Harpur College of Arts and Sciences - Undergraduate Information

Harpur College strives to provide its students with a sound liberal education as well as specialization in some area of the humanities, social sciences, arts or sciences.

Prospective applicants should see the general section on Admission in this publication.

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The Liberal Arts Program Basis

The program fosters development of knowledge, skills and interpretive abilities and offers other opportunities for growth outside the classroom.

  • Substantive Knowledge. The quantity of substantive knowledge that a student can assimilate in four years is limited. Harpur deems no single body of knowledge indispensable. Each student, however, is encouraged and given the opportunity to acquire understanding of the physical and biological world in which we live; of humankind as individuals, creators and philosophers; and of human relations and arrangements in past and contemporary societies.
  • Skills. Students of the liberal arts are expected to master a number of academic skills necessary for rational discourse. The most essential of these are logical argument and clear expression. Such skills are normally supplemented by particular kinds of competence — mathematic, linguistic and the like — as required by individual fields of study.
  • Interpretive Ability. In the application of learned skills to subject matter, it is assumed that students acquire theoretical understanding and the power of interpretation. The premise here is that theory provides a means of comprehending and extending fundamental knowledge and perspective.
  • Supplementary Opportunities. Since students do not exclusively inhabit classrooms, libraries or laboratories, Harpur encourages and provides for a wide range of extracurricular and credit-bearing activities to aid in the continued growth of individual talents, social competency and participatory government among its students.
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Academic Organization

Most departments of Harpur College are contained administratively within three principal divisions: humanities (including fine arts), science and mathematics, and social sciences. For most matters, the principal academic and administrative unit is the department. Several interdisciplinary major programs are not attached to any division. Students ordinarily pursue academic major programs supervised by departments, although several interdepartmental majors are available.

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Planning a Program of Study

The General Education Program provides exposure to broad areas of learning. The program provides a general introduction to the Harpur College curriculum, and provides a basis for choosing a major program.

Harpur College students may seek academic advice on planning a program of study from several sources: Harpur Academic Advising, relevant academic departments and/or individual faculty members. These academic advisors help guide students toward a planned and organized program, rather than a random selection of courses.

Typically, students declare a major program before their fifth semester of residence. Students who receive financial aid are encouraged to read in the Financial Information section of this publication regarding the academic progress required to maintain state or federal aid. Timely declaration of the major is an important consideration for such students. When this is done, students are assigned to a departmental advisor, generally a faculty academic advisor within the major program for information about and guidance in the major. Harpur Academic Advising remains available to all students throughout their education for information about the General Education requirements, the All-College Writing requirement, degree planning and other aspects of the undergraduate academic experience.

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Academic Requirements

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BA, BMus, BFA and BS Degrees

In addition to the bachelor of arts (BA) degree, Harpur College offers a bachelor of music (BMus), bachelor of fine arts (BFA) and bachelor of science (BS) degree in some fields. The general requirements and the Harpur College requirements for these degrees are the same, but the college specifies more major requirements for a BS degree than for a BA degree. The college encourages students to meet with a departmental advisor to discuss which degree is most appropriate for them given their academic and career plans. Whereas no more than 15 courses may be required for a major program leading to the BA, a minimum of 16 courses are required for a major program leading to the BS. Except for interdisciplinary programs, such as biochemistry and integrative neuroscience, every department that offers the BS also offers the BA. More courses are also required for a BMus and a BFA degree. Students may not earn two Harpur BA or BS degrees simultaneously nor may students earn a BA and BS degree in combination. Note that although students may receive only one degree from Harpur College, they may have two majors or more.

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Requirements for Graduation

To qualify for a bachelor of arts, bachelor of music or bachelor of science degree from Harpur College, students must meet the following conditions:

  • They must complete the General Education requirements. These are described in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this publication under the heading Undergraduate General Education Program. Courses used to satisfy General Education requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.
  • They must have credit for a minimum of 31½ academic courses (126 credits). (Note: In Harpur College a course is defined as four credits. Students may apply a maximum of 32 external examination credits toward the Harpur College degree. See Advanced Placement and Credit by Examination in this publication.)
  • They must complete a minimum of 90 credits in liberal arts and sciences.
  • They must complete a minimum of 44 upper-level credits, that is, credits in courses numbered 300 or above.
  • They must complete the requirements of their major field.
  • They must complete the All-College Writing requirement described later in this section.
  • They must complete at least 44 Harpur credits in residence.
  • They must be in residence at Harpur College during the last seven and one-half courses (30 credits) immediately preceding graduation, unless specifically exempted from this requirement by the Harpur College Academic Standards Committee.
  • They must be in good academic standing, i.e., must present a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0.
  • They must pay or satisfactorily adjust all fees and bills.
  • They must not be under any disciplinary action.
  • They must be duly recommended by the faculty.
  • Finally, the State University Trustees by formal action must admit a student to the degree.

