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Harpur College Policies

The University Bulletin provides information on curricula, courses and requirements for degrees and majors as well as academic policies and procedures. For interpretations of these regulations or for answers to questions about specific points of academic policy, students should consult with Harpur Academic Advising. 

Academic Standing

How is academic standing determined?

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 with a cumulative GPA above 2.0 are considered in "good standing". Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are on "probation".

What is probation?

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, you are required to earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all Binghamton University courses taken for credit. If you fail to meet this requirement, you will be placed on probation and expected to raise your cumulative average to a 2.0 level or better within a reasonable period of time. Please note the following points regarding probation:

  • You may not elect to use the Pass/Fail grading option while on probation.
  • Academic probation does not imply dismissal and does not deny registration.
  • For information about financial eligibility while on academic probation, see the Financial Aid Website.

Academic probation acts in part as a warning that you are not making satisfactory academic progress. Probation also serves as an opportunity to take corrective action.  If you are placed on probation, you have fallen below the minimum standard for academic progress (minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA).

While on academic probation, you are expected to take appropriate steps to ensure your future success. This should include consulting with faculty and/or a Harpur Advisor. The corrective action you take may range from changing academic direction, to making lifestyle and study habit changes. 

WHAT IS suspension?

If you have been on probation in any previous semester and do not earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA, you are subject to suspension from the University; however, you will not be suspended if your semester GPA is greater than a 2.0. Suspensions cannot be lifted unless your grades are adjusted to raise your semester GPA above a 2.0 or your cumulative GPA above a 2.0., due to a grading error.

If you are suspended, the Harpur College Dean's Office will send a letter to your permanent home address as well as an e-mail to your Binghamton University account. This letter/e-mail contains the complete suspension policy and any relevant academic deadlines related to grading and GPA adjustments. All changes to your GPA must be processed through the Office of Financial Aid & Student Records by the add/drop deadline of the first semester of your suspension. You must bring any grade changes leading to reinstatement to the attention of the Harpur Academic Advising Office (OH 110) before the deadline indicated in the letter.

Please note that you can be placed on suspension even if the semester immediately preceding is not a probationary semester. If you were on probation previously, and your cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0, you may be suspended.

How do I return from suspension?

After 2 semesters away from the university, you will automatically be eligible to return to Binghamton. Harpur Advising will work with the Office of Student Records to make sure that your academic standing is changed so that you will be eligible to register for classes. Please check your academic standing in advance of pre-registration during the semester before you intend to return to Binghamton. Your academic standing, which can be found on the most recent semester of your Online Academic Transcript, should be listed as Suspension (RTN). When your academic standing has changed, you will be issued a registration time ticket through BU Brain. Please make sure to take care of any holds on your record that may prevent you from registering.

If your academic standing has not been automatically updated, please contact

International students should contact Celeste Lee ( or Evan Mills ( to discuss the process of returning and coordinating with ISSS. 

Students can petition to return from suspension after only one semester away from Binghamton if they meet the following requirements:

  • Enroll at an accredited institution and take at least 12 credits of pre-approvedliberal arts coursework 
  • Earn B's or better in all coursework

Contact Harpur Advising about full petitioning instructions and completing the necessary forms. 

WHAT IS the Dismissal policy?

Readmitted students who fail to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA after readmission are dismissed permanently from the University. However, you will not be dismissed if your semester GPA is greater than a 2.00. 



What is the course retake policy?

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 (D or higher). 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 (F); 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.

What is grade option change?

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, which is during the ninth week of the semester. 

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. Students may apply up to 24 credits of "P" courses toward their 126 credits needed to graduate. 

Can I pass/fail a course and have it count for (________) requirement?

General Education courses must be taken for a letter grade (normal grading option) unless a course is only offered pass/fail.

Courses used to fulfill major or minor requirements may not be taken pass/fail in most cases. Some departments have specified the number or type of courses that can be taken pass/fail and still count to fulfill major or minor requirements. