A6: Degree/Certificate Requirements

Responsibility for Maintenance: Enrollment Management

Date of most recent changes: June 26, 2023

I. Policy Statement

Degree/Certificate Requirements

Candidates for Onondaga Community College degrees and certificates must fulfill the following requirements, except where exemptions or waivers are approved and recorded:

  1. A student must be matriculated in a degree/certificate program and meet all program and credit hour requirements.
  2. Onondaga will automatically confer a degree or certificate upon the student’s completion of all program requirements. 
  3. The student must achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  4. All grades of Incomplete (“I”) must be resolved before the degree/certificate is conferred.
  5. At least twenty-four (24) of the academic credits for the degree (12 credits for certificate programs) must be completed at Onondaga Community College, subject to specific program restrictions.
  6. No more than 12 independent study credits may be taken at Onondaga Community College.

Multiple Degrees/Certificates  

A student may earn more than one degree at Onondaga Community College, subject to the following restrictions:

  1. A minimum of 20 of the academic credits for any associate degree must be credits which have not been applied to any previously or concurrently awarded degree.
  2. A student may not earn more than one degree from any single curriculum grouping.

Transfer Credit  

Course work which has been satisfactorily completed with a grade of "C" or better at any regionally accredited college or university will be considered for credit. Transfer credit is awarded based upon the accreditation status of the previous colleges, course content and applicability of credits towards the students intended degree/certificate program. Transfer credit from institutions on a "quarter plan" or "trimester" system will be adjusted accordingly. The application of transfer credits to an academic program is subject to department guidelines. After a student has been admitted, and submitted an official transcript or transcripts, a review of credits will be completed. Students will be notified in writing of the applicable credits to an Onondaga degree or certificate. These credits are not guaranteed to be accepted by other institutions. 

Credit for correspondence courses, credit by evaluation/examination, credit for in-service coursework, and credit for experiential learning may be granted subject to compliance with the specific procedures set forth in this policy. A veteran or solider on active duty who submits a Joint Services Transcript (JST) or a DD214, indicating at least six months of active duty, will be awarded any applicable transfer credit, including physical education, for the program in which the student is enrolled.

Course Substitutions/Waivers  

A program requirement may be waived or a course substitution may be granted pending review by the Office of Registration and Records and approval of the Department Chair (or designee) of the student's academic program, Academic Affairs, and the Scholastic Standards Committee. Students must still meet the necessary program requirements, including all program learning outcomes, for graduation. The total credit hours required for the specific program, as outlined in the curriculum, must still be met. SUNY Ged Ed Requirements may not be waived or substituted. 

Physical Education Waivers: A waiver from physical education requirements may be granted to a student who meets one of the following criteria: 

  1. 30 years of age or older at the time of first matriculation into the College;
  2. A physician’s statement, which precludes the student’s participation in Physical Education, has been submitted. The Office of Registration and Records records the medical waiver on the student's permanent record. 

Health Proficiency Examinations: All students may take a health proficiency examination. Students who receive a grade of 75% or higher are not required to pass a health course. Credit is not awarded for successful completion of the health proficiency examination.

II. Reason for Policy

This policy is designed to ensure that the College awards degrees and certificates in accordance with applicable provisions of the New York State Education Law, New York State Education Department regulations, and State University of New York policies and procedures.

III. Applicability of the Policy

All students, faculty, admission personnel, and personnel responsible for making determinations regarding academic credit should be familiar with this policy.

IV. Related Documents

  • New York State Education Department Regulations, 8 NYCRR § 605.3
  • State University of New York Policy on Awarding Two Degrees at the Same Level
  • State University of New York Policy for Award of Academic Credit by Evaluation
  • Onondaga Community College Catalog  

V. Contacts

Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL

Graduation, Substitutions and Waivers

Registration and Records  Coordinator (315) 498-2350 gradcentral@sunyocc.edu
General Questions Student Central Enrollment Associates (315) 498-2000 studentcentral@sunyocc.edu  
Incoming Transfer Credit Registration and Records Assistant Director of Records Operation (315) 498-2350 transfereval@sunyocc.edu  

VI. Procedures

Granting of Transfer Credit

Coursework at Other Institutions. Official transcripts for coursework completed prior to admission at OCC should be sent to the Office of Registration and Records. Courses will be evaluated for credit after the student is matriculated. The evaluation of transfer credits is coordinated by the Office of Registration and Records. If a student takes courses at other institutions during summer terms, or at any time after official acceptance to an OCC degree or certificate program, he or she should have official transcripts forwarded directly to the Office of Registration and Records.

Correspondence Courses. Credits earned through correspondence courses such as the U.S. Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) may be accepted based on college proficiency examinations, college boards, advanced placement, or similarly recognized testing procedures.

Credit by Evaluation/Examination. Credit may be granted for evidence of learning or experience other than in a high school or college on the basis of a qualifying examination in that subject. This includes work done in the NYHS College Proficiency Examination Program, the CEEB College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and other acceptable examination programs. Results of qualifying examinations should be sent to the Office of Registration and Records.

Credit for Experiential Learning. Academic credit may be awarded for experiential learning by any academic department of the College, although no department is required to do so. Credit may be awarded for demonstrated competencies in a specific course offered by the College at the time the credit is awarded, and the student must be matriculated in a degree or certificate program at the College at the time of the experiential learning. 

The manner in which experiential learning will be evaluated (e.g., by standardized or departmental examination, portfolio evaluation, clinical observation, laboratory evaluation, or by combinations of these or other methods) is determined by each academic department.

Experiential learning evaluation forms may be obtained from the department from which credit is requested. A faculty member will perform the evaluation. Credit will be awarded upon the recommendation of the evaluator and the approval, by majority vote, of all faculty members in the department. If credit is not awarded, reasons will be provided in writing.  

Medical Waivers

Applications for medical waivers for Physical Education requirements are available the School of Health, Wellness and Human Services. The Office of Registration and Records places the medical waiver on the student’s permanent record.


In unusual or extenuating circumstances, the Scholastic Standards Committee will consider exceptions to the requirements of this policy. Petition forms are available at Student Central.

VII. Forms/Online Processes

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006

Updated and approved by the President January 25, 2010

Updated and approved by the President January 25, 2011

Updated and approved by the President April 30, 2013

Updated and approved by the President July 10, 2019

Updated and approved by the President February 1, 2022

Updated and approved by the President June 26, 2023