Jun 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Standards

Registration Policies

Academic Standards

Registration Policies


Degree Students. The graduate advisory program aims to help the student plan a program of study that will improve professional competence and maintain a close liaison between the student and the College. Each graduate program has a departmental program director or coordinator.

Upon admission, each degree student is provided with access to Degree Works which outlines specific program requirements. Students should contact their advisor immediately to arrange an appointment to review their program degree requirements. After the advisement session, the advisor will notify the Academic Advisement Center of any transfer credits and/or course substitutions. The Academic Advisement Center will make approved adjustments within Degree Works and provide the student with an updated record.

Subsequent changes to the student’s program of study must be reported to the Academic Advisement Center. It is important for students to examine their degree requirements in Degree Works to ensure that it reflects any and all changes agreed to by student and advisor. For questions regarding Degree Works, students should contact the Academic Advisement Center.

Students are responsible for knowing all degree requirements as stated in Degree Works and should direct any questions to their advisor. If there are perceived discrepancies, they should be brought to the attention of the Academic Advisement Center immediately.

The student is responsible for being familiar with policies and procedures for fulfilling all degree requirements.

Graduate students may request a change of academic advisor by contacting the program director and sending a written request to the Academic Advisement Center. The Academic Advisement Center will notify students in writing when such requests are granted and will send students the name of their new advisor.

Non-degree Students. While non-degree graduate students are not assigned faculty advisors, they are encouraged to consult individual faculty members or academic department chairs with respect to the appropriateness and availability of courses. General advisement is available for non-degree graduate students through the Office of Continuing Education. Please call (607) 436-2548 with questions.

Change of Major

If a degree student wishes to transfer from one program or major to another (e.g., from Special Education to Literacy) a written request must be submitted to the chair of the department offering the graduate program into which the student wishes to transfer.

Student Registration Status

Full-time Hours/Part-time Hours

Full-time. A student registered for at least 12 s.h. of coursework in a Fall or Spring semester is classified as a full-time student in that semester (or 9 s.h. in the case of graduate assistants). Students enrolled in 6 s.h. or more in the Summer term(s) are classified as full-time students. Graduate students should be aware that most types of financial aid require that the student is classified as a full-time student.

Part-time. A student registered for fewer than the minimum number of hours noted above is considered to be a part-time student.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

All matriculated graduate students are required to enroll in at least one semester hour of coursework each fall and spring semester following admission to the degree program. Degree students failing to enroll for at least one semester hour in the fall or spring semester will be removed from their degree program unless they have applied and been approved for a leave of absence.

The College has developed a one-credit, continuous enrollment course, GRD 700.  This course will allow for graduate students who are seeking a degree to maintain their enrollment status when not pursuing coursework applicable towards their degree. GRD 700 will allow for students to maintain their enrollment status, which permits for access to email, electronic resources, library resources, and faculty advisors. 


Registration includes paying all obligations to the College and making any necessary changes before the end of the Add-Drop period (See Key Dates and Deadlines, a list of important dates published each semester in the Schedule of Classes and on the Registrar’s web page).

Degree graduate students are provided access to online registration. For information on how to register online, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Non-degree students may register for graduate level courses on a “seats available” basis provided that permission of the department is granted and that prerequisites and co-requisites are met. Departments limit the number of non-degree graduate credits that can be accepted (See individual program requirements).

The maximum number of credits for which a matriculated graduate student may register varies by semester or term.

  • During a spring or fall semester, the maximum is 15 credits.
  • During winter and summer terms that are more than three weeks long, the maximum number of credits is equal to the number of weeks in the term.
  • During winter and summer terms that are up to three weeks long, the maximum is four credits.

A student may request to take more than the maximum as stated herein by submitting an appeal to the committee on Student Progress and Status. 

Detailed instructions and key dates for making schedule adjustments and tuition and fee liability are printed each semester on the Registrar’s Office website. Students who do not plan to attend a class that they have registered for must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing before the first class session or they may drop courses via web registration. Students will not be charged tuition or fees for courses dropped prior to the start of the semester, and any monies paid will be refunded. Liability for tuition and fees as well as academic liability depends upon the day of withdrawal. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of all deadlines.

