Transfer Credit Policies
Sources of Credit
Coursework from Other Colleges or Universities
- Transfer credit is accepted from institutions granted regional accreditation by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), such as the Middle States Association, Southern Association, Higher Learning Commission, New England Association, Northwest Association, or Western Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. Credit for courses from institutions with accreditation other than regional accreditation is evaluated for transfer purposes on a case-by-case basis.
- Credit will be awarded for courses in which a grade of C- or better has been earned.
- Courses with a "D" grade may transfer if:
- A student has earned an Associate's of Science (AS), Associate's of Arts (AA), an Associate's of Applied Science (AAS) or a bachelor's degree prior to the time of first admission to Cortland.
- The courses with "D" grades were completed prior to first admission to Cortland.
- "D" grades will not transfer if:
- A student earns an associate's degree via the Reverse Transfer process - transferring earned Cortland credit back to the community college to earn the associate's degree after first admission to Cortland.
- A student earns a D grade in a course at any time after first admission to Cortland (e.g. summer/winter course at another college, while on suspension and is applying for readmission).
- Courses with a "D" grade may transfer if:
Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Courses
Grades of Pass (P) and Satisfactory (S) awarded at another institution may be accepted at the discretion of the student’s associate dean. Students contact their associate dean to petition for credit. The associate dean will make one or more of the following determinations (in consultation with the department chair when appropriate):
- decline to accept the course
- waive a requirement on the basis of a pass (P) or satisfactory (S) grade without granting credit
- award credit under the General Elective (GEN) or Liberal Arts (LAS) labels
- award credit as the course equivalent
Advanced Placement (AP)
AP tests with a score of 3 or higher.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
IB tests with a score of 4 or higher.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
CLEP tests with a score of 50 or higher. For certain foreign language tests, a higher score is required for higher level credit.
ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)
OPI exams with a rating of Novice High or higher.
Cambridge International A Level and AS Exams
Academic credit is granted with satisfactory Advanced (A Level) and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) exam results of C or better. Students can earn 3 credit hours for each AS Level exam and up to 6 credit hours for each A Level exam.
Military Experience and Courses
Cortland follows the American Council of Education (ACE) recommendations for granting credit from a Joint Services Transcript (JST).
Non-Collegiate Organizations or Experiential Learning
SUNY Cortland observes the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) and of the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS, the University of the State of New York's Program in Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction) in the evaluation of education experiences sponsored by non-collegiate organizations when the content is considered appropriate as transfer credit.
Credit for and/or waiver of requirements based on experiences completed with a non-collegiate organization may be granted by the associate dean of the student's major with consultation of the appropriate department chair.
Credit Not Eligible for Transfer
Cortland will not grant transfer credit for:
- Developmental/remedial coursework or any coursework taken below a 100 level
- Courses in which students withdrew, failed, or earned an incomplete
- Courses in which students received a "D" grade (see above for exceptions with an earned degree)
- 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.
Equivalencies and Requesting Transcripts
- View our Transfer Equivalency Charts for specific course equivalencies from the above sources.
- For all sources of credit, you must request official transcripts or test scores to 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.
Transfer Credit Limits
SUNY Cortland grants the maximum number of transfer credits possible for courses completed from approved sources. Students may earn:
- 30 credits maximum from credit-granting tests such as AP, IB, CLEP, OPI, and A levels. This maximum applies to all these sources combined, not individually.
- 64 credits maximum from two-year colleges. This maximum credit limit includes not only coursework but also credit by exam.
- Students with credit from four-year colleges may receive additional credit hours toward degree requirements at Cortland. The maximum number of transfer credit hours accepted is 90.
To earn a Cortland bachelor's degree, all students must complete in residency:
- Half of the required coursework in the major
- Half of the required coursework in any declared minor
- 30 credit hours minimum
Transfer 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
If you transferred with an AA or AS degree from a SUNY community college prior to Fall 2023, you may still require additional coursework in specific general education categories or Cortland degree requirements to earn a bachelor's degree.
General Education Waiver
Beginning fall 2023, transfer students who enter SUNY Cortland with 20 or more credit hours will receive one waiver that will be applied toward meeting the Science, Technology, Values, and Society requirement. Students who enter Cortland as first-year students with transfer credit (or readmit to Cortland with credit) are not eligible for the general education waiver.