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.

Credit Hours

York College follows and applies federal and state guidelines in designing and offering courses. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction is equivalent to one credit and two hours of lab is equivalent to one credit for a 15 week semester:

"Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours."

(As defined by US Federal Regulations 600.2 (vc 27))

Applying for Graduation

Students are required to apply for graduation on CUNYfirst during the semester prior to the semester in which they plan to complete their degree requirements for graduation. (See College Academic Calendar for exact application deadline date.)

Students can apply for graduation on CUNYfirst via the Student Center or Self Service. Students who will not be in attendance at York when completing their final requirements must first receive permission from the Office of the Registrar to graduate in absentia and apply for graduation.

Graduation Requirements

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/Pathways general education
  • Major
  • Liberal arts
  • Writing intensive courses
  • Grade Point Average of 2.0 or better (major and overall), a higher GPA may be required for professional programs (see program page).

It shall be University policy that all bachelor's degree programs require a maximum of 120 credits for graduation. Colleges may be granted waivers from the Office of Academic Affairs for undergraduate degree programs that require additional credits for certification or accreditation from outside professional organizations or for other compelling educational reasons. (BTM,1997,11-24,010,__)

(Source: CUNY Manual of General Policy)

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.

The following are NOT Liberal Arts courses:

Academic Computing, Accounting, Biotechnology (except Biotechnology 480), Business, Communications Technology, Co-op, Education, Health Education 200, 224 and 317, Health Professions (except EHS110, 140, HPGC 101, 102 and 201), Health Sciences Physician Assistant, Journalism 385, Marketing, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Education 100 and 200 level courses, 311, 312 and 313, Social Work, Student Development 102- 105 and 301, All Field Work, Internships and Practicum Courses.

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 Policy and Standards within the context of the above stipulation.

Graduation Honors

Graduation Honors will be established as follows:

  1. Criteria
    1. Cum Laude, 3.500 - 3.699.
    2. Magna cum laude, 3.700 - 3.849.
    3. Summa cum laude, 3.850 - 4.000.
  2. Meet the College's residency requirement of 56 credits.
  3. Computation of Graduation Honors will be based on:
    1. The grades of A+ through F,
    2. NC, R, WU and failing grades with the Exclude Credit and GPA repeat code are calculated as F grades,
    3. Administrative grades of W, WA and WN are excluded from calculations, and
    4. Eligibility will be calculated when all grades have been processed by the Office of the Registrar.
    5. Requests for grade changes after the degree has been conferred cannot be processed. Therefore, the degree GPA and honors earned or not earned will remain unchanged.

Presidential Honors

The Graduation Honor of "Presidential Honors" is to be established:

  1. Recognize students earning an overall GPA of 4.0, and
  2. Having completed all course work at York College.

Graduating Terms

There are four conferral periods each year, August, January, February and May/June, but only one commencement exercise, in May/June. To be graduated, students must complete the following degree requirements:

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. Every student, including transfer students, is required to complete one upper division WI course within each declared major. If the major has no upper division WI course, the student must complete a WI course (outside of their major) chosen in consultation with their major advisor. The department chair will need to notify Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) of this advised course that will satisfy the upper WI requirement. Writing Across the Curriculum, 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.

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 a statement directly below the course. For further information, contact the Coordinator for Writing Across the Curriculum or see the WAC Program website.

*Students who have not been in attendance for two or more semesters must follow the 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.

**Transfer students with prior A.A., A.S. or Bachelor's degree are exempt from the lower division WI requirement.

Writing 301, 302, 303 or 304.

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. WRIT 301/302/303/304 is included in the Pathways College Option area.

Any of the four versions of Writing 300 will meet the Pathways College Option requirement. Students are advised to take the Writing 300 course most appropriate to their field of study whenever possible.

All students who entered York College before Fall 2013, and who have not opted in to the Pathways General Education curriculum, should complete Writing 301, 302, 303 or 304 (Writing 300) after ENG 126. Placement at the 60th credit makes it possible for Writing 300 to build on first-year writing and writing intensive lower-division coursework. Students who have opted in to Pathways should consider taking Writing 300 to fulfill part of their College Option; several majors require this course, and it is a prerequisite to some other courses.

For more information on these courses, see the Writing Program Website.

Information for Transfer students

Except for second-degree students, all students admitted between Fall 1996 and Fall 2013 must take Writing 301, 302, 303 or 304. All students admitted in Fall 2013 or later may take Writing 301, 302 , 303 or 304 to fulfill part of the Pathways College Option. This course is also required by some majors.

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 Writing Intensive Advisory 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.

Bachelor Degree Credits

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.

This includes:

  • A "C" average in all York College courses, and
  • An overall "C" average for the courses in their major disciplines,

A student cannot graduate with an unresolved grade (INC/PEN), nor will any grade change be applied to the record once a student has graduated.

Posthumous Degree Policy

May be awarded posthumously, in the unfortunate event that a student passes away near the completion of his or her academic program, at York College. To recognize the student's work and as a source of solace for the family, next of kin (including child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner) may request a posthumous degree. The following requirements apply:

  • The college must substantiate that the student is deceased, usually by obtaining a death certificate from the kin
  • The student must have been enrolled in any term within one year of the degree date
  • The student must be in good academic standing
  • The student must have no disciplinary sanctions pending
  • The death must not have been the result of illegal behavior on the part of the student

Please note that Latin honors are not awarded on posthumous degrees.

Bachelor's Degree Student

A posthumous bachelor's degree will be granted to a deceased student who meets the general requirements above and who has achieved senior standing (a minimum 90 credits earned).