2024-25 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 18, 2024  
2024-25 Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies



N. Policies

N.01 Enrollment Procedures

All students are expected to register by the final registration date specified in the university calendars published on the Registrar's Office website. Exceptions to this procedure can be granted by the associate dean of the appropriate school. A late fee will be charged for late registration transactions.

N.02 Non-matriculated Student Attendance

Students who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to attend graduate courses on a part-time, non-matriculated basis may do so. Non-degree status may be kept prior to matriculation, up to nine credit hours, when acceptance to a degree program must occur, or enrollment will cease. All prerequisites for these courses must be fulfilled.

Non-matriculated students are not assigned advisors and register just prior to the opening of the fall and spring semesters. Students who wish to become matriculated or pursue a degree will need to apply formally for admission by the time they complete nine credit hours or three courses.

N.03 Full-time Graduate Status

Students qualify academically as full-time graduate students for enrollment purposes if they satisfy one of the following:

  1. They are registered for nine credit hours (see note below) or more of coursework.
  2. They have been awarded a graduate assistantship and are registered for six credit hours or more.
  3. They are registered for and working full-time on a thesis or independent study. (See note below.)

Note: The full-time definition above does not apply to any student accounts or financial aid issues such as tuition/fee charges, federal financial aid (including student loans), state financial aid, veterans benefits or scholarships. The minimum full-time definition for all financial purposes is 12 credit hours per semester.

N.04 Maximum Credit Load

The recommended course load for graduate study is nine to 12 credit hours. Graduate students in good standing may consult with their advisors to register for up to 14 credit hours for the fall and spring semesters. For summer sessions, the maximum number of credit hours for each summer session is eight, for a total of 16 credit hours.
Note: The Provost has approved a 15-credit semester enrollment for the following pograms due to the design of the curriculum: MST in Childhood Education and MST in Physical Education.

Students taking a three-credit hour short (intensive) course during one five-week term may not take a class that meets the full five-week term, but may register for another short course or, if the schedule permits, two short courses with exclusions made for physical education activities and clinics. None of the courses may overlap. Students taking one-week (intensive) courses are not eligible for financial aid.

N.05 Minimum GPA Required for Master's Degree and Certificate of Advanced Study

The master's degree or certificate of advanced study is awarded to students who have an overall 3.0 grade point average. To enroll in the thesis project or comprehensive exam, a student must have achieved a 3.0 grade point average.

All students enrolled in a master's degree or certificate of advanced study program are required to maintain a minimum 2.8 cumulative grade point average in graduate work. Students whose cumulative grade point average remains below 2.8 for two consecutive terms of enrollment may be dismissed from the university. At the end of the first semester during which the student's grade point average falls below 2.8, they are notified that they are in danger of dismissal. The associate dean (from the school of the student's major) will make notification of dismissal in writing. No grade below C- will be counted toward a master's degree or a certificate of advanced study.

N.06 Change of Program

Students who want to transfer from one degree program to another must have the approval of the department supervising the new degree program and the associate dean of the new degree program.

Change of program forms are available in department offices, on the Registrar's Office website, and in the dean's office. The department in which the degree or certificate of advanced study is being pursued has the prerogative to accept or refuse courses completed as part of another curriculum.

N.07 Prerequisites

Students enrolled in courses at the graduate level are expected to have the appropriate preparation to enable them to participate fully in those courses. They are responsible for any prerequisites listed for the specific graduate courses.

N.08 Incomplete Grades

Incomplete (INC) 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 also may 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 work required for incomplete graduate courses (INC) must be completed within one year and must be resolved by the end of the last day of classes of the identified 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 identified semester within the year timeline, the Incomplete will revert to a failing grade of E or U, depending on the grade mode of the course.

Exceptions may be granted only upon written petition to the instructor and the associate dean. 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.

