Graduate Student Policies and Services

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Graduate Student Policies and Services

Information about New York state certification policies and procedures may be obtained from the SUNY Brockport Office of Certification and Licensure.

Graduate Student Policies

Graduate Admissions and Registration Procedures
Application forms and information describing the credentials required for admission to the master's degree and certificate of advanced study programs at SUNY Brockport are available from the SUNY Brockport Graduate Admissions Office, (716) 395-5465. A $50 application fee is required for each application submitted for graduate study. The application fee is non-refund able. Students who wish to pursue a course of study leading to a master's degree or certificate of advanced study should send the application, the application fee, transcripts, and all supporting documentation directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Each applicant applying for a program leading to certification in a professional education pro gram in counselor education, educational administration, education and human development, health science and physical education must submit a separate, non-refundable $30 college fee made payable to SUNY College at Brockport.

Applications are generally processed on a continuing basis and are forwarded to the appropriate graduate admissions committee when they are complete. Some programs have specific application deadlines for each semester into which a graduate student can matriculate. These deadlines are included in the application materials for individual programs.

A graduate committee within the department or departments cto Educational Testing Service. Applications for the Graduate Record Examination and information on testing centers are available from the Office of Career Services and the Graduate Admissions Office. Requirements for the GRE vary by department.

Registration by graduate students in courses for graduate and/or undergraduate credit is administered by the Office of Registration and Records. This office makes available, within published deadlines, the materials and details that concern registration following admission as a matriculated, a non-matriculated, or a certification graduate student. Refer to the SUNY Brockport home page at for the most current registration information or semester schedules.

Mail-in Registration
Graduate students may register by mail for the forthcoming semester. The Office of Registration and Records mails to all graduate students, currently on file, a copy of the Schedule of Classes, which includes a clipout Graduate Enrollment Form to be completed by the student and returned by a given deadline. Registrations received after deadlines cannot be processed. When the registration requests have been processed, bills are mailed to the student. Students should pay careful attention to the information included with the Schedule of Classes to avoid late fees and penalties.

Students are notified if registration cannot be processed because of closed courses or outstanding obligations that make a student ineligible to register.

In-person Registration
If a graduate student does not register by mail or if all requested courses are closed when the mail-in registration was received, the student may register in person. Payment of all tuition and fee charges is due at registration if the billing deadline has passed.

Written departmental approval is required before submission of registration materials if the student wishes to register for a closed course.

Touchtone Registration
Touchtone registration is at your fingertips for continuing graduate students by calling (716) 395-2600. New graduate students can register by phone by calling (716) 395-ACE-1 or 1 (800) 521-0092 during designated hours. Refer to the current semester schedule for touchtone registration and telephone registration hours.

Importance of Proper Registration
Students must properly register and pay by the appropriate deadlines for all courses for which they expect to receive credit. Students are cautioned that simply attending classes and completing course requirements does not entitle anyone to register after the deadlines have passed or to claim credit for a course in which s/he has participated as an unregistered or a deregistered student. Students must resolve all problems with registrations with the Office of Registration and Records, and questions about payment are handled in the Business Office.

Every graduate student who officially registers for and completes a course at SUNY Brockport has an official College transcript which becomes a record of the student's achievements while in attendance. A student may request that his/her transcript be sent to any organization, office or agency by completing a Transcript Request form or by sending a signed letter of request to the Office of Registration and Records. A letter of request must include your name (and any former names), social security number, dates of attendance, degrees awarded, and a complete address where you wish the transcript sent.

A fee of $5 is paid at the time of request for each transcript requested.

A transcript is sent to the employer/agency/organization as soon as possible, generally within 48 hours of the request. However, during the peak periods it may take up to four weeks for all transcript requests to be honored.

Schedule Adjustments
The student's original registration may be adjusted through the drop/add procedures described in the Schedule of Classes and on the back of the Student's Enrollment form. The student is responsible for making sure adjustments are made accurately and by appropriate deadlines. Students should also be aware that schedule adjustments may affect their bills and financial aid status. The Financial Aid Office should be consulted when loans or aid awards are in question.

