2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Policies

Academic Information

Student Responsibility and Academic Integrity   

The College expects those who are admitted to undertake their responsibilities as students so that their work is a credit to themselves and to the College. Guides to student conduct are outlined in College handbooks. The College reserves the right to place on probation or to terminate the enrollment of any student whose conduct or academic record is unacceptable.

As an academic community with the mission of promoting scholarship through the acquisition, preservation and transmission of knowledge, the College is dedicated to the promotion of academic integrity. In a college setting all members of the institution have an obligation to uphold high intellectual and ethical standards.

SUNY Cortland's policy on academic integrity is published in the College Handbook and in the Code of Student Conduct and Related Policies.

The introduction to the policy reads, in part:

"… students must recognize that their role in their education is active; they are responsible for their own learning. Specifically, it is the responsibility of students to protect their own work from inappropriate use by others and to protect the work of other people by providing proper citation of ideas and research findings to the appropriate source. This includes the obligation to preserve all educational resources, thereby permitting full and equal access to knowledge."


An orientation program for new students is conducted several times during the summer, usually in June and July, and immediately before the start of classes. Questions should be referred to Advisement and Transition.


Each student at SUNY Cortland is assigned an academic advisor. Advisors for students with majors are assigned by the academic departments. New students are assigned to academic advisors from their major department early in the fall semester. For students who are undecided about what they eventually will choose for a major, the College has a Pre-Major program with special advisement. Advisors for the Pre-Major program are assigned through Advisement and Transition.

Mission Statement

Students come to SUNY Cortland with differing academic experiences, varying needs and diverse backgrounds. Advisement plays a crucial role in helping students grow as engaged citizens, which is part of the College's mission statement. Students and advisors have important responsibilities in this process.

SUNY Cortland views academic advisement as serving two functions.

  1. The advisement process helps the student to satisfy immediate, short-term needs for selecting courses, scheduling and registration.
  2. Academic advisement endeavors to assist students to develop meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals.

A successful advisement process must represent a balance of these two components: registration and student development.

Guiding Principles

Advisement at Cortland is based on the premise that academic advisement should help students develop a sense of responsibility for their academic program and progress toward their educational goals. To that end, the advisement process should:

  • assist students in becoming independent learners
  • assist students in the process of selecting appropriate educational experiences and planning for the future
  • help students in their pursuit of academic and personal development
  • guide students through their degree and help them clarify academic goals
  • provide students with information about College services that can assist in addressing academic issues and personal concerns
  • help students understand College policies and academic expectations
  • assist students to identify, clarify and assess alternatives as well as potential consequences of academic decisions
  • guide students in becoming a part of a diverse and supportive academic community


1. Responsibilities of the Student

  1. To assume progressively the leadership role in academic program planning and to recognize that the advisor's role is one of mentor and facilitator.
  2. To recognize that the student is ultimately responsible for completing a regular review of degree audit, meeting academic deadlines, developing a workable schedule and fulfilling financial obligations.
  3. To understand and comply with College policies.
  4. To commit a reasonable amount of time, both independently and in meetings with an academic advisor, to plan and implement one's own academic program.
  5. To be familiar with the department advisement manual (where available), the College catalog and other College/department advisement materials.
  6. To schedule and attend meetings with the advisor prepared with necessary registration materials, suggestions for courses to be completed and a plan for meeting graduation requirements, as well as questions to clarify prospective problems.
  7. To seek out the advisor or department chair, in a timely manner, for assistance in negotiating difficulties or changes in academic program plans.
  8. To identify alternatives and assess the consequences of decisions made during one's college career.

2. Responsibilities of the Advisor

  1. To work with each student advisee to achieve an academic program consistent with the student's preparation, interest and plans for the future.
  2. To help students become familiar with college and departmental requirements as reflected in the College Catalog and degree audit.
  3. To help students recognize their academic strengths and weaknesses, establish realistic education goals and identify the courses necessary to achieve these goals.
  4. To be sensitive to the varied needs of students as they develop academically and personally at Cortland and refer to campus resources as appropriate such as the Academic Support and Achievement Program (ASAP), Advisement and Transition, associate deans, Career Services, Counseling Center.
  5. To be available during regularly scheduled office hours or by appointment to meet with students for academic advisement.
  6. To schedule sufficient time in the office for academic advising during critical periods such as registration and drop/add.
  7. To appreciate and advocate for diversity, equity and social justice as indicated in our campus priorities.

Enrollment Procedures

All students are expected to register by the final registration date specified in the College calendar. Exceptions to this procedure are rare and can be granted only by the associate dean of the appropriate school. A late fee will be charged.

Change of Major

Qualified students who meet the academic criteria published in the College Catalog may apply for a new major. In addition to establishing academic criteria, such as grade point averages and standards to be met in prerequisite courses, some departments limit acceptances. Students who do not meet the criteria or who are not accepted due to a limited number of openings must select another major. Caution: Students remaining on a waiting list or as pre-majors after their sophomore year will jeopardize their eligibility for financial aid and potentially their time to degree completion.

Undergraduate Change of Major forms are available online, in department offices and require the signed approval of the accepting department chair. Students should file all change of major forms in the department of the new major before the established deadline each semester (October and March) to ensure the ability to register for courses in the new major during the registration period.

Changes in Degree Requirements

While the curriculum at Cortland undergoes frequent review and new courses are established, students are assured that requirements for graduation at the time of initial enrollment will remain unchanged for those who complete their undergraduate programs within the same major without interruption. A change of major, the addition of a new minor or concentration may result in a change of catalog term and additional required coursework for the new major and/or the need to meet certain grade point criteria as determined by the new department's published requirements at the time of the change of major. An official leave of absence is not considered an interruption of enrollment.

The College reserves the right to change the College calendar, fees and requirements other than those for degrees. Such changes become effective when adopted.

Fees and Assessments

All fees and assessments are due as indicated on tuition and fee statements. Other accrued debts or outstanding obligations, owed to the College or to any agency thereof, will place a hold on a student record and must be paid prior to registration. If the obligation is not met, access to registration will be denied, as well as the ability to receive an official College transcript or conferral of a degree or other College services. SUNY Cortland students who are not in good standing and owe outstanding tuition and fees will be removed from the College class rosters for failure to meet their financial obligations.

The College reserves the right to place a hold on a student's record or to charge a service fee in cases when students fail to meet certain administrative appointments important to the conduct of College business or to abide by publicly announced College deadlines.

