Academic Rules

Degree and Certificate Programs

 

Graduate

 

Certificates of Advanced Study

Certificates of Advanced Study (C.A.S.)  (excluding programs registered as preparing individuals for a teaching certificate, educational leadership certificate, or a professional license issue by the State Education Department)

C.A.S. programs may be part of an existing degree program or a stand-alone program of study. In cases in which two or more C.A.S.s are to be earned by one student, the minimum number of credits earned by the student must be at least 80 percent of the combined total of SU credits required for each certificate. However, two 12-credit C.A.S.s may not be awarded for less than 21 credits. Courses used toward other graduate degrees at SU may be included in the calculation, but cannot violate the Concurrent or Multiple Program of Study rule except in cases in which the C.A.S. is embedded in the degree program. 

Eligibility requirement  To be awarded a C.A.S., a student must be matriculated in the certificate program for at least one semester.

Master's Degrees

Program of Study
A matriculated student who is studying for the master’s degree must satisfactorily complete a program of study of not less than 30 credits that is approved by the academic unit and filed with the Graduate Degree Certification Office.

Time to Degree
You must meet all requirements for the master’s degree within seven years from the time you register for the first course to be used in your master’s degree program. If you do not meet this requirement, you may petition your school/college for reinstatement of credits that were completed outside the seven-year timeframe.

Concurrent or Multiple Programs of Study
In order to earn two or more distinct SU master’s degrees, you must earn a minimum of 80 percent of the combined total of SU credits normally required for each of the degrees. Two 30-credit master’s degrees will not be awarded for fewer than 51 credits, nor will three 30-credit master’s degrees be awarded for fewer than 75 credits.  

You must be admitted to a master’s program in each of the awarding academic units, and must successfully petition to the Graduate Degree Certification Office for each of the degrees to be earned. 

Note: these statements do not refer to joint programs with the College of Law or the master of philosophy degrees.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SU concurrent study:
SU and SUNY ESF have agreements that encourage concurrent master’s study in environmental science and forestry with SU degree work in public communications, law, management, public administration, and certain education programs. Other SU fields may also qualify. Contact your school/college, the Graduate School, and SUNY ESF for specific requirements and procedures regarding concurrent degree work.

Comprehensive Examinations
Your school/college will determine the nature of any comprehensive examination or examinations that apply toward your master’s degree. Such exams may or may not be directly related to the content of particular courses you have taken.  

Oral Examination
An oral examination committee consists of four voting members that include a chairperson, thesis or area of study advisor, and other specialists in your subject area. The school/college will conduct the examination in the manner it considers most effective; contact your department and school/college for specific procedures and guidelines. The committee chair will preside over the exam and ensure that department/school/college and Graduate School/Graduate Degree Certification Office regulations and declared policies are followed.

Your oral examination committee will prepare a report that reflects one of the following statuses: pass; pass with minor revisions (generally editorial); pass with major revisions (substantive); not pass. You are entitled to an explanation from the committee concerning the results of the examination.

Doctoral Degrees

Requirements for the doctoral degree emphasize mastery of a field of knowledge, familiarity with allied areas, facility in the use of research techniques, and responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. The degree is given in recognition of high attainments in your chosen field, as shown by the completion of specified courses and by the production of a dissertation demonstrating the ability to carry out independent investigation that advances knowledge in the field.

Program of Study
Each academic unit determines, consistent with its approved and registered curriculum, the number of coursework credits and the number of dissertation credits that will constitute your program of study, including that portion of the work for the master’s that will form an integral part of the doctoral program. Minor courses included in the program of study should support the total program, rather than be restricted to academic unit boundaries.
   
Multiple Degree Requests That Include the the Doctorate
If you wish to pursue a master’s degree outside your doctoral field, then the appropriate academic units, their deans, and the dean of the Graduate School will determine the number of credits you’ll need to earn in order to meet all degree requirements.

Qualifying Examinations
You must pass a qualifying examination no later than the end of the term prior to the term in which you expect to complete Ph.D. degree requirements. The qualifying exam will be set by your academic unit, and may be in oral or written form, or both. You must demonstrate acceptable competence in any required languages or research tools as designated by your program before being admitted to the qualifying exam. If the results of this examination are unsatisfactory, you may be granted a second exam after completing a semester of additional study.

