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Academic Policies and Procedures for Undergraduate Students

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Undergraduate Information

The following pages contain academic regulations and other information of interest to all students pursuing an undergraduate degree at Binghamton University. In addition to the all-University regulations discussed here, regulations specifically pertaining to the various schools at the University appear in the school sections later in the Bulletin. All students are expected to be familiar with the regulations in this section and in the section for the school in which they are enrolled, and are responsible for their observance. For interpretations of these regulations or for answers to questions about specific points of academic policy, students should consult the academic advising office of the college or school in which they are enrolled.

Students whose circumstances or aspirations are not covered by standard academic policies, or who wish to request exceptions to standard policies, may seek a waiver by filing a petition in the academic advising office of the college or school in which they are enrolled. If the initial petition is not resolved to their satisfaction, they may appeal according to guidelines available in each dean’s office. To aid students with their appeals, the Student Association provides an ombudsperson.

Binghamton University has had a General Education program for all undergraduate students since 1996. The State University of New York Board of Trustees, in December 1998, adopted Resolution 98-241 establishing a General Education Requirement for all baccalaureate degree candidates at SUNY’s state-operated campuses.

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Undergraduate General Education Program

Convinced that there are several areas of knowledge and experience that ought to be central to the academic experience of every undergraduate student, Binghamton University has adopted a comprehensive General Education curriculum. This curriculum has broad goals. It is intended to help students develop:

  • an appreciation of and capacity for effective personal expression;
  • knowledge about various intellectual traditions;
  • an understanding of and respect for different peoples and civilizations;
  • knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world, achieved through active engagement with the methods and philosophy of natural science;
  • logical thinking, balanced skepticism, and tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty;
  • a knowledge of and appreciation for the arts and creative expression;
  • skills needed to locate, evaluate and synthesize information from a variety of sources;
  • skills needed to understand and use basic research techniques;
  • skills needed to perform the basic operations of personal computer use.

To achieve these objectives, the faculty of Binghamton University requires students to take courses in the following broad areas of learning:

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Category 1: Language and Communication

Composition (C) courses are courses in any of the departments or divisions of the University. They require a process of revision and a minimum of 20 pages of expository prose. At least 50 percent of the course grade is based on student writing.

Oral Communication (O) courses involve at least two oral presentations and evaluation of speaking that count for at least 15 percent of the final course grade.

The language of communication for fulfilling both the C and O requirement shall be English.

Note: Composition and Oral Communication components may be combined to create Joint (J) courses.

Foreign Language skills are ensured by requiring that students pass either a third-semester college-level course in one foreign language or a second-semester course in two foreign languages, or satisfactorily complete some other significant activity that requires second-level foreign language proficiency as a prerequisite, such as study abroad in a non-English environment or an internship serving people who can communicate only in a language other than English. Students may fulfill the foreign language requirement prior to enrolling in college either by completing four or more units of one high school foreign language with a course grade in the fourth unit (i.e., the unit beyond the Regents exam in NY Regents high schools) of 85 or better, or three units each of two high school languages with course grades in each third unit of 85 or better, by passing the AP examination (or its equivalent) with a score of 3 or better, or by demonstrating equivalent proficiency in some other fashion. Please see “Summary of General Education Requirements for Students Entering as Transfer Students,” below, for more information on the foreign language requirement for transfer students. For additional information, please see the General Education website at

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Category 2: Creating a Global Vision

The complexity of the modern world demands that students attain a heightened awareness both of the plurality of cultures that have contributed to the making of the United States and of the interdependence of the cultures of the world.

Pluralism in the United States (P) courses consider three or more cultural groups in the United States in terms of their specific experiences and how they have affected and been affected by the basic institutions of American society. Each course takes substantial account of at least three of the following: African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, Latino Americans and Native Americans.

Most P courses assume a basic knowledge of United States history, as measured by demonstrating a level of proficiency equivalent to a score of 85 or above on the Regents examination on United States History and Government. Students who have not demonstrated this knowledge must meet the P requirement by choosing from among a designated group of P courses that pay significant attention to a broad span of United States history.

Global Interdependencies (G) courses consider how one or more of the regions of the world have influenced and interacted with the West and with one another, and how the West has affected and been affected by these regions and their distinctive cultures or civilizations. Additionally, major portions of the course content focus both on broad, foundational aspects of the long-term development of distinctive features of Western civilization in Europe and North America and on the distinctive features of one or more non-Western civilizations, such as those of Asia, Africa or the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

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Category 3: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Mathematics

Students must have an understanding of the methods of investigation typical of the natural and social sciences and must be able to make individual observations and quantitative measurements in a hands-on environment in the natural sciences. In order to have the experience of discovery through the use of logic and reasoning, students also need to study mathematical methods and reasoning.

Laboratory Science (L) courses emphasize the formulation and testing of hypotheses and the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Each course includes a minimum of 10 laboratory meetings, exercises, field studies or practica.

Social Science (N) courses emphasize the major concepts, models and issues of at least one of the social sciences.

Mathematics/Reasoning (M) courses include any course in the Mathematics Department numbered 130 or above, any of several designated statistics courses, or any of several designated logic courses. An Advanced Placement score of 3 or better in Calculus or Statistics may be used to satisfy this requirement.