Independent Study Guidelines

The purpose of independent graduate study is to allow students to pursue projects that do not fit within the framework of regular course offerings. Such course work is intended to be a truly independent project of a special nature. The advisor, the faculty sponsor, the department chair, and the divisional dean must approve the student’s project description as it is submitted on the appropriate independent study course registration form. To be eligible for independent study, the graduate student generally must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be in a graduate degree program or have received a master’s degree.
  2. Have completed at least 6 s.h.* of graduate study at Oneonta with a grade point average of at least 3.00 in the area (or closely related areas) of the proposed independent study.
    * Some departments/programs may require more than 6 s.h. of graduate study prior to enrolling in an Independent Study course.
  3. Have a cumulative graduate GPA of at least a 3.00.
  4. Have adequate preparation for undertaking the project.
  5. Have no more than 6 s.h. of graduate independent study work during any one semester and no more than a total of 12 s.h. of graduate credit in any combination of independent study and Thesis in their degree program.
  6. Have completed a graduate independent study form, available from the Registrar’s Office. The completed form must accompany the student’s registration form at the time of registration.

Action on applications for Independent Study is guided by the following considerations:

  1. The work to be covered is not available in a regular course offering.
  2. The study is clearly related to the applicant’s over-all program of study.
  3. An Oneonta faculty member vouches for the student’s ability to work independently.
  4. The instructor holds Graduate Teaching Faculty Status and has adequate time and necessary academic background in the field chosen to guide Independent Study on the graduate level

Note: Independent Study courses will be awarded a letter grade. The pass/fail option is not available.

Individual Course Enrollment

A student may enroll on an individual basis in any course listed in the Graduate Catalog which is not among the current semester’s course offerings. Individual course enrollments are subject to the approval of the individual instructor, the department chair/program director, and divisional dean. The College is not obligated to provide course registration through this method, nor is a course instructor obligated to sponsor it.

Course Auditing

The auditing of courses is considered most appropriate when used to expand the educational experience of enrolled students, faculty, members of the College and members of the community.

The priority of auditors shall be as follows: SUNY Oneonta students; SUNY Oneonta employees; others. A $50.00 course audit fee will be charged for each course audited. Those exempted from the course audit fee are SUNY Oneonta employees, currently enrolled SUNY Oneonta students, and persons age 55 and over. Course audit fees are not refundable. Course audit requests must be filed with the Continuing Education Office, 20 Hunt Union. More information regarding auditing and the audit form can be found here

Absence from Class (Religious Beliefs)

The following statement regarding absence from class because of a student’s religious beliefs is taken from State Education Law, paragraph 224a.

  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 religious beliefs, to 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 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 religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirements which he 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 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 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 held on other days.
  5. In effectuation 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 availing himself of the provisions of this section.
  6. Any student, who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative official 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 rights under this section.
    6-a. A copy of this section shall be published by each institution of higher education in the catalog of such institution containing the listing of available courses.
  7. As used in this section, the term “institution of higher education” shall mean schools under the control of the board of trustees of the state university of New York or of the board of higher education of the city of New York or any community college.

Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 permits current or former students to inspect certain college educational records pertaining to them as individuals and to obtain copies for a fee. Students are also accorded the right to question the content of a record and to receive a formal hearing if dissatisfied with the responses to such questions.

Written consent from a student is required before personally identifiable information can be released from the individual educational record in all cases except tuition and fee obligations and those specifically exempted by law.

There is certain directory information which the College may release without the student’s permission. Directory Information at SUNY Oneonta is defined as the following:

  • student name, postal addresses (not residence hall addresses), phone numbers and electronic mail addresses
  • major field(s) of student, class year, academic advisor, dates of attendance, full/part-time enrollment status; degrees and awards received
  • previous educational agencies or institutions attended
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports; height, weight, and photographs of members of athletic teams.

A student wishing to prevent directory information from being released must contact the College Registrar, in writing or in person, to request that a “confidential” flag be placed on his or her record. These confidential flags will be placed within 48 hours of receipt of request and will be in effect until the student provides the College Registrar with a written request to remove it.

