Academic Catalog

Credit and Grade Information

Unit Credit (Credit Hours)

Credit is earned at Ithaca College in credit hours as measured by the Carnegie unit. The Carnegie unit is defined as one hour of classroom instruction and two hours of assignments outside the classroom, for a period of 15 weeks for each unit (credit).

Class Determination

Students are classified as first-year, sophomore, and so on, on the following basis (earned credits from all sources):

First-Year 0-29.9
Sophomore 30-59.9
Junior 60-89.9
Senior 90 or more


Incompletes are given only when a student is doing satisfactory work but cannot complete the course for a reason not related to academic performance (i.e., medical, family emergency).

To request an incomplete, a student must meet with the faculty instructor of their course and present a legitimate reason to justify the request. The faculty member and student then determine the terms of the completion of the course including specific assignments with criteria for assessment and due date, which can be no later than the end of the following semester. If no complete grade is received by the due date, a grade of F is recorded on the transcript. Undergraduate students may not graduate from Ithaca College with an incomplete recorded on the academic transcript.

The Incomplete Grade request form must be completed by the faculty member in IC Workflow.

For “incomplete” deadlines for seniors, see the relevant section under “Graduation and Program Regulations.” 

Repeating a Course

A student who receives a grade of D+ or less in any course not designated as repeatable may repeat the course only once.  Students in a degree program that require the course to be passed with a specified minimum grade higher than D+, are allowed to repeat the course no more than twice in order to meet the minimum grade requirement.

For any course repeated under this policy, credit toward graduation requirements is granted only once, and only the highest grade received in the repeated course is counted in the cumulative GPA.  The final grade earned for the repeated course, each time it is taken, will remain on the transcript.  The cumulative GPA will not be adjusted under this policy for any courses repeated after a degree has been awarded, or for any course repeated before the fall semester of 2012.  Repeating a course may have financial aid implications; financial aid recipients intending to repeat a course should first seek advice from Student Financial Services.  This policy applies only to courses taken at Ithaca College. 

Grading System

The acceptable grades and corresponding points for GPA calculations are as follows. All grades except P, I, S, W, NGS are used in calculating GPAs.  The GPA is not rounded.

Grade Points
A 4.00 (excellent)
A- 3.70
B+ 3.30
B 3.00 (good)
B- 2.70
C+ 2.30
C 2.00 (satisfactory)
C- 1.70
D+ 1.30
D 1.00
D- 0.70
F 0
P Not calculated
I Not calculated
S Not calculated
W Not calculated
NGS Not calculated

Satisfactory/D/Fail (S/D/F) Option

The intent of the satisfactory/D/fail (S/D/F) option is to encourage exploration and experimentation in curricular areas in which the student may have had little or no previous experience. Students may rescind the S/D/F election and opt for a regular letter grade until the end of the 10th week of classes.

  • Each undergraduate may elect S/D/F grading in no more than four courses in their bachelor’s degree program.
  • A student may elect only one S/D/F course per semester.
  • Any course for the major or minor 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 department credits. Departments may set additional limits but cannot grant exceptions to the above stipulations.
  • To exercise the S/D/F option, a student must complete an S/D/F option form. This form must be submitted to the registrar by the end of the third week of classes in the semester in which the S/D/F credit is being taken.
  • A student may rescind the S/D/F election and opt for a regular letter grade in a course until the end of the 10th week of classes (the same deadline for withdrawing from a course).
  • Any S/D/F election that is rescinded before the end of the 10th week of classes does not count toward the total of four courses.
  • Students who are registered for S/D/F and earn a grade below C- will have that grade (D+, D, D-, or F) calculated into their GPA. Grades of S are not calculated into their cumulative GPA.
  • Students planning to transfer to another school or department, or to enter a graduate or professional school, are reminded that their admission may be affected by S/D/F coursework.
  • The S/D/F option does not apply to pass/fail courses.

Grade Changes

Grades as filed with the Office of the Registrar are final except where an error of judgment has occurred or an error has been made in computation or transcription. Shortly after the close of each semester, currently enrolled students can access their final grade report using the student information system website. Any student requesting changes to the final grade report must provide written notification of their request to the faculty member no later than two weeks from the date when classes begin in the succeeding fall or spring semester; hence, each student is advised to review each term report carefully and promptly. Before the registrar can amend any grade record, the change must have been approved by the faculty member and the dean of the school in which the course is offered.