If the last class requirement for a degree has a grade of INC (with all other graduation requirements having been met), then the date of the degree conferral will be determined by the date that the INC grade is resolved. Resolution refers to the date on which the student submits the completed work as verified by campus date stamp or postmark. If the INC grade is resolved during the semester or summer session or within 15 business days of the last day of exams for the semester or summer session, then the date of degree conferral will be for that semester (May or December) or summer session (August).

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.

N.09 Withdrawal

Withdrawal from a Course After Official Drop and Add Period

SUNY Cortland Policy: The letter X indicates official withdrawal from a university course without academic penalty. Grades of X will be awarded for courses that are withdrawn after 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: Course withdrawal is separate from the Academic Grievance Tribunal (AGT) process. Students with a pending academic integrity violation should review the policies under SUNY Cortland Handbook, Section 340.03. Violations of academic integrity policy remain part of a student's record following withdrawal from a course.

Impact 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.

Withdrawal From SUNY Cortland

Students withdrawing from the university will be assigned a grade of W. 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.

Students who decide not to return to Cortland are responsible for completing an official withdrawal form to avoid tuition and fee liability problems and to release seats to fellow students. Nonattendance does not constitute a withdrawal. If the university 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 leave the university without officially withdrawing are severing ties to SUNY Cortland and must accept the academic penalties for their actions. If there is an intent to return to SUNY Cortland, a student must go through the readmission process.

N.10 Leave of Absence

A leave of absence for a specific period of time may be granted to students in good academic standing, that is, not subject to academic dismissal. Students applying for a leave of absence must give a definite date for return to the university and must register within one academic year of the date of leaving SUNY Cortland. Students not returning to register within a specified time will be classified as official withdrawals. Application for a leave of absence must be made to the associate dean of the school in which the student is enrolled. For the purposes of financial aid, a leave of absence cannot exceed 180 days in any 12-month period. 

N.11 Retaking Courses

Students may retake a particular graduate course only once, and the cumulative average will reflect only the last grade received. 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 to be eligible for this policy.

N.12 Pass/No Credit Option

Courses taken on a Pass/No Credit basis may not be applied to a SUNY Cortland graduate degree or certificate of advanced study program. Non-matriculated students may take graduate courses for which they are qualified on a Pass/No credit basis. However, courses taken on a Pass/No credit basis may not be later applied toward a SUNY Cortland degree or certificate program.

Matriculated students may not take any course applicable to a Cortland degree or certificate program on a Pass/No Credit basis. Only work of C quality or better may receive a pass grade and students must complete all required work for the course.

Pass/No Credit Forms are available in department offices and must be completed, approved and submitted to the Registrar's Office 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.

N.13 Degree Candidacy

Not all degree programs require candidacy. For programs requiring candidacy, students must complete, at Cortland, six credit hours of graduate coursework approved by the department in which the graduate-degree program is being pursued. If the grades are A's, B's or a 3.0 grade point average in these approved six hours of coursework, students should file for candidacy for the graduate degree.

Application for Candidacy forms are available in the dean's office and on the Registrar's Office website. More information on candidacy is available from the graduate coordinator of the degree program.

In programs where completion of the master's degree partly fulfills requirements for professional or permanent certification to teach in New York state, requirements for initial or provisional certification in the teaching area must be obtained before candidacy for the degree can be approved.

N.14 Transfer of Academic Credit

Graduate students may transfer up to six credit hours of graduate work from another regionally accredited institution. This approval will be dependent upon when the course was taken and the applicability toward the student's program.

Transfer credit completed prior to enrollment at SUNY Cortland, or after matriculation at SUNY Cortland, must be approved by the student's graduate coordinator or advisor and Associate Dean. Once enrolled in a SUNY Cortland program, students interested in taking courses elsewhere and transferring those to their SUNY Cortland degree are advised to seek permission prior to enrolling in such coursework.

Only courses with a grade of B (3.0) or better will be transferrable. Transfer credit may be applied to the fulfillment of degree requirements, but is not computed in the grade point average.