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Category 4: Aesthetics and Humanities

By taking courses in this area, students gain an expanded sense and understanding of culture and a greater appreciation of human experience and its expressions.

Aesthetics (A) courses enhance students’ understanding of the creative process and the role of imagination in it. Students study or practice artistic expression and production in such fields as art, art history, cinema, creative writing, dance, graphic design, music and theater.

Humanities (H) courses enhance students’ understanding of human experience through the study of literature or philosophy.

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Category 5: Physical Activity/Wellness

Exercise, body awareness and wellness are essential components of a healthy and productive lifestyle. The dictum we follow is “a sound mind in a sound body.”

Physical Activity (Y) courses devote at least 50 percent of their time to the performance of physical exercise designed to develop one or more of the following attributes: neuromuscular skill, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility.

Wellness (S) courses deal with such topics as diet and nutrition, physical development, substance abuse, human sexuality, relaxation or physical, mental and emotional fitness. Their focus is on developing a healthy lifestyle rather than on simply providing information about the human body.

The Physical Activity/Wellness requirement may be fulfilled in any of the following ways:

  • Completion of a one-credit (or more) Physical Activity course and a one-credit (or more) Wellness course.
  • Completion of a one-credit Physical Activity/Wellness course and one of the following:
    • one-credit Physical Activity course;
    • one-credit Wellness course;
    • one-credit Physical Activity/Wellness course.
  • Completion of a two-credit (or more) course that combines a physical activity and wellness.

Note: Physical Activity and Wellness components may be combined to create Physical Activity/Wellness (B) courses.

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Restrictions and Exceptions

  • Students may use appropriate transfer credits to satisfy particular course requirements. The determination of which transfer credits satisfy General Education requirements will be the responsibility of the evaluator of transfer credit in each of the undergraduate schools.
  • General Education courses may also be counted as satisfying college and major requirements.
  • Certain courses are designated as meeting the criteria for more than one of the General Education categories. When a course is so designated, students may use it to satisfy only one of the General Education course requirements. There is an exception to this rule: Composition (C), Oral Communication (O), Joint (J) and Foreign Language courses may satisfy either one or both of these requirements and also satisfy one other General Education requirement.
  • General Education courses may not be taken Pass/Fail unless that is the mandatory grade option in the course.
  • Appropriate Advanced Placement credits, in some instances, may be used to satisfy the following General Education requirements: Aesthetics, Foreign Language, Humanities, Laboratory Science, Mathematics/Reasoning or Social Science.
  • The Foreign Language requirement is waived for students in the Watson School engineering programs.
  • The Foreign Language requirement for students in the Decker School of Nursing and the Watson School computer science program is fulfilled by one college course in foreign language at any level. This requirement may also be fulfilled in high school by demonstrating a level of proficiency equivalent to passing the corresponding Regents foreign language examination with a score of 85 or higher.
  • Courses that satisfy General Education requirements are so designated in the Schedule of Classes each semester. The code letter attached to a course in the Schedule of Classes means that the course fulfills the particular General Education requirement.
  • For all General Education requirements, a “course” is understood to be four credits. There are exceptions to this rule:
    • transfer courses that earned three credits at the student’s original school;
    • Physical Activity/Wellness courses (the specific credit-hour criteria for these courses are defined above);
    • Laboratory Science courses of one and two credits that have a four-credit pre- or corequisite;
    • Oral Communication courses of varying credits;
    • schools or programs in which three-credit courses are the norm.
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Summary of General Education Requirements for Students Entering as Freshmen



Composition (C)*



Oral Communication (O)*



Foreign Language



Pluralism in the U.S. (P)



Global Interdependencies (G)



Laboratory Science (L)



Social Science (N)



Mathematics/Reasoning (M)



Aesthetics (A)



Humanities (H)



Physical Activity (Y), Wellness (S),

Physical Activity/Wellness (B)




* Joint Oral Communication/Composition (J) courses satisfy both the C and O requirements simultaneously.

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Summary of General Education Requirements for Students Entering as Transfer Students

Transfer students who have completed the entire SUNY General Education Requirements (SUNY-GER) prior to matriculation at Binghamton, as verified by the General Education Transcript Addendum (GETA), have completed Binghamton University’s General Education requirements.

The General Education requirement for transfer students who have not completed the entire SUNY-GER prior to matriculation at Binghamton consists of the following:

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Section 1: Five required Gen Ed categories

  • Mathematics/Reasoning (M)
  • Composition (C)*
  • Oral Communication (O)*
  • Laboratory Science (L)
  • Global Interdependencies (G)

* The categories of Composition and Oral Communication may be fulfilled by a single J (Joint Composition/Oral Communication) class.

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Section 2: Students must select five courses from at least three of the remaining categories:

  • Aesthetics (A)
  • Humanities (H)
  • Social Science (N)
  • Pluralism (P)
  • Foreign Language (one course at any level; may also be fulfilled in high school by demonstrating a level of proficiency equivalent to passing the corresponding Regents foreign language examination with a score of 85 or higher)

Note: Physical Activity/Wellness is not required for transfer students.