Change of Name and Address

Students are responsible for informing the registrar promptly of any change of address. All students are required to provide the College with an accurate local address immediately upon change, and confirm such at the beginning of each semester. Students may update their local address on myRedDragon.

Legal name changes will be recorded on request and upon receipt of evidence showing the name has officially changed, such as a court order, a marriage certificate, or a dissolution decree reflecting the new name.

Additional name change procedures can be viewed on the Registrar's website

Academic Records

The Registrar's Office

  • is the custodian of the academic record of all Cortland students
  • is responsible for all undergraduate registration activity
  • executes the official College drop and add period, the first full week of each semester
  • processes enrollment verifications
  • maintains Cortland's degree audit
  • develops the comprehensive schedule of course offerings each semester
  • produces the official College transcript.

Grades are reported to the Registrar's Office, from which the official College transcript is issued. Students, undergraduate and graduate, are charged a $5 per semester transcript fee. Any student enrolled at SUNY Cortland prior to Fall 2008 will be grandfathered as a former student and receive unlimited official transcripts as a lifetime service. Refer to the Registrar's website for detailed information on how to request an official College transcript. Following degree conferral, all students receive an official College transcript that is mailed with the diploma after graduation. The College reserves the right to deny transcripts to any student who is delinquent in an obligation to the College.

The Buckley Amendment and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Notification of Rights under FERPA:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Complete details and updates are posted online at cortland.edu/ferpa/.

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
    A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
    A student who wishes to ask the university to amend a record should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    The university discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff ); a person or company with whom the university has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using university employees or officials, such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent; a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university. Upon request, an institution may also disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901


Matriculation Guidelines

Class Year

Students are identified by class year in accordance with the number of credit hours earned toward graduation as follows:

Freshman 0-25.5 credit hours
Sophomore 26-56 credit hours
Junior 56.5-89.5 credit hours
Senior 90 or more credit hours

College Credit Hour System

The basic unit of credit in College courses is the "credit hour" — one hour of credit for a 16-week semester. Students are expected to study a minimum of three hours outside of class for each credit hour. Thus a student should plan on a 45-hour study week for an academic load of 15 credit hours.

The full-time undergraduate student semester credit-hour load varies from 12 to 18 hours a semester, depending on the program. Credit workloads in excess of 18 credit hours must be approved by the associate dean of the school of the student's major.

Full-time Status

To be eligible for full-time federal and state financial assistance or Veterans benefits an undergraduate student must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours a semester. Students who retake courses should check provisions of their financial aid awards to avoid jeopardizing their receipt of aid. Refer to the Entering SUNY Cortland section of this catalog for details.

Any undergraduate student who receives New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funds must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours during the fall and/or spring semesters. To qualify for TAP during the summer, a student must register for at least six credit hours of study during either summer session or for three credit hours in each summer session. An undergraduate student is limited to a maximum of seven credit hours of study during each summer session. Credit loads in excess of seven credit hours must be approved by the appropriate associate dean.

Class Attendance

It is the policy of the College that regular class attendance is a basic requirement of all courses. Class attendance is a strong predictor of student success in college. The policy does permit class attendance, participation and/or performance as a factor in determining course grades.

The taking of attendance and attendance requirements are at the discretion of the individual instructor, subject to the following two provisions:

  • Penalties for excessive absences, as determined by the instructor's policy, shall not exceed one-third of a letter grade per class hour of absence.
  • Absences due to participation in approved College activities shall be considered valid absences. The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall determine what College activities are approved as valid for students to be absent from classes.

In determining the student's grade, instructors will weigh the student's performance and may also consider excessive absences. Instructors should make clear to their classes what they consider to be valid reasons for missing class and what penalties will be assessed for excessive absences. Instructors shall state in the course syllabus, and emphasize to the class at the first meeting, the attendance requirement for the course.

Students are responsible for all work missed. Instructors shall establish procedures to allow students who have been absent for valid reasons to make up missed class work. If students anticipate having to miss class, it is their responsibility to inform the instructor ahead of time.

Nonattendance does not mean a student has dropped or withdrawn from a course. Students who have not attended class and have not officially dropped or withdrawn from the course will receive a grade of E.

Reporting Absences and Illness

If students are unable to attend class because of emergencies such as surgery, accidents involving lengthy absences from classes or extenuating circumstances, they should notify the associate dean of the school in which they are majoring. The associate dean will request documentation regarding the emergency; upon receipt of sufficient documentation the associate dean will notify instructors about the reason for the absence. The instructor has the final determination in how such absences will be considered.

Student Obligations: Length of Semester

Students are expected to attend classes throughout the semester and complete final exams. Classes and examinations are scheduled according to the academic calendar that is adopted by the College each year. The fall semester usually begins late in August or early in September and ends in the third week of December. The spring semester usually begins in mid- to late-January and ends in the third or fourth week of May.

Missing a Final Exam

Students who miss a final examination will receive a grade of E for that course unless they obtain an excuse for their absence from the associate dean of their school.

Religious Beliefs and Class Attendance

Section 224-a of the New York State Education Law reads as follows:

  1. No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that he is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.
  2. Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.
  3. It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
  4. If registration, classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after four o'clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements or registration held on other days.
  5. In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.
  6. Any student, who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section, shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.
    6-a. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to give written notice to students of their rights under this section, informing them that each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.
  7. As used in this section, the term "institution of higher education" shall mean any institution of higher education, recognized and approved by the regents of the university of the state of New York, which provides a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree or diploma. Such term shall not include any institution which is operated, supervised or controlled by a church or by a religious or denominational organization whose educational programs are principally designed for the purpose of training ministers or other religious functionaries or for the purpose of propagating religious doctrines. As used in this section, the term "religious belief " shall mean beliefs associated with any corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501 of the United States Code.

Schedule Changes

Students wishing to make adjustments to their academic class schedule may do so during the official College drop/add period, the first full week of each semester. Classes may be dropped and added without penalty during this period only. Second- and fourth-quarter courses have a designated two-day drop/add period in October and March, respectively. Students should refer to the College calendar and the Registrar's website for specific dates.

Students who do not attend a class are not dropped automatically and will receive a grade of E.

All drop/add transactions made after the official drop/add period are subject to late fees. After the official drop/add period students must withdraw from a class and file an Official Withdrawal from Course Form that must have the approval of the respective associate dean.

Auditing Courses

Auditing of courses is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Auditors may be accepted into classes only with the consent of the instructor of record and will be denied admission to classes that have reached the maximum number of students.
  2. Course auditors normally will not be charged any tuition but will pay all laboratory and course-related fees and any other charges connected with a course.
  3. Course auditors will not be enrolled or listed on an official class roster. They will attend without credit or formal recognition. They do not need to meet the requirements of the course.
  4. Course auditors may not subsequently request credit for the course even if they complete the course requirements.

