Frequently Asked Questions

About Academic Advising

Where are the academic advising offices?

Undergraduate students can meet with professional advisers and peer advisers in the office on the ground floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library (LS-G552). The Coordinator of Graduate Programs can be found in the Engineering Building (H11).

How do I identify my faculty adviser?

Each department has a faculty member who serves as the undergraduate adviser within the discipline, as well as one who serves as a graduate adviser. If you are not certain who your faculty adviser is, you can check on your department web page under People or speak to the department secretary. In addition, your department chair can serve as a valuable resource for advice about the professional path you are following to launch your career.

What if I have more questions?

In addition to the people who support you within the Watson School and across Binghamton University, there are many additional resources available to you. Check out the list of resources on the Campus Support Resources page.

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Courses

How many Gen Ed courses are there?

There are 10 different requirements: Composition(C), Oral Communication(O), Pluralism(P), Globalism(G), Laboratory Science(L), Social Science (N), Math (M), Aesthetic (A), Humanities (H), Physical Education (Y/S/B) and Foreign Language**.

** Waived for all Watson Students before fall 2001. Beginning fall 2002, waived for engineering only. All CS majors are required to take one semester of foreign language IF a score of 85 is not met on the New York State Regents examination.

Does WTSN 111/112 fulfill a Gen Ed requirement?

Yes, a "J" with the successful completion of WTSN 103/111 and WTSN104/ 112.

If I haven't taken Watson 111, is there a course that is a suitable substitution and is it possible to transfer this course in from another institution?

A situation like this is dealt with on an individual basis in consultation with your division director.

If a course has more than one Gen Ed letter, do I earn all of them?

No, only one Gen Ed course can fill one Gen Ed requirement. The exception to this is the Composition "C", or "J" which will double count.

Is a foreign language course required for engineering students?

Not for engineering students. However, CS students are required to take 1 semester of a college-level foreign language if a score of 85 is not met on the New York State Regents examination.

What does it mean when a course has a "W" indicator on it?

This relates only to Harpur College writing requirements and is not equal to the General Education "C" indicator required by Watson.

If i did not attend a New York state school, how do I fulfill the Pluralism course?

If you attended a non-regents high school and earned a grade of 85 or better or a B in U.S. History, you may take any "P" course.

How important is it to follow the recommended schedule? What happens if you fall behind?

Engineering is rigid because many courses are offered only in the fall or spring, with many being sequential. Some pre-approved math, science and humanities courses can be taken during the summer.

How do I change sections of the same course?

If this is done after the add deadline, you must fill out a section change form so the registrar can make the adjustment.

If a course requires permission from a professor, how do I do that?

Speak with the professor and occasionally there are notes attached to a course in the schedule of classes. It is important to read those.

What if I keep getting shut out of Body/Wellness courses?

If you can, attend the course and speak to the instructor. You can petition to enroll in the course by filling out a form in the Physical Education department.

How does a student petition a class?

Go to the department you wish to petition and pick up the form, bring it to class and have the instructor sign it.

What is the overload procedure?

Use the General Academic Petition form from the Watson Advising office, listing the courses you are registered for, the course you would like to register for, your GPA, the reason and total number of credits you need. Obtain the appropriate signatures and hand it into the Watson Advising office in LS-G552 for processing. You must have a 3.0 GPA or be a graduating senior to qualify for an overload.

Is a 300-level course too advanced for freshmen? How does the course numbering work?

Generally speaking, 100- and 200-level are suitable for freshman/sophomore, 300 and 400 are suitable for juniors/seniors. For further details, check the course description.

What do I do if I miss several classes due to a family emergency?

This is worked out on an individual basis with your instructors, but the Watson Advising office can also help. Call 607-777-6203 for assistance.

What do you do if a course is still on your record after you thought you dropped it?

If it is before the drop deadline, go on BUBRAIN and drop it. If it is past the drop deadline, contact the Watson Advising office.

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DARS

What is DARS?

DARS, or Degree Audit Reporting System, is a computer program that provides progress-toward-degree reports for students. A DARS report shows all of the requirements needed to receive a degree, and which courses are used to satisfy those requirements.

How do I get a DARS report?

DARS reports are available at http://bubrain.binghamton.edu/.

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Financial Aid

How can I find out about the possibilities for financial aid?

Binghamton University has comprehensive financial aid services. If you have questions, most of your answers will be found on the financial aid site which includes information on everything from the cost of attending Binghamton University to details about scholarship opportunities and information on how to apply for aid.

Can I receive financial aid for summer courses?

It is best to visit the financial aid office and check with your counselor there about your individual financial situation.

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Grades

Why are grades important?

Grades are just one indication of a student's progress and can reflect how well a student is learning and advancing in skills. Other means for assessment and to prepare to be competitive in the job market include involvement in extra-curricular activities, both on and off campus. These activities might include holding leadership positions in organizations, completing internships, taking advantage of study-abroad opportunities and pursuing career-related jobs.

Is a D grade acceptable toward my major?

Yes.

How many pass/fails are students allowed in the Watson school?

CS Students are allowed to Pass/Fail four credits of FREE ELECTIVE only.

If I fail a class but then pass it, are both grades averaged into my GPA?

Yes.

Does a "D" grade for a Gen Ed course fulfill the requirement?

Yes.

How does a student appeal a grade?

An appeal of a grade is a situation that the student and professor resolve together.