Advancement to Candidacy/Time to degree
You will be admitted to candidacy when you have completed all requirements for the degree except for the dissertation and the final oral exam. The maximum time allowed to reach candidacy status is seven years from the term you matriculated into the doctoral program. Your academic unit must notify the Graduate Degree Certification Office when you have reached this status before the end of the term in which the status is effective. The maximum time for completion of a doctoral degree is five years from the end of the semester in which you are admitted to candidacy.

Dissertation advisor
A faculty member from your department or program will be identified as your dissertation advisor. The dissertation advisor should be an SU tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the program of study of your dissertation. In exceptional cases, where faculty emeriti or others with outstanding qualifications in your area of research will direct the dissertation, a member of the SU faculty from your academic unit must jointly oversee the preparation of your dissertation.

Oral Examination
The oral examination committee:
The academic unit appoints a six-member oral examination committee, including a chair, at the recommendation of your dissertation advisor, and with the concurrence of the Graduate School.

  • The committee chair:
  • should have an affinity for the field in which the dissertation was written;
  • represents the Dean of the Graduate School;
  • typically will be an SU tenured or tenure-track faculty member from outside the department or program in which the dissertation was written; and
  • alternatively, may be either a faculty emeritus or College of Law faculty member.
  • Your dissertation advisor will be a committee member.
  • Other committee members should be tenured or tenure-track SU faculty members.
  • One external member can be included, based on subject-matter expertise; however, this committee member can’t be a personal acquaintance.
  • You must petition to include more than one external committee member.

The oral examination:
Prior to the exam, the Graduate Degree Certification Office must verify that you’ve been admitted to candidacy, and that all supporting documentation has been filed. Your dissertation advisor and academic unit will determine the scheduling of the exam with the approval of the Graduate Degree Certification Office. Each school/college is free to conduct oral exams in the manner considered to be most effective.

The chair of the oral examination committee has several responsibilities:

  • Represent the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • Preside over the exam and ensure that academic unit and Graduate School policies and regulations are followed.
  • Advise the committee as to general exam and questioning procedures.
  • Participate in the questioning of the candidate.
  • Vote on the outcome, and secure the committee’s vote.
  • Submit a written report to the Dean of the Graduate School that includes:
  • the result of the vote, with signatures of approval and appropriate comments;
  • comments on the quality of the examination; and
  • recommendations for any procedural improvements.

Further oral exam considerations:

  • Exam time and place is publicly announced; graduate students and faculty are encouraged to attend and participate, but will not be allowed to vote.
  • If a committee member must be absent from the oral defense:
  • that committee member must submit questions and/or comments in writing to the chair in advance; and
  • the Graduate School must approve any committee substitutions after the exam has been scheduled, or if more than one committee member will be absent.

Voting and results:

  • Voting will be held in executive session of the committee.
  • All committee members, including the chair, vote equally.
  • In order to pass the exam, a majority of the committee must vote favorably; members may make their approval conditional on changes to the dissertation.
  • The committee’s report will recommend one of the following outcomes:
  • pass
  • pass with minor revisions (generally editorial)
  • pass with major revisions (substantive)
  • not pass

You are entitled to an explanation from the committee concerning the outcome of the defense.

Undergraduate

Undergraduate Students

There are four types of degree programs available to undergraduate students at SU: single degree programs, single degree programs with double majors, single degree programs with dual majors, and combined degree programs.

TABLE F Undergraduate Degree Programs

 Type Requirements Notes School/College Information
Single Degree Program  
A single degree program consists of one major in one college.
 
