Academic Rules FAQ

Please note: The following information is provided to assist students in resolving commonly encountered issues. While we strive to post all relevant information, it is possible that not every conceivable situation is covered. In other words, the fact that a policy is not mentioned here does not necessarily mean that no such policy exists. Students are always encouraged to address questions to their academic advisor, Department Chair, or the Assistant to the Dean.

For other important academic rules of the University that are not covered here, please visit Academic Regulations on the Web pages of the Office of Registration Services.

Taking Courses Outside of WPU

Possibly, but it depends on a number of factors. They are:

- Once a student has become a major or minor in the Cotsakos College of Business, all coursework that is offered by the Cotsakos College of Business must be taken at William Paterson University.
- Only students in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 2.0) can take courses elsewhere.
- If a student has failed a course at William Paterson University, the only way to exclude the failing grade from GPA calculations is by retaking the same course at William Paterson University with a passing grade.
- Students cannot transfer in more than 60 credits total from a two-year institution.
- Students cannot transfer in more than 90 credits total from a four-year institution.
- Students who have 30 or fewer credits left before they complete their graduation requirements must take those credits in residence at William Paterson University.
- Students cannot take more than 19 credits in a Fall or Spring semester (14 credits in the Summer and 3 credits in the Winter). This limit applies to both courses taken at William Paterson University and elsewhere.

If a student meets all these conditions, he/she needs to obtain a Visiting Student Authorization form (available here or at any academic department). The first step is to receive the approval from the Chair of the Department that is offering the course at William Paterson University for the equivalency of courses. (If the intended course is offered at a NJ Community College, equivalencies can be looked up at Subsequently, a student's academic advisor, Department Chair, and College Dean need to approve as well.

Residency Requirements

No. Only 1000- and 2000-level Cotsakos College of Business coursework is eligible for transfer from a two-year institution (community/county college). The course content must be equivalent.

Yes, but only if the course was taken with a grade of C or better at an AACSB-accredited four-year institution and upon approval from the Department Chair and College Dean. Two courses, ACCT 3110 (Intermediate Accounting I) and FIN 3200 (Corporate Finance) require a grade of B or better to be transferable.

Yes. At least 50 percent of all major credits and at least 50 percent of all credits that satisfy the major/concentration requirement must be earned through completed coursework at the Cotsakos College of Business.

No. Once a student becomes a major in the Cotsakos College of Business, all business coursework must be taken in residence at William Paterson University. Exceptions such as courses taken as part of a Study Abroad program will be considered on a case-by case basis and require the approval of the Department Chair and the College Dean.

Semester Load

The normal limit is 19 credits. Students whose overall and major GPAs are 3.0 or higher can get permission from their Department Chair and College Dean to take up to 23 credits per semester. Please note that tuition and fees above the full-time flat rate will be charged for credits above 19 (see for details).

The limit is 4 courses / 14 credits. Additionally, courses must be scheduled so that no more than two courses run concurrently.

The limit is one course. Please note that it is not possible to get permission to take more courses than that.


No. One of the requirements of an internship is that it is a new work experience.


Up to 50 percent of minor requirements can simultaneously count towards a major. At least 50 percent of the minor requirements must be met with coursework that is unique to the minor, i.e., they cannot be double-counted. 

Second Degree

In order to earn a second undergraduate degree, a student (i) must meet all major requirements as well as prerequisites and (ii) must take at least 30 new credits. Please check with the respective Department Chair or the Assistant to the Dean if you have any questions about how these requirements apply to your individual situation.


No. Students who complete their last degree requirements in the Fall semester are eligible to participate in the following year's Commencement.

It depends. A student can get permission to "walk" in May Commencement if he/she is scheduled to graduate in August and is enrolled for the last requirements (maximum of two courses / seven credits) in the Summer. If a student meets these conditions, he/she should contact the Assistant to the Dean for permission to "walk" in May Commencement after he/she has registered for the last (one or two) summer course(s).