Graduate Catalog 2020-2021

Academic Standards and Policies

The following academic policies apply to all of the graduate degree programs in the College. Please refer to the program description for any specific policies.

Academic Dismissal

Students whose academic performance falls below the minimum requirements may be dismissed from the College upon review by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Academic Freedom

The City University of New York subscribes to the American Association of University Professors 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom, and the College of Staten Island respects academic freedom for faculty and students as well as freedom in their personal lives for all individuals in the campus community.

Admission Policy of Sex Offenders

The College reserves the right to deny admission to any student if, in its judgment, the presence of that student on campus poses an undue risk to the safety or security of the College community. That judgment will be based on an individualized determination taking into account any information the College has about a student's criminal record and the particular circumstances of the College, including the presence of a child care center, a public school or public school students on the campus.


Upon acceptance to the College of Staten Island, graduate students are assigned an academic advisor. Before registration, each semester students must meet with their advisors to plan their programs.

Appeal Procedures

The Graduate Studies Appeals Committee convenes once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters to consider appeals for the following: Change of Grade from FIN and WU to W, Readmission, and Dismissal. The Graduate Studies Committee DOES NOT adjudicate letter grade appeals (A-F). Letter grade appeals are the responsibility of your respective department, school, or program.

Your graduate department or program may have department or program-specific appeals procedures. If so, you must first attempt to resolve your issue by following your graduate department/program appeals procedures. Be sure to check with your program, department, or school to find out if they have program specific procedures.

In the event you then wish to appeal the decision of your graduate department, program, or school, you may then appeal to the Graduate Appeals Committee. All decisions of the Graduate Studies Appeals Committee are final.

Appeals for a Change of Grade from FIN and WU to W

  1. Complete the Instructor’s Grade Change Release Form for each WU/FIN grade you wish to petition. Follow instructions on form. Note: Grade Change Release forms can be picked up at the Registrar’s Office in 2A-107 or at the Center for Advising and Academic Success in 1A-101.
  2. Once the form is verified, locate each professor and them to sign the form. If a professor is no longer at CSI, ask for the signature of the Department Chair. Office staff may be able to assist you in acquiring the signature. An instructor’s signature is not required for classes taken in the Computer Science, Modern Languages, or Psychology Departments, however you must still submit a Grade Change Release Form for classes taken in these programs even though a signature is not required.
  3. Write a well organized one page Letter of Appeal clearly explaining why you wish to appeal your WU / FIN grade. The letter should explain any medical, legal, emotional, financial or other hardships that were affecting you, e.g. relationship difficulties, divorce, illness, loss of loved one, financial or other hardships. Be specific about the event or concern; whowhat…when …where … why…how? Reasons such as absence from classes, being unaware of the procedure for how to drop a class, or disliking the professor are not considered extraordinary. If you did well in other classes that same semester, you must explain any discrepancy as well as why you failed to officially withdraw from the course. Further, the letter should explain how you have addressed your issues and how they will not interfere with future graduate study, for example, I have fully recovered from my illness; an unemployed family member is now working again; I have arranged child-care for my child. The letter must be typed, signed, and include the date and your name.
  4. Provide Supporting Documentation about your issues for the semester in question,e.g. therapy, medical, financial, legal, employment or other emergency. Documentation such as a letter from other people may be acceptable (e.g. clergy, teacher, and employer). Be sure the letter is on official letterhead or stamped and signed.
  5. Be sure to notify the coordinator or director of your graduate studies program, as they are required to send to the Chair of Graduate Studies a separate letter regarding your appeal.
  6. Appeal paperwork should be arranged in the following sequence:

All other Appeals (Dismissal, Readmission, Other)


Students follow the same procedures detailed above with the exception of the Grade Change Release Form, which is not required.

Computer User Responsibilities

The computer resources of The City University of New York and the College of Staten Island must be used in a manner that is consistent with the University's educational purposes and environment. All users of computer resources are expected to act in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, and to adhere to the regulations for their use set forth in this document. As a user of CUNY computer resources:

