is available only to Fall semester regular admission freshman applicants. This excludes early action and Spring semester applicants, as well as transfer applicants. Applicants must be nominated as alumni admission candidates prior to an admission decision, and those denied admission cannot later be reconsidered in light of recommendations from alumni.

Transfer Application and Criteria

SUNY Cortland welcomes applications from students who have attended post-secondary institutions. Application decisions are based primarily on previous cumulative academic performance. To be considered for transfer admission, students must provide official transcripts from all previous colleges attended, whether they completed course work or withdrew. Failure to report all college-level work attempted may result in withdrawal of admission or dismissal from the College. Completion of the application includes the following:

  1. SUNY Cortland accepts the Common Application, available at www.commonapp.org, and the SUNY Application, available at www.SUNY.edu.
  2. Official college transcripts, sent from all post-secondary institutions attended. Those with prior military service must also provide a copy of their discharge papers (DD214).
  3. Official secondary school transcript or official results from the General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
  4. The appropriate supplemental application or form, depending on which admissions application is completed — the SUNY Application or the Common Application

Candidates are encouraged to apply before March for the fall semester and before December for the spring semester.

Admissions Criteria

Students with three semesters or more of course work completed or a total of 45 credit hours:
a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Some programs, however, are more competitive. SUNY Cortland gives preference to those who have or will complete an associate’s degree.

Students with two semesters or less of course work or a total of 30 credit hours or less:
a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and who would have been considered acceptable as a freshman candidate based on their high school record.

See the Transfer Credit Policies and Evaluation  section in Academic Policies  for additional information.

International Student Admission

SUNY Cortland welcomes applications from foreign nationals seeking matriculation into undergraduate and graduate programs. Prospective students are sent the following materials which must be returned to the SUNY Cortland Admissions Office unless otherwise designated.

  1. The easiest, fastest and most secure way for you to apply is online. The College accepts the Common Application and the SUNY Online application. Choose just one way to apply; both require a $50 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Application for International Students (English proficiency report, essay and financial support statement).
  3. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam report.
  4. SAT or ACT for applicants who are attending high school in the U.S.
  5. Official high school transcript with professional translation of all documents into English along with the original documents.

 Part-Time Study

Registrar’s Office
Miller Building, Room 223
Fax: 607-753-2959
E-mail: registrar@cortland.edu

Services for part-time undergraduate-degree students are provided by academic departments. Services for non-degree community residents are provided by the Registrar’s Office, Miller Building, Room 223.

The Registrar’s Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. The telephone number is 607-753-4702.

Part-time and Non-degree Status

Undergraduate students may enroll in courses on a part-time, non-degree basis by registering through the Registrar’s Office.

Undergraduate non-degree students (UND) may not register for more than a total of 11.5 credit hours. Undergraduate students who have earned a total of 11.5 credit hours, must apply through the Admissions Office for matriculated status or discontinue work at Cortland. If accepted, such students will register with other matriculated students in accord with the registration schedule available on the Web.

Qualified high school juniors and seniors are eligible to enroll in college-level courses at Cortland as part-time, non-degree students with a letter of recommendation from their school guidance counselors. They may be enrolled in freshman or sophomore-level courses upon the approval of their school guidance counselors.

All students who have been academically dismissed are ineligible for non-matriculated status. Students should consult this catalog to be certain that all prerequisites for courses in which they may enroll have been fulfilled. Registration for non-degree students opens the first day of the semester on a course availability basis, after degree students have been advised and registered.

Identification Cards

All students who register for courses at the College are required to have a SUNY Card. For more information, refer to the Campus Resources/Student Support section of this catalog.

Registration (Non-degree Students)

All non-degree undergraduate students register for courses through the Registrar’s Office. The full Course Schedule and all pertinent registration information including important dates and deadlines are available at cortland.edu/registrar on the Web.

Eligible students may enroll and pay at the time of registration the day classes begin on a course availability basis.

Students who do not pay their tuition bill for the courses for which they have registered by the payment deadline will be de-registered.

Summer Session

A summer session schedule of courses, programs and services is available on the Web early in the spring semester. Courses are available in one ten-week session, two consecutive five-week sessions, and four two-and-a-half-week sessions, two in Summer Session I and two in Summer Session II.