A single degree program requires the completion of all degree requirements within one college, including the requirements of one major program of study in that college. One degree is conferred and one diploma awarded. Students are enrolled in one school/college.
Single Degree Program with Double Major   
A single degree program with double major consists of two major programs of study simultaneously pursued (a) in the same school/college or (b) in two separate schools/colleges of the University. A single degree program with double major requires completion of all degree requirements within one college and the requirements for each major. One degree, certified by the home college, is conferred. One diploma, signed by the dean of the home school/college, is awarded. Students are enrolled in one school/college. In some schools/colleges, completion of double majors, especially when the second major is outside the college, may require more than the minimum credits required for graduation. Double majors are available only in some schools/colleges.
Single Degree Program with Dual Majors   
A single degree program with dual majors consists of two major programs of study simultaneously pursued in two separate schools/colleges of the University. A single degree program with dual majors requires completion of all degree requirements in both schools/colleges, as well as requirements for a major in each college or one dually approved major. Upon certification by both colleges, one degree, the degree associated with the home school/college major, is conferred. One diploma is awarded, signed by the dean of each school/college. Students who wish to pursue other dual programs that have not been formally established must obtain the prior written permission of both deans. In cases where the academic rules of two schools/colleges conflict, the policies of the home school/college take precedence. Completion of some dual programs, particularly those with more than two majors, may require additional credit hours.    Students are enrolled in two schools/colleges, with one designated as the home school/college. Colleges that have approved single-degree programs with dual majors are listed in Table G.

Architecture Single degree programs with dual majors are not available


Arts and Sciences Students enrolled in a single degree programs with a dual major must earn a minimum of 90 credits in Arts and Sciences. In most cases this will mean that students enrolled in any Arts and Sciences dual program may count only credit earned in Arts and Sciences and the other college of enrollment toward the total credit hours required for the degree. Coursework taken in any other colleges that does not count toward the 90 Arts and Sciences credit-hour requirement may be considered excess credit and will appear on the transcript and will contribute to the cumulative GPA, but it will not count toward the credit hours required for the degree.

Engineering and Computer Science Completion of a second major within Engineering and Computer Science requires completion of all requirements for each major in addition to the requirements of the dual college.
Combined Undergraduate Degree Program  
A combined degree program consists of two degree programs with distinct degree titles that recognize competencies in two essentially different areas pursued simultaneously in the same school/college or two different schools/colleges. Concurrent admission to a second undergraduate degree program is constrained by the New York State Education Department’s restrictions regarding second undergraduate degrees and review by the University registrar.

Students must meet admissions requirements of both degree programs.

For programs involving two schools/colleges, students must fulfill degree requirements in both schools/colleges.

Students in combined programs must complete 25 percent additional work beyond the normal requirements for one of the degrees (this may be either the degree with the higher or lower credit-hour requirements, based on the colleges’ determination), e.g., 30 more credit hours for a 120-credit hour degree.

The additional credits must be SU credit as defined under the Residence Requirement. Transfer and other credit may be accepted only if the second degree requires more than 25 percent additional credits, and such credit is applied in excess of the 25 percent additional credits.
Two degrees and two diplomas are conferred. The combined programs may be two undergraduate degree programs or an undergraduate and a graduate degree program. See Table H for a list of combined undergraduate-graduate degree programs.

Students pursuing a B.A. degree will not be admitted to a second B.A. degree program in the same school/college. Approval for admission to a second B.S. degree program requires a significant difference in overall degree requirements between the two programs.

The awarding of the second degree may be either concurrent with, or subsequent to, the awarding of the first.
Programs available as a single degree with dual majors (see Table G) are not available as combined degree programs.

There is one formally established undergraduate combined program:

Arts and Sciences and Engineering and Computer Science B.A. (or B.S., by petition) in Arts and Sciences and B.S. in Engineering and Computer Science.

Students who wish to pursue other combinations of undergraduate degree programs must obtain the prior written permission of both deans.

TABLE G Single Degree Programs with Dual Majors

Home College Dual College Type of Degree
Arts and Sciences Education B.A. or B.S.*
Arts and Sciences Public Communications B.A. or B.S.*
Information Studies Management B.S.
Management Public Communication B.S.
Public Communications Information Studies B.S.
Visual and Performing Arts Education B.F.A. or B.Mus.

* Students pursuing a B.S. degree in Arts and Sciences must petition the department offering the major to be formally accepted as candidates.