Undergraduate Students Taking 500-Level Courses for Undergraduate Credit

Courses at the 500 level are considered graduate courses but are, in some cases, designed for both graduate and highly motivated undergraduate students. This level of coursework is open only to juniors and seniors in good academic standing (cumulative grade point average of 2.0). Please note: There are certain 500-level courses that are for graduate students only.

Undergraduate Students Taking 500-Level Courses for Graduate Credit

Seniors in their final semester of undergraduate study may request permission to register for 500-level courses for graduate credit. However, a 500-level course taken for graduate credit will not be included in fulfilling any undergraduate requirement. Subsequently, a 500-level course taken for undergraduate credit will not be included to fulfill any graduate requirement. A form for the same purpose is available from the respective associate dean.

Approval must be obtained from the school's associate dean for the student's major. The total course load, including undergraduate and graduate credit, may not exceed 16 credit hours during the semester or six credit hours during a five-week summer session. Students are cautioned that graduate credit hours thus earned may not be transferred toward meeting the requirements for the master's degree at another institution. 

Retaking Courses

When a student retakes a Cortland course, all grades received will remain on the official transcript, but only the last grade received will be included in the quality and grade point average and hours toward graduation.

The grade excluded from the cumulative totals will be annotated with an E on the transcript. The grade included in the cumulative totals will be annotated with an I. The retaken course, which is defined by the same title, course prefix and course number, must be repeated at SUNY Cortland under the same grading system in order to be eligible for this policy. Therefore, courses previously taken and earned as transfer credit are not eligible to be retaken.

To retake a course, a student must seek registration access from the academic department offering the course. A student may retake any course one time. Departments may restrict registration access for subsequent retakes of the same course. See department sections of the College Catalog for information on department-specific retake restrictions and/or requirements.

Students receiving financial aid are encouraged to check with the Financial Aid Office and with the Student Accounts Office to avoid losing an award, especially when retaking a previously passed course.


Policies Related to Participation in Early Field Experiences, Student Teaching and Internships

Policies for Early Field Experiences

Required Participation in Early Field Experiences

All teacher candidates in programs leading to first initial teaching certificates are required to complete a minimum of 100 clock hours of early field experience prior to student teaching per NYSED regulations. The 100-hour fieldwork component is attached to specific courses. Certain programs require more than the mandated 100 hours of fieldwork.

The Field Experience and School Partnerships Office staff will make all placements for early field experiences. Placements are often a distance from campus; therefore, students are responsible for transportation. The Field Experience and School Partnerships Office must receive the required student application for an early field experience by the designated deadline. Every effort will be made to secure an appropriate placement. School districts reserve the right to permit candidate access to their academic buildings, classrooms and grounds.

Eligibility for Early Field Experiences

To be eligible for early field experiences, undergraduate students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average, although some programs require a higher minimum grade point average to participate in field experiences. A student who is on any form of probation, and/or has any serious judicial issues is not eligible for participating in field experiences.

Certain departments and programs of study within the School of Education, School of Professional Studies and School of Arts and Sciences have additional eligibility requirements, which are fully explained under appropriate department sections of this catalog.

Policies for Student Teaching

Required Participation in Student Teaching

All teacher candidates in programs leading to first initial teaching certificates are required to complete a full semester of student teaching. Student teaching requires teacher candidates to work full-time with an assigned host teacher in a discipline and grade level related to their program area.  More information about the form and content of the student teaching experience can be found under the appropriate department sections of this catalog or in the SUNY Cortland Student Teaching Handbook.

Eligibility to Student Teach

In order to student teach, all candidates must pass two distinct eligibility checks at designated points in time to ensure that they have satisfied all the criteria for student teaching that have been established by the College and their respective programs of study. Both eligibility checks are conducted by the academic department of the candidate's major. These criteria fall into four general categories:

1. academic standing/grade point average
2. prerequisite coursework
3. coursework completion
4. judicial standing

College-wide eligibility criteria for student teaching require that undergraduate student teachers be in good academic standing, have completed all prerequisite courses for student teaching, have at least a 2.0 grade point average from the previous semester and have at least a 2.5 grade point average overall, although some programs may require a higher grade point average to be eligible for student teaching. Any student who has an Incomplete on their records or who is on any form of academic or judicial probation will not be allowed to student teach. In addition, teacher candidates are required to complete the Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR), Dignity for All Students Acts (DASA), and Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) workshops prior to student teaching. Check the Teacher Certification website for schedule information. 

There may be additional criteria for eligibility to student teach, depending on area of certification, department and specific program of study. Each candidate is advised to consult with their academic department regarding the eligibility requirements for student teaching.

Please note: Summer Sessions I and II and Winter Sessions immediately preceding student teaching cannot be used to help candidates meet grade point average requirements.

First Eligibility Check

In order to be considered for placement for student teaching, candidates must satisfy the criteria of the first eligibility check, which takes place at the time the candidate applies to student teach. Each prospective student teacher must meet all College and departmental criteria by the Friday of the third week of classes during the semester immediately preceding the semester in which student teaching will occur. These criteria include:

  1. successful completion of review by the Teacher Education Candidate Review Committee;
  2. evidence that all prerequisite coursework has been completed or is in progress;
  3. evidence that minimum grade point average per program requirements has been achieved.

Second Eligibility Check

The second eligibility check takes place as soon as final grades are first posted on the web in the semester immediately preceding the semester student teaching is scheduled to occur. At this point in time all Incompletes must be changed to grades, minimum grade point average must be maintained, and all prerequisite courses must be satisfactorily completed. The program coordinator will forward the names of teacher candidates who have become ineligible to student teach due to failure to meet one or more of the student teaching eligibility criteria to the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office during the first full week of January for spring student teachers, or during the first full week of June for fall student teachers.

If, a program of study has a waiting list for student teaching, students who are ineligible at the first eligibility checkpoint, but become eligible by the time of the second eligibility checkpoint, may be placed to student teach on a space-available basis at the discretion of the academic department and the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office. If the academic department of the candidate's major does not maintain a waiting list for student teaching, candidates must reapply to student teach during the next semester.

