Oct 28, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Standards


Grading System

Grade Point Averages

The instructor determines the basis for evaluation and the system for assigning grades within each course, founded upon academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, whether personality, race, religion, gender, degree of political activism or personal beliefs.

Grading Scale

  A = 4.00 quality points C = 2.00 quality points
  A- = 3.67 quality points C- = 1.67 quality points
  B+ = 3.34 quality points D+ = 1.34 quality points
  B = 3.00 quality points D = 1.00 quality points
  B- = 2.67 quality points D- = 0.67 quality points
  C+ = 2.34 quality points E = 0.00 quality points

Policies on Grades

Grades of "B-" and above earned in graduate level courses at Oneonta are credited toward the Master's degree. Individual graduate programs may set a minimum grade higher than a "B-" in  any course(s). Although graduate credit is awarded for courses in which grades below the minimum acceptable grade are earned (excluding E grades), the credit will not be applied toward degree requirements. All grades earned remain on the student's permanent transcript.

Course Repeat Policy

Graduate students are generally not permitted to repeat a course. Students who attempt to repeat a course will be dropped from the course.

Appeals: Students who wish to appeal the repeat rule may do so using the Graduate Appeals Form to outline their request. The student's faculty advisor and department chair or director of the student's program each review the form and make recommendations to The Student Progress and Status Committee. The Student Progress and Status Committee reviews and makes recommendations to the Provost or Provost's designee for final decision.

Repeating courses may have an impact on financial aid. Students considering repeating courses should discuss it with their financial aid counselor.

Pass/Fail Grading

Grades of "P" (pass) and "F" (fail) may be counted toward a master's degree when the course is offered with P/F as the only grading option. If students choose the P/F option rather than a letter grade for a course, that course will not be counted toward a master's degree. Grades of P/F are not assigned numerical value and thus are not averaged in with other grades in computing grade-point averages. A grade of "P" must denote a minimum level of academic performance equivalent to at least a "B".


Incomplete grades may be assigned only on request by the student and only under the following conditions:

  • A majority of the course work has been completed
  • Completion was not possible due to circumstances beyond the student's control
  • Course work can be completed without additional faculty instruction.

Faculty may not assign an incomplete in circumstances where the student's performance to date clearly indicates an inability to pass the course as originally structured in the syllabus. Faculty may not assign an incomplete grade in place of a failing grade or because the student stopped attending class.

An example of acceptable circumstances would be a student who missed the final exam or final paper because of an illness or family emergency that can be documented.

Faculty may not assign an incomplete grade without the student's knowledge.

An understanding of the remaining course requirements and the deadline for completion of them must be established between the student and faculty member prior to assigning the incomplete.

Faculty must complete an Incomplete Grade Agreement Form and submit it to the Registrar's Office at the same time end-of-term grades are submitted.

Students must not re-register for the course in order to complete the course work. If they do, a failing grade will be assigned for the first course registration.

Deadlines for completing incompletes are determined by the course instructor. However, they must be within College designated deadlines noted below.

  • For incompletes received in spring or summer terms, the deadline for completion is usually in November unless course instructor determines an earlier date.
  • For incompletes received in fall terms, the deadline for completion is usually in April unless course instructor determines an earlier date.

Specific dates are posted in the Key Dates and Deadlines which are on the Registrar's web page.

Extension of the deadline beyond the College designated one should not be necessary. However, under extreme circumstances, a student may submit a Petition for Extension of Incomplete form. The petition must state reasons for the request, and contain documentation supporting the request. The student submits the petition to the course instructor and advisor for signature indicating support of the request. The petition is then submitted to the school's dean for final approval. The approved forms are submitted to the Registrar for recording.

The Registrar will send notification of outstanding incompletes to students and their instructors, indicating specific deadlines and any approved extension dates.

Any incomplete grades not resolved by the College deadline via incomplete extension form or grade change form will be converted to failing grades. These failing grades will not be changed back to incomplete grades, so both faculty and students must be attentive to these deadlines.

Incomplete grades may not be changed to "W" grades at a later date.

Degrees will not be awarded to students who have Incomplete grades. The student must opt to change the Incomplete to an "E/F" or complete the course work and reapply for the degree during the semester in which the course requirements are completed.

Grade Change Policy

Letter grades on file with the registrar at the end of a semester are final unless an error in calculating the grade is discovered. If so, the instructor must file a grade change form, explaining the error. This form requires the approval of the department chair and is then processed by the registrar. Grade changes not consistent with academic policy will be reviewed by the appropriate dean. The student will receive an email notifying them when the change has occurred. Permitting a student to submit missing work or extra credit to improve a grade is not acceptable. It is the student's responsibility to call the instructor's attention to a possible grading error in a timely manner, typically during the semester following that in which the questioned grade was received. If twelve months have elapsed since the grade was issued, no grade change will be made.

Academic Grievance Policy

This policy provides the terms and conditions under which a student may seek resolution to a claim that a specific academic decision or action has affected the student's academic record or status, and has:

  1. violated published policies and procedures,
  2. been applied to the student (the grievant) in a manner different from that used for other students, or
  3. resulted in the assignment of a final grade for the course that is not consistent with the criteria for determining grades as described in the course syllabus.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that each student's grievance is evaluated objectively, bias is minimized, conflicts of interest are avoided, and issues are managed fairly, confidentially, and promptly through a systematic process to resolution.


