Academic Program and Graduation Requirements
The academic program of York College is planned to aid the personal and professional development of each student. It is based on the liberal arts approach, and is designed to provide the opportunity for each student to pursue his or her particular professional interest. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree options includes general education requirements, requirements for a major area of study, and elective courses. If they wish, students may also select a minor area of study. Each student is encouraged to develop an academic plan with the assistance of his/her faculty advisor.
The purpose of the general education requirements is to contribute to the liberal education of the student. These requirements are flexible and divide into three broad areas: the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences and mathematics.
Within a given area, each student chooses courses according to his/her particular interests. Students may choose a major from a variety of liberal arts and professional programs. These are given in the HEGIS listing. Pre- professional course sequences are available for students who are interested in applying to schools of medicine, dentistry, law, and engineering.
Students may choose their electives from a wide range of courses which will support their major, broaden their interests, or advance their educational and career goals. In addition to the regular classroom approach, the curriculum at York involves more flexible approaches for learning, including field work experiences, independent study options, auto-tutorial programs, and on-line courses. Cooperative Education work experiences are required in some majors and optional in others.
Applying for Graduation
Students are required to file a diploma card during the semester prior to the semester in which they plan to complete their requirements for graduation. (See College calendar for exact deadline date for application.)
The diploma card is available in the Office of the Registrar. Students who will not be in attendance at York when completing their final requirements must first receive permission from the Registrar to graduate in absentia and file a diploma card in the Office of the Registrar.
A minimum of 120 credits are required for the Baccalaureate degree.
To be considered for graduation, students must complete requirements in the following areas:
- general education
- liberal arts
- writing intensive courses
- Grade Point Average of 2.0 or better (major and overall), higher GPA may apply for professional programs (see program page).
Waiver of Degree Requirements
Under extenuating circumstances a student may petition the department chairperson for a waiver of certain requirements for the major which must then be approved by the Office of the Registrar. The request must be based on circumstances beyond the student’s control and can only be granted if such a waiver does not seriously impair the comprehensive nature of the major. In some programs leading to certification or licensure, waivers may not be possible. In no case is the waiver to be granted merely to accelerate graduation. Requests for waivers of college-wide requirements must be made to the Committee on Academic Standards within the context of the above stipulation.
General Education Requirements
Students may complete the General Education requirements either by successfully completing the approved courses or by otherwise demonstrating competence in the area of knowledge and skill to which course work is directed. (See the section on Special Examinations.)
Transfer students may be granted credit for some of the General Education Requirements, based on previous college work. Courses used to fulfill the major discipline requirements may not be used to satisfy the general education requirements.
Students are required to follow the General Education Requirements stipulated in the College bulletin in effect at the time they are matriculated at York College. If there is a change in any of these requirements after students are matriculated, they are not obligated to adhere to the new requirement, except in unusual circumstances involving CUNY-wide regulations or changes in state certified programs or if the student has not been in attendance three or more consecutive semesters. In the case of a change in the major requirements after students are admitted, they have the option to choose to graduate either under the requirement in effect when they matriculated at the College, or under the new requirement. Students who are separated from the College for three or more consecutive semesters must follow the bulletin in effect at the time they are readmitted. Students who change their major must adhere to the major requirements identified in the bulletin in effect at the time of declaration of the new major.
It should be noted that students must complete either the old program or the new program in its entirety, and may not combine some of the requirements from each program. In addition, when students change from an old program requirement to a new requirement, it is necessary that they officially notify the Office of the Registrar.
Every student who is a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science must satisfy the General Education Requirement, except as listed below. No General Education course may be used to fulfill major requirements. Important: Some departments require students to take specific General Education requirements. Please check with the academic department for required courses.
Students with an A.A., A.S. or A.A.S. degree from a CUNY or SUNY community college, with the exception of students in the Nursing Program, will have fulfilled the General Education Requirements except for Writing 301, 302 or 303. Students may still have to take some courses included in the GER if they are required by their major, or they are prerequisites for other courses.
Students who do not hold a two-year degree from a CUNY or SUNY community college, but have at least 45 credits in liberal arts and sciences from a regionally accredited college may apply for a full or partial waiver from the General Education Requirements, based on the evaluation of the credits transferred.
Graduation Honors will be established as follows:
- Cum Laude, 3.5 - 3.69
- Magna cum laude, 3.7 - 3.84
- Summa cum laude, 3.85 - 4.0
- Meet the College's residency requirement of 56 credits
- Computation of Graduation Honors will be based on:
- The grades of A+ through F
- NC, R, WU and INC are calculated as F grades for Dean's List
- Administrative grades of PEN, W, WA, *WN, and Z are excluded from calculations, and
- Eligibility will be calculated when all grades have been processed by the Office of the Registrar.
The Graduation Honor of "Presidential Honors" is to be established:
- Recognize students earning an overall GPA of 4.0, and
- Having completed all course work at York College.
There are three graduating periods each year, September, February and June, but only one commencement exercise, in June. To be graduated, students must complete the following requirements.
The Spiral Writing Curriculum: Advice for Students
York College has a “spiral” writing curriculum, in which students are required to take at least five courses that include not only significant amounts of writing, but also specific instruction in the writing process. In order to graduate, students who enter York as freshmen or transfer students who are required to complete York General Education requirements must complete:
- ENG 125 Introduction to College Writing. Normally taken in first semester of enrollment.
- Two lower-level courses designated as Writing Intensive (WI)—see below. Should be taken as soon as possible after passing ENG 125, which is a prerequisite for all lower-level WI courses: both should be completed by end of sophomore year.
- WRIT 301, 302, or 303—see below. Normally taken during the junior year (as soon as possible after reaching 60 credits). Transfer students who enter with the General Education requirements fulfilled should take it right away.