N.15 Continuing Enrollment Policies

Continuing enrollment requires, at minimum, the enrollment in one graduate-level course per semester of the program. Students in summer-only programs are required to enroll continuously during consecutive summers until the coursework and requirements are met. Graduate students who are not engaged in a culminating activity and who plan to suspend their studies for one or more semesters, may enroll in a zero-credit continuing enrollment course to maintain status or take an official leave of absence from SUNY Cortland.

Continuing enrollment registration does not qualify for full-time enrollment certification and may not be used for loan deferment purposes. Students who suspend their studies for any reason are encouraged to consult with a financial aid advisor to determine the impact on financial aid, loan deferment and financial liability.

Students who enroll in a culminating activity such as a thesis, project or comprehensive examination and do not complete by the end of the initial semester of registration for the experience, but who are making satisfactory progress on the culminating activity will receive an incomplete and must register for XXX 697: Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (prefix according to program) each subsequent semester until completion of the culminating activity. The extension of Graduate Culminating Activity will be a one-credit-hour course with an S, U grading mode. Repeatability of Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity and extensions of incompletes are governed by existing university policies regarding degree completion at the graduate level.

Any matriculated graduate student who discontinues enrollment, unless granted a leave of absence, must petition for reactivation to the graduate program.

All degree requirements must be completed within five years of the first enrollment in courses required for a degree program, even if such enrollment is on a non-matriculated basis. If a student has exceeded the five-year time limit after an absence from the university and reactivation is approved, the applicant will be required to meet any new requirements for admission, as well as any new requirements for the degree at the time of reactivation.

N.16 Completion of a Degree or Certificate Program

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 (See Also: Graduation).

N.17 Requirements for the Award of Master's Degree or Certificate of Advanced Study

The following requirements have been established for the award of master's degrees and certificates of advanced study at State University of New York at Cortland:

  1. The master's degree program shall include a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level courses approved by the department of specialization. The certificate of advanced study in American Civilization and Culture requires 18 credit hours of graduate coursework. The certificate of advanced study for school building leader and/or school district leader requires 30 credit hours of coursework beyond the master's degree, and the certificate of advanced study for school district business leader requires 36 credit hours beyond the master's degree.
  2. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of first enrollment in courses required for a degree program, even if such enrollment is on a non-matriculated basis.
  3. According to New York State Education Department regulations, all graduate degree requirements leading to the professional teaching certificate must be completed within five years of receipt of the initial teaching certificate.
  4. Possession of a valid teaching certificate on the date of degree conferral is required for those students in degree programs that required documentation of teacher certification as a requirement for admission. This includes the M.S.T. Health Education program Track A (certification in area other than health) and all M.S.Ed. programs, except for Second Language Education: Non-certification
  5. Those degree candidates in M.S.Ed. programs leading to initial or professional teaching certification who possess a teaching certificate issued by a state other than New York must show proof of completion of workshops on the identification and Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR), the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) and on Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE).
  6. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in graduate work.
  7. No grade below C- will be counted toward a master's degree or a certificate of advanced study.
  8. A minimum of nine credit hours in a degree program must be taken in courses at the 600 level.
  9. In the M.A.T. and M.S.T. degree programs leading to initial certification, two consecutive semesters or its equivalent of a world language must be completed to apply for certification.
  10. Every master's degree program at Cortland will include satisfactory completion of at least one of the following special requirements, in addition to regular classroom work. The major department will advise students regarding which of these options will be available.
    1. A comprehensive examination in the area of study. The examination may not be taken before candidacy for the degree is established. It may be repeated according to regulations established by individual departments, but shall not be taken more than three times.
    2. A thesis prepared under the supervision of the department of specialization and subject to the Standards of Graduate Study at SUNY Cortland, acceptable for a maximum of six credit hours of the required program. Formal approval of the thesis topic will not be granted until after candidacy for the degree is established. Theses will be submitted in proper form and prepared in accordance with A Guide for the Preparation of Theses, which is available from the individual departments.
    3. A special project for up to six credit hours, as determined by the department of specialization. Formal approval of the plan for this special project may not be obtained until after candidacy for a degree is established.