Students having academic grievances should adhere to the following procedures:

  1. A student complaint will first be presented by the student to the faculty member associated with the grievance. The student should contact the faculty member as soon as possible, or within 30 days after completing the course, and attempt to resolve the issue. The faculty member will respond to the student as soon as possible.
  2. If the student is unable to resolve the concern with the faculty member, the student may forward the complaint to the chair of the relevant department. The chair will convene a departmental Academic Grievance Committee, which will review the grievance and seek a resolution in a timely manner.
  3. The student's grievance must be submitted to the department chair using the Student Grievance Form, which includes statements regarding:
    • the grounds on which the original academic decision is being challenged,
    • a description of the redress sought, and
    • a description and documentation of the informal efforts taken thus far to resolve the matter.
  4. If the student is unable to resolve the grievance with the relevant department, the student may forward the completed Student Grievance Form to the Provost, who will work with the College Senate leadership to convene the Subcommittee on Academic Grievances to adjudicate the grievance. 
  5. The Subcommittee on Academic Grievances shall consist of two undergraduate students and two alternates (chosen in the same way as students on other College committees), two graduate students, two faculty members and two alternates elected by the faculty, and one administrator appointed by the Provost. The administrative appointee and the faculty members shall serve three-year terms, except that in the initial election, one faculty member will be elected for a two-year term. Students shall serve one-year terms.
  6. The Subcommittee on Academic Grievances will investigate the grievance and will move into a confidential committee meeting to discuss the case in detail. Recommendations formulated for review by the Provost will be developed on the basis of formal votes in all cases.
  7. The Subcommittee on Academic Grievances will provide advice in the form of a summary analysis of the case with recommendations in a written report to the Provost, or designee, with a copy going to the grievant. The Provost's decision on the grievance will be communicated in writing to all parties involved in the grievance.
  8. The student grievant will receive a response from the Provost within three weeks of submitting the grievance.
  9. All summary analyses will be reviewed by the Provost and Dean's Council in an effort to detect institutional patterns that need intervention or correction. The analyses, moreover, will be retained, and ultimately destroyed, in accordance with the SUNY system's current policy on Records Retention and Disposition for State-operated Campuses.

Academic Retention Standards

Degree Students

Students will be academically dismissed when they fail to make progress toward degree completion. Graduate students are expected to maintain semester and cumulative GPAs of at least 3.0. Students with a cumulative or semester grade point average below 3.0 will be academically dismissed. Individual programs may have higher grade and/or additional progress standards. Other circumstances that result in academic dismissal include:

  • Failing to earn the minimum required semester and/or cumulative GPA established by the program
  • Earning grades that make it unfeasible for the student to obtain a GPA that meets the minimum standard within the allotted probationary period described below
  • Failing to earn minimum grades within the declared program of study
  • Failing to successfully defend or amend the thesis proposal or thesis
  • Failing to meet minimum standards for passing comprehensive exams
  • Being ineligible for or failing to successfully complete field placement or licensure/certification
  • Failing to meet the remedial plan as outlined in Education Department Fair Practice policies

Dismissal Appeal

Academically dismissed students may submit a written appeal to be placed on academic probation. This appeal must be submitted to the Student Progress and Status Committee and must contain a report of documented extenuating circumstances contributing to poor academic performance. The student's faculty advisor and the department chair or director of the student's program each review the request and make recommendations to the Student Progress and Status Committee. The Student Progress and Status Committee reviews and makes recommendations to the Provost or designee for final decision.

Students whose appeals are not granted and those who do not appeal their dismissal are eligible to reapply. Refer to the section on "Readmission " for policies and procedures.

Academic Probation

  • If a full-time student is placed on probation following an appeal, the student will have one semester to achieve a minimum (3.0) cumulative grade point average.
  • If a part-time student is placed on probation, the student must achieve a minimum (3.0) cumulative grade point average by the time 12 additional credit hours are earned.
  • For both full and part-time students, failure to clear probation within the specified time or failure to maintain a 3.0 cumulative or semester grade point average each semester subsequent to the probationary period will result in dismissal.



Registrar's Office produces "graduate students with low grades" report, which is sent to the Associate Provost as designee of the Provost for review by the Student Progress Committee; or

Department or program notifies the Associate Provost of other academic deficiencies for review by Student Progress Committee.

Following Student Progress's review, the student is notified of dismissal by the Provost or designee.


The student may file an appeal of the decision with the Associate Provost's Office, as designee of the Provost, within the period of time established by the Student Progress Committee and communicated to the student in writing.

The Associate Provost's Office provides notification of the appeal proceedings to the student's advisor and program/department chair/director for their recommendations to be presented to the Student Progress Committee.

The appeal is considered by the Student Progress Committee and recommendations provided to the Provost or Designee.

The Provost's Office or designee issues the decision letters concerning the appeal and retains all of the letters and documents.

Time limits will be conveyed to the student in writing when the student is notified of his/her probationary status, if such is granted.

The Provost has the ability to review and modify any recommendations of the Student Progress Committee. 

Non-degree Students

Non-degree students are expected to maintain the same academic standards as degree graduate students. Students not maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0 may be precluded from taking additional coursework at the College.

Taking graduate courses as a non-degree student does not guarantee that any student will subsequently be admitted to a degree program. Additionally, coursework in which a non-degree student earns below a "B" may not be applied subsequently to a degree program and the number of credit hours that may be counted subsequently in a degree program is limited.