College of Community and Public Affairs - Undergraduate

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The procedure for candidates applying for admission to the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) is essentially the same as for other students applying for admission to the University. Specific information may be found in the general section on Admission in this publication.

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Undergraduate Academic Policies

The college generally follows the academic policies announced in this publication; however, students should be aware of the following policies pertinent to CCPA undergraduates only. Students are expected to be familiar with and to observe the regulations in this section.

All matriculated students follow the requirements for graduation listed in the Bulletin current at the time they are admitted to the degree program. However, students who interrupt enrollments for more than two consecutive semesters are governed by the Bulletin in effect when they are readmitted.

Upon the advisor’s recommendation and an approved petition through the department chair, students may elect a later Bulletin under which they fulfill these degree requirements; however, they may not use a combination of requirements from different Bulletins. When courses required in older Bulletins are no longer offered, or in other special cases, course substitution may be made with the approval of the department chair.

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Program Load and Planning

The term “full-time student” is applied to a person carrying 12 credits or more. The maximum number of credits a student may take, without the special approval of the advisor and department chair, is 18.

A student may drop below 12 credits without consent and be classified as a part-time student.

Students are enrolled in a major when accepted into the school. The CCPA undergraduate academic advisor, peer advisors and the department chair provide assistance in program planning for students.

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Grade Policies

Students taking CCPA undergraduate courses are graded in one of two ways:

  • A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D, F; or
  • Pass/Fail.

Under the normal grading system, students choose the first option. However, undergraduates in CCPA may elect the Pass/Fail option for a total of four courses while a student at Binghamton University and receive a P (pass) or F (fail) rather than a traditional grade. Courses taken for a Pass/Fail option may not be used to complete major requirements or the general education requirements. Mandatory Pass/Fail courses do not count as part of the four total courses. A course taken on the Pass/Fail option is calculated into the student’s grade-point average only if the student receives an F.

The grading option for a course may be changed (either from normal to Pass/Fail, or vice versa) at any time up until the course-withdraw deadline, usually during the ninth week of the semester.

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Repeating Courses

Students may retake courses in which they have received a passing grade, or C or better in core courses required for the major, by submitting a special petition to the faculty member teaching the course and the CCPA undergraduate academic advisor. This provision allows a student to demonstrate mastery of a given subject matter most notably (but not exclusively) in foundation courses, on which successful performance in later courses may depend. If approved, the repeated course does not count toward rate of progress. That is, when a student repeats a course previously passed, both grades appear on the transcript, but only the first grade is counted in the grade-point average (GPA) calculations for rate-of-progress purposes.

Students may retake courses in which they have received a failing grade, or below the minimum required grade of C in core courses required for the major. When a student repeats a course previously failed or below the minimum grade of C in core courses required for the major, both grades appear on the transcript, and both are counted in the GPA. Students are encouraged to speak with the CCPA undergraduate academic advisor as they make their decision about repeating any failed course.

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Notation of Incomplete

A notation of Incomplete, rather than a grade, may be reported by the instructor when a student has made substantial progress, but has not been able to complete a course. In addition, the student must have a valid reason, because of illness or other justifiable circumstances, for requesting an Incomplete. The questions of substantial progress, potential to pass the course, and a valid reason for the request are decided by the instructor. When requesting an Incomplete, the student must:

  • complete the Contract for Fulfilling an Incomplete form, which is signed by the student and the instructor;
  • specify in the contract how the course will be completed, by what date the work will be completed, and specifically list all outstanding assignments (tests, papers, presentations) to be completed;
  • submit the contract to the CCPA undergraduate academic advisor, who ensures that the student is in compliance with department rules governing the number of Incomplete credits a student may carry at one time. A student may not carry more than eight credits of Incompletes at any time;
  • when necessary, include the signature of any additional instructor needed for successful completion of the course. This circumstance may occur when the original faculty member is on sabbatical or no longer teaching the course. A student must first obtain the secondary instructor’s signature before having the original instructor sign the form.

An Incomplete becomes an F at the end of the semester following that in which the Incomplete was granted, unless a Change of Grade form is submitted by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain that the coursework has been completed according to the contract, and the new grade is submitted by the instructor. An extension of the deadline must be approved by the CCPA undergraduate academic advisor on a Request for Extension of Incomplete Grade in an Undergraduate Course form, and is approved only in highly unusual circumstances.