N.18 Microcredentials

Microcredentials are smaller academic units that represent and verify achievement in specific knowledge, skills, or competencies. The SUNY Trustees' policy defines the four major elements of SUNY microcredentials as:

  • Competency based;
  • Endorsed by the issuing campus;
  • Developed through faculty governance;
  • Meaningful and high quality.

The following policy defines the types of microcredentials offered at SUNY Cortland and the required review for establishing a campus microcredential.

Credit Microcredentials

  1. Involve at least one credit bearing opportunity.
  2. May include non-credit experiences or requirements in conjunction with credit bearing.
  3. Have a clear student learning outcome or outcomes and curricular map to demonstrate how the required experiences provided the opportunity for achievement in the Student Learning Outcome(s) (SLO).
  4. Must include assessment that documents demonstrated achievement of the SLO(s).
  5. Credit hours are determined by contact hours per SUNY Policy (e.g., 15 contact hours for one credit hour)
  6. Interdisciplinary microcredentials are acceptable and encouraged.
  7. May not duplicate or be named the same as a minor, concentration, major, or program.
  8. Minimum 2.0 GPA requirement within the microcredential courses.
  9. Not eligible for pass/no credit.
  10. Residency requirement: all credits for the microcredential must be taken at SUNY Cortland.

Non-credit Microcredentials

  1. Not credit-bearing.
  2. Generally have a narrower scope than the credit-based microcredentials focused on a specific skill or competency.
  3. Have a clear student learning outcome or outcomes (e.g., the skills/competencies), demonstrate how the experience will provide the opportunity for achievement, include assessment that documents demonstrated achievement in the SLO.
  4. Interdisciplinary microcredentials are acceptable and encouraged.
  5. May be embedded in credit-bearing courses or other campus activities.

Development and Approval for Microcredentials

As required by SUNY policy, Microcredentials must be approved through the established faculty governance processes and therefore go through the SUNY Cortland Curriculum process.
As with all curricular development, microcredentials should emerge from the expertise, experience and knowledge of the faculty and staff of SUNY Cortland.

Proposals must include:

  • relevance to our mission and priorities;
  • student learning outcomes and how these will be assessed;
  • methods of delivery;
  • resources required and how those will be accessed (verified by Chair and Dean);
  • evidence demonstrating need and justifying anticipated enrollment;
  • department/center/office housing the microcredential; and
  • how departments will ensure academic integrity in the delivery of the microcredential.

Levels of Curriculum Review

  • Credit-bearing go through Level 2
  • Non-credit microcredentials are Level 1
  • If originating and housed outside of Academic Affairs, the VP for the relevant area will have the equivalent of Dean approval


Microcredentials are not required to go through SUNY and NYSED curricular review.
If a department would like a higher level of academic credential, they can submit a certificate for official SUNY/NYSED credential.

Student Admission to Microcredentials

Students will be allowed to apply for a microcredential in a process similar to the declaration of a major or minor. The department housing the microcredential will approve the application.

Applying Microcredentials to Other Academic Credentials 

Credit bearing microcredentials can be applied to majors, degrees, concentrations, or minors with appropriate approval and as those credentials allow. Stacking of credit bearing microcredentials should be designed purposely and articulate the relationship of SLOs into a larger credential.
Non-credit experiences may not be converted into academic credit.

SUNY Cortland does not guarantee the transfer of microcredentials to other institutions or contexts.


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O. Evaluation

O.01 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.

O.02 Academic Standards, Good Academic Standing, Probation and Dismissal

1. Statement of "Good Academic Standing"

"Good Academic Standing" for academic considerations means that the student is meeting the academic standards as defined by grade point average and is making satisfactory progress toward the degree. The mechanism of academic probation, including any accompanying constraints upon a student's activities, is intended merely as an educational device designed to encourage greater effort on the part of students who appear to be having difficulty in meeting certain academic standards. Placement on academic probation may precede denial of the right to register for academic course work if certain conditions are not met.