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General Education

What are Gen Ed courses?

Binghamton University requires its students to include a comprehensive General Education curriculum in their course of instruction. With broad goals, the Gen Ed curriculum is meant to help students develop knowledge and appreciation in a number of areas, including aesthetics, composition and oral communication, foreign language, global interdependencies, humanities, laboratory science, mathematics, physical activity/ wellness, pluralism in the United States, and social science. Information on Individual requirements is provided here. More Gen Ed information is available online.

How many Gen Ed courses are there?

There are 10 different requirements: Composition(C), Oral Communication(O), Pluralism(P), Globalism(G), Laboratory Science(L), Social Science (N), Math (M), Aesthetic (A), Humanities (H), Physical Education (Y/S/B), and Foreign Language**.

** Waived for all Watson Students before Fall 2001. Beginning Fall 2002, waived for engineering only. All CS majors are required to take one semester of foreign language IF a score of 85 is not met on the NYS Regent Examination.

Does WTSN 111/112 fulfill a Gen Ed requirement?

Yes, a "J" with the successful completion of WTSN 103/111 and WTSN104/ 112.

If a course has more than one Gen Ed letter, do I get all of them?

No, only one Gen Ed course can fill one Gen Ed requirement. The exception to this is the Composition "C", or "J" which will double count.

Is a foreign language course required for engineering students?

Not for Engineering students. CS students are required 1 semester of a college level foreign language, if an 85 in the NYS regents is not met.

What does it mean when a course has a "W" indicator on it?

This relates only to Harpur College writing requirements and is not equal to the General Education "C" indicator required by Watson.

If I did not attend a New York state school, how do I fulfill the Pluralism course?

If you attended a non-regents high school and earned a grade of 85 or better or a B in US History, you may take any "P" course.

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International

What can you tell me about the international aspects of the Watson School and Binghamton University?

Binghamton University has been recognized with seven national awards for our comprehensive internationalization. As a Watson School student, you must recognize that you will work in a highly competitive, global world addressing broad-reaching technology challenges. Many of your questions about Binghamton University's international experience can be answered by the Office of International Programs. If you are an international student within the Watson School, you also have access to services through the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

Where can an international student find information about transferring to the Watson School?

Information about transfer procedures for international undergraduates in engineering and computer science is available online.

What is the International Certificate program and where can I find information about it?

You will find everything you need through the Office of International Programs.

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Majors / Minors

What majors are available to undergraduates in the Watson School?

The Watson School offers majors in each of its departments: bioengineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, systems science and industrial engineering. For information on specific majors at the undergraduate level, and degree programs at the graduate level, speak with your academic counselor in the Watson Advising Office or the department you are interested in.

Is it possible to complete a minor with an engineering major?

Once you have accrued 60 credits on the system (including transfer and AP), go to the department you would like to minor in and pick up the application. Meet with an adviser to help fit it in your schedule. Note: COE CANNOT minor in CS.

Is it possible to double major in electrical engineering and computer engineering?

No. But you can minor in CS if you are in any Watson major (except Computer Science or Computer Engineering.

When do engineering students confirm their majors and how difficult is it to switch to another Watson major?

Beginning with the fall 2003 freshman class, engineering students confirm their major during the second semester.

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Transfer Credits

What are transfer credits?

Transfer credits are those granted to students transferring into Binghamton University from another institution that are determined to be equivalent to credits earned in Binghamton University courses.

How will I know if a class I take over the summer will transfer back to Binghamton and how will it affect my GPA and overall credits?

In the Watson School Advising Office you can pick up a "Petition to Take Courses Elsewhere" form. Read the instructions and fill it out. This will tell you if it will transfer and for which requirement. Your GPA will not be affected, but your credits will be updated upon successful receipt of your transcript from that school.

How do I find out if my transcript from another school has been applied to my record?

Check your DARS Report.

Can physics be transferred from another school for an engineering major?

File a "Petition to Take Courses Elsewhere" form. If it is approved, it will count. For an engineering major, you must make sure that the physics class you are taking is calculus-based, otherwise it will not count.

How do I do an intra-University transfer and what is the necessary GPA?

Intra-University transfer request forms are available in undergraduate admissions (Academic A). They also provide information sheets on special admission requirements set by each school. (GPA/courses). Click to get the intra-university transfer and double-degree declaration form (.pdf, 133.1kb)

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Volunteer/Internships/Study Abroad

Why should I consider a volunteer, internship or study-abroad opportunity?

Volunteering, interning or studying abroad are all ways to build a solid foundation of skills while providingopportunities for you to network and gain experience. Employers look for well-rounded candidates who can contribute to their organization in a number of ways. Extra-curricular activities such as serving as a volunteer or interning with a business or non-profit organization provide the chance to expand your horizons, making you a more attractive candidate for employment or for pursuing your life's passion.

Where would I find a list of volunteer opportunities?

The Off Campus College office located in the University Union West can help you find volunteer opportunities.

Is it possible to study abroad?

Yes. Check with the Office of International Programs: NAR-G1, 777-2336

Also make an appointment with your adviser. It is a good idea to meet with your Watson adviser for course selection.

How do I make an appointment to see an adviser?

Go visit his or her office. If your faculty adviser is unable to answer your questions, our office also takes appointments. The peer advisers can also answer many of your questions.

Where do I go for tutoring?

There is a tutoring center located at the CIW library.

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Last Updated: 9/15/14