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Withdrawal from a Course

If a student withdraws from a course after the official deadline to drop a course, the instructor may assign a grade of WP (Withdrawn Passing) or WF (Withdrawn Failing). The grade of WP does not count as a course taken. A WF is equivalent to an F.

If a student wishes to withdraw from a course, they are required to withdraw by the University course withdrawal deadline. If students face special circumstances and wish to withdraw from a course after the withdrawal deadline, they may petition through the department advising office. Students must present documented circumstances beyond their control for consideration of their request to withdraw from a class.

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Grade Changes

No changes from one letter grade to another and no extensions of an Incomplete are permitted after 12 months from the date of the last day of class in the semester in which a course was offered.

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Academic Standing

The faculty in the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) expect academic excellence for our students.

Students must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to make satisfactory progress toward the BS degree. A minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA is required of students for graduation.

The GPA is calculated on a 4.0 system using the following grade-point equivalents:




































The assessment of satisfactory progress to degree will be conducted for students at the end of the fall and spring semesters. The failure to maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of a semester will result in the student’s academic probation. As such, an academic probation notation will be placed on the student’s internal academic transcript.

Students who do not achieve a minimum of a cumulative 2.0 GPA in a subsequent semester following academic probation may be subject to academic suspension from Binghamton University. An academic suspension notation will be placed on a student’s internal academic transcript. Students that receive academic suspension may be readmitted to the University after one year. Please note that students may be re-admitted to the University after one semester upon the successful completion of 12 credits or more with earning a grade of B or better in all courses taken at an accredited college or university.

Students who do not have the minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA in the semester following academic suspension, or any subsequent semester, may be subject to permanent academic dismissal from the University. Please note that a student will not be suspended or dismissed if the student’s semester GPA is greater than a 2.0 GPA.

In cases where students demonstrate continuous unsatisfactory academic performance, including but not limited to, a consistent pattern of failing grades, multiple withdrawals and/or a low cumulative GPA, these circumstances may result in receiving a letter of academic warning. The letter of academic warning will indicate that academic probation will occur in the event that the student does not improve his/her academic performance in a subsequent semester. Those students that continue to demonstrate unsatisfactory academic performance in any subsequent semester may be subject to academic probation followed by academic suspension and ultimately academic dismissal from the University.

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Dean’s List

To qualify for the CCPA Dean’s List at the end of the fall or spring semesters, a student must have completed at least 16 credit hours for a letter grade with a 3.75 or better semester GPA and have no missing or incomplete grades. Recognition is given for each semester in which students meet these criteria. The award is noted on the student’s academic transcript.

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Graduation with Honors

Students with outstanding academic records receive honors upon graduation. To qualify, students must meet the cumulative grade-point averages specified below, have at least 48 graded Binghamton University credits and have no missing grades or Incompletes. Honors are awarded as follows:

3.50-3.69 GPA: cum laude

3.70-3.84 GPA: magna cum laude

3.85-4.00 GPA: summa cum laude

The appropriate graduation honors are indicated on the diploma and on the final transcript.

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Withdrawal and Readmission

If students who withdraw from the College of Community and Public Affairs wish to remain in good standing, they must follow a formal withdrawal procedure. Mere absence from class does not constitute withdrawal. Withdrawal applications may be obtained from the Registrar's Office website under Forms or from the CCPA Undergraduate Academic Advising Office, either in person or through the mail. A grade of W is assigned when the student has withdrawn from all courses and thus from the University. Grades of W do not count as courses taken.

CCPA applies the same withdrawal and readmission policies as established for the University, except that CCPA students may drop below a three-course program without consent.

Undergraduate students must apply for readmission through the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

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Grievance Procedure

Students should first try to resolve any grievance with their instructor. If, after meeting with the course instructor, the student wishes to pursue further action, he or she should meet with the department chair to discuss options. A copy of the CCPA Grievance Procedure is available from the CCPA Dean’s Office.

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Financial Aid

College of Community and Public Affairs students are eligible to participate in the University’s financial aid program. Aid is available to full-time and selected part-time matriculated students. Students interested in obtaining financial aid should contact the Financial Aid and Student Records Office as soon as possible to determine their eligibility.

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Activities and Student Services

All CCPA students are eligible to receive the services provided for all students at Binghamton University and to participate in its various student activities. Students should be familiar with the Bulletin sections that deal with services for students and student activities.

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Awards and Prizes

See the Scholarships, Awards and Fellowships section of the University Bulletin.

Undergraduate Programs