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Undergraduate Academic Program and Graduation Requirements

The academic program at 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 their particular professional interest. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science degree options includes general education requirements, requirements for a major area of study, and elective courses. Students may also select a minor area of study, if they wish (optional). Each undergraduate student is encouraged to develop an academic plan, with the assistance, of their faculty advisor.

The purpose of the Pathways General Education requirements is to contribute to the liberal education of the undergraduate student. These requirements are flexible and are divided into specific areas. Within a given area, each undergraduate student chooses courses according to their particular interest. Students may choose a major from a variety of liberal arts programs and/or professional programs (Professional programs require approval from the academic department chair for admission to these programs). These programs (HEGIS codes) are listed under the department that the program falls under.

Undergraduate 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 College involves more flexible approaches for learning, including field work experiences, independent study options and on-line courses.

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, practical's, 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

Undergraduate students are required to apply for graduation on CUNYfirst during the semester and/or session prior to the semester and/or session in which they plan to complete their degree requirements for graduation. (See York College Academic Calendar for exact application deadline date.)

Students can apply for graduation on CUNYFirst via the Student Center-Graduation. Students who will not be participating at York College when applying must first receive permission from the Office of the Registrar -Graduation unit, to graduate in absentia and then apply for graduation. If you miss this deadline contact the Office of the Registrar-Graduation unit for information.

Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 120 Credits are required for the Baccalaureate Degree. There are four conferral periods each year, January, February, June and September, but only one commencement exercise, in May or June.

To be considered for graduation, students must complete requirements in the following areas:

• General Education/Pathways General Education

• Major

• Liberal Arts

• Writing Intensive course(s)

• 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 minimum of 120 credits for graduation. Colleges may be granted waivers from the CUNY 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)

Graduating Terms

There are four conferral periods each year, January, February, June and September, but only one commencement exercise, in May or June.

Liberal Arts Requirement

The New York State Education Department requires 30 credits in Liberal Arts for the Bachelor of Music program, 60 credits in Liberal Arts for the Bachelor of Science program and 90 credits in Liberal Arts for the Bachelor of Arts program. In the list of course descriptions, courses which are Liberal Arts, for all undergraduate students, are identified by (Liberal Arts) after the course number.

The Following are NOT Liberal Arts Courses:

Academic Computing, Accounting, Aviation, Biotechnology (except Biotechnology 480), Business, Communications Technology, Co-op, Education, Finance, Health Education 200, 224 and 317, Health Professions (except EHS 110, EHS 140, HPGC 101, HPGC 102 and HPGC 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, an undergraduate 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 York 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(s) 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 undergraduate students earning an overall GPA of 4.0, and

2. Having completed all course work at York College.

Writing Intensive Course Requirements

Undergraduate students admitted (or readmitted*) into York College in Fall 2001 or later must meet the Writing Intensive course(s) requirement passed by the York College Senate, by taking (3) 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.

In order to graduate, students who began their undergraduate studies at York College and undergraduate students who transfer to York College without a prior A.A., A.S., or Bachelor's degree must complete three (3) courses designated Writing Intensive (WI). At least one of these courses must be at the 300-level or above and in the student's major. Undergraduate students who transfer to York College will be responsible for fulfilling all Writing Intensive course requirements for graduation. Students may transfer up to two Writing Intensive courses to fulfill this requirement. Transfer students should consult with an advisor about the number of WI courses required for graduation.

Each semester, WI sections are indicated on the Class Schedule (select WI under Course Attribute) as well as on Schedule Builder. Use the Advanced Search feature and select Writing Intensive in Course Attribute. A list is also posted on the Writing Across the Curriculum Program Website.

All completed WI courses are indicated on the undergraduate students’ transcript by a statement directly below the course. For further information, contact the Coordinator for Writing Across the Curriculum or see the WAC Program website.

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


York College undergraduate students, who have not been participating for two or more semesters, must fill out the Readmission Application (Undergraduate) application found on the Office of the Registrar homepage under forms section. The application must be completed, including any college(s) attended while away from York College. Once the application is completed, it must be signed and dated then, uploaded along with a valid photo ID to the Office of the Registrar secure portal. Student’s CUNYfirst account will be billed a readmission fee, in the amount of twenty dollars ($20.00). This fee is Non-refundable.

Only students who attended a Non-CUNY institution must have an official transcript sent, directly from the other institution to York College, when they apply for readmission. PDF it directly to or have it mailed to York College, 9420 Guy R. Brewer, Jamaica, NY 11451, Attention: Office of the Registrar- Transfer unit.

  1. Undergraduate students, who have been separated from York College for two (2) or more semesters must follow Pathways General Education requirements, as stipulated in the Bulletin in effect at the time of their readmission.

  2. Undergraduate students, who have been separated from York College for three (3) or more semesters, must follow major requirements as stipulated in the Bulletin in effect at the time of their readmission.

Undergraduate students who have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above are eligible to apply for readmission. Undergraduate students who were dismissed at the end of their last semester of participation at York College or returning students whose York College GPA is below 2.0 must first file a petition for readmission with the (CAPS) Committee on Academic Policy and Standards. Petitions for Readmission with the CAPS department must be filed at least two months prior to the term and/or session for which the student wishes to be readmitted (petitions are only valid for the term and/or session it is issued for).

If the petition is approved, the student must then submit a Readmission Application (Undergraduate) with the Office of the Registrar, at least one month before the beginning of the semester and/or session for which they wish to be readmitted, follow direction on the top of this section.

Bachelor Degree Credits

The minimum number of credits for a Bachelor's degree is 120. Some students may have to take additional credit(s) to complete all graduation requirements.

Achieving a passing grade in a credit-bearing York College course(s) or by any of the following means, these are all counted as transfer course(s):

  • Transferring credit(s) from another institution.

  • Achieving a sufficient grade on a special examination (see the section on Special Examinations).

  • Credit(s) for Military Service (see the section on Special Examinations).

Students who receive credit(s) based upon examinations, life experience, and/or military must still complete a minimum of 90 credits in college courses.

To qualify for a degree from York College, undergraduate students must successfully complete a minimum of 40 in residency credits at York College and at least half of their credits in the major program must be taken at York College.

Undergraduate students must take prerequisite course(s) before registering for an advanced course. Once an advance course is taken the student cannot take lower level course(s). Example: An undergraduate student who takes SPAN 102 cannot register for SPAN 101 or an undergraduate student who takes a 300-level course cannot go back and take a 100-level course in that discipline.

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

  • 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

Posthumous Degree Policy

A deceased undergraduate student may be considered a candidate for a posthumous degree by York College in the unfortunate event that they pass away near the completion of their academic program. It is given to recognize the student's work and as a source of solace for the family. The next of kin (including child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner) may request a posthumous degree. The general requirements for a posthumous degree are:

  • York College must verify that the student is deceased, usually by obtaining a death certificate from the family

  • 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

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

NOTE: Latin honors are not awarded on posthumous degrees.