The Institutional FERPA Policy Statement, containing complete College policies and procedures for exercising student rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is available from the College Registrar. Inquiries or complaints may be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.


The official record for all students enrolled in advanced degree programs or as non-degree graduate students of SUNY Oneonta is the graduate transcript, which provides a complete record of all graduate academic work attempted. Any undergraduate course work taken will appear on a separate undergraduate transcript. Note: when a student requests a transcript, all work completed at Oneonta (graduate and undergraduate) is sent. Students may not request that only a graduate transcript be sent.

Copies of student transcripts sent from colleges previously attended become the property of SUNY Oneonta. They are used for admissions decisions and transfer evaluations. Students are advised to retain their own copies of academic work taken prior to their admission. The Registrar’s Office cannot transmit academic records from another institution in a secondary manner.

Complete official copies of the student’s record (transcript) are provided only upon signed (physical or through secured website) request from the student. Copies to be issued to third parties must also be accompanied by signed releases from the student. The College does not issue unofficial transcripts.

Academic Standards

Requirements for Program Completion

Master’s Degree Programs

The minimum number of semester hours for program completion, their distribution and any specific course requirements are designated in each graduate program. Students should note that some courses completed and/or hours recorded on their transcript may not fulfill degree requirements. Although specific requirements may differ, all master’s degree programs have a culminating experience which normally includes at least one of the following: passing a comprehensive examination; writing an approved thesis based on independent research; and/or successfully completing an appropriate special project.

Note: If a student fails the comprehensive exam or any portion thereof, the student may petition the division or department for permission to retake the examination or any portion thereof. Under no circumstance can the comprehensive examination or any portion thereof be taken more than twice. Students should consult with their individual departments for further information.

The maximum number of thesis credits students can earn varies with the degree program. However, students are limited to a total of 12 s.h. of credit in any combination of independent study and thesis.

Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all required degree work.

Certificate of Advanced Study

A minimum of 21 s.h. of post-master’s study is required for the School Counselor Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS). Additionally, the CAS requires an internship in an approved public school setting with supervision by a College approved supervisor. This internship may be waived for students who have completed at least two years of professional experience. Specified courses and other departmental requirements must be completed before a certificate of advanced study is awarded.

Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all required program work.

Residence Requirements

Courses completed at other institutions are considered as non-resident courses and are so credited. A maximum of one half of the semester hours required for the program may be accepted in transfer. Note however, that most programs have more restrictive policies. Refer to individual program descriptions for transfer credit limitations.

If a student pays tuition and fees to SUNY Oneonta, the credit for the course is considered as residence credit, whether or not the course is taken on the campus. If tuition and fees are paid to another institution, the credit is considered as transfer credit. (See “Transfer Credits .”)

Prior Learning Credit

SUNY Oneonta recognizes that people learn outside of the traditional classroom, which can be as valuable as knowledge gained through formal learning. Credit may be granted to degree-seeking students for verifiable graduate-level learning, either knowledge or skills, acquired through life or work experience.

Students wishing to have an assessment of prior learning should discuss procedures with the appropriate academic dean. The applicant is expected to present a portfolio evidencing the learning experience and requesting a specific number of credits, up to the number of credits permitted to be transferred into a program. A faculty member or consultant who has a strong background in the field must evaluate the materials. In some cases, the applicant may also be asked to undergo an oral examination. Credits may be granted only if:

  • The learning corresponds to graduate-level work.
  • The learning is an area usually covered by graduate-level courses.
  • The learning relates appropriately to the projected degree program of the applicant.

Credit may be awarded only when appropriately aligned with a student’s degree or certificate program. Graduate-level prior learning credit is only available to students seeking a graduate degree or post-baccalaureate certificate at SUNY Oneonta and will be treated as transfer credit.

Time Limit for Completing Degree Requirements

In order to receive a degree or certificate, candidates must meet all requirements within a period of six calendar years. The time limit begins the term in which the earliest enrolled course is credited to the degree program. Courses completed prior to admission to a degree or certificate program that are accepted toward the degree cannot be more than six years old at the time the degree is awarded. This requirement may be modified only in special circumstances. In some circumstances, when students are admitted to a program, they may be given less than six years to complete their course of study.