Harpur College reserves the right to make changes in the requirements for graduation, except that no increase in total courses required for graduation shall retroactively affect any student already matriculated when the change is made.

There is an overall limit of 20-credits combined of Independent Study, Internship, HWS, OUT and Teaching Practica. Credits taken beyond this limit will not count toward the Harpur graduation requirement of 126 credits. The following limits apply and are included in the 20 credit limit: 10 combined credits (limit of two OUT credits) of HWS, OUT courses, 16 credits of Independent Study (typically course numbers ending in -97, -98 or -99), 8 credits of Internship (typically -95), and 8 credits of Teaching Practica (typically -91).

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All-College Writing Requirement

To ensure that all students obtain considerable experience and receive significant guidance or instruction in writing during their baccalaureate studies, Harpur College establishes the following requirements relating to enrollment in composition (C)* and writing (W) courses:

All candidates for a baccalaureate degree from Harpur College must present one of the following combinations of C and W courses for completion of the writing requirement:

  • two C and three W; or
  • three C and one W; or
  • four C.

*Courses tagged with the General Education designator of J also count as C courses.

Transfer credit in English expository writing (composition, rhetoric or literature) may be applied to this requirement up to a maximum of three courses, of which only one may count as a C course.

Harpur College believes that writing is central to a liberal arts education. The labels C (composition) and W (writing) guide students in the selection of courses designed to help them develop their writing skills. Students are strongly urged to take at least one four-credit C course within their first two semesters (32 credits) at Harpur College.

Composition (C) courses emphasize writing as a process of revision and require a minimum of 20 pages of expository prose. At least 50 percent of the course grade is based on student writing. Writing (W) courses provide considerable experience in and feedback on writing as a tool of college-level teaching and learning. Written assignments in W courses constitute 30 to 100 percent of the basis for the grade in the course and typically consist of a minimum of 10 pages of writing.

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Major Requirements

All students must pursue an approved academic major. Because it is often difficult to complete all requirements for an academic major by the end of the senior year unless a concrete plan is developed early in the academic career, students normally declare a major program before their fifth semester of residence. The declaration of major is processed in individual departments or programs.

The following major programs are available.

Within the Division of Humanities:

BA degree in:

  • Africana Studies
  • Arabic
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Asian and Asian American Studies
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cinema
  • Classical Civilization
  • Classics, Greek and Latin
  • Comparative Literature
  • English, General Literature and Rhetoric
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin
  • Music, BA, BMUS
  • Spanish
  • Philosophy
  • Theatre

Within the Division of Science and Mathematics:
Biochemistry, BS
Biological Sciences, BA, BS
Chemistry, BA, BS
Geological Sciences, BA, BS
Mathematical Sciences, BA, BS
Physics, BA, BS
Integrative Neuroscience, BS
Psychology, BA

Within the Division of Social Sciences:
Anthropology, BA, BS
Economics, BA, BS
Geography, BA
History, BA
Political Science, BA
Sociology, BA

In Interdisciplinary Major Departments and Programs:
BA degree in:

Environmental Studies, BA, BS
Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies
Individualized Major Program
Linguistics
Medieval Studies
Philosophy, Politics and Law

Note: Due to overlapping requirements in majors, students may not double-major in certain disciplines. Students majoring in biochemistry may not double-major in biology or chemistry. Students majoring in integrative neuroscience may not double-major in either psychology or biology.

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Grading System

Students taking Harpur College courses are graded in one of two ways:

  • Standard letter grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F; or
  • Pass/Fail option using grades of P for Pass and F for Fail. In the Pass/Fail option, P is defined as the equivalent of D or better.
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Grading Option Policy

For each course in which they enroll, students choose, with some limited exceptions, one of two grading options at registration. The decision may be changed (either from standard letter grade to Pass/Fail or vice versa) at any time up to the end of the course-withdrawal period, more than halfway through the semester. Please see the University Calendar for published dates. The Registrar informs the course instructor of the students grading choices, and the instructor submits grades accordingly.

