May 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Regulations


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 a meeting to review their program degree requirements. After the advisement session, the advisor will notify the Office of Graduate Studies of any transfer credits and/or course substitutions. The Graduate Office will make approved adjustments within Degree Works and provide the student with an updated record. At this time, the advisor also notifies the Office of Graduate Studies that the student is eligible to register for courses, which will allow the student to register on-line at

Subsequent changes to the student’s program of study must be reported to the Office of Graduate Studies. 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 Office of Graduate Studies.

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 Office of Graduate Studies 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 Graduate Office. The Graduate Office 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. Academic advisement is available for non-degree graduate students through the Office of Graduate Studies. Please call (607) 436-2523 to make an appointment.

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.

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, 215 Hunt Union. More information regarding auditing and the audit form can be found at:

Prior Learning Credit

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

The evaluation of prior learning and the development of an individualized academic program go hand in hand, and credit is awarded when it fits appropriately into a student’s degree or certificate program. Therefore, this process is only available for students seeking a graduate degree or post-baccalaureate certificate at SUNY Oneonta.

SUNY Oneonta provides the option of two prior learning programs-Portfolio and Credit by Evaluation­ designed to translate experiential learning into college credit. The applicability of one or both programs to degree and certificate curricula is determined by individual departments.


  • A portfolio provides a unique way for students to document their graduate-level learning through previous experience. Students are guided through the process in a formal course: Learning Analysis (3 Credits).
  • During this 3-credit course, each student creates a portfolio describing and documenting his/her learning experiences. The portfolio is evaluated by qualified faculty members who determine the amount of credit each student should be awarded (up to 12 credits), the grade to be assigned, and the equivalent course(s).
  • Students must register for Learning Analysis (3 Credits) two weeks before the start date of the session in which the student plans to enroll. For specific session dates, please view the academic calendar.

Credit by Evaluation

  • Students can earn credit by passing the equivalent of a final exam. Credit can be earned for any graduate course for which faculty can developed and administer a suitable examination and accreditation policies allow for the utilization of prior learning credit.
  • Students must pay an evaluation fee equal to one credit hour for each examination developed and administered at SUNY Oneonta.
  • Grades will be assigned based on exam performance.

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.

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.

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 Graduate 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.

Seniors Taking Graduate Level Courses for Graduate Credit

Undergraduate students who are in their last year of resident work at Oneonta, who have completed 90 or more semester hours, who have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.2 in their major, may take up to two graduate courses for graduate credit. Undertaking graduate-level work must not delay completion of undergraduate degree requirements. Graduate credits cannot be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. Students choosing this option should understand that this does not admit them to graduate study in a master’s program. Some graduate level courses may not be open to undergraduate students under any circumstance. Students must file a “Senior Enrollment in Graduate Course” form signed by the course instructor, the Academic Advisement Center, the student’s advisor, the chair of the department in which the course is offered, and the dean of the school in which the course is offered with their registration form at the time of registration. The form is available in the Graduate Office. The ratio of seniors to graduate students in a graduate course should normally not exceed 10%, but in classes with enrollments of less than ten students, one or two seniors may be permitted.

International students, student athletes and those who receive financial aid generally must be in 12 s.h. of new undergraduate coursework to maintain their eligibility/status. Any undergraduate student considering taking a graduate course should discuss the implications with their financial aid counselor.

*This policy does not apply to students who have been accepted into an accelerated undergraduate-graduate degree program.


Withdrawal From All Courses During Any Given Semester

Sometimes it becomes necessary to withdraw from all of one’s classes in a semester due to a major personal emergency. In this case, follow the instructions for dropping a course. You must also notify your advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies in writing. Please be advised that if you still have incomplete grades from a previous semester, you remain responsible for following college policy to resolve the incompletes (see “Incomplete Grades ”).

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:

Permanent Withdrawal From Academic Program and College

Graduate students who find it necessary to permanently withdraw from the College must complete the required Notice of Intent to Withdraw from College form, which can be obtained the Office of Graduate Studies, 135 Netzer. Submit the completed form to the Office of Graduate Studies.

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

Study Abroad

The International Education Office assists students who wish to include education abroad in their graduate studies.

Policy for Shared-Resource Course Offerings

Graduate courses, (500 level or above), under certain circumstances, may be run concurrently with upper-level undergraduate courses (200 or 300 level) as shared-resource courses, if and only if a graduate student is expected to meet different learning outcomes and perform at a higher academic level than an undergraduate student. Shared-resource course couplings must obtain approval prior to the start of instruction from the College Graduate Committee and the appropriate School Dean. At the graduate level only elective courses may be offered in a shared-resource format; a graduate program’s core or required courses may not be offered as shared-resource courses.

Policy on Use of Human Subjects in Research

All SUNY Oneonta research (conducted by students, faculty, or staff) involving human subjects must have prior review and approval of SUNY Oneonta Institutional Review Board. All human subject research must comply with the federal and state laws for the “Protection of Human Subjects.” Students must check with their professor, advisor, and/or department chair for details on compliance. Information on the IRB process can be found on the College’s website. To access the IRB application, please click here.

Policy on Use of Animals

All SUNY Oneonta research and activities (conducted by students, faculty, or staff) involving animals must have prior review and approval by the SUNY Oneonta Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).    Information regarding the IACUC process and the IACUC application can be found on the College’s website

Code of Academic Conduct

Academic dishonesty (including plagiarism and cheating) is defined as any act by a student that misrepresents or attempts to misrepresent to an instructor or any college official the proficiency or achievement of that student or another student in any academic exercise for the purpose of influencing a grade on a work assignment, on an examination or quiz, or in a course as a whole, or that is intended to alter any record of a student’s academic performance by unauthorized means.

Faculty members who observe acts of academic dishonesty are required to report them to the Office of Student Development for investigation and action. A student deemed guilty of an act of academic dishonesty may, depending on the nature of the offense, be subject to one or more of the following measures: failure of the assignment or examination; failure of the course; or dismissal from the College.


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.

Complete official copies of the student’s record (transcript) are provided only upon written request signed by the student.

Education Law

224.a. Students unable because of religious beliefs to attend classes on certain days.

  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.