Academic Catalog

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. No changes will be made to a student's academic record after the degree has been conferred, except as allowed under "Grade Changes" (Policy Manual section, "Policy on Grade Disputes" (Policy Manual section, and "Students' Right to Petition" (Policy Manual section

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, graduation is contingent on 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. 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.
  6. Satisfactory completion by transfer students of at least 48 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 Teacher Certification Specialist 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. Assistance with New York State teacher certification can be obtained through the Office of Teacher Certification, housed in the Department of Education. Learn more on the Teacher Certification at IC website.

Graduation with a Integrative Studies Major

Candidates must satisfactorily complete the specific course of study approved for the integrative studies major by the Integrative Studies Advisory Board, and filed with the registrar, as well as requirements for the degree of bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in the School of Humanities and Sciences.  (see Integrative Studies program website)

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 3.700-3.899
Cum Laude 3.500-3.699

"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 October 1
December November 1
May April 15
July May 30
August 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.

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, review the Office of Career Services website.

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 or May.


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) or the park pathways in the Park School of Communication or business pathways in the School of Business. These categories are for advising purposes; they are not major programs and students may remain in them for a limited time only. More detailed information is available at
  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. 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 will be bound by the regulations and requirements of the most current catalog year.  Students may remain in their original catalog at the discretion of the department chair and dean of the new major.  Students who declare a double major must, in consultation with the relevant dean(s) and department chairs(s) select a single catalog year.

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.  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.
  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 required communications courses, and all outside courses required for the major (including supplemental), 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 typically pass/fail. Credit for courses that a student has taken pass/fail and passed before becoming a major will be accepted. Credit for courses that a student has taken S/D/F before becoming a major will be accepted as long as the grade is Satisfactory.