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Academic Policies

Unprofessional Behavior

If a student displays what a course instructor considers to be unprofessional behavior in the classroom, laboratory, emails/communications, social media, or clinical setting, the course instructor may take any of the following actions:

  1. Verbal warning from the course instructor.
  2. Meeting with the course instructor and a program director discussing the remedial behavior needed and the consequences for failing to remediate behavior.
  3. Referral to judicial process or academic evaluation, if appropriate.
    1. If referred to the academic evaluation committee, the Dean will convene a subcommittee giving them a timeframe to convey their recommendation.
    2. The subcommittee will review material submitted by the student and the faculty involved.
    3. The subcommittee will send a recommendation to the Dean, who makes the final determination.
  4. Extenuating circumstances may necessitate acceleration of this process.

In addition to behavior issues, issues such as suspected plagiarism, requests for extensions for assignments due to personal issues over multiple semesters, and requests for short term incomplete grades due to personal issues over multiple semesters will be handled by the college in the following manner:

  1. The course instructor or faculty member documents the unprofessional behavior or issue along with actions taken on an orange sheet in the student folder.
  2. If a second issue occurs, in the same or different course, the course faculty will meet with the student and the program director to resolve the issue.
  3. If a third issue occurs, the Student Evaluation Committee will be notified and the procedure followed.

**If the student requests assignment extensions or course incompletes within the same semester due to personal issues, this policy does not apply.

Student Records and Transcripts

Student education records are confidential and are released only to appropriate faculty and administrative offices. Release of such records to any other college, prospective employer, or agency occurs only with the written permission of the student in accordance with FERPA. The Office of the Registrar does not release student addresses or phone numbers unless these appear in the student directory or except as to the extent provided by FERPA to do so without written consent. Official transcripts cannot be given to the student; they must be sent directly to the college, institution, or other final recipient. Transcripts cannot be sent for any student whose financial obligations to the University have not been met. Students may obtain unofficial copies of transcripts from the Office of the Registrar.

As stipulated in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (section 513 of PL 93-380 and amended by section 2 of 93-568), any student may make an appointment with a staff member in the Registrar's Office to review their educational records.

Academic Advisement

All matriculated students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor during the first semester of attendance and each subsequent semester, prior to registration, in order to plan course work and track requirements for degree completion.

If the program is proposing a curriculum change, all matriculated students must be notified by the Program Director via the campus email system. Faculty reserves the right to amend, modify, or add to degree requirement changes as needed. Should this happen, the faculty will provide course alternatives, substitutions, or options which would permit students to complete requirements in the usual time span.

Residency Requirements

To be considered for a degree from the College of Nursing at the Upstate Medical University, the student must be matriculated in a program. A minimum of 30 credit hours for the BS degree, a minimum of 36 credit hours for the MS degree, and a minimum of 20 credit hours for Post-Master certificate must be taken at Upstate Medical University, and credit by examination cannot be used as a residency requirement. The 36-hour minimum for the MS degree includes the requirement that all clinical courses required for the degree must be taken at the College of Nursing at Upstate Medical University. No clinical course will be accepted for transfer.  Students are expected to complete the program in the required period of time (5 years) and in sequence; exceptions may be considered by petition to the office of the Dean.

The certificate in Nursing Education has a 3-credit residency requirement. Education Evaluation must be taken at Upstate CON.

Matriculated Students

A matriculated student is one who has been accepted into a degree granting program in the College of Nursing and who has completed the registration process for the current academic term.

The admission requirements for undergraduate and graduate degree granting program are established by the appropriate program and the admissions committee.

Once matriculated, the student is required to begin coursework as presented in the Program of Study in the semester immediately following the date when matriculation occurred.

For undergraduate students, licensure as a Registered Professional Nurse in New York State is required by the end of the first semester of matriculation (see Withdrawal from the College). Graduate students must maintain licensure as a Registered Professional Nurse in New York State.


  1. Accepted students who have not matriculated into their program of study may register for courses as non-matriculated students (see below). This applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.
  2. Students must have all their undergraduate prerequisites successfully completed before enrolling in a graduate course. If completion of undergraduate prerequisites exceeds one year from the time of admission, students may have to reapply.
  3. The BS student in the fourth semester of study (fourth semester equivalent, if part-time) may be permitted to enroll in no more than two graduate electives, with instructor permission, prior to matriculation into the graduate program and based on availability.
  4. All exceptions to admissions policies are reviewed and approved by the College of Nursing Admissions Committee.
  5. The College of Nursing adheres to the Application Deadlines for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs as posted online by the Admissions Office.
  6. Applicants who are not able to accept an offer of admission are able to defer for up to one year. After a one year period students who want to be considered for admission will have to reapply.

Non-Matriculated Students

  1. Courses may be taken on a space available basis. An Add/Drop form AND the Non-matriculated Student Registration form must be completed and returned to the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Approval of the Course Instructor and/or the Program Director is required.
  3. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for Financial Aid. Appropriate tuition and fees must be submitted to the Bursar's Office at the time of registration.
  4. Non-matriculated students who are obtaining their Certificate in Nursing Education are permitted to take the three qualifying courses. Non-matriculated students who are applying to the masters program and have a bachelors in another field are permitted to take the five bridging courses required.
  5. The Dean, or the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, and the Director of the Bachelors Program, have the authority on a case by case basis to approve a student's request to take a course in a non-matriculated status.