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Determination of Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for the undergraduate schools on the Binghamton campus are listed in the individual school sections of the Bulletin. In general, matriculated students follow the requirements for graduation listed in the Bulletin current at the time they are admitted. However, students who interrupt enrollment for three or more consecutive semesters (not counting summer or winter terms) are governed by the Bulletin in effect when they are readmitted. Exceptions are made for students eligible to continue at Binghamton who are forced to leave because of involuntary recall to military service.

With the departmental adviser’s consent and approval from their college or school’s academic advising office, students may elect a later Bulletin under which to fulfill the degree requirements; they may not elect an earlier Bulletin, nor use a combination of requirements from different Bulletins.

No Bulletin more than 10 years old may be used under any circumstances. Should a student maintain continuous enrollment under a Bulletin older than 10 years, the Bulletin under which degree requirements are to be completed is determined by the advising office of the college or school in which he or she is enrolled, in consultation with the student’s departmental adviser.

Previously non-matriculated students who then matriculate are governed by the requirements of the Bulletin in effect at the time of their matriculation.

When courses required in older Bulletins are no longer offered, or in other special cases, course substitutions may be made with the approval of appropriate department chairs, departmental advisers or deans.

Changes in regulations concerning grading systems, withdrawals, academic actions, attendance at other institutions, etc., may be made by appropriate University governing bodies; they become effective on the date specified in the legislation. The University reserves the right at any time to make changes deemed necessary in the regulations, fees, courses or programs described in the Bulletin and to cancel any course if registration does not justify its continuance or if qualified faculty members become unavailable.

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Residence Requirements

To receive a degree, students in the Decker School of Nursing or the School of Management must take at least 7-1/2 courses (30 credits) while in residence at their school. These 7-1/2 courses must be the last seven and one-half courses toward the degree, unless students petition the appropriate academic advising office and obtain in advance an exception to this rule. Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science students must also take at least 30 credits in residence, all of which must be within Watson School. Students in the College of Community and Public Affairs must take at least 40 credits while in residence at the school. These credits do not have to be the last 40 credits toward the degree. Students in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences must complete a minimum of 44 credits in Harpur College in order to graduate. Please see the Harpur section in this document titled "Undergraduate Information" for more information.

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Classification of Students

A student must pass a minimum of 24 credits to be classified a sophomore; 56 credits to be classified a junior; and 88 credits to be classified a senior. For this purpose, Incompletes are counted as credits passed.

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Program Load

The term “full-time” is applied to any undergraduate student carrying 12 or more credits, excluding audited courses. Undergraduate courses, except where indicated in the Bulletin, carry four credits. Outside reading and study are required to complete classroom assignments. Students are also expected to meet several times each semester with the instructor to obtain supervision and periodic evaluation of work done outside of regularly scheduled classes.

There is no rigid pattern of class meetings. In such courses as beginning languages and sciences, a course may have classes and laboratory sessions five or six hours a week. Other courses may meet three or four hours a week. Four-credit courses that meet less than four hours per week require one or two hours per week of independent or tutorial work under the guidance of the faculty, or other additional course-related activities. As noted above, however, time spent in the classroom is only a part of the student’s workload. In general a “course” represents the pursuit of a skill or a body of knowledge that engages approximately 25 percent of the formal academic effort of a full-time student during the semester.

Undergraduate students are allowed to register for no more than 18 credit hours per semester, unless they have filed an academic petition form for an overload. Petitions to register for an overload are considered on an individual basis when submitted to the appropriate academic advising office.

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Tutoring Services

Tutoring in various subjects is available free of charge to students through the Center for Learning and Teaching. The Writing Center is open to all students and offers students free assistance in improving their writing. More information is available online at and

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Transfer of Credit

Once students are matriculated at Binghamton University, they may obtain credit toward graduation for courses taken at other institutions. The awarding of transfer credit is determined by each undergraduate school. We do not specifically list offerings at other schools in the Binghamton University Bulletin or elsewhere on the University website; however, courses taken at other accredited colleges and universities can most often be entered as transfer credit. Evaluations are completed in the advising office of each school. Questions regarding transfer credit decisions may be discussed with your academic advising office.

Before any courses are taken elsewhere, students should submit a “Petition to Take Courses at Another Institution” form. The student should submit the form to the department or school in which they are enrolled, or to the academic advising office of the school, for prior approval.

Transferred credits are adjusted when the credit system at the other institution is different; e.g. credits taken under a quarter system rather than a semester system are transferred to Binghamton at two-thirds of their quarter-credit value. In general, credits may be transferred only if they were earned for courses that are essentially theoretical rather than practical in nature (e.g., not practice teaching or typing courses), and if the student received a grade of C– or better, or the equivalent (C or better for students in the School of Management).

These guidelines apply to courses taken at other institutions during a summer or winter session, correspondence courses, online courses, study-abroad courses sponsored by other units of the State University of New York, and courses taken through the National Student Exchange Program (which involves a semester or a year of study at one of many participating schools).

Students participating in study-abroad programs sponsored by American universities not a part of the State University of New York system, as well as students studying for a time at a foreign university, should first obtain approval from their academic advising office. Upon completion of the semester abroad, the student should request that the institution attended send a transcript or official grade statement to the appropriate academic advising office at Binghamton University.