Placements for Student Teaching

The Field Experience and School Partnerships Office staff will facilitate all student teaching placements. The location and scheduling of student teaching placements will depend on those available within the candidate's discipline and at the specific grade level(s) required by state mandates. Every effort will be made to secure an appropriate placement. The office will consider suggestions for placements from students. Requests cannot be guaranteed. Students are not permitted to contact potential host teachers or building principals to request placements or in any way attempt to secure their own placements. The Field Experience and School Partnerships Office staff will make placements to the best of their ability and knowledge, such that the placements will not be affected by conflict of interest. School districts reserve the right to permit candidates access to their academic buildings, classrooms and grounds.

When completing the application for student teaching, teacher candidates are required to disclose information to their program coordinator and the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office regarding relatives employed or attending school in any school district where placement could occur. The term "relative" includes parents, spouse, children, stepchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles and in-laws. Under most circumstances, teacher candidates will not be placed in districts where relatives are employed. Failure to provide this information may jeopardize continuation in that placement or the program.

Even after placements have been confirmed, contingent upon the student's final eligibility to student teach, they may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances within the public schools such as unexpected teacher retirements, unpredicted changes in teaching assignments, etc. Should confirmed placements be cancelled by the public schools, the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office will make every effort to locate an alternate placement, the location and scheduling of which will depend upon placement availability within the specific discipline and at the specific grade level(s) required by state regulations.

Student Teaching Housing and Transportation

Placements are often at some distance from campus, and relocation from the Cortland area may be necessary during the student teaching experience. Therefore, students should exercise caution in signing leases for the academic year during which student teaching will occur. Having a local lease will not aid students in gaining a local placement. Additionally, other commitments, such as jobs, bear no influence on the location of placements. Arrangements for housing and transportation during all field experiences are the responsibility of the students.

Enrollment in Coursework

Students may not be enrolled in any coursework unrelated to student teaching at SUNY Cortland or at any other institution while engaged in student teaching.

Credit for Student Teaching

Credit for student teaching cannot be transferred to SUNY Cortland from any other institution. All SUNY Cortland student teachers must be supervised by SUNY Cortland supervisors unless they are participating in a SUNY Cortland-approved student teaching experience abroad.

Eligibility for Internships

To be eligible for internships, undergraduate students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. No student may have Incompletes on their record and/or be on any form of probation, and no student may have any serious judicial record. Students should consult individual academic departments for additional prerequisites and policies regarding internships.



Standards of Performance

Instructors are expected to inform students of course requirements and grading procedures by the end of the first full week of classes. To be included are policies on examinations and other evaluation procedures, exemptions from examinations and make-up examinations.

Examination Policy

Final examinations are required. However, in cases where the nature of the course makes such action undesirable or an adequate series of other evaluation procedures is substituted, a department chair may permit an exception from the policy. In certain cases an instructor may exempt students from final examinations if the students meet specified criteria filed beforehand with the department chair. Instructors are required to inform students during the first week of classes of their examination policies.

Final examinations or last examinations of the course are given during final examination week — except for examinations in quarter courses which end in the middle of the semester. No examinations, quizzes or tests of any type are permitted during the last week of classes prior to the published final examination week unless approved in advance by the appropriate department chair and school dean.

Online and hybrid courses will be assigned a final exam day and time to ensure students have adequate opportunity to take the exam in alignment with the final exam policy. Hybrid courses must use the assigned final exam period which is determined by their in-class meeting day/time. Instructors of fully online courses:

  1. must make the exam available during the course's assigned final exam time period; and
  2. may make the exam available before and after the assigned time for any length of time within the final exam standard schedule — 8 a.m. on the first day of finals to 4 p.m. on the last day of finals).

Adjustments may be requested in the final examination schedule for students having two examinations scheduled at the same time, more than two examinations in any one day, or a verified illness or other emergency. Requests for adjustments follow procedures established and published by the registrar.

Missed Examinations

It is the student's responsibility to arrange with the instructor for make-up examinations. Students who miss final examinations will receive a grade of E for those courses unless they are granted an excuse for their absence by the associate dean of their school. Make-up examinations must be taken after the regularly scheduled examination and will be given at the convenience of the instructor.

Reporting of Grades

At both the mid-semester point and again at the end of the semester, students may access and review their estimates and/or final grades on the web. Students also are notified when they are being placed on academic probation.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete is a temporary grade, issued solely at the discretion of the instructor, in two circumstances:

  1. when a student is unable to complete the course, or
  2. when an academic dishonesty charge has been brought against a student and the resolution of that charge is still pending.

In determining whether or not a student will be granted an Incomplete, the instructor may consider: extenuating circumstances that support the request, the coursework the student has completed at the time of the request, and the availability of labs, studios, or other specialized resources relevant to the course.

Instructors may limit the granting of an Incomplete to students who have completed a majority of the assigned coursework to date. Instructors may also require students to provide documentation to justify the granting of an Incomplete, and instructors may require students to have earned a passing grade in the course at the time the Incomplete is requested.

If an instructor chooses to issue an Incomplete, the maximum allowable period for resolving the Incomplete grade will be the end of the last day of classes of the following semester. Instructors are free to set a deadline within that period. If no grade is issued by the end of the last day of classes of the following semester, the Incomplete will revert to a failing grade of E or U, depending of the grade mode of the course.

Exceptions may be granted only upon written petition to the instructor and the associate dean of the school in which the course is offered. Factors to be considered include deadlines for making up other Incompletes and the student's schedule in the semester the Incomplete is to be made up. The associate dean consults with the instructor involved before granting an extension of time in which to make up the Incomplete.

Students do not re-register for the same class to make up an Incomplete.

Students should consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding the impact of Incomplete grades on their aid status.

Change of Grade Time Line

A change of grade due to instructor error or student appeal must be submitted by the end of the following semester, that is, a grade submitted in the fall semester must be changed by the end of the spring semester. Grade changes submitted more than one semester after the initial semester in which the grade was issued will not be accepted. Once a student's degree is conferred, the academic record is frozen and no further grade adjustments will be made.

Student status decisions that are pending due to academic tribunal action, grievance or appeal activity, will supersede any time line.

Quality Points/Grade Point Average

A student's level of scholarship is determined by the following system of quality points per credit hour:

A+ = 4.3 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3 E = 0.0
A   = 4.0 B   = 3.0 C   =  2.0 D   = 1.0  
A-  = 3.7 B-  = 2.7 C- = 1.7 D-  =  .7  

Grade point averages are determined by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours for which a student has been graded. For example, a grade of C in a three-credit-hour course is equivalent to six quality points. If a student completes 17 credit hours of coursework and accumulates 38 quality points, the grade point average will be 2.235. Although it is possible to attain a 4.3 grade point average, the College considers the method a 4.0 grading system.