  • You are required to have a valid authorized account to use computer resources that require one and may use only those computer resources that are specifically authorized. You may use your account only in accordance with its authorized purposes and may not use an unauthorized account for any purpose.
  • You are responsible for the safeguarding of your computer account. For a mainframe computer account, you should change your password frequently and should not disclose it to anyone. You should take all necessary precautions in protecting the account, no matter what type of computer resource is being used.
  • You may not circumvent system protection facilities.
  • You may not knowingly use any system to produce system failure or degraded performance.
  • You may not engage in unauthorized duplication, alteration or destruction of data, programs or software. You may not transmit or disclose data, programs or software belonging to others and may not copy material protected by copyright.
  • You may not engage in abusive or improper use of computer hardware. This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with equipment, unauthorized attempts at repairing equipment and unauthorized removal of equipment components.
  • You may not use computer resources for private purposes, including, but not limited to, the use of computer resources for profit-making or illegal purposes.
  • You may not use computer resources to engage in abuse of computer personnel or other uses. Such abuse includes the sending of abusive or obscene messages within CUNY or beyond via network facilities.
  • The use of college computer resources may be subject to college regulations, and you are expected to be familiar with those regulations.
  • These regulations and college regulations are subject to revision. You are expected to be familiar with any revisions in the regulations.

The University reserves the right to monitor, under appropriate conditions, all data contained in the system to protect the integrity of the system and to ensure compliance with regulations.

Any user who is found to be in violation of these rules is subject to the following:

  • Suspension and/or termination of computer privileges;
  • Disciplinary action by appropriate college and/or University officials;
  • Referral to law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution;
  • Other legal action, including action to recover civil damages and penalties.

“Computer Resources” is an inclusive term referring to any and all computing/information technology: hardware, software, and access. Hardware includes, but is not limited to, terminals, personal computers, workstations, printers, wires, monitors, cabling, peripheral devices. Software includes, but is not limited to, mainframe shared software, networked software, and stand-alone software residing on personal computers. Access includes, but is not limited to, accounts on timesharing systems as well as access to stand-alone personal computing systems and other relevant technology.

Credits as a Non-Matriculated Student

No more than 12 credits of graduate courses may be taken as a non-matriculated student, unless the student already holds another master’s degree.

Five Year Limit

All credits for a graduate degree must be completed within five years. Extensions may be granted only with the written permission of the program coordinator.

Full-Time Classification

Effective Fall 2018, all graduate students registering for a minimum of nine credits may be certified as full-time students.

Grade Point Average for Retention and Dismissal

Students must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) to be retained in a graduate program. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 are on probationary status. While they are on probationary status, their registration forms must be signed by the coordinator of their program. Students may raise their GPA only through enrollment in graduate courses approved by their program coordinator.

Students on academic probation will not be dismissed but will be automatically continued on probation as long as they achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or better each year until they have reached the required minimum grade point average.

Students who fail to achieve the minimum 3.5 grade point average for any year while on probation will be dismissed.

Grade Point Average for Graduation

Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) in graduate-level courses in their program to graduate.


Students who believe they will have fulfilled the degree requirements must file for graduation by the date specified in the College calendar. There is no fee for this application. Application for graduation may be submitted online through the CUNYfirst Self-Service Student Center or in person at the Office of the Registrar, Building 2A, Room 107.

Graduate Studies Committee

The Graduate Studies Committee reviews student records and considers student appeals related to admission, readmission, and graduation. Students can petition the Committee through a counselor in the Division of Student and Enrollment Services.

Grading Symbols and GPA Equivalents

The following grading symbols are used:

