Frequently asked questions

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022

Frequently asked questions

These questions and answers have been developed to respond to feedback on Binghamton University's Spring 2022 Plan. This is a fluid process and the answers to the questions may change between now and the end of the fall semester. We will continue to update, and time stamp, this page as new information becomes available and new questions arise.

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Find all student-related vaccine/vaccination FAQs, including for international students, on the Decker Student Health Services COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ page.

Booster shots

Find all information about required booster shots on the Decker Student Health Services COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ page.

Surveillance testing

Find information on campus surveillance testing and testing at other locations on the Decker Student Health Services COVID-19 Surveillance Testing FAQ page.

Diagnostic testing

Find information on diagnostic testing for students on the Decker Student Health Services Diagnostic Testing FAQ page.


Find information about quarantine and isolation on the Decker Student Health Services Isolation and Quarantine page

Code of Student Conduct

  • Will I have to sign a pledge before being allowed to live on campus?

    Binghamton University has put in place measures to meet public health standards established by state and local public health officials, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the State of New York as a result of COVID-19. Students choosing to live on campus agree to comply with all University and Residential Life policies and procedures established to support compliance with these public health standards through the Housing License they sign.

Graduate students 

  • Will the University offer GRE waivers for the 2021-22 academic year? (Updated July 27, 2021)

    Any program that wishes to waive the GRE may do so.

  • I have been admitted to a graduate program. Can I defer my admission and attend in a future term? (Updated Nov. 16, 2021) 

    It is possible to defer an offer of admission for up to one year (2 semesters). Deferrals are granted at the recommendation of the academic department. Applicants who wish to defer their offer of admission should contact their academic department to request a deferral. 

    From an immigration perspective, the Form I-20 (for F-1 students) can only be deferred for up to one year at a time. However, if the program allows, it can be deferred to fall 2022 (less than a year), and later deferred to spring 2023 (as needed). The I-901 SEVIS fee that students have to pay to SEVP is also only valid for up to a year, and may need to be repaid at a later date, should a student elect to defer for a longer period of time.

  • If I enrolled in courses at another university, can I enroll at Binghamton University?  (Updated July 27, 2021)

    Yes, this is an option. You must apply to and be admitted to Binghamton University. If you are an international student, once you have been fully admitted, you would then submit a request to your current institution to transfer your valid SEVIS record to Binghamton University through the SEVIS system. All graduate students who are considering transferring to Binghamton University are encouraged to review the Graduate School’s policy regarding the transfer of graduate credits.

  • I am a newly admitted graduate student. When do I need to submit my final official bachelor’s transcript(s) to the Office of Graduate Admissions? (Updated Nov. 8, 2021)

    New graduate students must submit final official transcript(s) no later than sixth week after the beginning of the semester in which they start graduate studies.

    New graduate students who enrolled for fall 2021 have an extended deadline, and must submit final, official transcript(s) no later than the sixth week of the spring 2022 semester.

    All final, official transcript(s) must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Instructions for submitting final official transcript(s) are available online.

  • If a student defers for a semester or a year, will the student sacrifice their deposit and have to make a new one? (New Nov. 8, 2021)

    Yes. The admission deposit confirms a student's intent to enroll at Binghamton University and reserves their place in the academic program for the semester for which they were accepted. If a student requests and accepts a deferral of the admission offer, the deposit will be forfeited. Admitted students should review the admissions deposit refund policy.

  • I was an undergraduate at Binghamton, but am now a graduate student. What health requirements am I required to submit? (New Nov. 12, 2021)

    Yes. The admission deposit confirms a student's intent to enroll at Binghamton University and reserves their place in the academic program for the semester for which they were accepted. If a student requests and accepts a deferral of the admission offer, the deposit will be forfeited. Admitted students should review the admissions deposit refund policy.

    A new graduate student who was enrolled at Binghamton as an undergraduate student and has been fully compliant with all health requirements, including COVID-19 vaccination, does not need to submit any health requirements, with the following caveats:

    • If their last meningococcal meningitis (MMR) was more than five years ago from the time of their enrollment as a new graduate student, they must complete a new Meningococcal Meningitis Response (MMR) Form (or submit proof of a shot within the last five years).
    • If they have been absent from Binghamton University for more than three semesters, they must complete a new health history form (which includes a TB screen) and TB testing if the TB screen is positive, and also prove they have had a meningococcal meningitis (MMR) vaccine within the last five years (or submit a response form declining the vaccine).
  • I am a nursing/clinical psychology/social work/TLEL graduate student and I am worried about my clinical placement. What should I do?  (Updated Nov. 9, 2021)

    Nursing students

    Nursing students at the undergraduate and graduate levels are responsible for providing their own personal protective equipment (PPE) for clinical experiences.  PPE may include surgical masks, N95 masks, and eye protection as specified by the clinical site.  Decker College nursing faculty can guide students toward appropriate purchases. If N95 masks are required, students will be provided with instructions for fit testing.  Students may be required to care for patients with COVID-19 during clinical experiences. Clinical agencies have safety protocols in place that include monitoring for exposure. If a student is exposed, the student will be notified and then supported through the quarantining process. 

