Getting the Credit You Deserve Policy

  • Academic
  • Academic Advisement
  • Student - Undergraduate
Responsible Unit Transfer Credit Services
Responsible Cabinet Member VP for Enrollment Management
Adoption Date 2008-08
Last Revision Date 2019-09-24
Last Review Date 2019-09-24

Policy Statement

 This policy explains how and what credits will transfer to Brockport.


As you plan your program at SUNY Brockport, it will help you to know how you can apply credit for courses taken elsewhere, or how you can be granted credit for other learning experiences you may have had. The following overview should give you most of the answers.


There is no applicability provided for this policy at this time


 There are no definitions for this policy at this time.

Policy Procedures

A Basic Rule and a Basic Caution

 As you read on, you may be able to spare yourself some confusion by keeping one basic rule and one basic caution in mind.

The Rule: The maximum number of credits that can be applied to your Brockport baccalaureate degree from other sources is 90, no more than 64 of which can come from a two-year college. Ever.

The Caution: If you are granted the maximum 90 credits, this doesn’t guarantee you that another 30 will earn you the baccalaureate degree, even though the minimum number of credits required for the baccalaureate is 120. You must meet all of Brockport’s requirements for the degree. How those 90 credits will apply will depend on the nature of those credits and also on the program you have chosen to pursue at Brockport.

Credit from Colleges and Universities

SUNY Brockport awards transfer credit only for course work completed at institutions recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, usually referred to as COPA. This work could have been done before you enrolled here, or may be courses you take at another college during summers, or as a visiting student. Whenever such work is completed at other institutions, it becomes a part of your permanent record at Brockport. In most cases, questions about transfer credit will have been answered when you applied for admission, or when you registered. If questions still remain, the best place to seek answers is the Office of Academic Advisement. These are the people who evaluate transfer credit, and the ones who are most frequently involved in the transfer credit process.

Credit from a Two-year Institution

If you enter Brockport with an AA, AS or AAS degree in hand, you will be awarded the total number of credits included in that degree, provided the institution granting the degree is recognized by a regional accrediting body such as the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. All of those credits may be applied toward the 120 credits that are the minimum required for the baccalaureate, but the specific way they can be applied depends upon the courses themselves. Sixty-four credits is the lifetime maximum that Brockport will accept from two-year institutions.

If your two-year degree is issued by an institution accredited by one of the many other bodies recognized by COPA, or if you have not completed a two-year (associate) degree, then you will be awarded credit on a course-by-course basis. The general rule in this case is that credit is granted for any course that could reasonably be expected to be taught at Brockport, whether or not such a course is actually offered. Chinese history would be granted credit, for example, because it is a perfectly reasonable course to be taught by our own Department of History. Cosmetology is a good example of a course that wouldn’t be granted credit, because there is no department at Brockport that would conceivably teach it.

University policy states you must provide proof of having completed your associate’s degree before actually enrolling at SUNY Brockport, and that proof must be in the form of an official transcript. In practice, that documentation will be accepted at any time up until the end of your first semester as a matriculated Brockport student. This grace period was established to accommodate students whose final transcripts are slow to arrive, usually because they have completed their associate’s degree requirements during the summer immediately preceding their arrival at Brockport. If you cannot demonstrate that your associate’s degree was completed before matriculating at Brockport, then transfer credit will be awarded on a course-by-course basis.

There are consequences for delaying those official transcripts. When you pre-register for the next semester, you will do so according to class standing, with the seniors first, freshmen last. If you have completed 15 credits at Brockport and 60 credits elsewhere, but haven’t provided us with an official transcript showing those 60 credits, then you’ll be required to pre-register with the freshmen (those with fewer than 24 credits) and not the juniors (those with 54 or more credits). Financial aid can be negatively impacted by the delayed transcripts. This really isn’t meant to be punitive — but credits aren’t entered onto your record until they come on an official transcript, and it’s your official record that counts.

Taking Courses Elsewhere After You’re Here

Once you’re matriculated at SUNY Brockport, you may still take courses at other colleges and universities whether in summer school or as a visiting student. When you do this, remember that the 64-credit and 90-credit maxima still apply.

There are two other important rules to keep in mind when you take courses elsewhere after you’re enrolled here.