Students not on probation may elect to use the Pass/Fail option in a maximum of 24 credits of coursework. Mandatory Pass/Fail courses are not included in this 24-credit limit.

The instructor of any course may choose to limit the grading option of any course exclusively to the Pass/Fail system. Such a limitation must have approval of the appropriate department and of the Harpur College Curriculum Committee and must be noted in the online pre-registration schedule available to students. An indication that Pass/Fail is the only available grade in the course is noted on the student's transcript.

All transcripts are complete semester-by-semester records of courses carried beyond the drop deadline. The explanatory notes that accompany transcripts contain a clear description of the system used in recording grades.

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Incompletes

The instructor may report a notation of Incomplete, rather than a grade, when a student has not been able to complete a course for what, in the instructors judgment, is a compelling reason. The student is responsible for requesting an incomplete in a timely fashion so that the instructor may evaluate the circumstance before grades are due to the registrar. The submission of an Incomplete means that a student has made a substantial commitment to the course—that is, has completed more than half of the work required—but less than half of the work must still be accomplished before an evaluation may be made.

Students may not re-register for a course in order to complete an Incomplete. See the Repeating Courses section of the Harpur College portion of the University Bulletin.

Students must determine with the instructor, consistent with the provisions of the policy stated above, what work is necessary for completion of the course and when the work must be submitted.

Ordinarily all Incomplete notations must be replaced with grades by the end of the next major semester (fall, spring), whether or not the student is enrolled. Incomplete notations change to an F grade at the end of the next semester unless the student files an official extension with the Financial Aid and Student Records Office. The student is responsible for initiating a request for an extension, having reached agreement with the instructor for an alternate completion date. The student is responsible for obtaining appropriate signatures on a Request for Extension of Incomplete form which is available in the Financial Aid and Student Records Office. An Incomplete may be extended for only a limited time. The instructor must submit the grade for the Incomplete course within 18 months of the last class day of the semester in which he or she offered the original class. Students must clear all Incompletes within 30 days of their intended graduation semester.

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Change of Grade

Instructors may not change a grade, unless one of the following situations occurs:

  • cheating is discovered;
  • the instructor testifies that a mechanical error occurred; or
  • the instructor receives satisfactory evidence that events beyond the student’s control prevented the submission of the student’s required work, and so changes the grade to Incomplete.

The last day an instructor may change one letter grade to another is 18 months from the last class day of the semester in which he or she offered the original class. However, faculty are required to keep graded work not returned to students for only one semester following the end of the course.

Harpur College students taking courses offered by other schools at the University are graded according to the grading system of the school offering the course.

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Academic Progress

Academic progress is determined by grade-point average (GPA) calculation, in which:

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

GPA is based on all Binghamton University courses taken for credit, except for courses with the grade of P or notations of W, I, MG and AU.

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Academic Standing

Satisfactory progress towards a degree is determined by achieving a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better, which is required to graduate. At the end of each spring and fall semester, Harpur College assesses academic standing, the process used to determine satisfactory progress towards a degree for all enrolled students. Failure to achieve a 2.00 cumulative GPA by the end of a spring or fall semester at Binghamton will result in a “probation” notation being placed on the student's internal transcript.

Students on probation may not elect to use the Pass/Fail grading option. Academic probation does not imply dismissal and does not preclude students from registering or from receiving financial aid. For further information about financial eligibility, see the Financial Information section of this publication.

Students who do not earn a 2.00 cumulative GPA in a subsequent semester at Binghamton may be subject to suspension from the university; upon return from suspension, failure to achieve a 2.00 cumulative GPA in future semesters may lead to dismissal from the University. However, a student will not be suspended or dismissed if the student’s semester GPA is greater than a 2.00.

Probation, suspension and dismissal notations are placed on a student’s internal transcript. Letter grades converted to incomplete grades once grades are submitted will not be applied to a semester GPA recalculation for purposes of academic standing.

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Readmission after Academic Suspension

Students are not eligible to return from suspension until at least two major semesters have passed since their notification of suspension. Students ready to return from suspension should contact the Harpur Academic Advising Office. If allowed to return, students continue on probation until their overall GPA is a 2.0 or better.

Students who have been away from the university for three or more major academic semesters must apply for readmission in writing through the Admissions Office.

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Repeating Courses

Courses for which students previously received credit at Binghamton University or through AP, CLEP, Higher Level International Baccalaureate courses, or through transfer credit at another institution are not counted as credit towards the degree nor is the second grade calculated into the GPA.