Policy on Grade Disputes

Grade disputes should be resolved directly between the individual faculty member and the student. If that is not possible, the department chair and/or dean may intervene for purposes of mediation. Any student disputing a grade must provide written notification of the disputed grade to the faculty member, no later than two weeks from the date when classes begin in the following fall or spring semester.  Failing resolution of the matter at the school level, the student may petition the provost as described under “Students’ Right to Petition.” The final resolution of the dispute will be made by the provost. As a general principle, the authority to change a grade rests with the individual faculty member. Exceptions made by the provost occur only for the most compelling reasons. 

Credit from External Sources

Transfer From Another REGIONALLY ACCREDITED Institution

A student who transfers to Ithaca College from another accredited college or university may be granted credit for all courses satisfactorily completed with a grade of C- or better, except that transfer students must in all cases meet the same requirements as Ithaca College students in a given program. For example, if a particular course in the major area of study must be passed with a grade of C or better, transfer students will be required to meet that standard. It is the transfer student’s responsibility to request that a transcript be sent to the Ithaca College director of admission directly from the institution. Credits accepted toward an academic program are determined by the student’s academic dean. Credits are transferable; grades are not. All credits are converted into semester credit hours if they are not already so designated.

Occasional Study at Another Institution (Semester or Summer)

Credit for occasional courses taken at another institution is accepted by Ithaca College under the following conditions:

  1. The student has successfully petitioned for preliminary approval of the credit prior to taking the courses.
  2. The other institution has regional and/or appropriate professional accreditation (confirmation is needed from the Ithaca College registrar on this point).
  3. The courses in question are not among those that must be taken at Ithaca College to fulfill major requirements (refer to specific program listings and consult with adviser for information on this).
  4. An appropriate final course grade is earned as set out under “Transfer from Another Institution” above.

The petition for preliminary approval requires the consent of the student’s adviser, the chair(s) of the department(s) to which the credit for a required course relates, and the dean. On completion of the courses, the student must have the official transcript sent to the registrar’s office.

This credit is counted toward graduation requirements, but grades are not counted for the student’s GPA at Ithaca College.

Transfer from a non-regionally accredited institution

Review and approval of the appropriate department chairperson is necessary to accept courses for transfer credit for prospective students who attended institutions that are not accredited by one of the six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Approval will be done on a case-by-case basis. Not all transfer credits accepted can be applied to requirements on a degree-specific basis. Some programs may require additional testing before accepting transfer courses.

Award of transfer credit takes into consideration the level and depth of study, applicability of the courses to the programs offered, expected learning outcomes, and comparable nature and content. Courses completed at an institution not accredited by one of the six regional accrediting organizations after a student has enrolled at Ithaca College will not be considered. Remedial and developmental courses are not transferable. Additionally, no academic credit is awarded for life experience.
In order for courses from non-regionally accredited institutions to be considered, the following criteria must be met:

  • The student must provide supporting documentation: an official transcript, course syllabi, course descriptions, course learning outcomes, and the course numbering system of the transfer institution;
  • The courses and credits earned must be from a degree-granting institution;
  • Courses for which a grade of C- or higher has been earned; courses completed with a P  (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) grade that is equivalent to a final letter grade of C- or higher, as long as documentation has been provided by the transfer institution.

A student who has taken a course that does not fall under the authority of any department but that is substantially similar to a course in the Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC) may appeal to have that course applied to the ICC. Such an appeal should be submitted to the Director of the Integrative Core Curriculum ( The student should be prepared to provide supporting documentation as indicated above.

academic residency requirement

To be eligible to earn an undergraduate degree at Ithaca College, a minimum of 48.0 semester credits must be completed and applied to the degree at Ithaca College.  A minimum of 50% of the required course credits for a major must be earned at Ithaca College.

Credit by Examination

Ithaca College, at the discretion of the student’s dean or program director, accepts credit from other established sources, such as Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), General and Subject Examinations, New York ACT, and educational experiences in the armed services. Test results should be sent to the Office of the Registrar. All credits are converted to semester credit hours, if they are not already so designated.

Credit From External Sources and the Integrative Core Curriculum

Students may apply credits earned at other institutions or granted on the basis of AP/IB/CLEP scores to fulfillment of the following ICC components: First Year Composition, Quantitative Literacy, Diversity, and Writing Intensive. The degree to which such credits could apply to a specific ICC requirement is dependent on a match between the Ithaca College courses meeting the requirement and the credit granted for courses completed elsewhere and on program-specific requirements.

Students may not apply credits earned at other institutions or granted on the basis of AP/IB/CLEP score or any other standardized examination program from which Ithaca College awards credit toward fulfillment of the Themes and Perspectives or ICC Capstone components of the ICC.