Matriculated students wishing to make a program course substitution need to secure advisor approval prior to course registration and fill out a course substitution form.

Courses dropped during the drop period do not appear on the student transcript. After the drop deadline, students who can document serious or unusual circumstances may request to leave a course by withdrawal. The student must obtain a Withdrawal Form from the Registrar's Office, obtain the required signatures, pay the $15 withdrawal fee to the bursar's office, and return the form to the registrar. When the completed form is returned to the Registrar's Office, a permanent grade of "W" will be posted on the student's transcript.

PLEASE NOTE: Schedule adjustments occur only when the appropriate documentation is received and processed by the Registrar's Office.

Drop/Add Policy
Detailed procedures for adding, dropping or withdrawing from courses are printed in the Schedule of Classes and on the Student's Enrollment form.

Courses may be added during the first week of a regular semester or during the first three days of a summer session.

The drop period for full-semester courses is during the first four weeks of classes. Courses dropped during the drop period do not appear on the student transcript. Withdrawals from courses must occur prior to the last week of classes.

Add, Drop and Withdrawal Approvals
The instructor's signature is required in order to add any course after final registration.

The instructor's permission is not required to drop a course during the first four weeks of the semester. After that date, dropping a course is termed " withdrawal," requires both the instructor's and the department chair's permission, and is granted only for illness or unusual circumstances.

Independent Study
Independent study courses are an enlargement of the graduate program and permit graduate students to pursue topics studied previously in greater depth. Each course is designed individually through consultation between the student and instructor 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 projects will be approved for any one regular semester (and no more than one in any summer session), and all projects must be included within the normal course load. No more than nine credits of independent study courses may be included in a degree program without departmental approval. In addition, each individual project must be identified for liberal arts or professional credit and may not exceed six credits. Requests to waive any of the above requirements or restrictions should be made through the department to the dean.

Arranging for Independent and Directed Studies

  1. The student begins the process before registration by obtaining an Independent and Directed Study form and an Independent Study Outline form from the department in which the course is to be taken.
  2. The student develops a content outline with the assistance of an instructor-sponsor.
  3. The application must be signed by the student, the instructor-sponsor, the department chair person, and the appropriate dean.
  4. The completed application and the content outline are submitted to the appropriate dean for recording. The registrar's copy is then submitted by the student during registration.

Directed Study
Most courses listed in the Graduate Studies catalog may be taken for credit on a directed-study basis. Students begin the process by obtaining an application from the department in which the course is to be taken, obtaining the signatures of the instructor and the department chairperson or his/her designee, and submitting the completed application to the appropriate dean for recording. The registrar's copy is then submitted by the student during registration.

Directed study is open to a student only in those instances in which a course is not offered during the session in which the student wishes to enroll. A student may carry no more than one course as directed study per semester or summer session without special permission from the appropriate dean.

Graduate Student Status
Any student holding a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution must obtain status as a matriculated or non-matriculated graduate student as a prerequisite to enrollment in courses for graduate or undergraduate credit.

Matriculated graduate students are those admitted to a course of study leading to a master 's degree or a post-master's program.

Non-matriculated graduate students are those who do not wish to seek admission, or who are in the process of being admitted, to a master's or post-master's degree program at SUNY Brockport. Certification graduate students are those students who are seeking New York state teacher certification but who are not enrolled in a master's degree program. This designation includes:

  1. persons who have completed baccaluareate degrees and wish to complete the additional course work required for provisional teacher certification; and
  2. those who hold teaching certificates and wish to complete the requirements for certification in additional areas/levels of teaching.

Definition of a Full-time Graduate Student
A full-time graduate student at SUNY Brockport is one who:

  1. is registered for 12 graduate credits per semester (additional credits may be taken with departmental approval), or
  2. is registered for nine graduate credits per semester with an assistantship or internship of 15 or more contact hours per week, or
  3. is engaged in full-time thesis research which:
    • is part of an approved program of study,
    • requires effort which is the equivalent in Carnegie units to 12 credits of work,
    • has in his or her departmental file a letter from the department chairperson or graduate program coordinator, indicating that said student is engaged in full-time thesis research for each semester or comparable summer period.