Students may retake courses in which they have received a passing grade. This is to allow a student to demonstrate mastery of a given subject matter upon which successful performance in later courses may depend. The repeated course does not count toward hours attempted, hours completed or the GPA.

When a student repeats a course previously passed, both grades appear on the transcript, but only the first grade is counted in the GPA calculations. The transcript will bear a footnote reading credit not applied toward degree for the repeated course. If the student repeats the course to meet a major or minor grade requirement, he/she must, upon completion of the course, submit a degree audit inquiry to the Harpur College degree audit coordinator through the Harpur Academic Advising website requesting that the degree audit coordinator update the student's audit.

Students may retake courses in which they have received a failing grade; they are not required to do so by Harpur College, although major requirements may dictate otherwise. When a student repeats a course previously failed, both grades appear on the transcript, and both are counted in the GPA. As they make their decision about repeating any failed course, students are encouraged to speak with Harpur Academic Advising.

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Dropping a Course and Withdrawing from the University

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Course Drop/Delete

Students may formally drop a course from their schedules by the announced drop/delete deadline. No notation of any kind appears on the student's transcript if the course is dropped by the drop/delete deadline.

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Course Withdraw

Students may withdraw from all but one course between the drop/delete deadline and the course-withdraw deadline. Courses dropped during this period receive a notation of W.

Students may be permitted to withdraw from courses after the course withdraw deadline only if they cite extraordinary extenuating circumstances and successfully petition through the Harpur College Deans Office. Courses dropped late by petition result in a W notation on the student's transcript. Consult the Academic Policies and Procedures section for more information on late withdrawing from a course.

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University Withdraw

Students who decide to withdraw from all courses for which they are registered at any time between the published first day of classes and the last day of classes must complete the Withdrawal Form. If the student submits the Withdrawal Form before the drop deadline, registered courses are deleted. If the student submits the Withdrawal Form after the drop deadline, a W grade is assigned to each course. In either case, withdrawal results in a notation on the transcript, withdrew from the University.

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Course Information

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Prerequisites and Course Numbering

Specific course prerequisites are listed clearly in the course descriptions of this publication. Harpur College expects students to know the prerequisites for the courses in which they enroll. Instructors may waive prerequisites in particular cases if the student presents appropriate qualifying evidence.

Harpur College courses with numbers 100 through 199 are introductory courses that normally have no prerequisites and are open to all students.

Courses with numbers 200 through 299 are intermediate-level courses that may or may not have prerequisites.

Courses with numbers 300 through 399 are intermediate courses, normally with prerequisites.

Courses with numbers 400 through 499 are advanced-level courses with specific course prerequisites.

Certain numbers indicate special learning situations. Courses noted -80 are intended for special topics, -91 for teaching practica, -95 for internships, -97 for independent study, and -98 or -99 for honors thesis.

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Independent Study

Independent study accommodates advanced students who wish to pursue individual research under the direct supervision of a faculty member and is normally reserved for students who cannot pursue their intellectual interests through normal course offerings. Independent study registrations must be signed by the sponsoring faculty member, the student and the appropriate department representative. Refer to the section titled Requirements for Graduation for specific information regarding the number of independent study credits that can count towards the degree.

First-semester freshmen may not register for independent study courses.

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Attendance

In addition to the University-wide attendance policy explained in this publication, note that individual instructors are free to set more stringent attendance requirements in accordance with the academic needs of their classes.

After the first five full class days of the semester, an instructor can drop students who have not attended and who have not notified the instructor of their intention to remain in the class. To exercise this option, the instructor must make every effort to alert the student to their removal from the course.

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Program Load

Fall and Spring Semesters

Binghamton University considers 12 credits a full-time course load. However, Harpur College students typically enroll in 16-18 credits per semester. Students may register for up to 18 academic credits without review.

On the fifth day of the first week of the semester, students with a Binghamton cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher may register for up to 22 academic credits. In addition, any student may register for two additional credits of OUT, MUSP or THEP. Students who are declared majors in Harpur College and another college or school (Watson School of Engineering, School of Management, Decker School of Nursing, College of Community and Public Affairs) must submit an overload form. Forms are available on the Harpur Advising website.

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Courses in the Graduate School

Arts and sciences courses numbered 500 and above are graduate courses, ordinarily open only to graduate students. Harpur College students, however, are permitted to count any course they are qualified to take in the Graduate School toward the 31-1/2 courses (126 credits) required for the baccalaureate degree.