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Progress Toward Degree (DARS)

All undergraduate students at the University are encouraged to print a Progress Toward Degree report through the online Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). This report is available by logging into Banner self-service at

The DARS report shows students what program requirements have been completed and what requirements must still be met before a degree can be conferred. If students have questions regarding the DARS report, they should consult with a professional adviser in their college or school, or with their departmental adviser for their major.

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Double Degree Program

A student may earn separate baccalaureate degrees in very different fields by completing a significant amount of work (typically 30 credits) beyond that required for one degree and satisfying requirements for both degree programs. Only two degrees may be earned simultaneously. Students who successfully complete one or two degrees may pursue an additional baccalaureate degree in another very different field of study by completing additional academic work (again, typically 30 credits). This requires the submission of a new application to the desired school. To learn more about requirements and application procedures, students should contact the academic advising office of the college or school in which they are enrolled.

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Course Offerings

The Schedule of Classes is available online at This site lists the courses offered as well as course meet times, instructors, number of credits, General Education indicators, course descriptions, etc.

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Course Numbering and Prerequisites

All Binghamton University undergraduate schools use a course numbering system from 100 through 499. While each school may define the tiers more specifically, all schools define 100-299 as lower division and 300-499 as upper division.

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Harpur College Numbering System

100-199 Introductory courses, normally with no prerequisites, open to all students.

200-299 Intermediate courses, with or without prerequisites.

300-399 Intermediate courses, normally with prerequisites.

400-499 Advanced courses with specific course prerequisites.

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Professional Schools’ Numbering System

100-199 Lower-division introductory courses, no prerequisites, open to all students.

200-299 Lower-division intermediate courses, with or without prerequisites.

300-399 Upper-division intermediate courses, intended primarily for juniors and seniors, with prerequisites (courses, class standing or special permission).

400-499 Upper-division advanced courses, intended for seniors, with specific course prerequisites.

Within these levels, certain numbers are set aside to indicate particular learning experiences: A course number ending in “91” indicates a teaching practicum course; “95” indicates an internship course; a “97” indicates an independent study course; “98” or “99” indicates honors or thesis work.

Program planning must include the early identification of, and registration for, prerequisites to courses that the student intends to take at a later date. When there are special reasons, students may register for a course without having completed the prerequisites, provided they first obtain the consent of the course instructor.

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Binghamton University Student Information System

All students at Binghamton University have 24/7 access to an online information service through the BU Brain. Students may access the BU Brain at from their residence halls, home computers or in the on-campus public computing areas. Through the BU Brain, students may register for classes, add and drop courses as well as change grading options (within specified time frames), check and print their course schedules, check their grades, check for any financial obligations owed to the University, make payments, review their financial aid status, manage their computer accounts, request an official transcript, print an unofficial transcript and obtain the University’s official certification of enrollment form.

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Registration and Changes in Program

Students at Binghamton University register for their classes using the online student registration system. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are registered for the proper number of credits and types of courses. Although staff may assist with student registration, it is ultimately each student's responsibility to check his/her registration, verify that it is correct,and to correct it as needed. Registration/course schedules can be checked and verified in the BU Brain at

Currently enrolled degree-seeking students may participate in early registration for classes in an upcoming term (spring or fall) approximately two-thirds of the way through the current semester. Students are assigned registration start times, referred to as “time tickets,” based on the number of credits they have completed. Registration start times are available online approximately two weeks prior to early registration on the student's record in BU Brain.

New and transfer students may register for classes during Orientation or just before the start of classes. There is a brief registration period just prior to the start of classes each semester when eligible students may register for courses. Registration must be completed by each student via the BU Brain before the add/drop deadline for that term.

Students who have outstanding debts with the University will not be permitted to register for courses or obtain transcripts until the outstanding debts are satisfied (paid in full). In addition, debts owed to the University that are not paid by the end of the term will be forwarded to a collection agency or the NYS Attorney General' s office for collection.

Binghamton University also conducts an add/drop course period each semester. Students may add a course to their schedule, or drop a course without having a grade recorded, up until the add/drop course deadline. This deadline is midnight on the Friday of the second week of classes. A course withdrawal period extends from the add/drop deadline until the announced course withdrawal deadline (fall and spring semester: around the ninth week of classes; Winter Session and Summer Session: times vary). Students who drop courses during this period receive a grade of “W.” The course withdraw deadline is also the deadline for changing grading options for individual courses. Grade option changes must besubmitted tothe Financial Aid and Registrar Student Services Office, Student Wing, Room 109,prior to the close of business on the date of the withdrawal deadline.(Office hours are: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday -Friday; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday during the summer). These policies apply to courses offered on a full-term basis. Deadlines for adding and dropping courses offered for a half-semester or less are adjusted accordingly.

All course adds or drops occurring after the deadline dates require academic approval from the student’s academic advising office. Such late requests should be made on the Late Add/Drop Petition Form obtained from the academic advising office of the student's school. (Harpur College students should refer to the Harpur College Academic Advising website for forms and submission instructions. The site is located at

Students must cite extraordinary circumstances to justify a late add, a late drop or late withdrawal, that is, circumstances beyond their control and beyond their ability to foresee. Poor judgment, academic incompetence or not registering for a course by the deadlinedoes not qualify as an extraordinary circumstance.

For information on auditing courses, please see the Admission section of the University Bulletin.