Students receiving state financial aid awards (e.g., TAP, Challenger) taking less than nine credits need to provide documentation of full-time status to the Bursar's Office. Questions regarding specific requirements should be directed to the Bursar's Office, (716) 395-2473.

Graduate Student Advisement
SUNY Brockport provides each matriculated student with a wide variety of advisement services and procedures to assist in planning an academic program consistent with institutional and departmental degree requirements, and with the student's own academic goals. Final responsibility for meeting all graduate requirements, however, remains with the student.

Matriculated students are assigned advisors from the department offering the degree. Non-matriculated students should seek counsel with respect to the appropriateness and avail ability of courses from the department offering the course.

Advisement concerning teacher certification is available in the Office of Certification and Licensure.

Credits Required for Graduation
Master's degree programs will require a minimum of 30 credits. At least 15 credits must be taken at the 600 level or above. The maximum number of credits will depend upon the requirements of the department involved and the approval of the appropriate campus and state authorities.

Ordinarily no more than nine credits of MFA independent study courses may be included in a degree program without departmental approval.

The Masters of Fine Arts in Dance is a sixty-hour program in a five-semester sequence and is recognized as a terminal degree in the field.

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.

Plan of Study
Within six months after being officially matriculated, every graduate student must obtain approval of a Plan of Study by the academic department in which the graduate is enrolled. Departments may require that students submit such plans earlier or as a condition for matriculation. The appropriate department shall retain one copy of the approved plan, file one copy with the College Graduate Admissions Office, and provide one copy to the student. Any student who does not secure approval of such a program within six months after matriculation 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.

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

Time Limit for Completion of Graduate Degree
Degree requirements shall be completed within five years of the date of matriculation. The student must complete a minimum of 12 credits in fulfillment of degree requirements after matriculation. The three annual matriculation dates are January 1, June 1 and September 1. Once admitted with matriculated graduate student status, each student is expected to maintain a reasonable continuity of study.

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.

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.

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 Graduate Admissions Office in the Rakov Center for Student Services.

Course Designation System

500-599 Introductory graduate courses.

600-699 In-depth study of subject and prerequisites usually required. All programs require a minimum of 15 credits at this level or above.

700-799 Courses designed and restricted to students matriculated in the departments' degree programs.

800-899 Courses designed and restricted to students matriculated in CAS programs.

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, the student may not register for the corresponding 500-level course.

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 Colleen Donaldson, Office of Academic Affairs, (716) 395-5118.

Binding of Thesis
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 graduate department. Additional copies for the student's personal use can be bound through the Library at the student's expense.

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.

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.

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 midterm 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. Questions regarding teacher certification should be directed to the Office of Certification and Licensure (716) 395-2344.

NOTE: Degrees are awarded for May, August, December and January. The graduate commencement ceremony is held in May of each year.

Certification and Licensure
The Office of Certification and Licensure provides information on: New York state teacher certification; teacher certification in other states, particularly those members of the Interstate Agreement on Qualification of Educational Personnel; SUNY Brockport approved and registered programs of teacher preparation; and referral to registered and approved teacher education pro grams not offered by SUNY Brockport but available at other units of the State University or other institutions of the Rochester Area Colleges Inc.

Applications for Provisional Certificate, Permanent Certificate
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.