Undergraduate students at Harpur College who have completed all but two courses required for graduation may register for up to two courses of graduate credit to be recorded on a graduate transcript. Interested students should consult the Harpur Academic Advising Office for details.

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Courses in Other Schools at Binghamton University

Harpur College students may count up to a total of 36 credit hours of non-liberal arts courses toward the 126 credit hours required for the baccalaureate degree. Within the 36-credit limit are included non-liberal arts courses taken at other institutions, courses in College of Community and Public Affairs, Decker School of Nursing, School of Management, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School of Education and OUT courses. Students should refer to the Requirements for Graduation section above for specific limits on internships, independent studies, teaching practica, HWS and OUT courses.

The School of Management offers two programs of particular interest to Harpur College students: an adjunct option in management science, as a supplement to appropriate major programs in Harpur; and a master of business administration program, with special provisions for Harpur undergraduates. See the School of Management section of this publication for details about these programs.

Harpur students interested in a minor in computer science should consult the Watson School section of this publication.

Harpur students interested in a minor in immigration studies should consult the College of Community and Public Affairs section of this publication. 

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Academic Honors

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Departmental Honors

All of the departments and major programs of Harpur College offer qualified students the opportunity to pursue special studies that, if successfully completed, lead to a degree with honors in that field, e.g., Honors in English or Distinguished Independent Work in Chemistry. Students interested in such special programs should check appropriate sections of this publication and then consult their major advisors. Normally, consultation with the advisor takes place no later than during the students fourth semester of residence.

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Deans List

To qualify for the Harpur Deans List at the end of each regular semester, students must have a 3.5 or better semester grade-point average, at least 12 graded credits and no missing grades or Incompletes. Recognition is given for each semester in which students meet these criteria. The award is noted on the transcript.

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College-Wide Honors

Students with outstanding academic records receive college-wide 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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Optional Minors

An academic minor is an approved course sequence within an area of study, providing a degree of specialization in that area, a specialty within a discipline or a specialty integrating more than one discipline. The area in which a student takes a minor is recorded on the student's transcript at graduation as certified by the minor department or program. Students in Harpur College are not required to take an academic minor. Departments are not required to offer a minor.

Juniors and seniors who have already declared a major and earned a minimum of 60 credits may declare a minor(s). Minor requirements are described in detail in this publication under each department's listing. The completed minor(s) appear on the transcript when the degree is certified. Students may not complete minors after graduation.

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General Requirements

  • The student must earn a minimum of 24 credits (in Harpur College, a course is defined as four credits). Each department or program establishes requirements for its minor. A minor program must include not more than two introductory-level courses and at least two upper-level courses (numbered 300-499).
  • At least four of the courses in the students minor program must be in addition to those counted toward fulfillment of the requirements for the students major(s) and or minor(s).
  • If a student declares two minors, at least two divisions must be represented in the three fields of study (major and two minors).
  • If a student wishes to minor in a separate specialization or track within the department or program of the major, the proposal must be consistent with stated policies of that department or program.
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Individualized Major Program

The Individualized Major Program (IMP) provides Harpur College students an opportunity to design a program of study not presently available within the established University structure. These innovative majors must be academically sound, must show breadth and depth, and must provide a theoretical and conceptual framework for a particular course of study. Acceptable majors are interdisciplinary and combine courses from three or more liberal arts disciplines. Students are advised to apply for an IMP major no later than the second semester of their sophomore year. Applications after this period may mean that additional semesters may be required. Students interested in IMP should consult the program’s advisor in the Harpur College Academic Advising Office early in their planning.

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Professional Career Preparation

American professional training in engineering, law, teaching, medicine, dentistry and the sciences is ordinarily built on a foundation of undergraduate education, usually including a program of four years leading to the bachelor’s degree. Students contemplating graduate training for a profession should begin early to consult the bulletins of the graduate and professional schools. Students interested in preparing for a career in teaching and education at the primary and secondary levels should contact the Graduate School of Education for information about graduate curricular options. Students eligible for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) should contact the pre-health or pre-law advisors for academic and career information. Additional assistance is available through the CSTEP Office (607-777-2678).

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Health Professions

Pre-health-professions advising is a key resource for students who wish to study for the health professions. Students may consult with a full-time advisor who is a specialist in the health professions. There are also advisors for Freshman/Sophomore Pre-Health Students and the health sciences fields as well as a cohort of peer advisors available to advise students. Pre-health students may join discussions on PREHLTH-L, the Binghamton University pre-health listserv. The listserv provides a forum in which ideas and information may be exchanged with the pre-health professions advisor and among students themselves. In addition, a great deal of information is now housed on the pre-health webpage, accessible at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/pre-health/.