A student may request an extension of the time limit by submitting to the Student Progress and Status Committee a written appeal that documents the extenuating circumstances contributing to the need for an extension. 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, then makes recommendation to Provost or designee.

Grading Policies

Academic standing is based on the cumulative quality point index or grade point average (GPA), which is determined by assigning a numerical value for each letter grade earned. For each semester, grades of “A” through “E” yield the quality points listed above. No other grades carry quality point values.

The GPA for one semester is determined by dividing the number of quality points earned during the semester by the number of credit hours carried during the semester for all courses in which weighted grades were received. 

The instructor determines the basis for evaluation and the system for assigning grades within each course, founded upon academic performance, as outlined in the course syllabus.

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

Passing (“P”), failing (“F”), pending (“PEN”), incomplete (“I”), and withdrawal (“W”) grades are not computed in the GPA. When “PEN” or “I” grades are replaced by a permanent grade, the semester and cumulative GPA’s are recomputed. Only grades earned for course work completed at SUNY Oneonta are included in the computation of the GPA. GPA’s are truncated, not rounded. Undergraduate courses do not apply to the graduate GPA.

Minimum Satisfactory Grades

Students must earn a grade of “B-” or better to fulfill graduate program requirements. Individual graduate programs may set a minimum grade higher than a “B-” in any course(s). All grades earned remain on the student’s permanent transcript.

Course Repeat Policy

Matriculated graduate students may be permitted to repeat up to two graduate courses in which they have earned a grade of “B-” or lower contingent on approval by the student’s advisor, graduate program director or department chair, and the Committee on Student Progress and Status. A course may be repeated only once. The transcript will reflect both courses and grades; only the higher grade will be calculated in the grade point average. Credit will be granted only once. For courses that can be taken for credit more than once, the repeat rule will be applied only after the maximum credits are achieved unless otherwise approved by the Committee on Student Progress and Status. Approval does not guarantee immediate availability of the course to be repeated. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships regarding the impact of repeating courses on financial aid eligibility.

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

Matriculated Students

Students achieve good standing by meeting and exceeding minimum grade and other requirements established by the College and their program. Graduate students will be academically dismissed when they fail to make progress toward degree completion.

Circumstances that result in academic dismissal include:

  • Failing to maintain a semester or cumulative 3.0 grade point average or the minimum required semester and/or cumulative GPA established by the program, if the latter is higher
  • Failing to earn minimum grades within the declared program of study
  • Failing to successfully defend or amend the thesis proposal or thesis when a thesis is required
  • Failing to meet minimum standards for passing a comprehensive exam
  • Being ineligible for or failing to successfully complete field placement, internship, supervised experiential learning, 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 Provost’s designee for final decision.

Academic Probation

If a student is placed on probation following an appeal, the student must achieve a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average by the time 12 additional credit hours are earned.

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 and Status Committee; or

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

The appeal is considered by the Student Progress and Status 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 their probationary status, if such is granted.

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

Non-degree Students

Non-degree students are expected to maintain the same academic standards as degree graduate students. Taking graduate courses as a non-degree student does not guarantee that any student will subsequently be admitted to a degree program. 

Course Challenge

The College recognizes that some students have acquired knowledge and skills equivalent to those normally acquired through course work. In such cases, students may receive credit for appropriate classes by ‘challenging’ those courses. To challenge a course, students must be enrolled full-time in a degree program and apply to the chair of the department offering the course they wish to challenge. Each program decides under what circumstances a course may be challenged, as well as when students may apply for and/or complete course challenges.

Course challenge requirements are prepared by the instructor and subject to approval of the department or a subgroup thereof. The passing or failing of a challenged course is determined by the instructor and reported to the registrar. Credits granted on the basis of course challenges are acknowledged on student transcripts with a grade of “CH”. Semester hours earned for challenged courses does not count toward full-time enrollment status.

Students may not challenge any course more than once, and are limited to a maximum of 6 s.h. of challenge credits per degree program.

