Transfer Student Requirements

SUNY Cortland gives preference to students who have or will complete an associate’s degree.

The university also gives preference to applicants who have completed the following:

  • 30-plus credit hours – minimum 2.5 GPA
  • 16 to 30 credit hours – 2.7 GPA
  • 15 or less credit hours – 3.0 GPA

Grades of all college coursework completed are combined to achieve the GPA and not just the most recent college coursework. In addition, the transfer admissions committee prefers to see a positive trend in an applicant’s previous academic experience.

Applicants also should have a high school record that would have been considered acceptable for first-year candidates. High school performance is no longer a major factor after 30 credit hours or more have been completed.

Application Process

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 coursework 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:

  1. Complete either the SUNY Application or the Common Application. The application will be forwarded to the SUNY Cortland Admissions Office. The transfer admissions process is rolling, meaning applications are reviewed each semester on a rolling admissions basis until capacity is reached. Fall applicants are encouraged to apply by March 1 and spring applicants by Nov. 1. These dates are recommendations, not deadlines.
  2. 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).
  3. 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. 
  4. Students who have not completed 1 full year of college coursework are asked to submit a mid semester grade form (PDF).
  5. 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.
  6. Letters of recommendation are optional for transfer students.

Notification of fall semester admission decisions begins in early January and continues on a rolling basis until capacity is reached. Notification of Spring admission decisions also occur on a rolling basis beginning in September.

General Education Requirements

Transfer students are required to satisfy the State University of New York General Education (GE) Requirements. The Cortland General Education Program fulfills all SUNY General Education requirements and includes elements specific to the Cortland degree. There are 11 required categories that must be met, and students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of SUNY approved coursework (categories 1-10). Most categories require one course, with the exception of:

  1. Foreign Language, where the requirement varies depending upon degree program
  2. Basic Communication, which is met through a combination of writing and presentation skills coursework as described. CPN 100/102 and CPN 101/103 count toward the SUNY GE credit total, for a maximum of eight credit hours. The use of a single course to satisfy more than one category is allowed but no single course may be used to satisfy more than two General Education categories.

Details concerning the General Education Requirements are here: General Education

Transfer Credit Evaluations

Transfer credits will be officially evaluated after the Admissions Deposit is paid. Students are notified via email that the evaluation is complete. Only completed courses are evaluated. Updated transcripts must be sent to the college after any courses in progress are completed and graded.

Credit is allowed only for those courses in which a grade of C- or better has been earned. Students who at the time of first admission to SUNY Cortland have an associate of arts (A.A.), associate of science (A.S.), associate of applied science (A.A.S.) or any bachelor's degree will be granted credit for D grades earned in courses completed prior to matriculation at SUNY Cortland. Accepted transfer credit will be counted as meeting the necessary minimum grade for Cortland courses or the required prerequisite course.

Students may receive up to 64 credit hours of transfer credit from two-year colleges. This maximum credit-hour total includes any 100- or 200-level courses, Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program, ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interviews, Cambridge International A and AS level exams, College Proficiency or International Baccalaureate credits. Transfer students with credit from four-year colleges or universities may receive additional credit hours toward degree requirements at Cortland. The maximum number of credit hours accepted is 90.

A minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework 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. Any school of the university may designate special requirements that may not be taken elsewhere.

Details concerning credit evaluation policy can be found here: Transfer Credit Policies and Evaluation

Information about how to understand the credit evaluation is here: Understanding the Credit Evaluation

Sources of Additional Credit

In addition to college coursework, SUNY Cortland will accept credit from a variety of other sources such as Advanced Placement and Military Experience.

A list of sources and policies is available here: Sources of Credit

Contact us

Undergraduate Admissions
Miller Building, First Floor
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045

Phone: 607-753-4711