In courses where grades are listed as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory or Pass/No Credit neither grade is used in determining the student's grade point average. A Satisfactory or Pass grade is credited toward graduation, however.

Dean's List

Dean's List, the highest ranking for undergraduate students in their respective academic areas of the College, is earned with a 3.3 semester grade point average. In addition to the 3.3 grade point average, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. be enrolled in a full-time, 12 credit hour course load;
  2. at least eight of the 12 credit hours must be taken for a standard letter grade;
  3. receive no Incomplete grades for the semester. Dean's List designees are named at the end of each semester.

President's List

President's List is a College-wide honor given to students based on their academic performance for each semester. Students who achieve grades of A- or better in each of their courses for a given semester will be designated a member of the President's List. In addition to achieving the stipulated grades, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. be enrolled as a full-time student with a minimum of 12 credit hours;
  2. at least eight of the 12 credit hours must be taken for a standard letter grade;
  3. have no grades lower than Satisfactory in courses being taken for other than standard letter grade;
  4. receive no Incomplete grades for the semester. President's List designees are named at the end of each semester.

Part-time Student Award for Academic Achievement

The Part-time Student Award for Academic Achievement recognizes academic excellence among part-time undergraduate students. To earn this award, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. have earned at least 12 credit hours of cumulative standard grade coursework at SUNY Cortland;
  2. have a 3.3 cumulative grade point average;
  3. have a 3.3 semester grade point average;
  4. be enrolled at part-time status throughout the semester, with a minimum of three credit hours of standard letter grade;
  5. receive no Incomplete grades for the semester. Part-time Student Award for Academic Achievement designees are named at the end of each semester.

Pass/No Credit Option

The Pass/No Credit grading option encourages juniors and seniors to enroll in challenging courses outside their major or minor, adding breadth to their academic work while not incurring the penalty of a low grade. Only juniors or seniors with a grade point average of at least 2.0 cumulative and in the major may petition to receive Pass/No Credit grades in elective courses with the approval of the student's major department chair. Courses that cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit include:

  1. Courses in the major, minor or concentration;
  2. Courses required for the General Education or All-College requirements — composition and quantitative skills as well as Writing-Intensive (WRIT) courses and foreign language courses required for the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science;
  3. Graduate courses — 500 level.

Only one course per semester, for a total of four, may be taken for Pass/No Credit. Any exception for an additional course during a semester requires the associate dean's approval. Departments may set additional limits, but cannot grant exceptions to the above stipulations.

Pass/No Credit Forms are available in department offices and must be completed, approved and submitted to the registrar during the first two weeks for a semester course, or the first week for a quarter or modular course. Once approved and submitted, this petition is binding and cannot be reversed.

Academic Standards Policy

SUNY Cortland's academic standards policy is dependent upon the student's grade point average achievement in each semester — semester by semester — rather than a cumulative grade point average.

Levels of Academic Standing

Academic Standing Additional Student Standing (Levels) Semester GPA Cumulative GPA
Good Standing Good Standing   2.0 or higher
Good Standing Academic Alert 1.02-1.99 2.0 or higher
Academic Warning Academic Warning 1.01 or below 2.0 or higher
Academic Probation Academic Probation 1.01 or higher 1.01 to 1.99
Academic Suspension Automatic Suspension 1.01 or below below 2.0
Regular Suspension Failed to meet academic contract below 2.0
Academic Dismissal Dismissal Return from suspension and failed to meet academic contract below 2.0

Good Standing: SUNY Cortland students who have achieved a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade point average, and a semester grade point average greater than 1.02, are considered to be in good standing.

Good standing students whose semester grade point average is between 1.02 and 1.99, and whose cumulative grade point average is greater than 2.00 will be given a secondary academic alert status and will be advised to improve their academic performance.

Academic Warning: SUNY Cortland students whose semester grade point average is less than 1.01 but whose cumulative grade point average is greater than 2.00 will be placed on academic warning and advised to improve their academic performance.

Academic Probation: All SUNY Cortland students with a cumulative grade point average between 1.01 and 1.99 will be placed on academic probation. They will receive a notice of academic probation from the associate dean of their school along with an academic contract notifying them of the semester grade point average needed to regain good academic standing of 2.00 cumulative grade point average, limiting their course load to no more than 15 credit hours and providing other recommendations. Students on academic probation will be advised to curtail any activity which is detrimental to regaining good academic standing, such as on and off-campus employment, fraternity/sorority, resident assistant activities.

Academic Suspension Automatic: Students whose semester grade point average is less than 1.01 and whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.0 will be automatically suspended. First-semester freshmen and first-semester transfer students with a cumulative grade point average of less than 1.01 will be automatically suspended but will be eligible for expedited appeal through their respective associate dean. Those students reinstated following expedited appeal of suspension will be placed on academic probation with an academic contract. They must meet expectations outlined above for students on probation.

Academic Suspension Regular: Students who fail to meet their academic contract will be subject to academic suspension. Suspension mandates a minimum of two semesters away from campus (summer coursework may be counted toward meeting one semester of the two semester requirement). During that time, students are required to take full-time coursework at another accredited college earning an overall 2.75 or higher grade point average, or be employed full time with an excellent employment record, or have an honorable record of military service.

Academic Dismissal: Students who are reinstated following academic suspension and fail to meet their academic contract will be subject to academic dismissal, with the right of appeal to the Academic Standing Committee. Students who are academically dismissed are ineligible to apply for readmission for a minimum of three years.

Note: Any academic contract, whether signed by the student or not, will be in effect for the term in question and will supersede other probation and suspension policies. Grounds for appeal will be mitigating circumstances such as death in the family, injury or illness requiring hospitalization and other special circumstances.

Academic contracts are targeted for students to acheive a good academic standing and a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. Attaining this grade point average, however, may not be sufficient to allow entry into some majors. Students should check with their department for specific cumulative grade point average entry requirements. Full-time students are permitted a maximum of one and one half times the normal length of time to complete their degree for financial aid purposes. For students attending on less than a full-time basis, the scale will be adjusted accordingly. Any student who is not in good academic standing should always check with the Financial Aid Office to determine their individual financial status. See the financial aid section of the this catalog for an explanation of financial aid implications.

An Academic Standing Committee will consider student appeals to academic suspension and dismissal. Since granting of an appeal is not automatic, it is intended only to accommodate extraordinary or unusual situations. The committee will convene in January, June and August of each academic year to consider student appeals and review pertinent documentation of mitigating circumstances provided by the student. The student must also provide the committee with a written plan for achieving academic success.