    Clinical psychology students

    Agencies currently vary with regard to conducting mental health services either in-person, remotely (via telehealth), or a hybrid of in-person and telehealth. All agencies have affirmed that they will follow New York State laws and regulations, as well as CDC guidelines, regarding the health and safety of our students while they are on-site. Under no circumstances will students be interacting with any known COVID-19 patients and, in some cases, students may need to provide their own personal protective equipment. 

    Social work students

    If you are a MSW or BSW student and have concerns about your field placement, reach out to Maria Gordon at or Cara Kenien-Ponomarev

    TLEL students

    If you are a TLEL student and have concerns about your field placement, reach out to Matt McConn ( or Andrea Decker (

  • Can students who have been provisionally admitted due to lack of proof of English proficiency enroll? (Updated July 27, 2021)

    All international students will continue to be required to provide proof of English proficiency via English language test scores. Applicants who do not provide scores above the University minimums will not receive a regular admit or be able to pay the deposit, and therefore will not be able to register/enroll in classes. Additional information regarding proof of English proficiency is available online at

    Note: In response to COVID-19, the Office of Graduate Admissions has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency for applications for the 2022 application cycle. A minimum score of 105 is required.

  • Is an I-20 needed if courses are being offered online? (Updated Nov. 8, 2021)

    If an international student is taking all of their courses online from outside the United States, an I-20 is not required. If newly admitted students are unable to obtain their visa and arrive in the U.S. by the start of the semester, they are encouraged to discuss with their academic advisors and explore if online course options, to be taken from abroad, are available for the spring 2022 semester. Binghamton University resumed full in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester, so online course options may be limited. If students have already been issued an I-20 for spring 2022, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will be deferring the start date on their I-20 to the fall 2022 semester. Students will receive a new I-20 with a fall 2022 start date. These new I-20s will be issued during the spring 2022 semester. 

  • Do I need a visa before the term begins?

    If you plan to attend classes in person at Binghamton University, you will need to receive your I-20, pay the SEVIS fee, be issued an F-1 visa by the U.S. consulate or embassy, and enter the United States before the end of the add/drop period. Students who are unable to arrive prior to the start of classes should be in communication with their academic department and the ISSS to communicate this delay, acknowledging that if they are unable to arrive by the end of the add/drop period, they should either engage in online learning from abroad or defer their admission to a future semester, in alignment with what may be offered by their specific academic program.

  • How do I know when my local consulate will reopen?

    Consulates will likely resume visa issuance at different times depending on local conditions. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is monitoring this situation and will provide updates as more information is received. Students are encouraged to monitor the website of the closest consulate or embassy for any additional details about reopening plans and scheduling visa appointments. 

  • Should I request an emergency visa appointment?

    This will depend on the policies of the embassy or consulate nearest you. You may be able to request an emergency appointment up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20. Students are encouraged to review the website for your local embassy or consulate for additional details on emergency visa appointments.

    Note: If you are currently in the United States and your visa has expired, you do not need to take any action. You can remain in the United States with an expired visa and apply for a new visa on a future trip.

  • I received an electronic I-20. Will I be able to use this electronic I-20 to apply for my visa?

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Homeland Security has temporarily approved the use of electronic I-20s. If you received an electronic I-20 from ISSS, it is valid for the same period of time as an original hardcopy I-20. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has coordinated with the Department of State and Customs and Border Protection, and both agencies have confirmed their support for electronic I-20s. We recommend that you print a copy of the letter of explanation and keep it with your I-20. 

    Note: The electronic I-20 serves as a valid document for the purpose of applying for your visa and entering the United States. ISSS will retain your original I-20 and you should plan to pick it up from ISSS upon your arrival.

  • What will happen to my I-20 if I am unable to come to the United States? (Updated Nov. 8, 2021)

    If you are unable to enter the United States in F-1 status by the end of the add/drop period of the spring 2022 semester but are interested in beginning your program abroad, you should discuss with your academic advisor and explore if online course options, to be taken from abroad, are available for the spring 2022 semester. If you begin your program online from abroad, or if you defer your admission to the spring semester, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will defer the start date on your I-20 to fall 2022. You will be sent an updated I-20 for the purpose of applying for your visa (if you have not yet been able to do so) and for future travel to the United States.