Allowable courses for non-matriculated students at the bachelor's level include:

  • Undergraduate electives

Allowable courses for non-matriculated students at the bachelor's level that have a bachelor's degree in another field include:

  • Health Assessment
  • Community Health
  • Nursing Research
  • Nursing Management
  • Statistics
  • Graduate electives
Allowable courses for BS students that are accepted into the master's programs include:
  • Nursing Theory
  • Nurse as Educator
  • Family Nursing Theory
  • Graduate electives

Part-Time Study Option (4 year BS & 3 year MS)

This option is designed to offer students a part-time status for completion of their program of study.

Once matriculated, part-time students may take a maximum of eleven credit hours per semester at the undergraduate level. Those students in the graduate level will follow the three year program of study. A minimum of two courses per semester should be taken in order to maintain part-time status.

Transfer from part-time to full-time status, or vice versa, is done with the written approval of the student's academic advisor and program director (See Change in Student Status).

Time Limitations for Completion of a Program of Study

The purpose of this limitation is to avoid undue delay in the completion of the degree requirements and to insure that course work and research are not outdated before the degree is granted. 

All degree requirements for the BS, MS, and DNP programs must be completed within five years from the date of matriculation. If the time limit is exceeded, the degree will not be conferred unless permission is granted following a student petition to the Dean of the College of Nursing.

Former students of the College of Nursing who are applying for re-admission to the College will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. If the student is readmitted into the program, credit for all previous academic course work will be evaluated prior to registration. The evaluation will be conducted by the Admissions Committee in conjunction with the appropriate program director. Prior to approving advanced standing for course work previously taken at Upstate Medical University or transfer credit from other institutions, the Committee may require that the student demonstrate current knowledge or competency in the subject area. The method of assessment will vary according to the individual student circumstances. The student may be required to: have an interview with the course instructor; submit course descriptions and outlines from courses taken at other universities or colleges; take oral exams; take clinical exams; or apply for credit by examination.

Requests for a leave of absence beyond one year or requests for extended part-time study or other such situations where a student’s curriculum would be protracted must be approved by the Dean of the College of Nursing prior to continuing in the program.

Change in Student Status

A change in student status refers to a change from part-time to full-time (2 year to 3 year for graduate program), or vice versa. Changes in student status in the College may be made for personal or academic reasons and are described below:

  1. Students may petition to change status to full or part-time for subsequent semesters. Students must contact their academic advisors to plan a revised program of study. Then, a Change of Status Request form is submitted to the program director for approval of the change. For a change to be effective for the Fall semester, the request must be submitted prior to February 15; for a change to be effective for the Spring semester, the request must be submitted prior to September 15. Permission to change registration status at any other time is at the discretion of the Dean of the College of Nursing.
  2. Inter-program Progression: BS to RN to MS (this program is currently not available)
    To progress from BS to RN-MS program, students must meet with their academic advisors to plan a revised program of study and then complete an online Change to RN to MS Program form through Admissions. For a change to be effective for the Fall semester, the request must be submitted prior to February 15; for a change to be effective for the Spring semester, the request must be submitted prior to September 15.
  3. Inter-program Progression: BS to MS (this program is currently not available). The student must:
    1. Submit an application for graduate study to the Office of Student Admissions. No application fee is required.
    2. Submit an application to the Master's program one year before proposed entry or no later than six months after graduation.
    3. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0;
    4. Submit one new letter of recommendation that addresses clinical performance.
  4. Progression in RN to MS Program: Students who have been admitted to the RN to MS Program will be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee of the College of Nursing at the end of each semester. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to continue in the program. Students who have a GPA of less than 3.0 may be considered for continuation in the RN to MS program or may be required to transfer to the BS nursing program. (The RN to MS program is currently not available).
  5. RN students with a degree in another field who are denied admission to the MS program and instead accept admission to the BS program must reapply if they wish to be reconsidered at some point for the MS program. 
  6. Matriculated MS students who want to change tracks must meet with the Directors of the programs they wish to leave and into which they wish to transfer.

Leave of Absence

Any student desiring a leave of absence from the College of Nursing will complete the following:

  1. Request a leave using the College's Leave of Absence form obtained from the Office of the Registrar. The request should include:
    1. The length of time desired for the leave (up to one year);
    2. Reasons for the request;
    3. All required signatures; and
    4. Mailing address while on leave.
  2. Obtain approval from faculty advisor, which may include some conditions for the leave.
  3. Seek approval from the Bursar's Office, Financial Aid Office, Residential Life, and Office of the Registrar.
  4. The student should continue course work (barring any emergency) until the leave of absence is approved.
  5. While on a leave of absence, a student may not register for new courses, complete courses previously taken, or do remedial work (such as take a reexamination for a course) at the Upstate Medical University.

Returning from a Leave

A student desiring to return from a leave of absence must:

  1. Notify the Office of the Registrar in writing at least one month before the expected return date. This notification should include evidence that the student's return has been approved by their academic advisor or program director.
  2. Meet with the program director or advisor to plan coursework for the academic year and to ensure that any conditions associated with the leave of absence have been met.
  3. Notify the Student Health Office and update health records if necessary.
  4. An approved leave, of less than one year, shall not count toward program completion limits.

Failure to return from a leave of absence when it expires or to receive approval to extend the leave of absence will result in the student being administratively withdrawn from the College.

Withdrawal from the College

A student who wishes to withdraw from the college should complete the appropriate withdrawal form. Approval to withdraw should be obtained from the Bursar's Office, Financial Aid Office, University Housing, and the Registrar's Office. Only upon completion of this form, with all the approval signatures, will a student be considered "officially" withdrawn. A student who has withdrawn from the College may seek readmission by reapplying through the Office of Student Admissions for their particular program.