Decisions of the Academic Standing Committee are final. If the Academic Standing Committee grants the appeal, the student will be allowed to return for the next semester on academic probation. Students are only eligible for one appeal as an undergraduate student.


Transfer Credit Policies and Evaluation

Advisement and Transition
Memorial Library, Room A-111
Fax: 607-753-5593
Email: transfercredit@cortland.edu

Sources of Transfer Credit

SUNY Cortland equivalent course information is available on the Transfer Equivalencies webpage.

Coursework from Other Colleges or Universities

All credit hours accepted for transfer must have been earned at institutions granted regional accreditation by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), such as the Middle States Association, Southern Association, Higher Learning Commission, New England Association, Northwest Association or Western Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.

Credit is allowed only for those courses in which a grade of C- or better has been earned. Students who at the time of first admission to SUNY Cortland have an associate of arts (A.A.), associate of science (A.S.) or any bachelor's degree will be granted credit for D grades earned in courses completed prior to matriculation at SUNY Cortland. Accepted transfer credit will be counted as meeting the necessary minimum grade for Cortland courses or the required prerequisite course.

Grades of Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) awarded at another institution may be accepted at the discretion of the student's associate dean. Students contact their associate dean to petition for credit. The associate dean will make one or more of the following determinations — in consultation with the department chair when appropriate:

  • decline to accept the course.
  • waive a requirement on the basis of a Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) grade without granting course credit.
  • award credit under the General Elective (GEN) or Liberal Arts (LAS) labels.
  • award credit as course equivalent.

While credit hours are transferable, grades earned at other colleges are not calculated in the Cortland grade point average. Grade point averages that qualify students for honors and recognition at Commencement are based exclusively on coursework at Cortland.

SUNY Cortland has a credit-hour system. Credits completed at institutions with a quarter-hour system are converted according to College policy. One-quarter hour equals two-thirds of a credit hour.

If a student proposes to transfer in credit from a distance learning course, the College will consider only credits offered by an institution that has recognized regional accreditation. These courses will be treated as regular transfer courses. No other distance learning courses will be accepted for credit.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Credit granted for a score of three or higher within the scale of five points used for this program.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Credit is granted for Subject Examinations based on the American Council on Education (ACE) recommended score for awarding credit. No credit is given for CLEP General Examinations. At this time, Cortland is not a test center for the College-Level Examination Program. Information regarding test centers can be obtained by contacting the College Board.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students enrolling at SUNY Cortland who have completed International Baccalaureate coursework will receive credit toward their bachelor's degree at Cortland as follows:

  • Students who have completed the International Baccalaureate diploma will receive up to a maximum of 30 credit hours, which is one year's advanced standing.
  • Students who have not completed the International Baccalaureate diploma will receive equivalent credit for up to two introductory courses for each higher-level examination in which a grade of four or better has been earned.
  • Subsidiary/standard level subjects will be evaluated on an individual basis.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

Credit is granted for OPI ratings based on the American Council on Education (ACE) recommended score of awarding credit. Credit will be granted for a rating of novice high to superior.

Cambridge International A Level and AS Exams

Academic credit is granted with satisfactory Advanced (A Level) and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) exam results of C or better. Students can earn three credit hours for each AS Level exam and up to six credit hours for each A Level exam.

Military Service Courses

Credit for and/or waiver of courses or programs taken while in the military service may be granted by the associate dean of the school in which the student majors with the consultation of the appropriate department chair if these courses or programs are parallel to courses offered at Cortland.

Transfer Credit Limits and Residency Requirement

SUNY Cortland grants the maximum number of transfer credits possible. The following guidelines and policies apply to transfer credit evaluation:

Under State University of New York policy, credit will be granted for published examinations from the following test series, provided that the specified minimum Cortland performance levels are met and that the examinations are in areas that normally receive transfer credit at Cortland. SUNY Cortland will accept a maximum of 30 credit hours earned through such sources as Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, Cambridge International A and AS Level exams or College Proficiency and/or the International Baccalaureate. This maximum applies to all of these courses combined, not individually.

Cortland students are not eligible to receive credit by equivalency examinations when they are enrolled in or have completed a higher-level course within the same discipline.

Students may receive up to 64 credit hours of transfer credit from two-year colleges. This maximum credit-hour total includes any 100- or 200-level courses, Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interviews, Cambridge International A and AS level exams, College Proficiency or International Baccalaureate credits. Transfer students with credit from four-year colleges or universities may receive additional credit hours toward degree requirements at Cortland. The maximum number of credit hours accepted is 90.

A minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework as well as half of the major, minor and/or concentration must be completed in residency at Cortland to earn a Cortland bachelor's degree. Any school of the College may designate special requirements that may not be taken elsewhere.

General Education Requirements and Waivers for Transfer Students

Transfer students are required to fulfill all Cortland General Education requirements, including elements specific to the Cortland degree such as writing intensive courses and foreign language, as the major specifies.

See the General Education  section of the catalog for a full listing of general education requirements and courses.

Any approved SUNY General Education course taken at another institution will be accepted into the related Cortland General Education category. Courses from non-SUNY institutions and courses for Cortland GE Category 11, Prejudice and Discrimination, and Category 12, Science, Technology, Values and Society, also may be transferred, providing they meet the learning outcomes of these categories. Transfer students may be granted up to two waivers that can be applied toward meeting the requirements in Category 11 or Category 12. Students who matriculate to Cortland as freshmen or readmit to Cortland with transfer credit are not eligible for waivers. Transfer students are eligible for waivers based on the number of transfer credit hours according to the following formula:

  • Students entering Cortland with 20-34.5 credit hours will be eligible for one waiver.
  • Students entering Cortland with 35 or more credit hours will be eligible for two waivers. 

Time Toward Graduation for Transfer Students

Students entering SUNY Cortland with an A.A. or A.S. will, in most instances, be able to complete requirements for a bachelor's degree with an additional 60-64 credit hours of coursework. Students pursuing professional degree programs, such as those leading to teacher certification, may need additional courses to fulfill requirements over and above the minimum needed to earn a Cortland bachelor's degree. Requirements for the bachelor's degree are listed in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Courses taken in parallel programs at other institutions usually satisfy bachelor's degree requirements at Cortland. If a student changes degree plans, it is possible that some courses taken at other institutions will not meet degree requirements in an alternate program at Cortland. One half the credit hours for the major, minor or concentration must be completed at Cortland.