Grade Identification Quality Points per Credit
A Excellent 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B Good 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C Satisfactory 2.0
F Failing/unsuccessful completion of course 0.0
CR Credit Awarded -
INC Incomplete (temporary grade) -
FIN Failure (changed from Incomplete) 0.0
NC No credit -
P Pass
W Withdrew with no penalty -
WA Administrative Withdrawal -
WN Non-Attendance, Unofficial Withdrawal -
WN Non-Attendance, Unofficial Withdrawal
(Fall 2008-Summer 2009) (counts as a failure)
*WN Non-Attendance -
Y Year or Longer Course of Study (for thesis courses)
Z No grade submitted by instructor -
PEN Grade Pending (for thesis courses) -
A brief explanation of the grades receiving no quality points follows:
CR Course requirements have been satisfied.
F Graduate courses in which a student has received an F grade may be repeated; however, the grade of F will continue to be calculated in determining the GPA. Students should refer to the requirements of the program for any specific policy regarding F grades.
INC The grade INC is a temporary grade assigned when, in the instructor’s judgment, course requirements are not completed for valid reasons. Recipients of INC are required to complete all assignments before the end of classes during the succeeding semester. Students should not register a second time for a course in which an INC is given. Rather, arrangements should be made with the instructor to complete the remaining work. If a student registers again for a course in which an INC was awarded, the INC will become a FIN and the course will appear a second time on the student’s transcript with the grade earned.
FIN If a grade of INC is not changed before the last day of classes of the succeeding semester, it will automatically be changed to a grade of FIN. If the required work is not completed for continuing valid reasons, the course instructor may grant an extension. Such extensions shall not exceed a period of more than two years beyond the original due date of the uncompleted work.
NC  No credit is received for a course in which this grade is assigned. This grade carries no academic penalty. If a student wishes to receive credit for the course, it must be repeated with a passing grade; however, the NC remains on the transcript.
P Course requirements have been satisfied. This grade is used only for specially designated courses and for courses taken at another college for which a student receives advanced standing.
W Students may withdraw without academic penalty from any course up to the end of the ninth week of the semester (see College calendar for deadline to withdraw); a grade of W will be assigned. After that date, students may petition the instructor and the chairperson for permission to withdraw until the last day of classes. Consult the Office of the Registrar for the procedures to be followed when withdrawing from a course. If these procedures are not followed, students may receive a penalty grade of WU. In cases of illness, students may apply to the Health Center for a medical withdrawal. Under no circumstances will a W be assigned after the last day of classes without positive action by the Graduate Studies Committee or its designee.
WA Students not in compliance with the New York State immunization requirement receive the grade of WA. This grade carries no academic penalty.
WN An unofficial withdrawal due to non-attendance in a course. No credit is received for a course in which this grade is assigned; it is equivalent to a grade of F.
*WN Never Attended. This grade carries no academic penalty. Effective Fall 2009.
WU An unofficial withdrawal results in a grade of WU. No credit is received for a course in which this grade is assigned; it is equivalent to a grade of F.
PEN An administrative grade.
Y The pending grade is used in the first semester of a two-semester course.
Z An administrative grade assigned when no grade has been submitted by the instructor.
   All Spring 2020 grades were earned during a major disruption to instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Grandfather” Clause

Requirements in this Catalog were approved effective fall 2020. The “Grandfather” clause is designed for students who matriculated in a program, major, or curriculum prior to that date. This provides that students may meet degree requirements in effect the year of their matriculation in a particular program, curriculum, or major provided the student has not had an interruption in matriculation exceeding four consecutive fall and spring semesters.

Students changing major or curriculum are subject to the requirements in effect the year of the change.

Immunization Requirement

New York State Public Health Law requires immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella for some students. All students born on or after January 1, 1957, who are enrolling for six or more equated credits must have proof of immunization on file at the College Health Center, Campus Center (1C), Room 112, one week prior to registration. Transfer students must request that their health records be transferred to College of Staten Island. New York State Public Health Law 2167 requires all students to complete and return the meningitis vaccination response form prior to registration. Information and the immunization forms are available at the Health Center and the Registrar’s Office.

New York State Public Health Law 2167 requires that all college and university students be informed of the meningococcal disease, a potentially fatal bacterial infection commonly referred to as meningitis. The College of Staten Island is required to maintain a record of the following for each student:

  • A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or if a student is under the age of 18, by the student’s parent or guardian. The information provided to you must include information on the availability and cost of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (Menomune™);


  • A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past ten years;


  • An acknowledgment of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or if a student is under the age of 18, by the student’s parent or guardian.

Meningitis is rare. However, when it strikes, its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. If not treated early, meningitis can lead to an increase in fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column as well as severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation, and even death. Cases of meningitis among teens and young adults 15 to 24 years of age (the age of most college students) have more than doubled since 1991. The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year and claims about 300 lives. Between 100 and 125 meningitis cases occur on college campuses and as many as 15 students will die from the disease. A vaccine is available that protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningitis in the United States: types A, C, Y, and W-135. These types account for nearly two-thirds of meningitis cases among college students. The College of Staten Island does not offer meningococcal immunization. The meningitis vaccine is provided at the New York City Department of Health Travelers’ clinics, The meningitis vaccine may or may not be covered by insurance. The vaccine cost is approximately $75. The Ryan Chelsea Clinton Community Center, 645 Tenth Avenue (between 45th and 46th) New York, NY 10036, 212.265.4500, offers the meningitis vaccine at a low and affordable cost. Note: Per public health law, the College may not permit any student to attend the institution in excess of 30 days without complying with this law.

To learn more about meningitis and the vaccine, please consult your physician. You can also find information about the disease at:

The College Health Center’s Website:

New York State Department of Health Website:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Websites: and

American College Health Association (ACHA) Website:

and the National Meningitis Association (NMA), Website:


I.D. Cards

Each student will be provided with a photo identification card. Each semester the I.D. cards are validated upon completion of registration. Validated I.D. cards must be carried by a student on campus at all times. Duplicate I.D. cards are available at a cost of $5.

Independent Study

Graduate students may take a maximum of two independent study courses. Approval of the graduate program coordinator and the dean of the division is required.

