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Chapter VII

Classification of Courses

Course numbers indicate the level of the course and restrictions as follows:

Course Number Course Classification
500-599 Introductory graduate courses.
600-699 Courses which involve in-depth study of a subject at the graduate level and which usually have prerequisites. All programs require a minimum of 15 credits at this level or above.
700-799 Courses designed for and restricted to students matriculated in the departments' degree programs.
800-899 Courses designed for and restricted to students matriculated in CAS programs.

Note: No 400-level course credit may be upgraded to the 500 level by the completion of additional work. If credit at the 400 level exists on the student's transcript, no credit will be awarded for the corresponding 500-level course.

Key to Course Listings in this Publication
Cr. Credits earned by successfully completing the course.
Fall Course is usually offered only in the fall semester.
Spring Course is usually offered only in the spring semester.
Summer Course is usually offered only in the summer semester.
No Semester Indicated Course is offered irregularly or to be announced.

The semester in which the course is offered is indicated at the end of each course listing, based on information available at the time of publication. Check the Schedule of Courses each semester for the latest course information.

Independent and Directed Study

Independent and directed-study options provide the opportunity for students to study individually with an instructor on a contractual basis. Both of these options require the approval of a sponsoring instructor.

Independent Study

Independent-study courses permit graduate students to pursue topics studied previously in greater depth. A content outline for each independent-study course is developed through consultation between the student and the instructor-sponsor to suit the needs and interests of the student, and the special competence of the instructor. To be eligible for independent study at the graduate level, a student must: (1) have completed six credits of course work at the graduate level; and (2) be able to demonstrate adequate background for the area in which the course is to be taken.

No more than two independent-study courses will be approved for any one regular semester (and no more than one in any summer session), and all such courses must be included within the normal course load. Each independent study course may not exceed six credits and must be identified as liberal arts or professional credit. No more than nine credits of independent-study courses may be included in a degree program. Requests to waive any of the above requirements or restrictions should be made through the department to the dean.

Directed Study

Most courses listed in the Graduate Studies catalog may be taken for credit on a directed-study basis with appropriate approvals as indicated below. Directed study is open to a student only in those instances when a course is not offered during the session in which the student wishes to enroll. A student may carry no more than one directed-study course per semester or per summer session without special permission from the department and dean.
Students who wish to take a course on an independent- or directed-study basis, should begin the process well in advance of registration. Independent and Directed Study Application Forms and the Independent Study Outline form may be obtained from the department in which the course is to be taken or from the Office of Academic Advisement. The application must be signed by the student, the instructor-sponsor, the department chairperson, and the appropriate dean. The registrar's copy is submitted by the student at the time of registration.

Examination Policy

Faculty members have the right and the responsibility to determine the form and content of end-of-the-semester examinations, subject to various departmental regulations. In some instances these examinations are comprehensive "final" types, and in others they will cover only the last unit of the course. In any case, the nature of the evaluation is the responsibility of the instructor.

Whether the end-of-the-semester examination is comprehensive or "last-unit" in nature, the College requires that it be administered at a specific time during the period established for final examinations, and that the schedule for such exams be published by the Registrar's Office no later than mid-semester. While the general rule to be followed is that no major examinations are to be given during the last week of classes, exceptions are made for short quizzes, and skills courses. There is one more exception: If an instructor elects a take-home examination, s/he may establish a due date either during the last week of classes or during the following final examination period.

College policy dictates that final examinations periods shall be two hours in length, and that there be at least 15 minutes and, if possible, 30 minutes between examination periods.

If a student has more than two examinations scheduled on a given day, or two examinations scheduled for the same time period, s/he has the right to request rescheduling. If this happens, the rescheduled examination should be "mutually agreeable" to both the student and the instructor. In case a mutual agreement cannot be reached, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will decide. The last period on the last day of end-of-semester examinations is reserved for examinations that could not be taken at an earlier time. The general rule is that the class with the fewest students will be the one moved.


Cumulative Index

Only courses in the student's official Plan of Study will be included in determining a graduate student's official cumulative index (GPA). A minimum cumulative index of 3.0 is required for graduation.

Grading System

A letter grade is given for every course in which a student has registered. At the graduate level, academic credit is earned for grades of "A," "A-," "B+," "B," "B-," "C+," "C," or "S." No credit is awarded for grades of "E," "U" (Unsatisfactory), "I" (Incomplete), and "PR" (In Progress).

The following letter grades carry quality points that are the basis for computing the student's cumulative index, also referred to as a grade point average (GPA):

Grade Quality Points
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
E 0.00

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades

A limited number of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades, not to exceed nine credits, may be used in specified courses and teacher education practica at the 500 or 600 level with departmental approval. Additional credits on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis may be taken at a 700 level or above with departmental approval. An "S" grade shall indicate that work completed is at least "B" quality; an "S" grade is not calculated in the grade point average (GPA).