Any question concerning whether or not an individual student is in good academic standing will be determined by the school associate dean.

2. Financial Aid "Good Academic Standing"

Both the State of New York and U.S. Department of Education require periodic measurement of a student's academic progress to determine eligibility for future financial aid. Since the state and federal criteria differ from each other, and since these two sets of criteria also differ from SUNY Cortland's definition of "good academic standing," it is necessary to have separate and distinct academic standards for continued eligibility for financial aid. These standards are listed in some detail in the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog.

Because these sets of standards are fundamentally different and because the financial aid standards are applicable only to aid recipients, the Financial Aid Office is responsible for calculation, notification and enforcement of the financial aid academic standards. The Financial Aid Office also recruits and maintains a committee to hear appeals from students with exceptional or unusual mitigating circumstances. Members of the Financial Aid Office professional staff shall represent a minority of that committee.

The actions of the Financial Aid Office and the Appeals Committee on Academic Eligibility for Financial Aid are independent of any actions taken by the academic offices, the deans and the associate deans. Financial aid recipients should always be advised to consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to taking actions (such as withdrawals or course incompletes) which may have an effect on their aid eligibility.

3. Policy on Academic Standards

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. 

4. Probation-Dismissal Policy for Graduate Students

For graduate students, SUNY Cortland's probation-dismissal policy is dependent upon the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA). The same probation-dismissal standards apply to all graduate students, regardless of their financial aid status.

Students enrolled in a master's degree or certificate of advanced study program are required to maintain a minimum 2.80 cumulative grade point average in graduate work. Students whose cumulative grade point average remains below 2.80 for two consecutive terms of enrollment may be dismissed from the university.

A graduate student subject to academic dismissal may appeal to the school associate dean if there are mitigating circumstances. A further appeal may be directed to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

O.03 Examination Policy

Some form of examination or evaluation is required during the published final examination time period for students in all courses other than those listed as exempt below.

The final exam period is noted on the official academic calendar and a standard schedule is published on the Registrar's Office site. Faculty are expected to adhere to the schedule.

Additionally, no examinations or tests of any type should be given during the final five full teaching days of classes prior to the published final examination time period.

Exempt Courses

The following course types are exempt from the examination policy requirement due to their format. Specifically, instructors of exempt courses are allowed to have exams or evaluations during the final five full teaching days or the final exam period, or the instructor may determine no examination or evaluation is necessary.

  • Quarter or shorter-term courses
  • All Cortland Experience courses
  • Asynchronous online courses
  • Laboratory sections or courses and recitations
  • Workshops
  • Studio
  • Performance/recital/practice
  • Activity
  • Internship/fieldwork/student teaching
  • Research/directed study/independent study
  • Locally offered international experiences (overseas/abroad)

Additional Exam Policy Exceptions

An instructor may request exception to this policy from the department chair. The chair may grant such request if:

  1. The nature of the course makes such action desirable; or
  2. An adequate series of other evaluation procedures is substituted. 

An instructor may have a policy of exempting students who meet specified criteria from examinations or evaluations during the final exam period: the policy and criteria shall be stated and placed on file with the department chair. 

Any deviation from this policy must be approved in advance by the appropriate department chair and school dean.

Online and Hybrid Courses

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).

Retention and Disposal of Graded Examinations

All instructors will maintain a copy (paper or electronic) of all final examinations. Examination material shall be kept and then disposed of in accordance with the State-Operated Campuses Policy for Records and Retention and Dispositions (suny.edu). Guidance is noted within Appendices under Academic Affairs and Instruction.

All graded examination material not yet returned to students should be kept by instructors for a period of one year beyond the semester in which a course is taught.

Instructors who will not return for the following semester(s) should leave examination material with the department chairperson at the end of the course after grades have been submitted. Retention and disposal should be maintained in accordance with instructor guidelines.

Instructors, after receiving approval of their examination policy from their chair, shall inform each class of the course requirements and grading procedures by the end of the first full week of classes. Persons in the class shall be informed of policies on:

  1. Examinations and other evaluation procedures
  2. Exemption from examinations
  3. Make-up of examinations

All such policies shall reflect current SUNY Cortland policy.

