Frequently Asked Questions

 General Education

Placement Examination in English and Mathematics

Transfer Courses

Grades and Credits

Academic Standards for Dismissal


General Education

Q: What does Core Curriculum mean?

A: Westchester Community College mandates “common curriculum experiences stressing those areas of knowledge and skill which form a base for establishing lifelong learning patterns.” The College has established two core curricula, one for the A.A. and A.S. degrees and the other for the A.A.S. degree. Consult your catalog or Academic Advisor for further information.

Q: Which courses fulfill the Humanities, Behavioral Sciences and Social Sciences requirements?
A:  Humanities are those courses listed under Arts, Dance, Drama, Film, Music, Philosophy, Foreign Language and, in the Humanities curriculum, Literature.  Behavioral Sciences are those courses listed under Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology and Social Sciences are those courses listed under Economics, Geography, History and Political Sciences.

Q: Are Mathematics and Science courses required?
A: Yes.  For the A.A. and A.S. degree, two mathematics and two science courses are required.  For the A.A.S. degree, one mathematics and two science courses or two mathematics and one science course are required.

Q: Is there a Foreign Language requirement?
A:  Some curricula either require or recommend Foreign Language courses.  Consult the online catalog, Academic Counselor or Faculty Advisor.

Q:  I am fluent in another language.  Can I test out of the of that language and use the test results for Humanities credit?
A: Yes.  Please contact the Transfer Evaluator in the Admissions Office.

Q:  Do you give credit for “Life Experience”?
A:  Westchester Community College does not give credit for “Life Experience”; however, credit may be available at the four-year College when you transfer.

Placement Examination in English and Mathematics

Q: What are the entry requirements for college level English and Mathematics courses?
A: All students are required to take a placement test and write an essay prior to enrolling.  The scores from these tests will indicate whether or not you have the required skills to enter college level credit classes and which courses you will be permitted to take.  Testing covers reading, writing, numerical skills and algebra, as well as an essay on a topic determined by examiners.

Q: I am required to take college preparatory courses; do they count toward graduation?
A: Only ESL Introduction to Academic Writing 2 and Advanced Reading count toward graduation as free electives.  However, they many not transfer to four-year institutions.  Other preparatory courses DO NOT COUNT toward graduation but will appear on your transcript together with the grade for the course.  They are also used to determine enrollment status and financial aid eligibility.

Q: How do I know which non-credit or credit courses I am required to take?
A: It depends on your test scores.  You will be given your essay and placement results shortly after completing the tests.  It is required that you enroll in skills courses first, if needed, before taking college level courses.  See your Counselor for more information.

Q: I have taken Basic Skills courses at another college.  My scores on the Westchester Community College Placement tests were below the “Cut off.”  Do I still have to take the preparatory courses?
A: All students who score below the “cut off” on various tests of the placement exam must take the required course even though they have already taken a similar course at another college.  You may not proceed to a college level course until a satisfactory grade in the preparatory course is achieved.

Transfer Courses

Q: May I transfer my courses from my other college?
A: You may transfer a maximum of 32 credits as long as they are a C grade or better and are the grade point equivalent of 2.0.

Q: I am a transfer student from another college.  When will my transfer credits be evaluated?
A: Your official transcript will be evaluated after you have formally enrolled.  However, a counselor can give you an informal evaluation.  If you are currently a student, ask the registrar to send a copy of your other college’s transcript to the evaluator in the Admissions office.

Q: I went to see an advisor and my transfer credits were not listed on my transcript by name.  What should I do?
A:  The names of your transferred courses will not appear on your Westchester Community College transcript.  Specific classes that have transferred into Westchester Community College are available and you may request a copy of the evaluation at your Counselor’s Office.

Q: If I change majors, is it necessary to reevaluate my transfer transcript?
A: Yes.  Request at the Registrar’s Office to have the Transfer Evaluator, reevaluate the credits.

Q: After Graduation from Westchester Community College I intend to transfer to a four-year school.  At what point do I start this process?
A: It is recommended that you start looking into the process and exploring your plans as early as possible.  The Transfer Office, your Counselor and Curriculum Chairperson can assist you with your decision.

Grades and Credits

Q: How many credits may I take in one semester?
A: If you are a full time student, you may take up to 19 credits.  On rare occasions, permission to take more may be obtained from the Associate Dean and the Curriculum Chairperson.  Part-time students may take up to 11 credits.  Students in good academic standing, may register for up to 6 credits in each summer session without special permission from the appropriate Associate Dean and the Curriculum Chairperson.