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Grading Systems

At the end of each semester, students may access their grades through the BU Brain at For a discussion of the grading system used in each undergraduate college and school, see the specific college and school sections in this publication. Under appropriate circumstances, students may take undergraduate courses in any of the schools at Binghamton University. Courses are usually graded according to the offering college or school’s grading system; e.g., a course offered by the School of Management is graded using the School of Management's gradingsystem, and a Harpur College course is graded according to the Harpur system. However, if a student petitions the instructor for an exception andthe petitionis approved, the grading system of the student's school may be used. (Example: a student in Harpur Collegeof Liberal Arts and Scienceswho takes a School of Management course petitions the instructor and the Harpur College Academic Advising Office to request to be graded according to the Harpur grading system.) Approved petitionsmust be submitted to the Financial Aid and Registrar Student ServicesOffice by the deadline for the change-of-grading option/withdrawal deadline for processing.

Students should realize that not only do grading systems differ from school to school, but that the various schools also have their own policies on 1) taking courses in other Binghamton University schools and 2) on petitioning for grading options. These grading systems are described in this publication in the introductory section for each school. Students wishing to register a complaint about alleged unfair grading procedures should speak with the instructor or the appropriate department chair.

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Notation of Incomplete

An undergraduate student may receive a notation of Incomplete (I), rather than a grade, from their instructor when the student has not been able to complete a course for what, in the instructor’s judgment, is a compelling reason. The submission of an Incomplete grade means that a student has made a substantial commitment to the course, but some remainder of the work must still be completed before an evaluation can be made.

Students must obtain the consent of the instructor and determine, with the instructor, what work is necessary for completion of the course. Ordinarily, all Incomplete notations must be replaced with grades by the end of the next semester (whether the student is enrolled in college or not). Incomplete notations change to an “F” (failing) grade at the end of the next semester unless an official “Extension of Incomplete” form has been approved and filed by the instructor with the Registrar’s Office, Student Wing, Room 119. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate a request for an extension, having reached agreement with the instructor for an alternate completion date. The appropriate form, “Request for Extension of Incomplete Grade in an Undergraduate Course,” may be obtained froma school'sacademic advising office in which the student is enrolled, or from the Financial Aid and Registrar Student ServicesOffice.

Graduate students should contact the Graduate School regarding their grading policies.

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Undergraduate Degree Completion Policy

Completion of undergraduate degree requirements and all academic work pertaining to completion must be submitted to faculty within 30 calendar days of the last day of classes of the semester in which the student has declared to graduate. Academic work refers to study-abroad courses, courses taken at other institutions and courses taken at Binghamton University. In the semester in which the student has declared to graduate, all incompletes must be finished within 30 days of the last day of classes. If requirements are not met by this deadline, students must submit a new application for degree for a future semester. Faculty should submit the grades for any incomplete or missing grades within 72 hoursof the work being received and evaluated. Substantive changes are not to be made to any student record after a degree is conferred.

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Credit by Examination

Credit for knowledge gained outside the classroom may be obtained through Excelsior College Examinations (formerly known as Regents College Examinations) and through subject-based College Entrance Examination Board (College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP) examinations. Credit earned through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, U.S. Armed Forces Institute/Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Services (USAF/DANTES), examination credit from other institutions and through correspondence may also apply to degree credit. Up to 32 external examination credits may be accepted; however, each undergraduate school within the University determines the number and kind of credit that counts toward its degree.

Acceptance of these examinations for major credit is governed by school and/or departmental policy. (See the section titled “Academic Credit” for a discussion of these exams and of International Baccalaureate credit.)

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Rules Governing Academic Life

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Academic Integrity

The faculty assumes that themes, term papers, studio work, results of laboratory experiments, examinations and computer-generated material submitted by the student represent the student’s own work. The presentation for academic credit of the same work in more than one course is prohibited, unless a joint project receives the express and prior consent of the instructors involved. The following remarks are intended to clarify this for all students:

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Cooperation in Preparing Course Material

Cooperative study of coursework is one of the legitimate ways to master a subject. Joint discussion of problems is, therefore, encouraged. Sometimes instructors encourage collaborative methods of learning, including peer review of papers. This too can be a productive way of mastering material and promoting one’s writing abilities. Students should be aware that wherever such learning results in an instructor’s evaluation, they are responsible for acknowledging their membership in the group fostering their learning.

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Written Work

Much coursework is assigned to students individually rather than in groups. In carrying out such assignments, a student may ask others for criticism of a piece of writing. Effective learning is often fostered by cooperation and assistance. Nonetheless, such assistance should never be so complete or so detailed that the piece of writing becomes more the work of the person assisting than of the student. That would be a form of misrepresentation. Similarly, a student may occasionally feel the need for preliminary aid in understanding the principles involved in various problems and the methods to be used in solving them (for example, in mathematics and foreign language courses). Such aid is legitimate, but in every case the student must be responsible for the preparation and presentation of assignments. Without these precautions, the student may unwittingly become involved in collaborative work so extensive that it may be considered plagiarism.

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Laboratory Experiments

Although students may be permitted or required to cooperate with one or more other students in a laboratory experiment, many experiments are to be done by the students independently, and all require some independent work. For students to submit the results of another’s experiment as their own, or to accept unauthorized help in an experiment, constitutes academic dishonesty.