Students may request an adjustment in their final examination schedule if

  • There is a conflict in their examination schedule
  • The student is scheduled for more than two examinations in any one day
  • The student has a verified illness or other emergency.

Students with anticipated conflicts or more than two exams in one day may request an adjustment to their final examination schedule at least five business days in advance. In such cases instructors are encouraged to offer an alternative examination time if it is practical. Room reservations for alternate individual or small group exams may be made directly via the campus room scheduling system. Students who are officially excused due to an emergency situation or via verifiable excuse by a physician are exempt from the five-day requirement.

In the event that an alternate time cannot be provided by the instructor, the student shall contact the dean's office. The school dean or associate dean will make an adjustment after consulting with the faculty members and chairs.

No make-ups for examinations or evaluations given during the final examination period shall be given except for students who have a valid and verifiable excuse.

The student shall have the right to appeal decisions resulting from these policies to the chair of the department, the associate dean of the school or the provost.

(Approved by Faculty Senate 2021)

O.04 Missed Examinations

Students are responsible for arranging with their instructors 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 instructor and the associate dean.

O.05 Reporting of Grades

All grades — final and mid-semester estimates — may be accessed and reviewed on myRedDragon.

A change of grade due to instructor error or student appeal must be submitted by the end of the semester following the one in which the course was taken. Once a degree is conferred, the academic record is permanent and cannot be altered. Therefore, no further grade adjustments will be made.

O.06 Quality Points/Grade Point Average

The level of scholarship is determined by the following system of quality points per credit hour:

  • A: 4.0
  • A-: 3.7
  • B+: 3.3
  • B: 3.0
  • B-: 2.7
  • C+: 2.3
  • C: 2.0
  • C-: 1.7
  • D+: 1.3
  • D: 1.0
  • D-: 0.7
  • E: 0.0

Grade point averages are determined by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours for which grades have been earned. 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 grade point average of above 4.0 if a student has earned an A+ in prior terms, the university 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 grade point average. A Satisfactory or Pass grade is credited toward graduation, however.

No grade below C- will be counted toward a master's degree or a certificate of advanced study; however, grades below C- may be assigned.


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P. Guidelines

P.01 Fees and Assessments

All fees and assessments are due as indicated on tuition and fee statements. Other accrued debts or outstanding obligations, owed to SUNY Cortland 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 transcript or conferral of a degree or other university services. SUNY Cortland students who are not in good standing and owe outstanding tuition and fees will be removed from class rosters for failure to meet their financial obligations.

SUNY Cortland 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 university business or to abide by publicly announced university deadlines.

P.02 Change of Name and Address

Students are responsible for informing the Registrar's Office promptly of any change of address. All students are required to provide SUNY Cortland 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.

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. Personal data forms are available in the Registrar's Office.

P.03 Academic Records and Transcripts

The Registrar's Office

  • Is the custodian of the academic record of all Cortland students
  • Is responsible for all registration activity
  • Executes the official university drop and add period, the first full week of each semester
  • Processes enrollment verifications
  • Maintains Cortland's degree audit system, DegreeWorks
  • 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 transcript is issued. Students, undergraduate and graduate, are charged a $5 per semester transcript fee.  In addition to the standard transcript service that is included as part of the semester fee, additional expedited and digital services are available for an additional per-transaction service charge.

Any student enrolled at SUNY Cortland prior to Fall 2008 will be grandfathered as a former student and receive unlimited standard official transcripts as a lifetime service.

Refer to the Registrar's Office website for detailed information on how to request an official transcript. SUNY Cortland reserves the right to deny transcripts to any student who is delinquent in an obligation to the university in accordance with SUNY policy and state law.

P.04 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 per week outside of class for each credit hour.

P.05 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.

P.06 Schedule Changes

Students wishing to make adjustments to their academic class schedule may do so during the official 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 university calendar and the Registrar's Office 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 a Withdrawal from Course Form that must have the approval of the respective associate dean.