Q: How do I get special permission for a course overload?
A: Westchester Community College does not endorse overloading of classes.  If you have a concern see your Counselor or the appropriate Associate Dean.

Q: How much time after classes begin do I have to change a class?
A: Schedule changes for on-campus classes must be completed during the first week of the semester.  We call this the Add/Drop time.  If you are dropping a class, no refunds will be given after the third week of class.

Q: Why can’t I switch my class to a different professor once the Add/Drop time limit has elapsed?
A: It is official College policy that at the closing of the Add/Drop time, no further changes may be made or processed.

Q: What are the standards for Academic Dismissal?
A: A student whose academic record does not meet College Standards shall be academically dismissed and may only register for a maximum of 2 courses or eight (8) charged credits per semester.  A matriculated student’s status will be changed to non-matriculated.

Academic Standards for Dismissal

Cumulative Credits Attempted Cumulative GPA Per Credit Hour
12-31 below 1.0
32-47 below 1.50
48 or more below 1.75

Q:  I need to be reinstated.  What is the procedure?
A:  There are two ways.  Students may be reinstated and earn the right to take more than 8 credits by either raising their averages and being automatically reinstated or by seeing the Counselor in charge of academically dismissed students.  Go to the Counseling office for further information.

Q: What happens if I fail a course?
A:  You must repeat the course if it is required for graduation.  You may repeat any course in which you received an F.  Your failing grade will always remain on your transcript, but your new grade will be the grade used in computing your GPA.  However, a four-year college may recompute the average including the F grade.  Courses repeated after graduation will not change the graduation average.

Q: I need tutoring.  Is help available on campus?
A: Yes.  Help is available through the Academic Support Center.  Subject tutorials are also available.  Speak with your instructor about your needs.  Look for the brochure “Don’t Drop Out, Drop In” which is available throughout the campus or see your Counselor.

Q: I received an Incomplete.  What do I do?
A: Speak to your instructor about why you received an Incomplete.  You have one semester to complete the work of the course.


Q: How do I know who my advisor is?

A: Contact the Counseling Office for assistance in making an appointment to see a Counselor for academic advisement or to find out who your Faculty Chairperson is.

Q: I have some special needs.  Where do I go for help?
A: The following services are available: Career and Transfer Counseling, Academic and Personal Counseling, Disability Services, Financial Aid, International Student Services, Honors Program, Student Activates, Women’s Forum and more.  See your Counselor for additional assistance.

Q: How do I change my major?
A: You may change your major by seeing a Counselor who will advise the Registrar’s Office of the change.

Q: If I want to stop attending a class, must I withdraw officially?
A: Absolutely.  You may withdraw from a course without penalty during the first nine weeks of the semester by completing a withdrawal form and bringing it to the Registrar’s Office.

Q: The withdrawal date has passed and I have to leave the college.  What should I do?
A: See your Counselor for information about withdrawing and/or a complete College withdrawal.  To leave the College without academic penalty you must withdraw from all courses before the last day of classes.

Q: How do I file for graduation?
A: You must file for graduation in the Registrar’s Office usually by the end of February for the May Commencement Exercises.  Students who complete their graduation requirements in the summer must also file for graduation in the Registrar’s Office and are invited to participate in the Commencement ceremony the following May.  It is important to see your Curriculum Chairperson to make sure that you have fulfilled the requirements to graduate.

Q: I have additional questions.  Where can I find more information?
A: See the Westchester Community College catalog and the Course Schedule and/or go to the Counseling Office, Room 217A in the Student Center, for additional assistance.

Q: Fresh Start Program
A: For students returning to Westchester Community College after a prior unsuccessful start and a lengthy absence of at least 6 consecutive semesters, our institution offers the Fresh Start Program. Criteria required to receive the fresh start include:

  • Students must take a minimum of 12 academic credits provisionally at Westchester Community College
  • Students may be required to complete College Success with a grade of C+ or better
  • Students must obtain a minimum grade point average of 2.50 during the semester’s) necessary to complete the credits
  • After meeting the criteria above, ALL the student’s prior courses are discounted from the overall GPA and given asterisks(*) on the transcript. From the forgiveness point, the transcript will be marked with the term “Fresh Start

Please note: These policies are subject to change.  Students are responsible for all information published in the Westchester Community College catalog and the Course Schedule book.