Second Undergraduate Degrees

If you previously earned a bachelor’s degree at SU or another institution, you may or may not be admissible to a second undergraduate degree program, depending on the disciplinary and professional “proximity” of the completed and proposed programs. The NYS Education Department has ruled that “the conferral of two bachelor’s or associate degrees should be reserved as a means of recognizing that a candidate has competencies in two essentially different areas: when a second degree, as opposed to one degree with a double major, is academically justifiable and when the second degree requires one-fourth additional work (i.e., 30 credit hours for a 120-credit hour degree).”

The University registrar, in consultation with the associate provost for academic programs and appropriate academic advisors, will decide whether admission to a second undergraduate degree program is in accord with the NYS Education Department’s criteria. If you earned a B.A. degree you will not be admitted to a second B.A. degree program that falls within the same SU school/college (or comparable school/college, if the first degree was earned elsewhere), due to the significant overlap of degree requirements. Approval for admission to a second B.S. degree program requires a significant difference in overall degree requirements between the two degree programs. Students who meet these criteria must also meet all admissions requirements of the program to which they apply. Students whose first degree was earned at Syracuse University must file an Application for Readmission, available from the admitting school or college office. Students with first degrees from other institutions follow the normal admission application procedure.

A minimum of 30 credits for a second undergraduate degree must be Syracuse University credit, as defined under the Residence Requirement. Transfer and other credit may be accepted only if the second degree requires more than 25 percent additional credits, and such credit is applied in excess of the 25 percent additional credits.

At the time of matriculation in the second undergraduate degree, any courses previously taken as a nonmatriculated student at SU will be entered on the undergraduate record, if they do not already appear there. This coursework will calculate toward credit hour and grade point totals on the undergraduate record.

The official Syracuse University transcript record for students with a prior SU undergraduate degree is cumulative, i.e., courses and grades for all undergraduate work, regardless of the degree program to which they apply, appear on one transcript with cumulative totals. The home college for the second undergraduate degree manually maintains and monitors the record of work related to the second degree. Calculations for satisfactory academic performance, honors, etc., are derived from the college or departmental records and may not be reflected on the official transcript.
 

TABLE H Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Programs

Requirements Notes School/College Information
Undergraduate and Non-Law Graduate Degree Program 
Students must fully meet the requirements for both degrees. Students are accepted for graduate study after completion of the third year of study but are not fully matriculated as graduate students until bachelor’s degree requirements have been met. The undergraduate degree is awarded before completion of the graduate degree. Graduate courses taken in the fourth year of study count toward fulfillment of both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. The graduate courses are included in the undergraduate tuition and appear only on the undergraduate record, and grades calculate only toward the undergraduate GPA. A block of transfer credits labeled as “transferred from SU undergraduate record” appears on the graduate record, if needed, and applies credit hours toward the graduate degree. There is one formally established combined program:
Engineering and Computer Science B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science.

Students who wish to pursue other combinations of undergraduate and graduate degree programs must obtain the prior written permission of both deans.  
Undergraduate and Law Graduate Degree Program 
Students must fully meet the requirements for both degrees. In this program, students matriculate in the law program after completion of the third year of undergraduate study. Courses taken in the first year of law study count toward fulfillment of both undergraduate and law degree requirements. They are billed at the College of Law tuition rate and appear only on the law record, and grades calculate only toward the law GPA. A block of transfer credits labeled as “transferred from SU law record” appears on the undergraduate record and applies credit hours toward the undergraduate degree. The undergraduate degree is awarded before completion of the graduate degree.  
Other Simultaneous Pursuit of Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees
  In exceptional circumstances requiring approval of the academic department and the Graduate School, undergraduate students may be formally accepted into a graduate degree program prior to completion of undergraduate degree requirements. The status of the student, i.e., whether she/he is considered an undergraduate- or graduate-level student, will be determined upon acceptance to the graduate program. For students who are considered to be undergraduates until completion of undergraduate requirements, courses which apply to the graduate degree will be flagged on the undergraduate record to remove them from calculation there and transferred as a block of credit to the graduate record. For students who are considered to be graduate students, courses taken to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements will be flagged on the graduate record to remove them from calculation there and transferred as a block of credit to the undergraduate record. In both cases, only the credit (i.e., not grades) for the flagged courses will be calculated on the record.