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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). 

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.  

      Residency Requirement

      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 or concentration
      • 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

      Transfer students must fulfill all Cortland General Education requirements as well as degree requirements such as foreign language and writing intensive.   

      If you transferred with an AA or AS degree from a SUNY community college, you may still require additional coursework in specific general education categories or Cortland degree requirements to earn a bachelor's degree. 

      General Education Waivers

      Based on the number of transfer credits completed prior to your first semester at Cortland, transfer students are eligible for waivers of the General Education requirements in Categories 11 (Prejudice and Discrimination) or 12 (Science, Technology, Values and Society).  Students who enter Cortland as first-year students with transfer credit (or readmit to Cortland with credit) are not eligible for general education waivers.   

      A maximum of two waivers may be applied based on the following scale:

      • 20 - 34.5 transfer credit hours = one waiver.
      • 35 or more transfer credit hours = two waivers.

      Students who transfer with 35 or more credits will have the waivers automatically applied to their degree audit report by Advisement and Transition.  Students who transfer less than 35 credits should complete a GE Waiver Form in consultation with their academic advisor to choose which course to waive.  Transfer students are encouraged to complete the GE Waiver form within their first semester at Cortland.

      Advisement and Transition
      Memorial Library
      Room A-111
      advisement@cortland.edu

      Phone: 607-753-4726

      Fax: 607-753-5593
      8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
      Monday-Friday