Academic Information

Graduation and Program Regulations

To graduate, students must meet all College, school, and departmental requirements as described in this catalog. Where it is applicable, students must also meet certain specific academic requirements concerning prerequisites, course sequences, teaching options, and special examinations as posted by academic departments.

Graduation is contingent on the following:

1. Compliance with the regulations of the New York State Education Department regarding the percentage of credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences that must be completed for each kind of degree conferred:

  • Bachelor of arts -- 75 percent liberal arts and sciences credits

  • Bachelor of science -- 50 percent liberal arts and sciences credits

  • Bachelor of fine arts -- 25 percent liberal arts and sciences credits

  • Bachelor of music -- 25 percent liberal arts and sciences credits

2. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 120 credits, including all required courses, plus a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00. Program requirements may stipulate more than this minimum; check program listings under the appropriate school.

In general, no more than 6 credits of physical activity, leisure, and safety (PALS) courses, taken as free/open electives, may be counted toward graduation, but some majors allow fewer credits. Check individual program major and school regulations.

3. Registration in a major discipline for at least the semester prior to graduation. If a minor is sought, registration for at least the semester prior to graduation.

4. Satisfactory completion of all current New York State requirements for teacher certification, if appropriate. See section below on teacher certification.

5. Completion of the last 30 credit hours at Ithaca College. See "Senior Credit Requirement" below.

6. Satisfactory completion by transfer students of at least 30 credit hours at Ithaca College. Program requirements may stipulate more than this minimum; check program listings under the appropriate school.

Ithaca College will post degrees at five graduation dates in each academic year:

  • the last day of the first block for the fall semester (October)
  • the last day of final exams for the fall semester (December)
  • the day of Commencement for the spring semester (May)
  • the last day of the first summer session (June)
  • mid- to late August

Teacher Certification

Students who wish to prepare for a teaching career in elementary or secondary schools must comply with the school and department major or "teaching option" regulations. These are based on the requirements for initial certification in New York State. Students planning to teach in states other than New York should consult with the chair of the Department of Education concerning requirements in those states. All students interested in teacher education programs must check with the appropriate department chair or coordinator for further information. Professional certification in New York State requires a graduate degree that is functionally related to a subject field or grade level and a minimum of three years of full-time elementary and/or secondary teaching experience in the candidate's area of provisional or initial certification.

Certification is not automatic but is awarded only on completion of an approved teacher education program, achieving passing scores on required teacher education exams, and applying for certification from the appropriate state education department. All students applying for New York State certification are required by the New York State commissioner of education to complete a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check prior to certification. Applications for New York State teacher certification can be submitted through the Office of Teaching and Certification, housed in the Department of Education.

Graduation with a Planned Studies Major

Candidates must satisfactorily complete the specific course of study approved for the planned studies major and filed with the registrar, as well as requirements for the degree of bachelor of arts or bachelor of science.
Planned Studies

Graduation with a Double Major

Candidates must satisfy all requirements for two major programs that lead to the same kind of degree (that is, two B.A. programs or two B.S. programs, etc.). A double major requires extremely careful planning in order to meet New York State, College, school, and departmental requirements. The Office of the Registrar can advise students on the feasibility of particular combinations. No degree is granted until all requirements for both majors are fulfilled.

Graduation with a Second Baccalaureate Degree

Candidates must complete all course requirements for the second degree and complete at least 30 credits in addition to the credits required for the first degree. Students planning to complete a second baccalaureate degree must first check with the registrar's office for details on New York State Education Department requirements.

Graduation Honors

Seniors whose cumulative GPA reflects excellent scholarship are awarded their degree cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. The cumulative GPA ranges for the three honors designations are listed below. A minimum of 60 credits must be earned at Ithaca College to qualify for this recognition.

Summa cum Laude

3.900 and above

Magna cum Laude


Cum Laude


"Incomplete" Deadlines for Seniors

Seniors who are planning to count toward their graduation requirements credits for courses in which they have an "incomplete" must observe the appropriate deadline:

Graduation Date
"Incomplete" Removal Date


October 1


November 1


April 15


May 30


July 15

This deadline in no way invalidates the one-semester rule or faculty-assigned completion dates but is a necessary modification dictated by the need for graduation certification.

Senior Credit Requirement

To maintain the integrity of the academic experience, the senior year must be completed in residence at Ithaca College. To this end, students are required to complete the last 30 credits of their degree program at Ithaca College.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may petition the dean for a special waiver of this requirement, allowing completion of a limited number of these final credits elsewhere. To seek the waiver, the student must complete all steps outlined on the petition form, available in the registrar's office.

