Graduate Admissions Policy

Graduate Admissions Policy


School for Graduate Studies


Director of Graduate Outreach and Admissions


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

Approved, March 2001, Revised, August, 2005, Revision approved by GSPC on March, 2011 and Senate on 5/13//11


Graduate, Admissions, Certificates

Background Information:


To establish policy on admission to the graduate degree programs and advanced certificates.


Academic Program: defined in the New York State Education Regulations as the “formal educational requirements necessary to qualify for certificates or degrees [and] …includes general education or specialized study in depth in a particular field, or both.”  These academic programs are represented by the program titles under which the state education department has registered the college’s degree programs.  These undergraduate academic programs are referred to as Areas of Study or in the School for Graduate Studies as Programs.

Degree Programs: Academic programs in which the end result is a graduate degree. This policy applies to degrees at the Master’s level.

Advanced Certificates: Certificates that include graduate level coursework.  Advanced certificate study is separate from that of study in preparation for a degree in that a student must apply separately for degree program study.


  1. Degree Programs

    Admission to the graduate degree programs at Empire State College is selective.
    Criteria for admission includes:

    • Documented completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • An appropriate correlation between the candidate's objectives and the particular graduate program to which she/he is applying.
    • Evidence of the candidate’s preparation to pursue the subject matter and the ability to meet the academic demands of the program to which he/she is applying, including completion of any required prerequisites.
    The dean of the School for Graduate Studies, upon the recommendation of the graduate faculty, makes the final decision regarding admission.
  2. Advanced Certificates

    Criteria for admission includes:

    • Documented completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Applicants to the advanced certificate programs will be admitted once all required application materials are submitted.

It is the policy of Empire State College, State University of New York, to provide equal opportunity in education and employment for all qualified persons and prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status or marital status.

Applicants must complete the admissions process within one year of beginning the process. After one year, any application materials received by the Admissions Office will be purged.

Applications must be completed and submitted by the published deadline in order to be considered for admission to an upcoming term unless extended by the School for Graduate Studies. All graduate programs are term based. Term options for initial enrollment are specific to the degree or certificate to which a student has been accepted (fall, spring, summer).

Admitted applicants may enroll initially in the graduate program within three calendar years from the date of admission. Those who wish to initiate enrollment after this time must reapply for admission.

An applicant who is denied admission may apply again (to any Empire State College graduate degree program) after a period of one year from the prior date of application. Applicants who wish to appeal denial of admission may do so in a letter to the dean of the School for Graduate Studies.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

  • Readmission, Re-enrollment and Degree Programs of Returning Students (section 04, item 03)
  • Minimum Study Policy (section 07, item 09)
  • Nonmatriculated Enrollment Policy (graduate)
  • Procedure for applying to graduate degree programs and advanced certificates
  • Appeal procedure for denied graduate applicants