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All sources of assistance — published or unpublished — are to be scrupulously acknowledged in every piece of writing and in oral reports.

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Academic Progress and Standing

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Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing, students must demonstrate that they are passing courses at a satisfactory rate to earn a bachelor’s degree in a reasonable period of time; that is, they are required to show a reasonable rate of progress toward their degree. Students in all schools must maintain a satisfactory grade-point average. Academic progress is reviewed at the end of the fall and spring semesters. If students fail to maintain satisfactory academic standing, they are subject to dismissal. For detailed information on how academic standing is computed in the various undergraduate schools, see the individual school sections in this publication.

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Grade-Point Averages

Grade-point averages are computed for students in all of the University’s undergraduate schools.

For the purpose of computing semester or cumulative averages, each letter grade is assigned a quality point value as follows:

A = 4.0
A– = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B– = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2.0
C– = 1.7
D = 1.0
F = 0.0

These grade values are combined with course credit hours to produce a grade-point average.

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Repeating Courses

Students may not gain additional credit by repeating an undergraduate course in which they received a passing grade, except where an exception is noted under a particular school's policies. Please refer to your school's grading policies in this publication for further information.

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Academic Probation and Dismissal

The academic standards committee of each school determines policies by which students are placed on academic probation when academic performance, as reflected in the grade-point average, raises doubts about the student' s capability to complete requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Academic probation does not imply either suspension or dismissal, and does not preclude the student's registering or receiving financial aid. Academic probation ordinarily entails a contract with the student to complete a specified amount of coursework in a specified period of time at a specified level of performance.

Students are subject to academic dismissal from the University at any time their record warrants. Students dismissed for academic reasons should contact their school's academic advising office, or the Undergraduate Admissions Office, for any conditions to be satisfied before re-enrollment is permitted.

Confidentiality of student records is maintained in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). (See the Binghamton University Student Handbook). Additional information is availableat theRegistrar's website at

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Dropping a Course

Students who wish their records to indicate good standing when dropping a course or withdrawing from a semester must follow formal drop and withdrawal procedures. Mere absence from class does not constitute due notice of drop or withdrawal. Students are advised to check the school sections in this publication for additional information regarding the regulations.

In general, undergraduates may drop a course up to the published course drop deadline. Such a course will not appear on their academic record. After the drop deadline, and until the course withdraw deadline, students may drop a course and receive a grade of "W". After the published course withdrawal deadline, students must have the consent of the instructor and the appropriate academic advising office on an approved Late Withdraw Petition Form to drop the course with a "W." Students must cite extraordinary circumstances to justify a late withdrawal from a course, that is, circumstances beyond their control and beyond their ability to foresee. Poor judgment or academic incompetence does not qualify as extraordinary circumstances. The Late Withdraw Petition Form may be obtained from the academic advising office of the college or school in which the student is enrolled. (For Harpur College students, petitions are available at

If the petition is approved, the student must pay a $20 late drop/withdraw fee to have the late drop/withdraw petition processed.

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Involuntary Medical or Psychological Withdrawal of Students

Students may be involuntarily withdrawn from the University based on the recommendation of the medical director of the University Health Service office or the director of the University Counseling Center without academic penalty; that is, they may continue as students in good academic standing and are eligible to return upon clearance by the dean of students. Efforts are made to preserve a student’s academic progress with Incompletes and/or withdrawals through consultation with faculty. If there are irreconcilable disagreements in these discussions, the provost will make the final decision regardingthe disposition of the student’s academic records.

Recommendations for involuntary withdrawals are submitted to the dean of students for appropriate action. Students are sent written notification of the intended action. Appeals may be made in writing to the vice president for student affairs within 10 business days. See the Financial Aid section for refund policies.

Students who are involuntarily withdrawn from the University for medical or psychological reasons are not readmitted without a recommendation from either the medical director of the University Health Service or the director of the University Counseling Center.

Students on voluntary or involuntary medical or psychological leave who are otherwise eligible to continue with their studies may request a letter to this effect from the dean of students. Health insurance companies mayaccept this type of letter for continuing health insurance benefits for a student covered by the policy of a parent or guardian.

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Withdrawing from the University

Students who withdraw from all courses for which they are registered at the University must follow a formal withdrawal procedure if they wish their record to indicate good standing. Mere absence from class or failure to register does not constitute due notice of withdrawal.

Graduate students who withdraw from all registered classes are withdrawing from the University (see Continuous Registration and Leave of Absence section below). Interviews with the dean of students' staff (located in University Union West, Room 205, or calling 607-777-2804) are required to initiate this process.

Undergraduate and graduate students wishing to drop all of their courses in a given semester must complete a Semester Withdrawal Form available online at or in the Financial Aid and Registrar Student Services Office, Student Wing, Room 109; speak with the dean of students' staff to discuss the withdrawalprocess and resources; and return the signed form to the Financial Aid and Registrar Student Services Office. Students may officially withdraw from a semester up to the last day of classes for that semester. Such an action is noted on their record as an Official Withdrawal and, in place of a regular grade, the courses have a “W." Note: An official withdrawal processed prior to the add/drop deadline will result in the deletion of all courses. Courses will not be marked with a "W" on the student's transcript. No grades are recorded for students who formally withdraw within the first two weeks of classes.