For more information about pre-medical education, see Medical School Admission Requirements, published annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges (online at http://aamc.org). This information covers all aspects of preparation for and admission to medical school, including specific requirements of the individual schools. Although there is some variation, most medical schools (allopathic and osteopathic) require the following college-level courses: one year each of English, biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and general physics. One semester of biochemistry and statistics is also required. Some medical schools also require a semester to one year of mathematics (calculus). Basic science courses must include laboratory experience. As there are well over twice as many applicants as there are positions available in medical schools, it is unlikely that the above minimal requirements will be sufficient.

Dental school requirements are similar to medical school requirements. Students interested in dentistry are referred to Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools, published annually by the American Dental Education Association (online at http://www.adea.org). This information presents pertinent information about preparation for dental education, as well as information about individual dental schools.

Requirements for optometry and veterinary medicine are considerably more varied.

For additional information, please consult the Pre-Health Freshman-Sophomore Handbook which is available on the pre-health website (http://www2.binghamton.edu/pre-health/).

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Articulation Agreements

Binghamton University has entered into agreements with three health professional schools that make it easier for students to make a transition between the University and professional school. Students interested in these programs should review information available on the pre-health webpage (http://binghamton.edu/pre-health/) and then consult the pre-health professions advisor.

Medicine: Binghamton University has established an agreement with the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse that allows Binghamton students to participate in an early assurance program. Second-semester sophomores accepted into an early assurance program are guaranteed admission into medical school upon satisfactory completion of their remaining two years at Binghamton (i.e., receiving their bachelor’s degree). Interested students should contact the pre-health professions advisor at the beginning of their sophomore year.

Dentistry: Binghamton University and the School of Dental Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo have established an early assurance program. Second-semester sophomores accepted into an early assurance program are guaranteed admission into dental school upon satisfactory completion of their remaining two years at Binghamton (i.e., receiving their bachelor’s degree). Interested students should contact the pre-health professions advisor at the beginning of their sophomore year.

Optometry: Binghamton University and SUNY College of Optometry have a joint degree program leading to a BA in biology from Binghamton and a Doctor of Optometry from the College of Optometry. This program takes seven years instead of the usual eight necessary to obtain both the liberal arts degree and the professional school degree. After three years at Binghamton, participants attend the optometry college, with the first year of professional school counting also as the fourth year at Binghamton. The BA is awarded at the end of the participant's first year of professional school. Spaces are reserved for prospective or current freshmen only, and there are a number of steps to the admissions process after acceptance into Binghamton. Interested students are encouraged to consult the Pre-Health website at http://binghamton.edu/pre-health/ or to contact the pre-health professions advisor or the Admissions Office or SUNY Optometry (http://www.sunyopt.edu/; 212-938-5500).

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Legal Careers

The pre-law advisor in the Harpur College Academic Advising Office serves students and graduates from all Binghamton University schools who are interested in attending law school. Current students may subscribe to the pre-law electronic listserv PRELAW-B, attend pre-law meetings, workshops and other law-related events held throughout the year, and meet law school representatives at Binghamton University's annual Law Day. The Harpur College Academic Advising Office also provides a pre-law resource library, law-school admission data, LSAT test preparation materials, law-school bulletins and application materials, and information about internships and legal careers. The pre-law advisor meets with students and graduates during scheduled appointments and walk-in times.

Unlike other graduate and professional schools, law schools do not require specific courses or curriculum prior to admission. Students interested in law school may pursue a variety of majors. A well-rounded liberal arts curriculum that develops disciplined habits of study, analytical thought, and writing and oral expression skills is excellent preparation for law school.

For careers in patent law that involve practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), students must either obtain a bachelor's degree in certain science or engineering fields or complete a requisite number of credit hours in specific disciplines. Students interested in patent law should consult with the pre-law advisor early in their college careers.

The pre-law advisor encourages students interested in a legal career to pursue internships, summer employment and other opportunities to explore the legal profession before applying to law school.

Additional information on law school and legal careers is available in the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, produced by the Law School Admission Council and the American Bar Association (Law School Admission Council, 662 Penn St. Newtown, PA 18940, online at http://www.lsac.org and the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, online at http://www.abanet.org/legaled).

Undergraduate Programs