Admissions Process and Criteria
- Admissions Process
- Admissions Criteria
- General Education Requirements
- Transfer Credit Evaluations
- Challenge Examinations
- College-Level Examination Program (Subject Examinations)
- Credit for Courses Taken in Military Service
- Sources of Additional Credit or Advanced Standing
SUNY Cortland welcomes applications from students who have attended post-secondary institutions. We base application decisions primarily on previous cumulative academic performance. To be considered for transfer admission, you must provide official transcripts from all previous colleges attended, whether you completed course work or withdrew. Failure to report all college- level work attempted may result in withdrawal of admission or dismissal from the college.
Completion of the application includes submission of the following:
- Complete either the SUNY undergraduate application or the Common Application. The application will be forwarded to the SUNY Cortland Undergraduate Admissions Office. We encourage candidates to apply before March for the fall semester and before December for the spring semester.
- Official college transcripts sent from all post-secondary institutions attended. This includes college transcripts from institutions where college courses were taken while in high school. Those with prior military service must also provide a copy of their discharge papers (DD214).
- Official secondary school transcript or official results from the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). If Advanced Placement, CLEP and/or International Baccalaureate coursework exists, official records from the appropriate agency should be included.
- Students who have not completed 1 full year of college coursework are asked to submit a mid semester grade form (PDF).
- If any gap exists in your academic record a Statement of Activities is required. This is a brief synopsis of what you did while you were not enrolled on college classes.
- Letters of recommendation are optional for transfer students.
Notification of fall semester admission decisions begins in early January and continues on a rolling basis (approximately 10 days following a completed application decision). Notification of Spring admission decisions also occur on a rolling basis beginning in September.
SUNY Cortland gives preference to those who have or will complete an associate's degree. Students with three semesters or more of course work completed or a total of 45 credit hours: a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Some programs, however, are more competitive. Students with two semesters or less of course work or a total of 30 credit hours or less: a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and who would have been considered acceptable as a freshman candidate based on their high school record.
At the State University of New York at Cortland we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. While competitive in admission standards, you are welcome to apply with confidence that our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.
Transfer students are required to satisfy the State University of New York General Education (GE) Requirements. The SUNY GE Requirements consist of 12 subject areas: Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, American History, Western Civilization,
Other World Civilizations, Humanities, The Arts, Foreign Languages, Basic Communication, Critical Thinking and Information Management.
SUNY Cortland grants the maximum number of transfer credits possible for courses completed at other accredited colleges. The following guidelines and policies apply to transfer credit evaluation:
Transfer students may receive up to 64 hours of transfer credit from two-year colleges. This maximum credit total includes any 100- or 200-level courses, Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, College Proficiency or International Baccalaureate credits. Transfer students from four-year colleges or universities may receive additional credits toward degree requirements at Cortland — up to 79 credits in arts and sciences programs, and up to 83 credits in certification programs. A minimum of 45 hours of course work as well as half of the major, minor and/or concentration must be completed in residency at Cortland to earn a Cortland bachelor’s degree.
If a student proposes to transfer in credit from a distance learning course, the College will only consider credits offered by an institution which has recognized national accreditation. These courses will be treated as regular transfer courses. No other distance learning courses will be accepted for credit.
SUNY Cortland has a credit-hour system. Credits completed at institutions with a quarter-hour system are converted according to College policy. One quarter hour equals two-thirds of a credit hour.
Courses taken in parallel programs at other institutions usually satisfy bachelor's requirements at Cortland. If a student changes degree plans, it is possible that some courses taken at other institutions will not meet degree requirements in an alternate program at Cortland. One half the credits for the major and at least three courses of each minor or concentration must be completed at Cortland.
To assure a clear articulation between programs at other institutions and specific majors at Cortland, students are encouraged to consult this catalog and to complete only those courses at other institutions which will fulfill specific Cortland major/degree requirements.
An evaluation of transfer credits is completed upon request. Students who have been offered admission and indicate their intent to attend Cortland will automatically receive an evaluation of transfer credits. Each evaluation will indicate the maximum number of transfer credits applicable to the SUNY Cortland degree as well as the number of credits needed to complete the degree.
At the discretion of individual departments, students may arrange challenge examinations to demonstrate proficiency in the content areas of specific courses for academic credit. Faculty may arrange written, oral or performance exercises to establish competency and the appropriate number of semester hours will be awarded for satisfactory performance with a grade of P.
Interested students should contact the department chair responsible for the content area they wish to challenge. If the department agrees to supervise the challenge, the student is referred to the office of the associate dean to complete the appropriate form and pay a fee, if appropriate.
Credit granted for a mean score obtained by persons from the standardization group who had earned a grade of C in a formal course.
College Proficiency Examinations - Credit granted for performance at a grade level of C.
Advanced Placement Program - Credit granted for a score of three or higher within the scale of five points used for this program. AP Chart.
Credit for and/or waiver of courses or programs taken while in the military service may be granted by the associate dean of the school in which the student majors with the consultation of the appropriate department chair if these courses or programs are parallel to courses offered at Cortland.
SUNY Cortland will accept a maximum of 30 credit hours earned through such sources as Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, or College Proficiency and/or the International Baccalaureate. This maximum applies to all of these courses combined, not individually.