  1. If you want the course to count toward the General Education requirements, major requirements, or anything else specific, complete a Student Course Approval Form, which you’ll find in the Office of Academic Advisement. This form, when signed by the appropriate persons, ensures that your credit is accepted when you return. You should take along a copy of the course description when you seek approval, so they’ll be able to make an informed judgment on the matter. Don’t trust to chance and waste a perfectly good piece of work at another institution.

  2. Brockport will grant transfer credit for undergraduate courses in which you attain a grade of “C-,” “D” or “D-” only as long as your overall GPA for transferred credit does not fall below 2.0. (This is to ensure that you have earned at least a 2.0 for all the courses that contribute to your baccalaureate degree, whether taken here or elsewhere.) This means that if you’ve never transferred credits previously and you earn a “C” and a “D” in summer school elsewhere, Brockport will only grant credit for the “C.” If you earn a “B” and a “D,” you’ll get credit for both. If you already have a transfer record, then the rule for “C-” or below is based upon your total transfer GPA. If you have questions about the rule, ask someone in the Office of Academic Advisement for clarification.

Credit for Prior Learning

People often learn a great deal during work experiences or by just living. However, be aware that Brockport does not award credit for “life experience.”

Academic credit can sometimes be earned for learning experiences through military training, non-credit courses, and private or public sector training programs. This is called “credit for prior learning,” and is intended for adults, rather than for students entering college directly after high school.

Credit awarded in recognition of prior learning is, in all cases, treated as transfer credit. Brockport recognizes three sources that can possibly lead to credit for prior learning: credit by examination, armed forces experience and educational experience in non-collegiate organizations. Following is a brief explanation for each. The Office of Academic Advisement can give you further information on these sources of college credit.

A few important points about credit for prior learning: credit can be granted for this kind of experiential learning only for matriculated (formally admitted) students at Brockport. The process of obtaining this credit should be initiated only after you have been advised by the Offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Academic Advisement or Career Services. These departments will tell you whether academic credit is likely to be granted for your particular experiences. Finally, Brockport cannot guarantee that credit offered for prior learning will be acceptable to other colleges or universities, if you should transfer elsewhere.

Possible sources of credit for prior learning include the following:

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP examinations provide an opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of examinations in undergraduate college courses. Test dates and locations are available through the College Board

Excelsior Examination, formerly the Regents College Examination. There are examinations in a number of subject areas, ranging from liberal arts and science courses to nursing. Study aids and application forms can be obtained from: Test Administration Office, Excelsior College, 7 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-5159.

Departmental Credit by Examination. Some departments offer challenge exams (or credit by examination) — for matriculated students only — for courses regularly offered. Such exams are 
given for courses offered in foreign languages, nursing, and health sciences. Credit earned in this way is recorded via Degree Works and treated as transfer credit earned from four-year colleges. Departmental examinations require a $295 fee per course, payable to the Office of Student Accounts, before the examination is taken. You can contact the relevant department or the Office of Registration and Records for further information. Credit by examination can only be attempted one time per course.

Educational Experience in the Armed Forces. If you have served in the armed forces, you may qualify for credit for your training, including Military Occupational Status (MOS), Navy ratings, and many advanced training programs. Courses completed under Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) may also qualify for college credit.

Educational Experience in Non-collegiate Organizations. Several organizations that have a primary function other than education have had training programs evaluated for college credit by the College Credit Recommendation Service of the American Council on Education and/or the New York Regents National Program on Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI). You may be eligible for credit if you have experience with one of these businesses, agencies or associations.

Other than for these approved programs, students sometimes work through Empire State College to earn such credit and then transfer the credit to other colleges.

For further information on obtaining college credit from the armed forces, non-collegiate organizations and credit by examination, contact the Office of Academic Advisement. Remember, however, that these experiences are expected to be almost exclusively post-high school.

College Credit Earned During High School

The Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board, the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), and Brockport’s 3-1-3 Program are all designed to enable students to pursue college-level studies and earn college credits while still in secondary school. AP and IB examinations are available in many subject areas, and credit for successful completion of examinations is awarded based upon test scores attained. Contact the Office of Academic Advisement for additional information. Information on the 3-1-3 Program can be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Links to Related Procedures and Information

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Contact Information

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History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2024-09-24 Five-year review
Adoption Date 2019-09-24 Policy Adopted
Draft Review Date 2008-08 Draft Policy under 30-day Campus Review


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