Transfer Credit Policies
All credits accepted for transfer must have been earned at institutions granted regional accreditation by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), such as the Middle States Association, Southern Association, North Central Association, New England Association, Northwest Association, or Western Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. To verify your institution's accreditation, you can search the CHEA database.
Sources of Credit
Cortland will grant transfer credit from the following sources:
- Graded coursework with a grade of C- or better from regionally accredited institutions.
- Advanced Placement (AP) tests with a score of 3 or higher.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) tests with a score of 4 or higher.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests with a score that meets the ACE recommended credit-granting score, which is 50 or higher. For certain foreign language tests, a higher score is required.
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) - with a minimum rating of Novice High.
- Military courses
Cortland will not grant transfer credit for:
- Developmental/remedial coursework or any coursework taken below a 100 level
- Courses in which the student withdrew, failed, or earned an incomplete
- Courses in which students received a "D" grade.
- Courses completed prior to matriculation with a "D" grade will be accepted only if a student has completed an Associate's of Science (AS), Associate's of Arts (AA), or a bachelor's degree prior to the time of first admission to Cortland. Credit for "D" grades will not be granted with an Associate's of Applied Science (AAS) degree.
SUNY Cortland will not initially grant credit for transfer coursework taken on a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Grades of Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) awarded at another institution may be accepted at the discretion of the associate dean of the school of the student's major at the initial point of matriculation. The associate dean has the opportunity to:
- decline to accept the course.
- waive a requirement on the basis of a pass (P) or satisfactory (S) grade without granting credit.
- allow the course to count as its equivalent at Cortland in the case of activity/participation credit.
- award credit under the General Elective (GEN) or Liberal Arts (LAS) labels.
Students should make contact with their associate dean if they would like to discuss the evaluation of their pass/fail coursework.
For all sources of credit, official transcripts or official test scores must be sent directly to SUNY Cortland in order to receive credit. SUNY Cortland will not grant AP or IB credit that is indicated on a high school transcript or on another college's transcript; original test scores must be sent. To find out how to request transcripts, click here.
For credit by equivalency exam (i.e. CLEP or OPI), Cortland students are not eligible to receive credit when they are enrolled in or have completed a higher-level course within the same discipline.
Transfer Credit Limits
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:
- Students may earn a maximum of 30 credits from credit-granting tests such as AP, IB, and CLEP. This maximum applies to all these sources combined, not individually.
- Students can transfer a maximum of 64 credits from two-year colleges. This maximum credit limit includes not only coursework but also any AP, CLEP, or IB credit.
- Transfer students from four-year colleges or universities can receive additional credit hours. The maximum number of credit hours accepted ranges from 75-83, depending on the total number of credits required for graduation in the chosen program.
All students must complete a minimum of 45 credits in residency at Cortland to earn a Cortland bachelor's degree. This includes half of the major coursework as well as half of the required coursework in any declared minor or concentration.
Transferability of Grades
While credits are transferable, grades earned at other colleges are not calculated in the Cortland grade point average. Your Cortland GPA will be determined solely by graded coursework completed at SUNY Cortland. As a new transfer student, your beginning GPA at Cortland will be 0.0.
General Education (GE) Requirements
Transfer students must fulfill all Cortland General Education requirements as well as degree requirements such as writing intensive coursework and foreign language requirements. Cortland requires completion of all 10 SUNY General Education categories.
Students transferring from another SUNY college or university should ensure that a SUNY GE Addendum accompanies their official transcript. This document will ensure that the coursework you completed at your prior institution to meet SUNY General Education requirements is reflected accurately on your Cortland degree audit.
Students transferring with an AA or AS degree from a SUNY community college may still require additional coursework in general education to earn a bachelor's degree. Completion of the AA/AS degree does not guarantee completion of all general education and degree requirements.
General Education Waivers
Based on the number of transfer credits completed prior to a student's first semester at Cortland, transfer students are eligible for waivers of the General Education requirements in categories 11 (Prejudice and Discrimination), 12 (Science, Technology, Values and Society), or 13 (Natural Science A; one course in a two-course science requirement). Freshmen students with transfer credit are not eligible for general education waivers.
A maximum of three waivers may be applied based on the following scale:
- 20-34.5 transfer credit hours = one waiver.
- 35-49.5 transfer credit hours = two waivers.
- 50 or more credit hours = three waivers.
Students who transfer with 50 or more credits will have the waivers automatically applied to their degree audit/CAPP report by the Transfer Credit Coordinator. Students who transfer less than 50 credits should complete a GE Waiver Form in consultation with their academic advisor to choose which course(s) to waive. Transfer students are encouraged to complete the GE Waiver form within their first semester at Cortland.