Incomplete Grades

An "I" (Incomplete) is assigned as a grade for a course only at the discretion of the instructor on the basis of convincing evidence that the student was unable to complete all of the required work for the course because of circumstances beyond the student's control. In such cases, the instructor and the student execute and sign an Incomplete Contract stating the work to be completed by the student, the date by which it must be completed, and the alternate grade to be assigned if the work is not submitted. When the student completes the work as stated on the contract, the instructor reports the grade earned in the manner prescribed on the "I" contract form. The grade given upon completion is recorded beside the "I" on the transcript. If the Office of Registration and Records does not receive either a grade report or a notice of extension from the instructor within 30 days after the date assigned for the completion of the work, the registrar records the alternate grade and notifies the instructor of that action. A student who received an "I" grade may not register for that course while the "I" is in effect.

An "I" grade received during the fall semester must be completed by the end of the following spring semester. An "I" grade received during either the spring semester or summer session must be completed by the end of the following fall semester. Extension is granted by the instructor only in those instances where completion of the required work is not possible due to circumstances beyond the student's control. The time limit for extensions may not exceed the equivalent of an additional semester, with the following exception: At the graduate level, extensions may be granted for up to two years for the completion of the required culminating experience.

In-progress Grades

Certain courses are by design not finished in one semester. For such courses, a "PR" grade is recorded instead of an "I" grade. The "PR" is changed to a letter grade upon completion of the course.

The PR designation may remain on the transcript for a maximum of two semesters, unless the instructor designates a shorter time period. At the end of the second semester or at the instructor-designated deadline, the "PR" grade is automatically changed to an "I."

It is the student's responsibility to initiate discussion with the instructor during the semester in which the "I" appears on the transcript to determine what is needed to complete the course. One semester after the "I" grade is posted, the registrar will automatically record an "E," unless the instructor submits an extension or another grade. A "PR" grade must be cleared from any course listed on the Plan of Study before the student can graduate. A student may not register for a second time for a course for which a "PR" grade is currently on record.

Repeating Courses

Unless otherwise prohibited by departmental policy, students are permitted to repeat courses in which they have earned a grade below "B." Only the new grade earned during the first repeat of a course will be used in computing a student's cumulative index. Any additional repeats in a course would result in all grades used to compute the student's cumulative index.

Change of Grade

Changing any reported grade is the responsibility of the instructor concerned. To change a grade, the instructor must complete an official form indicating the desired change and the reason for it. Change of Grade forms are available to faculty members in the Office of Registration and Records. The Change of Grade Form is sent by the course instructor to the department chairperson, then to the appropriate dean and then to the registrar.

Student Grade Appeals

Grades reflect in concise form the instructor's expert evaluation of student achievement that has been demonstrated in a timely manner. To avoid misunderstanding and to assist students effectively, instructors should provide clear statements of the objectives and standards of the course and of their evaluation and grading procedures. This information is to be given at the beginning of the course and the student is to be informed as to how well s/he is meeting these objectives during the course. The instructor is expected to be available to discuss the application of these standards and procedures with the student.

The instructor is the best qualified person to assess student performance and has the professional right and responsibility to do so. Questions and issues about a grade normally are settled by discussion between the student and the instructor. In cases in which the student, after conference with the instructor, has firm reason to believe that there (1) is a clear discrepancy between the stated standards of a course and the application of those standards or (2) that these standards have been applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner, the student may initiate the formal grade appeal process.

Formal Procedure for Student Grade Appeals

Consult the Student Grade Appeals Policy in the Your Right to Know & Academic Policies Handbook.

Academic Requirements

Note: Students should carefully review the published policies and standards of the graduate program in which they are matriculated. Programs may delineate policies and standards which are more stringent than those prescribed at the College-wide level.

Plan of Study

By the end of the first semester in matriculated status, every graduate student must obtain approval of a Plan of Study from the academic department in which the student is enrolled. The appropriate department shall retain one copy of the approved plan, file one copy with the Office of Registration and Records, and provide one copy to the student. Any student who does not secure approval of a Plan of Study by the end of his/her first matriculated semester shall lose matriculated status.

Normally, all graduate work being applied toward the student's Plan of Study shall have been taken no more than five years prior to her/his date of matriculation.

Graduate Transfer Credit

A maximum of 12 credits may be earned at other colleges and universities with the department's approval. No course may be transferred in which a grade of less than "B" was received.


There is no institutional residency requirement for students enrolled in graduate degree programs at SUNY Brockport.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Continuous enrollment requires, at a minimum, the completion of one graduate-level course within the last 12 months. A matriculated student who discontinues enrollment, unless granted a leave of absence, will lose matriculated status and must reapply for readmission. The applicant must then meet any new requirements for admission, as well as any new requirements for the degree at the time of readmission.

Time Limit for Completion of Graduate Degree

Degree requirements shall be completed within five years of the date of matriculation.* An extension to the five-year program limit may be requested through the department graduate coordinator. If an extension is granted and the requirements are not completed by the end of the extension, the student will lose matriculation status. At that point the student must apply for re-admission to the program and will lose credit for courses taken more than five years prior to the new matriculation date.

*Note: An approved exception to this time limit allows seven years for the completion of MPA requirements.

Credits Required for Graduation

Master's degree programs require a minimum of 30 credits. The maximum number of credits will depend upon the requirements of the department involved and the approval of the appropriate campus and state authorities. At least 15 credits must be taken at the 600 level or above. The student must complete a minimum of 12 credits in fulfillment of degree requirements after matriculation.