If students transfer from institutions where credit has been given on the basis of course challenges, such credits will be reviewed and evaluated in the same manner as other transfer credit.


Graduate students are required to have a “B” average (3.0) in all courses used to fulfill degree requirements. There is no rounding up of grade point averages. Not all courses taken while in a graduate program apply to the graduation grade point average.

Examples of courses not used in the “graduation grade point average” are:

  • Any undergraduate courses, even if they are required for remediation
  • Graduate courses that apply to another graduate program
  • Graduate courses that are taken as an elective (over and above elective courses required within the program)
  • Graduate courses where the grade earned did not meet a specified course minimum grade requirement

The Graduation GPA may be different from the GPA reflected on the transcript because of the above examples.

Diploma Application Procedure

Students wishing to graduate or earn a certificate must file a diploma or certificate application with the Registrar’s Office at the beginning of the term in which the student has registered to complete their remaining degree or certificate requirements (course work, comprehensive exam, thesis, etc.). Applications are available from the Registrar’s Office and require a $5.00 fee.

The deadline for filing applications is listed in the Key Dates and Deadlines of the Registrar’s Office. Notice of clearance for graduation and certificate awarding or, if needed, notice of remaining degree or certificate requirements, will be mailed to the graduate student. May or December graduates and certificate recipients must have completed all degree or certificate requirements on or before the end of the last day of the semester; for those who apply for graduation or their certificate in August, requirements must be completed by the last day of Summer Session.

Note: Students cannot graduate or earn a certificate with “incomplete” grades on their records.

Special Considerations for Education Majors Applying for Graduation

Graduates of education programs who are applying for teacher certification or school counselor certification must complete the on-line Teacher’s Certification Application which can be accessed at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert. In order for the College to recommend program graduates for certification each student must complete and return the College’s Release Authorization for Teacher Certification Recommendation with their diploma application. This form is available online. Students applying for permanent/professional certification may be required to submit additional evidence of qualifications as defined by the State Education Department regulations. The College can recommend students for certification only in the area of the master’s degree and only at the time the degree is awarded.


Master’s degrees and Certificates of Advanced Study are awarded at the end of each term in May, August, and December. May and August degree recipients may participate and be hooded during the annual May Commencement ceremony. December candidates may participate in the December Commencement ceremony. Candidates should be those who plan to complete all degree work in December. To participate in either Commencement ceremony, a candidate must:

  • Meet the College’s eligibility criteria for participation in Commencement;
  • Apply for graduation by the announced deadline;
  • Dress in academic regalia appropriate for the ceremony.

Withdrawal from the College

Graduate students who find it necessary to withdraw from the College must complete a Withdrawal Form, which can be obtained from the Student Development Office, 119 Netzer.

If the completed form is submitted prior to the deadline for individual course withdrawal (see the Key Dates and Deadlines for that semester), a “W” grade for each class will appear on the transcript. If it is submitted after the deadline for individual course withdrawal (one week past the semester mid-point) and up until two weeks prior to the beginning of final exams, the student will receive a “W” with a parenthetical grade that indicates the quality of their work up to the time of the withdrawal.

Students who withdraw from the College for the semester at any time from two weeks before the beginning of final exams until the end of final exams will be academically liable for all course enrollments. The effective date of the withdrawal will be the last day of final exams. In this case, final grades will be assigned.

Students who still have incomplete grades from a previous semester at the time of withdrawal remain responsible for following college policy to resolve the incompletes.

Students who withdraw from the College and who wish to return at any time in the future are required to apply for readmission.

SUNY Oneonta adheres to the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 by ensuring that service members have flexibility toward obtaining a degree when the pursuit of the degree is interrupted by military service. Course extensions and/or course withdrawals will be processed as appropriate for activation or deployment.  Students called to service will be placed on a non-academic leave for the entire period of deployment and their degree requirements will remain unchanged.  Active duty students will have access to advisement and registration throughout their absence. For more information on HEROES and call to duty, see:




SUNY Oneonta Annual Institution Report

Information on New York State certification exams may be found at fast facts.