Library Submission of the Master’s Thesis

A finished master’s thesis is a scholarly work that is the product of extensive research and related preparation. The Library will make theses publicly available to students, faculty, and outside researchers. For purposes of preservation, and to prepare them for bindery, theses must adhere to uniform standards of format and construction. The guidelines for submission are available in the CSI Library Guidelines for Submission of the Master's Thesis.

Policy on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Cheating

Integrity is fundamental to the academic enterprise. It is violated by such acts as borrowing or purchasing assignments (including, but not limited to term papers, essays, and reports) and other written assignments, using concealed notes or crib sheets during examinations, copying the work of others and submitting it as one’s own, and misappropriating the knowledge of others. The sources from which one derives one’s ideas, statements, terms, and data, including Internet sources, must be fully and specifically acknowledged in the appropriate form; failure to do so, intentionally or unintentionally, constitutes plagiarism.

Violations of academic integrity may result in a lower grade or failure in a course and in disciplinary actions with penalties such as suspension or dismissal from the College. For more information please visit the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity.


Students must register each semester. Registration and appointment materials are sent by the Office of the Registrar prior to registration to all current, readmitted, and newly admitted students. An open registration period is scheduled at the beginning of each semester for students who miss their registration appointments or who are returning to CSI too late for an appointment to be scheduled.

Students scheduled for registration using their CUNYfirst self-service account may register and perform program changes following the procedures accompanying the registration e-mail notification. Instructions for using CUNYfirst are also available online.

A detailed registration schedule and class listings are available online each semester on the Registrar's website. Registration is not complete until all financial obligations have been satisfied. The Registrar’s Office is in Building 2A, Room 110.


Graduate students who do not register for a semester and then decide to return in a subsequent semester, and who have not maintained their matriculated status, must apply for readmission at least 30 days before registration. Requirements for programs may change and students applying for readmission must meet current requirements. Students who have a GPA below 3.0 will need approval from their program coordinator. Readmission is not guaranteed and may be denied in such cases. For more information on Readmission please visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Retaking Graduate Courses

Following is the policy on retaking graduate courses at the College of Staten Island for which a student has received a grade of F/WU/FIN.

Effective Fall 2020, graduate students who have earned an academic grade of F or an administrative grade of WU or FIN in a CSI graduate course, may, with the permission of their program coordinators, retake the same course at CSI and replace the grade. If they earn a grade of C or higher, the F/WU/FIN grade will be replaced as follows: the original grade (F/WU/FIN) will remain on the transcript, but will no longer be computed in the cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA). This adjustment to the cumulative GPA (CUM GPA) will occur automatically at the end of the semester in which the student retakes the course. Students and their advisors should check the transcripts to ensure that this replacement has taken effect.

The following restrictions apply to this policy:

  • F-Grade Replacement is limited to a maximum of one (1) course during the student’s enrollment (matriculation) in graduate programs at the College of Staten Island
  • F-Grade Replacement may not be used to replace an F grade resulting from a violation of CUNY’s policy on Academic Integrity.
  • F-Grade Replacement applies only to graduate courses taken at CSI: CSI students are not permitted to use this policy for courses taken at another CUNY college.
  • F-Grade Replacement does not apply to transferred courses.
  • F-Grade Replacement only applies to the same course with the same number of credits; it may not be used to replace the grade if the number of credits has changed.

Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy for the Spring 2020 Semester

As part of The City University of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the Spring 2020 semester, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades they earn in their classes, to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading.