Undergraduate students who withdraw to enter active duty military service must provide written copies of their deployment orders, and may then apply for a leave of absence. U.S. citizens must notify the TRIO Office for Veterans Services at 607-777-2024. U.S. veteran students recalled to active military duty must also notify the same office.International students called to military service in their homeland need to contact the International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS)Office at 607-777-2510 for information on appropriate departure procedures required under U.S. Immigration law before commencing withdrawal.

Graduate students called to active military duty must provide written documentation of their deployment orders and may then apply for a leave of absence. Students on leave are excused from the registration requirement during the period of the leave. Leaves are normally granted for a period not exceeding 12 months. If possible, requests for leaves of absence should be submitted one month prior to the semester for which the leave is requested. For further details, contact the Graduate School Office at 607-777-2151.

Questions about thewithdrawal procedure, please contact the Registrar's Office at 607-777-6088 or email:

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General Readmission Policies

Candidates matriculated for undergraduate degrees, who interrupt their education at Binghamton University and later wish to return, must be formally reenrolled.The exception is for students who withdraw from all classes during a major (spring or fall) semester. These students are eligible to return and can stop out for two consecutive semesters without having to go through a reenrollment process. Students who must be reenrolled should go to the admissions website, for instructions and appropriate form. Students must complete and file thereenrollment form no later than two weeks before the start of classes for the term in which they plan to return.

Continuing education (non-matriculated) students may also interrupt their studies for as long as two major (fall or spring) semesters without having to file for formal re-enrollment. After two semesters have elapsed without enrollment, a re-enrollment form must be completed no later than two weeks prior to the start of classes for the desired semester.

Note: All students enrolled in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at the time studies were interrupted must receive clearance from the director of EOP in order to resume their studies.

Students dismissed for academic or other reasons should contact their college or school’s academic advising office, or the Undergraduate Admissions Office, for any conditions to be satisfied before readmission is approved.

All Decker School of Nursing students must file for readmission and have an interview at the school before re-enrolling. Further details may be found in the Decker School of Nursing readmission section in this publication.

Depending on the demand for on-campus housing, a space in one of the residence halls may not be available forre-enrolled students. First priority is given to reenrolled students who have left the University due to health reasons or to participate in a study-abroad program. Students may contact the Office of Residential Life to obtain more information.

All students wishing to take advantage of state and federal funding options, such as grants and student loans, must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at after January 1st each year. The recommended FAFSA filing date is April 1 for students planning to re-enroll for the fall semester. Students planning to re-enroll in the spring semester should file by November 1. Students can still apply after these dates but funding for need-based financial aid is limited, and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

To receive federal and/or state funding, students must meet general eligibility criteria established by both agencies and coordinated through Financial Aid Services. In addition, students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To review SAP requirements for both federal and New York state funding, go to

For additional information about funding your Binghamton University education, go to the Financial Aid Services main webpage at

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Off Campus Housing

For off-campus housing information, re-admitted students may view the Off Campus College (OCC) website at The site includes the OCC Housing List and an Apartment Complex Listing that advertise available rental units in the community surrounding the University. Also included is a Housemate/Subletter Listing containing information from current off-campus students seeking to fill a vacancy in their rental units. For additional information about off-campus housing, contact OCC at 607-777-2768 or via e-mail at

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Information Regarding Students Called to Active Military Duty

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Academic Information

Undergraduate students called to active military duty during an academic term should go to their Academic Advising Office. Graduate students should contact their academic department and the Graduate School. The academic adviser or department will advise each student regarding his/her options. The following factors should be considered when advising the student: timing of orders to report to active duty in relation to the semester start and end dates; the length of the active duty orders; the student’s course workload; percentage of work completed, etc. The student will either be allowed to remain in one or more of their courses, will be allowed to take an Incomplete grade in one or more courses, or will be advised to drop all courses (Withdrawal) for the semester.

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Administrative Information

Students who withdraw from all courses for which they are registered at the University must follow a formal withdrawal procedure. Mere absence from class or failure to register does not constitute due notice of withdrawal. For information on withdrawal procedures, please contact the Dean of StudentsOffice (located in University Union West, Room 205 or by calling 607-777-2804) to initiate the process.

  • Veteran students recalled to active duty must notify the TRIO Office for Veterans Services at 607-777-2024.
  • International students called to military service in their homeland must contact the International Student and Scholars Services Office at 607-777-2510 for information on appropriate departure procedures required under U.S. Immigration law.
  • Graduate students called to active duty must provide written documentation of their deployment orders and may then apply for a leave of absence. Students on leave are excused from the registration requirement during the period of the leave. Leaves are normally granted for a period not exceeding 12 months. If possible, requests for leaves of absence should be submitted one month prior to the semester for which the leave is requested. For further details contact the Graduate Office at 607-777-2151.
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Financial Information

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Students who withdraw from the University to enter military service are granted full tuition refunds for the semester if no academic credit is received (does not apply to international students serving the military in their homeland). A copy of the official military orders must be provided to the University. During the withdrawal procedure, the student must meet with a representative of the Student Accounts Office and make arrangements to provide the document in accordance with State University of New York policy 8 NYCRR § 302.2. (

There shall be no tuition or fee liability established for a student who withdraws to enter military service prior to the end of an academic term for those courses in which the student does not receive academic credit.