  • As an international student, are there any travel restrictions I should be aware of? (Updated Nov. 16, 2021)

    Effective November 8, 2021, all non-citizen and non-immigrant air passengers traveling to the U.S. must show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Travelers will need to show documentation of full vaccination with a WHO-approved vaccine. Travelers arriving to the U.S. by air must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their flight. Additional details about travel to the U.S. and the vaccination requirement are available on the CDC website. 

    Exceptions to this requirement are only available in very limited circumstances. Students who have received a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement at Binghamton University may not qualify for an exception under the CDC requirements and should review the exceptions information on the CDC website. If you have additional questions about travel, email

  • Can I start the semester online and then arrive on campus after the start of the semester?  (Updated Nov. 8, 2021)

    International students who choose to begin their degree program online will not be able to enter the United States during the spring 2022 semester. ISSS will issue an updated I-20 with a start date for the fall 2022 semester. International students who have an I-20 with a spring 2022 start date will be able to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on their new I-20. 

  • If I deferred my admission to spring 2022, when will I be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)? (Updated Nov. 8, 2021)

    International students are eligible for CPT after completing one full academic year as a full-time student. Students who defer their admission to spring 2022, or begin their studies online and do not arrive in the United States until spring 2022, will therefore delay their eligibility for CPT.

  • How many credits do I have to take if I choose to take courses remotely from abroad for the semester?

    Immigration law does not require international students to enroll in a specific number of credits if they are outside the United States and not yet in F-1 or J-1 status. Students already in F-1 or J-1 status who have an active SEVIS record (Form I-20 or DS-2019) need to enroll in a full-time courseload in order to maintain their status (from inside or outside the United States). Students should discuss their course schedule with their academic department or advising office. 

  • What happens if I enroll in in-person classes and become ill during the semester?

    International students who are taking in-person courses and become ill during the  semester should contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) as soon as possible. Upon receipt of medical documentation, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) can authorize a reduced course load for the semester based on an illness or medical condition. It is important to contact ISSS quickly in this situation.

  • I am a newly admitted international student and I have received Teaching/Graduate Assistantship funding from my academic department. Unfortunately, I could not return to the United States for the start of the spring 2022 semester. Can I keep my funding? (Updated Nov. 8, 2021)

    Newly admitted international students who are outside the United States will not be eligible for on-campus work authorization/TA/GA, as they will not be in F-1 status and they are unable to fulfill the I-9 process. Students are encouraged to contact their academic department to see if such funding would still be available for fall 2022.

  • I am an incoming international student funded as a Teaching/Graduate Assistant. What actions must I take to be added to the New York state payroll?

    Incoming international GA/TAs with new assistantships cannot be placed on the New York State payroll until they physically complete their I-9 form/work authorization and other employment paperwork in person with Human Resources. Additionally, the NYS payroll system requires a U.S. address and direct deposit to a U.S. bank account. If you are unable to physically report to complete your I-9 to verify your employment authorization, and acquire a local address and U.S. direct deposit, we are unable to place you on the payroll. Respond via EMAIL to notify your supervisor immediately if this applies to you.

  • I am a returning international student funded as a Teaching/Graduate Assistant, but I am not yet able to return to the U.S. How does this affect my GA/TA status?

    For those returning international GA/TAs who are temporarily not able to return to the U.S. due to government-mandated travel bans, but have previously completed the employment paperwork, and have unexpired work authorization documents on file with Human Resources, you may be placed on the payroll upon approval by the supervisor or faculty advisor that the assigned work can be completed remotely. The NYS payroll system requires a U.S. address and direct deposit to a U.S. bank account. The office of the New York State Comptroller automatically deactivates direct deposits for all GA/TAs over the summer. Respond immediately to submit a Direct Deposit Reactivate Form.pdf as paper checks cannot be mailed overseas. We are unable to place you on the payroll until the direct deposit form is completed and processed.

  • I am an international student with a Research Project Assistant (RPA) appointment and may have to work remotely. Is that possible?

    Research Project Assistant appointments need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on the requirements of the sponsoring agency and the project's Principal Investigator. Contact your faculty advisor to find out if your funded project will allow work to be completed remotely.

  • I am an international student with a GA/TA/RPA appointment and may have to work remotely. What are my tax implications?

    Note there may be significant tax implications if you work remotely and are unable to physically report to campus. GA/TA/RPA employees are responsible for their own tax liability both in the U.S. and in their home country. You should seek tax advice from a licensed tax professional regarding your specific situation.

  • I am funded as a Teaching/Graduate Assistant. What if I am uncomfortable performing my duties on campus? 

    Teaching/Graduate Assistants who feel uncomfortable performing their assigned duties on campus due to an underlying medical condition or health concerns should speak with the department chair of their funding department.  