To assure a clear articulation between programs at other institutions and specific majors at Cortland, students are encouraged to consult this catalog and utilize transfer planning resources to complete only those courses at other institutions that will fulfill specific Cortland major/degree requirements.

Evaluation Process for New Students

An evaluation of transfer credits is completed upon request. Students who have been offered admission and indicate their intent to attend Cortland by paying a deposit will automatically receive an evaluation of transfer credits. Each evaluation will indicate the maximum number of transfer credits applicable to the SUNY Cortland degree as well as the number of credit hours needed to complete the degree.

Permission to Transfer Credit from Another Institution Process for Continuing Students

Current Cortland undergraduate students are eligible to complete certain courses at another institution and transfer the credits back to Cortland to meet degree requirements.  However, matriculated students must seek permission from their academic advisor and Advisement and Transition to enroll in courses at another college. Students are required to seek approval prior to enrolling in the course at another college. Cortland reserves the right to deny transfer credit that has not been pre-approved.

Any school of the College may designate special requirements that may not be taken elsewhere.

Sources of Additional Credit

Challenge Examinations

At the discretion of individual departments, students may arrange challenge examinations to demonstrate proficiency in the content areas of specific courses for academic credit. Faculty may arrange written, oral or performance exercises to establish competency, and the appropriate number of credit hours will be awarded for satisfactory performance with a grade of P. Interested students should contact the department chair responsible for the content area they wish to challenge. If the department agrees to supervise the challenge, the student is referred to the office of the associate dean to complete the appropriate form and pay a fee, if appropriate.

Programs Sponsored by Non-collegiate Organizations and the Armed Forces

SUNY Cortland observes the recommendations of the American Council on Education's Office on Educational Credit and of the University of the State of New York's Program in Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction in the evaluation of education experiences sponsored by non-collegiate organizations and the military when the content is considered appropriate as transfer credit.

Credit for and/or waiver of courses or programs taken under the auspices of a non-collegiate organization or the armed forces may be granted by the associate dean of the student's major with the consultation of the appropriate department chair.



Withdrawal from College

Students withdrawing from the College will be assigned a grade of W or X (depending on the student catalog term) in all courses in which students are enrolled. It is the student's responsibility to clear all records and obligations to receive official separation. The official withdrawal form and procedures for filing may be obtained from the associate dean in the school of the student's major.

Students who decide not to return to Cortland are responsible for notifying the Registrar's Office in writing to avoid tuition and fee liability problems and to release seats to fellow students. Students who withdraw from the college, or who fail to register, will be required to readmit before being allowed to register. If the College is in session, the withdrawal form should be completed with the associate dean. Failure to do so will delay any refunds the student may be eligible to receive.

Students who have withdrawn after midterm or have failed to register ordinarily will not be considered for readmission until a minimum of one full semester (fall, spring, summer) has passed.

Leave of Absence

Leave of absence for a specific period of time may be granted to a student in good academic standing — not subject to academic suspension, dismissal or probation. A student applying for a leave of absence must give a definite date for return to the College and must register within one academic year of the date of leaving the College. A student not returning to register within the specified time will be classified as an official withdrawal.

Application for leave of absence must be made to the associate dean of the school in which the student is enrolled. To affect the current semester the application must be made by the last day of classes.


Candidates matriculated for undergraduate degrees who interrupt their education at SUNY Cortland and later wish to return must formally apply to be readmitted and pay the $50.00 Readmission Application Fee. An official leave of absence is not considered an interruption in enrollment. A student who has applied to graduate and has not completed degree requirements, and fails to register for a full calendar year from the end of the last semester of enrollment, must seek readmission before returning to classes at Cortland, or seeking graduation from Cortland.

Readmitted students re-enter SUNY Cortland under the catalog at the time of readmission and are, therefore, responsible for all College requirements, including Cortland General Education requirements, SUNY and NYSED requirements, and all other major requirements in effect at the time of readmission. Students seeking readmission to Cortland are not eligible to waive additional general education requirements. Appeals concerning readmission questions can be made to the appropriate dean.

Students who have been dismissed for academic reasons ordinarily will not be eligible for readmission until at least three years have passed since their dismissal. Previous academic achievement at the College, grades received for college work completed elsewhere, transcripts from other institutions attended must be included with the readmission application and fee, and the circumstances under which the student left Cortland are all considered in the readmission process. Also considered may be length of time away from Cortland, military service, and/or employment experience. A condition of readmission may be "successful academic performance" — 2.75 cumulative grade point average — at another regionally accredited institution.

Upon formal readmission, the student's former academic coursework at SUNY Cortland will be reviewed in light of current requirements for the major, and determination of transferability of former courses to the new program will be approved by the associate dean of the school in consultation with the chair of the department offering the degree program.

Readmission forms are available from the Registrar's Office. Applicants for readmission to the College must complete and file a readmission form directly to the Registrar's Office, and pay the $50.00 Readmission Application Fee no later than July 15 for fall readmission, Nov. 15 for spring readmission, and April 15 for summer readmission.

In addition, readmitted students who require on-campus housing must inform the Residential Life and Housing Office of their intent to return. Students requiring financial aid should notify the Financial Aid Office.

Withdrawal from a Course After Official Change of Schedule Period

College Policy: The letter X indicates official withdrawal from a College course without academic penalty. Grades of X will not be awarded for courses that are dropped during the official drop and add period, the first full week of the semester for semester courses or before the second class meeting of modular or quarter courses.

Students are not allowed to withdraw from classes the last three weeks of semester courses — after Nov. 15 in the fall and April 15 in the spring. Due to fluctuating dates, withdrawal deadlines for Summer and Winter Sessions will be established prior to the term.

Note: A student who has been found in violation of the academic dishonesty code loses the opportunity to withdraw from the course in which the violation occurred.

Impact of X Grades on Financial Aid: Grades of X are considered attempted but not completed for the purpose of calculating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility. The policies regarding SAP for State and Federal Financial Aid are detailed in this catalog. The most common financial aid impact from course withdrawal in a single semester is a loss of TAP eligibility for the following semester. However, a pattern of withdrawal and/or failure across more than one semester may result in the loss of all future aid eligibility, including student loans. It is strongly recommended that students consult with a financial aid advisor if withdrawal will reduce the total completed credit hours for the current semester to less than 12.


Additional Recognition of Academic Excellence

SUNY Cortland encourages, nurtures and recognizes academic excellence in its students in several ways.