Examination Policy

  1. Each faculty member shall have the right and the responsibility to determine the form and content of end-of-the-semester examinations (whether of the comprehensive "final" type or of the "last unit" type), subject to departmental regulation. Specifically, he/she may deter mine that some other form of evaluation is more appropriate.
  2. All end-of-the-semester examinations of the comprehensive "final" or "last unit" type shall be given during the period designated in the academic calendar for examinations, according to a schedule published no later than mid-semester by the registrar. Instruction time (excluding registration and final examinations) cannot be shortened from that designated by the academic calendar without written approval from the appropriate administrative officer.
  3. Take-home examinations, term papers and term projects may be scheduled with a due date during the last week of classes or during the examination period.
  4. The periods designated for examinations shall be spread over a period of at least five days. Each examination period shall be two hours in length. There shall be at least 15 minutes (if possible, 30 minutes) between examination periods.
    • Examinations for single-section courses will be scheduled according to normal class meeting times and places.
    • Multiple-section courses having a common class meeting will be during the examination period assigned for the common meeting time.
    • Multiple-section courses for which a single examination is required of all sections may be examined according to the meeting times of the several sections, or a request may be made for special scheduling at the time the course is requested to be listed in the class schedule. Five examination periods will be reserved for the scheduling of such multiple section courses. Preference will be given to courses with large enrollments.
    • Evening classes normally have their final examination on the night of their class during final exam week from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
  5. The registrar shall have the responsibility to permute the end-of-the-semester examination schedule so that no particular class meeting time is continually assigned to any one examination period.
  6. Changes from the published schedule may be made only under extremely unusual circumstances, and with the approval of the appropriate dean. Clearance for the physical arrangements will be made with the appropriate administrative officer. The instructor is obliged to notify his or her students of such rescheduling at least three weeks prior to the examination.
  7. Students with more than two examinations in one day or with more than one examination scheduled during the same time period shall have the right to request rescheduling. The scheduling difficulty must be verified by the appropriate administrative officer, after which the examination will be rescheduled for a time mutually agreeable to the instructor and the student. At least one period on the last day of the end-of-the-semester examination period shall be reserved for the resolution of conflicts which cannot otherwise be resolved.

Grading System
A letter grade is given for every course in which a student has registered. 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) and "I" (Incomplete). 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 depart mental 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). A cumulative index of 3.0 is required in all graduate work at SUNY Brockport to be credited toward a degree.

An "I" (Incomplete) shall be 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 shall execute and sign an Incomplete Contract. The contract shall state 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. The contract shall be processed administratively in accordance with the instructions printed thereon. When the student completes the work as stated on the contract, the instructor shall report the grade earned in the manner prescribed on the "I" contract form. The grade given upon completion will be 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 a new date from the instructor within 30 days after the date assigned for the completion of the work, the registrar shall record the alternate grade and notify the instructor of that action. A student who received an "I" grade shall 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 the spring semester or either 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 shall not exceed the equivalent of an additional semester.

At the graduate level, extensions may be granted for up to two years for the completion of the required culminating experience.

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

Repeating Courses
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.

Computing 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). Such cumulative index shall be completed only upon graduation.

Change of Grade

  1. Changing any reported grade is the responsibility of the instructor concerned.
  2. To change a grade, the instructor must complete an official form indicating the desired change and the reason for it.
  3. 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.
  4. Change of Grade forms are available to faculty members in the Office of Registration and Records.

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 he/she 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 policy for Student Grade Appeals in the Your Right to Know & Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook.

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 station WHAM, 1180 on the AM radio dial.

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 radio station WHAM, 1180 on the AM radio dial.

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

Change of Address or name
Students should promptly report a change of name, address or social security number in writing to the Office of Registration and Records, SUNY Brockport, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, NY 14420-2966. This will ensure receipt of all important graduate mailings (e.g., registration schedule, bulk mailing, etc.) and pr event problems that may arise due to an incorrect address. The Office of Registration and Records can be reached at (716) 395-2531 between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Diplomas are mailed to the address given on the Application for Graduation. It is important to note that changing your address on the College records will not affect your diploma address. If the diploma address needs to be changed, you must request it specifically.

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.

Directory Information
Under the provisions of the federal government's "Privacy Rights of Parents and Students" regulations, the College is giving public notice of its intent to publish "directory information" concerning students enrolled during the academic year at SUNY Brockport.

Directory information includes the following data: the student's name, permanent and local address, telephone listing, college, class, major, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Students may wish to avoid the release of all such information without their consent by making a request in writing to the Office of Registration and Records, SUNY Brockport, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, NY 14420-2966.

Last Updated 7/1/20

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