P.07 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 or she 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.

P.08 Student Responsibility and Academic Integrity

SUNY Cortland expects those who are admitted to undertake their responsibilities as students so that their work is a credit to themselves and to the university. Guides to student conduct are outlined in the SUNY Cortland Handbook. SUNY Cortland 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 university 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.

Responsibilities of Students

  1. Students are responsible for knowing the policy on academic integrity. Failure of a faculty member to remind a student of what constitutes academic integrity and academic dishonesty will not obviate this responsibility. 
  2. Students should not provide opportunities for others to obstruct academic integrity. 
  3. Students should inform a faculty member or member of the administration if any infringement of academic integrity takes place. 

SUNY Cortland's policy on academic integrity is published in the SUNY Cortland 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."

P.09 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 (FPCO)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901


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Q. Graduation

  • Q.01 Degree Conferral Procedure
  • Q.02 Teaching Certification Application

Q.01 Degree Conferral Procedure

To receive a degree and diploma from SUNY Cortland, all students must apply to graduate. Potential master's degree and certificate of advanced study recipients who have earned 18 credit hours are eligible to apply online. Degree and diploma information is distributed via email and targeted messaging in my myRedDragon to potential candidates for the master's degree or certificate of advanced study.

All potential candidates must apply 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.

SUNY Cortland's Commencement ceremony held only in May, honors students who complete their degree requirements within the academic 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 are required to apply for their degree or advanced certificate prior to March 1. This applies to May, August and December candidates. 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.

Q.02 Teaching Certification Application

Upon completion of all the degree requirements, including the two workshops, and any departmental requirements, students enrolled in a graduate program leading to teacher certification will be recommended by SUNY Cortland for certification to the New York State Education Department. Students must first submit the required Teacher Certification Authorization Recommendation Form. Students will apply online to NYSED's Office of Teaching Initiatives for the appropriate teaching certificate. 

The following deadlines are established for payment of any teaching certificate fee to the New York State Education Department (if applicable to the degree program).

May Degree Conferral: March 1 Deadline

August Degree Conferral: May 1 Deadline

December Degree Conferral: October 1 Deadline


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

  • R.01 Policies for Early Field Experiences
  • R.02 Policies for Student Teaching
  • R.03 Eligibility for Internships

R.01 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, graduate students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. 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.

R.02 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 university 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

University-wide eligibility criteria for student teaching require that graduate student teachers be in good academic standing, have completed all prerequisite courses for student teaching, have at least a 3.0 grade point average from the previous semester and have at least a 3.0 grade point average overall. 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 university 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. 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 canceled 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.

R.03 Eligibility for Internships

To be eligible for internships, graduate students must have a minimum 3.0 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.


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S. Cortland's Grading System

  • S.01 Standard Letter Grades
  • S.02 Completion Status
  • S.03 Other Grades and Notations

SUNY Cortland employs a plus and minus grading system ranging from A 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 Student Registration and Record Services.

S.01 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.

S.02 Completion Status - This is called Alternative Grading System in UG

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.

Honors, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory grades are entered on the student's transcript but are not used in computing grade point averages. Each department will designate, subject to approval of the school curriculum committee and the school dean, which courses are appropriate for Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory and, where appropriate, the Honors designation. Such designations will appear in the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog.

S.03 Other Grades and Grade Notations

Incomplete Grade (INC): INC indicates that the student has not completed the course and that a grade is being withheld until the work is performed and approved. Incomplete grades will automatically become a grade of E or U, depending on grade mode of the course. The work required to resolve incomplete graduate courses (INC) must be completed within one year, and must be resolved by the end of the last day of classes of the identified semester. No quality points are awarded.

Exceptions may be granted only upon written petition to the instructor and the associate dean 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 course without academic penalty. Such withdrawal must be approved by the instructor, advisor and the director or assistant director of graduate studies 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 SUNY Cortland.
  • 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.

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