Academic Honor Societies

The following academic honor societies have chapters at Cortland:

Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociology
Alpha Phi Sigma, Criminal Justice/Criminology
Beta Beta Beta, Biology
Eta Sigma Gamma, Health
Kappa Delta Pi, Education
Omicron Delta Epsilon, Economics
Phi Alpha Theta, History
Pi Delta Phi, French
Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science
Psi Chi, Psychology
Rho Phi Lambda, Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies
Sigma Delta Pi, Spanish
Sigma Pi Sigma, Physics
Sigma Tau Delta, English

Alpha Sigma Lambda

An honor society that celebrates the scholarship and leadership of adult students in higher education.

Phi Beta Delta

A national honor society dedicated to recognizing academic achievement, teaching and learning, and service in furtherance of SUNY Cortland's international mission and commitment. The SUNY Cortland chapter was chartered in 2006.

Phi Eta Sigma

An honor society whose goal is to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen in institutions of higher learning.

Phi Kappa Phi

An academic honor society that recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Outstanding academic achievement is also recognized through grants and other honors.

Tau Sigma

An academic honor society specifically designed to recognize and promote excellence and involvement of transfer students facing the challenge of transition.

All-College Honors Program

The Honors Program is designed for students with high ability and unusual motivation. It brings together accomplished teachers and achieving students in a program that provides challenging opportunities for students of outstanding ability and interests. See the Honors Program for further details.

Honors Convocation

The College recognizes students for their academic achievements at the annual Honors Convocation. Awards and scholarships are presented at this formal ceremony. Honors Convocation reflects the College's affirmation of its commitment to academic excellence.

Honors Programs within the Academic Disciplines

Some academic disciplines, such as English, offer honors programs for high-achieving students. For more information, see the various departmental listings in this catalog.

Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference

Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference is a day-long series of presentations highlighting student scholarship and creative activity. This annual celebration of research and inquiry aims to increase students' understanding and appreciation of scholarly work. 


Graduation with Honors

Honors at graduation are awarded to students whose grade point averages meet the following standards: summa cum laude, 3.75 and above; magna cum laude, 3.5 to 3.749; cum laude, 3.2 to 3.499. Honors at the graduation ceremony are designated by using the cumulative grade point average recorded as of February 1 of the commencement year. The diploma and permanent record will only reflect honors as designated when all coursework has been completed and the degree has been conferred.

Graduation Procedure 

To receive a degree and diploma from SUNY Cortland, all students must apply to graduate. Potential bachelor's degree recipients who will complete their degree requirements and have earned 85 or more credit hours are eligible to apply online. Degree and diploma information is distributed via email, and targeted message in my MyRedDragon,to potential bachelor's degree recipients in October. All potential candidates for the bachelor's degree file for their degree and diploma on the Web using the online degree application by the end of the fall semester prior to the year in which the degree requirements will be completed.

Commencement Ceremony

SUNY Cortland's Commencement Ceremony held only in May, honors students who complete their degree requirements within the calendar year. Students completing all degree requirements in the spring semester have a May degree conferral date; those completing during summer session have an August degree conferral date; and those completing in Fall have a December degree conferral date. Students who completed their degree requirements in the preceding December only, are also eligible to return to campus to participate if they have disclosed their intent with the Registrar's Office. Those filing after the deadline may jeopardize the chance of being listed in the Commencement program and may experience other delays in receiving certificates, diplomas and verifications of graduation. Information pertaining to the Commencement ceremony is available online and is updated in the summer or fall prior to the ceremony.  

Transcripts of Record

The Registrar's Office processes all requests for official College transcripts. There is a $5 per semester transcript fee charged for all enrolled students each semester. Due to the semester fee, there are no charges for academic transcripts.  Any student enrolled at SUNY Cortland prior to Fall 2008 is grandfathered as a former student and also receives official transcripts with no per-transcript charge. Refer to the Registrar's website for detailed information on how to request an official College transcript. The College reserves the right to deny transcripts to any student who is delinquent in an obligation to the College.

Cortland's Grading System

SUNY Cortland employs a plus and minus grading system ranging from A plus to D minus. The lowest grade for which college credit is awarded is a D minus. Failure of a course is indicated by the grade of E. The letter grades and notations listed below are used by the registrar.

Standard Letter Grades

Grade of A Superior performance for which quality points are awarded.
Grade of B Good performance for which quality points are awarded.
Grade of C Fair performance for which quality points are awarded.
Grade of D Minimally acceptable performance for which quality points are awarded.
Grade of E Failure of a course for which no quality points are awarded.

Completion Status

Applicable to certain courses that do not lend themselves to the use of a full range of standard grades to measure the student's achievement.

Grade of H Honors, for which no quality points are awarded.
Grade of S Satisfactory, for which no quality points are awarded.
Grade of U Unsatisfactory, for which no quality points are awarded.

Other Grades and Grade Notations

Incomplete (INC) Grades: Incomplete grades will automatically become a grade of E or U, depending on grade mode of the course, if work is not made up by the end of the last day of class of the following semester. No quality points are awarded.

Exceptions may be granted only upon written petition to the instructor and the associate dean of the school in which the course is offered. Factors to be considered include deadlines for making up other Incompletes and the student's schedule in the semester the Incomplete is to be made up. The associate dean consults with the instructor involved before granting an extension of time in which to make up the Incomplete. The student does not re-register for the same class to make up an Incomplete. Refer to the "Incomplete Grades" segment of the academic policies listed above for greater detail in issuing an Incomplete grade.

Grade of P Passing grade awarded for courses taken on a Pass/No credit basis, for which no quality points are awarded.
Grade of NC No Credit awarded for courses taken on a Pass/No credit basis, for which no quality points are awarded.
Grade of LG Late Grade for which no final grade was submitted by the instructor when the grade submission access closed and the end-of-term processes were run, or the official transcript was printed. No quality points are awarded.
Grade of X Indicates official withdrawal from a College course without academic penalty. Such withdrawal must be approved by the instructor, advisor and the associate dean of the school in which the student is pursuing the major. No quality points are awarded.
Grade of F Indicates a failing status at the mid-semester estimate submission.
Grade of N Grade submitted for a student who registered for a course but never attended. If a student does not officially drop a course by the 12th week of the semester, the grade of N will be changed to a grade of NE, identifying failure due to nonattendance. No quality points are awarded.
Grade of W Indicates official withdrawal from College.
Grade of WV Indicates waiver (course requirements were met through Advanced Placement or Proficiency Examination). No credit is granted for such courses.
E/I Notation Indicates that the annotated Cortland course has been repeated and has been excluded (E) from the grade point average calculation and cumulative totals. All grades remain on the transcript, but only the last grade is included (I) in the grade point average and cumulative totals.