Deadlines for petition to waive the senior credit requirement:

  • Waiver to cover summer study: May 1

  • Waiver for fall semester: June 15

  • Waiver for spring semester: December 15 (for international study: December 1)

Certain programs stipulate that some courses required for the major must be taken at Ithaca College. See school and departmental regulations.

Graduate Record Examination

It is imperative that seniors applying for graduate stipends take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) early in the senior year. Many graduate institutions require GRE results as part of the application for admission. For information, check with the Office of Career Services.

Application to Graduate

Candidates for graduation must file an application to graduate. The application must be filed online with the registrar by the specific filing deadline for December, May, or September graduation, as shown in the "Academic Calendar" section of this catalog.
Academic Calendar


A transcript is the official record, compiled by the Office of the Registrar, of a student's academic career. For each semester, the transcript shows the student's school and major; courses, credits, and grades; semester and cumulative GPAs; and notice of academic suspension or dismissal, leave of absence, or withdrawal. Transfer credit is also recorded, but without grades.

The completed transcript records the degree and major, minor and/or concentration as appropriate, final graduation GPA, and the date the degree was conferred.

Admission to a Major

1. Students who have not registered for a specific major when they enter the College may be admitted to the exploratory category in the School of Humanities and Sciences or the preprofessional category in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance (if they have a general interest in professions related to health care, sport, or leisure). These two categories are just for advising purposes; they are not major programs and students may remain in them for a limited time only. More detailed information is available in the sections on the two schools.

2. Admission to a major requires written acceptance by the academic dean and the chair of the department that offers the major. A student is not officially registered in a major until a completed registration for the major is on file with the registrar. Registration for the major must be completed by the end of the semester before the semester of graduation.

3. Students may not transfer from the school or major into which they were admitted until they have completed at least one semester in that school or major. To change majors (and/or schools), students must follow the procedures set out in (2) above. Specific information on application procedures for internal transfers (from one school to another) or for a change of major is published by individual schools and can be obtained from the respective deans.

4. Students who change their major are bound by the regulations that are in effect for the new major the semester they begin studies in that program.

Admission to a Minor or Concentration

A minor is a structured plan of study that comprises a minimum of five courses for at least 15 credits. A minor is outside the specific discipline in which the student is majoring.

A concentration is a structured plan of study that comprises a minimum of five courses for at least 15 credits. A concentration is within a student's major discipline.

Admission to a minor or a concentration requires written acceptance by the chair of the department that offers the minor or concentration. A student is not officially registered in a minor or concentration until a completed registration form is on file with the registrar.

Registration for the minor or concentration must be completed by the end of the semester preceding the semester of graduation. If that is done and all requirements for the minor or concentration are successfully completed before graduation, the minor or concentration is recorded on the transcript.

Once a student receives a bachelor's degree from Ithaca College, the student's degree transcript is a complete record. The student may return to Ithaca College for further study, but courses taken after the completion of a degree are not eligible to be applied to the requirements of a concentration, emphasis, or minor associated with that degree.

All-College Regulations Specifically for a Major or Minor

1. Certain programs stipulate that some courses required for the major must be taken at Ithaca College. In making such a stipulation, the departments concerned are bound by external accrediting agencies; therefore, students should take note that this policy cannot be waived.

2. Prior approval must be obtained before any course required in fulfillment of a major is taken at another institution (e.g., in summer school) for transfer credit. For information on the procedure to be followed, see the "Credit from External Sources" section.
Credit from External Sources

3. Any course required for either a major or minor program must be taken for a letter grade unless the course is offered only on a pass/fail basis. In this context, required courses are those that are specified as such by number and title or are selected to fulfill a specified number of departmental credits.

4. In the Roy H. Park School of Communications, majors must take all communications courses, whether required or elective, and all outside courses required for the major for a letter grade. The only exceptions are specially designated communications courses, which may be offered on a pass/fail basis, and internships, which are offered only pass/fail. Courses a student has taken pass/fail and passed before becoming a major will be accepted.

5. A course that fulfills a requirement for a student's major and minor programs is counted toward the major. The minor discipline determines whether that requirement is to be waived or how else it must be fulfilled. In this context, a required course is one specified by number and title.

Academic Regulations for a Concentration

See appropriate program listings under the individual schools.