- One upper division writing intensive course (at the 300 level or above) within the major. All such courses carry WRIT 301, 302, or 303 as a prerequisite.
Students should plan their academic program to ensure that they are taking courses in the order described, and that they will meet these requirements by graduation.
ENG 125 Introduction to College Writing
ENG 125 is a first-year composition course required of all entering students. For more information see the description under the English Department courses, or consult the English Department Website.
Writing Intensive Course Requirements
Students who entered the College (or were readmitted*) in Fall 2001 or later must meet the Writing Intensive course requirement passed by the York College Senate by taking three Writing Intensive-designated (WI) courses. Writing intensive courses are content courses in a specific discipline which require significant amounts of writing, and also focus on the genres and the writing process appropriate to the subject, including opportunities for revision.
Students must complete:
- two WI courses in the lower division of the curriculum (at the 100 or 200 level), and
- one WI course in the upper division of the curriculum (at the 300 level or above) within the major.
Each semester, WI sections are indicated in Schedule of Classes, and a list is posted on the Writing Across the Curriculum Program Website.
On a student’s transcript, completed WI courses are indicated by W or WI to the left of the grade. For further information, contact the Coordinator for Writing Across the Curriculum or see the WAC Program website.
Writing 301, 302, or 303
These are junior-level academic research and writing courses that help students transition from lower-division coursework to the more discipline-specific and independent work that characterizes inquiry in the upper-division in the majors.
All students at York College complete Writing 301, 302, or 303 (Writing 300) after the 60th credit. Placement at the 60th credit makes it possible for Writing 300 to build on freshman writing and writing intensive lower-division coursework. Upper-division writing intensive coursework in the majors, part of the York College Writing Across the Curriculum Program, stipulates that Writing 300 is a co- or pre-requisite.
Any of the three versions of Writing 300 will meet the upper-division writing requirement for graduation. Students are advised to take the Writing 300 course most appropriate to their major field of study whenever possible.
For more information on these courses, see the Writing Program Website.
Information for Transfer students
Except for second-degree students, all students admitted Fall 1996 or later must take Writing 301, 302, or 303, which is a prerequisite or corequisite for all upper division Writing Intensive courses.
Transfer students who enter with the General Education Requirements fulfilled must take one WI course in the upper division within the major.
If their major has no upper-division WI course, they must take one WI course (outside their major) chosen in consultation with their major advisor. The WAC Course Coordinating Committee, as part of its charge from the York College Senate, will make case-by-case determinations of the requirement only for students who present special circumstances that make it impossible for them to meet these guidelines.
Information for students who entered as freshmen 2001-2003
All students who entered the College as freshmen between Fall 2001 and Spring 2003 are required to take two (not three) WI courses for graduation. If the major discipline has defined an upper-division WI course that must be one of the two WI courses taken for graduation. If the major discipline has not yet defined an upper-division WI course, one of the two courses must be chosen in consultation with the major advisor.
The minimum number of credits for a Bachelor’s degree is 120. Some students may have to take additional credits to complete all graduation requirements. Credits may be gained by:
Achieving a passing grade in a credit-bearing York College course or by any of the following means, all of which are counted as transfer credits:
- Transferring credits from another post-high school institution
- Achieving a sufficient grade on a special examination (see the section on Special Examinations)
- Credits for Life Experience (see the Community Professional Program section)
- Credits for Military Service (see the section on Special Examinations)
Students who receive credit based upon examinations, life experience, and military credit must complete a minimum of 90 credits in college courses.
To qualify for a degree from York College, students must successfully complete a minimum of 40 credits at York. At least half of the credits in the major program must be taken at York.
Requests for credit for a prerequisite course must be made before a student registers for an advanced course. No credit will be granted for a prerequisite course once the student has registered for the advanced course.
Grade Point Averages
Students are required to have (at least) a “C” average for graduation for most majors. Please consult individual major program descriptions for details.
- A “C” average in all York College courses and,
- An overall “C” average for the courses in their major disciplines,
A student can not graduate with an unresolved grade (INC/PEN), nor will any grade change be applied to the record once a student has graduated.
In addition each student must have a Cumulative Point Value of 0 or greater to graduate from York College (see page19 for more information)
Liberal Arts Requirement
The New York State Education Department requires 60 Liberal Arts credits in a Bachelor of Science program and 90 Liberal Arts credits in a Bachelor of Arts program. In the list of course descriptions, courses which are liberal arts for all students are identified by (Liberal Arts) after the course number. Courses identified with ( X) CANNOT be used for Liberal Arts credits by Accounting majors.
The following are NOT Liberal Arts courses:
Academic Computing, Accounting, Biotechnology (except Biotechnology 480), Business, Communications Technology, Co-op, Education, Health Education 200, 224 & 317, Health Professions (except HPEH 110, 140, HPGC 101, 102 and 201), Health Sciences Physician Assistant, Marketing, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Education 100 & 200 level courses, 311, 312 & 313, Social Work, Student Development 102- 105 & 301, All Field Work, Internships & Practicum Courses.
In addition to the above, Accounting majors MAY NOT use the following courses as liberal arts:
Fine Arts courses listed in groups I, II & III of the Studio Art Major, Health Education, Music 131-148, 231-248, 331-339, and 431-439, SEEK Counseling Seminars, Student Development, or Theater Arts 112-115 and 215-219.
*Note: Students who have not been in attendance for three or more semesters must follow the College Bulletin in effect at the time of readmission. Students who change their major must adhere to the major requirements identified in the bulletin in effect at the time of declaration of the new major.
Students are given an opportunity to engage in writing activities and complete assignments designed to develop their competence in reading, critical thinking, and writing.