  1. During the Spring 2020 semester, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades, including plus or minus variations, they earn in their classes, to Credit/No Credit grading.
  2. Students shall be able to make this decision up to 20 business days after the University’s final grade submission deadline. Once selected, the Credit/No Credit option cannot be cannot be reversed.
  3. If a student chooses to exercise this option, a passing letter grade (A, B, C, or D including +/-) will convert to ‘CR’ with credit for the class being awarded, while a failing grade (F) will convert to ‘NC’, with no credit awarded. Credit/No Credit grades will not impact the student’s GPA.
  4. Courses taken for a letter grade will continue to be included in the semester and general GPA, while courses taken for a Credit/Non-credit grade will be excluded, just as is the case with such courses taken at a student’s home institution.
  5. If a student exercises the option of Credit/No Credit, the Credit (CR) grade will not negatively impact the student’s satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
  6. Students with Credit/No Credit grades will be able to transfer those courses across colleges within CUNY, per current CUNY policy.
  7. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall apply to coursework completed on Permit and will not affect Board of Trustees Policy 1.14 – Policy on Coursework Completed on Permit.
  8. Students placed on academic probation by their institution at the start of the Spring 2020 semester shall not be penalized with academic dismissal based upon their grades earned this semester.
  9. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall not affect the University standards of student retention and progress in accordance with Board of Trustees Policy 1.26.
  10. Before choosing this grading option for one or more of their classes, students shall consult with their academic and financial aid advisors regarding potential impact to their financial aid, licensure requirements, and graduate school admissions.
  11. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall supersede and override all undergraduate and graduate program-level grading policies currently in effect at CUNY colleges and schools, including those related to required and elective courses within the major, minor, general education (Pathways), pre-requisite courses, honors courses, courses taken on permit and maximum number of credits that a student can earn with Credit/No Credit grades.
  12. The grade glossary, attached to each transcript, will be updated to include a notation denoting that all Spring 2020 grades, including CR or NC, were earned during a major disruption to instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  13. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall apply to all CUNY colleges and schools, except the School of Law and the School of Medicine, which may develop their own Pass/Fail policies, subject to approval of the Board of Trustees, to conform to norms in legal and medical education.
  14. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy, which shall be effective April 1, 2020, applies to the Spring 2020 semester only and that the Chancellor, may, in his discretion, to meet public health emergency policies and practices, extend this policy to future semesters, if necessary and report such extension to the Board of Trustees immediately.
  15. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall be codified in the Manual of General Policy as Policy 1.4. and cannot be overwritten by any individual units of the University, including presidents, provosts, or college councils.
  16. The policy will remain in effect for the Spring 2020 semester and will be reviewed by the Chancellor and extended as necessary to meet public health emergency policies and practices.

Transcripts and Grade Report

Students may access their transcript records and review semester grades by logging on to their CUNYfirst are self-service account.  Email notification is sent to students each semester when grades are available.

Students may request copies of their transcripts online at To be official, transcripts must be signed and sealed by the Registrar.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken within the last five years at an accredited college or university may be accepted at the discretion of the coordinator of the graduate program. A maximum of 12 graduate credits in graduate courses, with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each course, may be applied toward a graduate degree from the College of Staten Island. For specific requirements, please refer to the Programs of Study.

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate students may not enroll in undergraduate courses for graduate credit. Graduate students may, however, enroll in undergraduate courses in order to remedy deficiencies in their preparation for graduate study. Such courses will not be credited toward the requirements of the graduate degree. Non-matriculated students who are completing undergraduate coursework to qualify for matriculated status must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be considered for matriculation. (See also specific requirements for remedying deficiencies in the description of the Programs of Study).

Verification of Student Enrollment

Federal Title IV regulations require that a student begin attendance to qualify for Title IV aid. The College must be able to document verification of enrollment in each course or participation in an academically related event connected to that course. A student is considered to have begun attendance if the student attends at least one day of class or is otherwise active and participating in the course or academically related activity (e.g. by submitting assignments, attending a  required study group, academic conference or tutorial) for each course used to determine Title IV eligibility.

Academically related activities include, but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
  • submitting an academic assignment;
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction;
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matter;
  • engaging in an online academically related activity, or initiating contact with the  instructor to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course or ask a course-related question. Note: Logging into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate  participation  in an academically  related  activity  by the student.

A course for which the College is unable to document that the student ever attended cannot be included as a course eligible for the disbursement of federal aid.

Faculty members at all schools and colleges of The City University of New  York  are  to  be provided a census date roster at the end of the program adjustment period/census date of each term/session including winter and summer. Faculty and instructors are required to indicate on the  rosters verification of enrollment for students enrolled in the class.  They must complete the official roster and submit it on or before one week after the census of the term/session. At that point in time,  submission  of  the  roster  will  effectively  certify  that  the listed students noted as present are enrolled and have attended & participated  at least once in the class indicated on this roster (i.e., began attending classes and/or pursuing the  prescribed  course work or is otherwise active and participating in the course, e.g. by  submitting  assignments,  attending a required  study group, academic conference or tutorial).

The College will effectively process administrative withdrawals (WN) for students who have been reported as never participated in an academically related activity, i.e. have not begun attending. Daily attendance rosters or grade books will not be required.

Where the College cannot establish that the student began attendance or participated in an academically related activity, federal grants and loan funds need to be returned. Federal regulations require that the College return federal funds no later than 30 days after the College becomes aware that the student did not begin attendance. At an institution that is not required to take attendance but that has a census date on which it reports its enrollment levels to a state, local jurisdiction or outside agency, once the institution has determined that a student has or has not begun attendance, it would be reasonable to expect the institution to return funds as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days following the census date.