Note: The term "military service" means full-time active duty in the US Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard of the United States, or qualifying National Guard duty during a war, other military operation, or national emergency as defined in Section 5 of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act (Public Law 108-76).

Enlistment under a delayed enlistment plan does not constitute "full-time duty" until the student is required to leave school on the effective date of active duty as stated in the student' s orders.

Documentation of the call to active duty in the military service (official orders) shall be provided to and retained by the campus.

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Students who withdraw from the University are assessed a prorated room charge based on the date the student removes his/her belongings from the room, completes a room inventory and returns the room key to a member of the Residential Life staff. The prorated charge is calculated by multiplying the weekly room charge by the number of weeks housed.

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The amount of a resident dining plan refund is a percentage of the total meal plan paid for that semester, determined according to a prorated weekly schedule. The same prorated percentage is applied to both the cost of the operations component and the discretionary component. An eligible student will receive the anticipated refund.

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Financial Aid Recipients

The University is required to perform a Title IV refund and repayment calculation for any student who withdraws from the University and is a recipient of federal financial aid for the semester of the withdrawal. The calculation determines how much financial aid must be returned to the federal government. The date of the withdrawal triggers the amount to be repaid.

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Banks and other lenders have procedures in place to grant deferments/forbearance under the amendment to 34 CFR 682.211(c) which was published on November 1, 2002 (at 67 Fed. Reg. 67048). (

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Borrowers whose Title IV loans are in an in-school, in-school deferment, or grace period status

If a borrower' s loan is in an in-school status, in-school deferment status, or in a grace period status when the borrower is ordered to active duty or reassigned, the lender must maintain the loan in that status during the period of the borrower' s active duty service or reassignment, plus the time necessary for the borrower to resume enrollment in the next regular enrollment period that is reasonably available to the borrower if the borrower is planning to go back to school. However, this maintenance of loan status may not exceed a total of 3 years, including the period of time necessary for the borrower to resume enrollment. Additionally, if the loan was in a grace period status at the time the borrower was ordered to active duty, the period of time during which the borrower served on active duty must be excluded from the grace period in order to ensure that the borrower receives the full grace period in the future. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the lender.

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Readmission Information

Undergraduate students who have completed their tour of duty and wish to return to the University to resume their studies should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 607-777-2171.

Graduate students who have completed their tour of duty and wish to return to the University to resume their studies should contact the Graduate School at 607-777-2151.

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Official Transcripts

Academic records of all Binghamton University students are maintained by the Registrar’s Office. An official transcript is a student’s complete listing of all coursework taken at the University. Students may obtain copies of their official transcript, or request that the University send them directly to other institutions, provided the students are in good financial standing (free of outstanding debts) with the University. For a transcript to be considered official, it must be sent directly from our office to a third party; those transcripts sent directly to students will be in a sealed envelope that carries the notation “Issued to Student; Unofficial if Opened.”

Requests for official transcripts may be made by current students via BU Brain ( Other requests can be sent by mail to the Registrar’s Office at Binghamton University, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, New York 13902-6000 or by fax to 607-777-6515. Telephone and e-mail requests cannot be accepted because a signature is required for processing.

All faxed or mailed requests for transcripts must include the student’s name, B-Number (if applicable), legible e-mail address, daytime telephone number, dates of attendance, number of transcripts being requested, destination address(es) and the signature of the student. A transcript request form is available for printing at the Registrar's website,

There is no charge for this service at this time (as of April 2010) to have an official transcript sent unless special handling is requested. There is a $15 charge to have a transcript faxed. Colleges and universities do not consider a faxed transcript official. Requests for expedited shipping of transcripts should be directed to the Registar's Office for payment arrangements and information.

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Certification of Degrees

Undergraduates should file an Application For Degree (AFD)with the Registrar’s Office by the withdrawal deadline of the semester prior to the anticipated graduation semester. The application is form is available via the BU BRAIN,

Any undergraduate student who files an AFDshould also print and review his/her academic requirements/progress toward degree via the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). This report is available via BU Brain at The report will show which program requirements have been completed and which, if any, requirements remain for degree completion. If a student has questions regarding theDARS report,he/she should consult with an academicadviser in his/herschool or with their major departmental adviser. Completion of undergraduate degree requirements and all academic work pertaining to that completion, must be submitted to faculty within 30 calendar days of the last day of classes of the semester in which the student has declared to graduate. Academic work refers to study abroad courses, courses taken at other institutions and courses taken at Binghamton University. In the semester in which the student has declared to graduate, all incompletes must becompleted within 30 days of the last day of classes. If requirements are not met by the deadline, students must submit a new Application For Degree for a future semester. Faculty should submit the grades for any incompletes or missing grades within 72 hours after the work has been received and evaluated.

Undergraduate degrees are conferred for spring and fall semesters as well as summer and winter terms.

Graduate students should file aGraduate Application for Degree (GAD)with the Graduate School.Instructions and the online form can be found Students should complete the form in the semester in which they expect to receive a graduate degree.

Students planning to attend the annual University-wide Commencement ceremonies can find complete details about participation registration, regalia, event dates, times and locations, diplomas and more at

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