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance is a 60-credit program in a five-semester sequence and is recognized as a terminal degree in the field. Ordinarily no more than nine credits of MFA independent-study courses may be included in a degree program without departmental approval.

Comprehensive Examination

Each degree program may require, at the department's option, a comprehensive examination. The date of the examination is established by the department. Candidates are offered no more than two opportunities to complete the examination successfully.

Research or Thesis Credits

Each master's degree candidate is required to demonstrate an ability to conduct research or other creative work in fulfillment of the competency expected of the degree candidate within each department. A maximum of six of the 30-credit minimum requirement ordinarily is allocated to this phase of the degree program.

Policy on Use of Human Subjects in Research

All research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved prior to initiating the research. The Institutional Review Board for Research on Human Subjects has developed a unified Human Subjects Research Review Form which is used in submitting proposals. Additional forms may be required if equipment is used in the project or if the project involves psychological or physiological intervention or risk to subjects. All forms are available from the Grants Development Office, 605 Allen Administration Building, (585) 395-5118.

Binding of Thesis

Students whose program requires a thesis should obtain a copy of the Guidelines for Master's Thesis Preparation from the department or graduate program director. It is the responsibility of the student to follow the guidelines established in this document. Choice of citation and bibliographic style will vary by discipline, but the thesis format should be consistent with these guidelines.

The original and one copy of the thesis are bound and housed in the thesis section of the Drake Library. The cost for binding is paid by the library. Additional copies for the student's personal use can be bound through the library at the student's expense.

Completion of Degree Program and Commencement

Completion of the Graduate Application for Graduation/Graduation Data Card is the first step in the graduation review process. This application should be obtained from and returned to the Office of Registration and Records by mid-term of the semester in which the student intends to graduate. Once the Office of Registration and Records has received the Graduate Application for Graduation, the Commencement Office will send information about commencement to the candidate. Notification of the degree confirmation is sent from the Office of Registration and Records to the student upon completion of the final graduation review at the end of each semester. Diplomas are mailed several weeks later to the address given on the Application for Graduation.

Students who complete a degree from SUNY Brockport that includes an approved program of teacher preparation for certification are eligible for the College's recommendation for a teaching credential. Approved programs satisfy New York state academic requirements and, under the terms of the Interstate Agreement, the academic requirements for an initial certificate in many other states. The Application for Certificate should be filed with the College's Office of Certification and Licensure during the semester in which the student is completing degree requirements. Questions regarding teacher certification should be directed to the Office of Certification and Licensure, (585) 395-2344.

Note: Degrees are awarded for May, August, December and January. The graduate Commencement Ceremony is held in May of each year.

Earning a Second Master's Degree

Upon completion of a master's degree or CAS, students are allowed to matriculate in another master's degree program. Up to 12 credits of a graduate degree may be used toward completion of a second graduate degree, at the discretion of the department granting the second degree.

Leave of Absence

Students whose progress toward degree completion is interrupted by circumstances beyond their control may apply for a year's leave of absence. Application for such leaves is made to the student's department. Leaves of absence approved by the department will not be charged against the time for degree completion. If circumstances warrant, students may apply for extensions of such leaves, up to a maximum of three years. The Office of Separations does not issue leaves of absence to graduate students.

Dismissal from Graduate Programs

Students who are deemed as not making reasonable progress toward the degree, as defined by each departmental policy, may be dismissed from the program. Normally, a student with less than a 3.0 GPA would not be allowed to start the thesis or final project paper.

Withdrawal from Graduate Student Status

Voluntary withdrawal from matriculated or non-matriculated student status must be done in writing and arranged directly with the Office of Graduate Admissions in Morgan Hall.

Cancellation of Classes

If all classes are canceled because of extraordinary circumstances such as severe weather before the beginning of any instructional day, an announcement is made over radio stations WHAM 1180 AM or The Point 89.1 FM, as well as on WORK-TV 13.

If all classes are canceled after the beginning of the instructional day for similar reasons, the announcement is passed to department chairpersons by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and an announcement is made on the same media.

If an individual class is canceled because of an unplanned faculty absence, the instructor notifies the appropriate department chairperson of the imminent absence and the reason(s) for the absence at least two hours before the class meeting time. The department chairperson, in consultation with the instructor and anyone else deemed appropriate, decides whether or not the class will be canceled.

If the department chairperson decides to cancel the class, s/he may provide the information to the campus switchboard operator and radio station The Point 89.1 on the FM radio dial. The Point personnel return the call immediately to verify the accuracy of the information. The College provides The Point 89.1 with an accurate list of names and telephone numbers of all department chairpersons and deans.

Confidential Nature of Student Records

  1. Academic records may be released, without the student's consent, for such purposes as legitimate research that do not divulge the student's name, and for scholarship, grant or award information.
  2. Permanent academic records shall be released for use outside of the State University of New York only with the student's consent.
  3. Faculty and appropriate College officials, as designated by the President of SUNY Brockport, shall have access to academic records for such purposes as counseling, certification, or academic advising.

Last Updated 7/21/22