  • I am funded as a Research Project Assistant (RPA) through the Research Foundation. Are there any steps I need to take to enter my lab when I return to campus?

    All graduate students looking to begin or resume their research should consult with their faculty advisor.



Parking and transportation

  • What passenger limits will there be on OCCT and/or BC Transit buses? (Updated Aug. 19, 2021)

    Both services will be operating under the latest guidance for transit provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Transportation, the governor’s office and/or the Federal Transit Administration. Masks are required at all times when riding OCCT and BC Transit and when waiting in an indoor transportation hub or facility. Previous transit social distancing regulations have been lifted. All buses will be operating at full capacity.

  • What are the spring schedules for OCCT and BC Transit? (Updated Nov. 11, 2021)

    The OCCT schedule for the spring semester is being finalized and will be posted on the OCCT website when it is completed. The fall 2021 schedule is currently available on the OCCT website. This schedule will show service areas but times may vary on the spring schedule. Download the ETA SPOT application for real-time bus tracking information.

    BC Transit continues to operate between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. BC Transit routes and schedule information are available at the BC Transit website. Download the DoubleMap application for real-time bus tracking information.

  • Will first-year resident students be able to bring a vehicle to campus?

    The rule restricting first-year resident students from parking on campus is in effect.

  • Do parking rules and regulations still apply?

    Parking rules and regulations are in effect. When parking from 7 a.m. Monday through 4 p.m. Friday, a valid parking permit is needed. Permits are available for purchase online. In order to limit in-office visits, office staff will be available to answer questions by email at or by phone call at 607-777-2279. Parking Services requests that all transactions be completed online when possible. In person transactions can be done at the Events Center ticket booth.

  • Will there be enough parking on campus?  

    During this academic year, Transportation and Parking Services reminds the campus community that parking on campus will be much tighter than it was during the 2020-2021 academic year. There is always available space, but it is not always right next to a destination. Parking Services will closely monitor lot availability and will update the parking website with which parking lots have available space during peak times on campus. Parkers are always required to park in a valid designated space.  

    If you are having trouble finding a spot, parking spaces are available in Lot G1, E1 and ZZ North/South. See the campus map for parking lot locations. The campus shuttle stops near each of these locations to transport you closer to your specific destination. 

    The University also offers convenient alternative transportation options. OCCT, BC Transit and carpooling with 511NY Rideshare make it easy to get around campus and the community. 

  • Will Safe Ride continue to operate?

    Yes, Safe Ride will provide service. Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) offers a Safe Ride program. Safe Ride is not an on-campus taxi service, but a program that provides a safe escort for individuals who feel uncomfortable walking alone after dark. Students are able to request a point to point safe escort on main campus by calling 607-777-SAFE (7233). Safe Ride operates from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week.

    For those navigating campus, TAPS encourages students, faculty and staff to utilize the OCCT campus shuttle. The shuttle continuously loops the main campus and runs until midnight, stopping at multiple locations. The route is performed by a green shuttle Monday through Friday and a blue bus Saturdays and Sundays. During peak times, the buses run more frequently and will arrive at stop locations every 7-10 minutes. The campus shuttle is displayed in the ETA SPOT application for real-time tracking information. For more information on the campus shuttle, visit the link below. 


Campus services/operations

  • Campus Mail Services
  • Customer Service Center
  • Custodial services and cleaning

    Cleaning activities are prioritized and focused on common areas to allow for attention to trash removal, cleaning restrooms, touch points and health-sensitive areas (locker rooms etc.). Unoccupied offices may not be cleaned on a regular basis and perishables should be disposed of in common-area trash cans. Cleaning activities such as floor finishing and carpet extraction will not be a priority.  For more information, visit the web.

  • Central Receiving

    Central Receiving remains in normal operation.  Visit the web for more information.

  • Ventilation systems

    The University is following all current and emerging guidelines regarding mechanical and ventilation systems to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. While ventilation is not capable of addressing all aspects of infection control, modifications to HVAC systems can help in some manner. Accordingly, the University is running air systems for longer durations, has increase outdoor air ventilation, and has upgraded filtration and made other adjustments as part of the larger mitigation effort.

    Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, commonly known as MERV, is a measurement scale designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to report the effectiveness of air filters. Most code compliant commercial buildings (gyms, malls, etc.) use MERV 8 filters. Our typical buildings have MERV 14 with some cases of MERV 13. MERV 14 filters are typically used in hospital inpatient and general surgery applications.

  • Repairs/maintenance

    Physical Facilities prioritizes repair and maintenance work orders based on life safety and critical needs. Non-maintenance work orders such as minor alterations will be given a lower priority, resulting in delays.

  • Event work orders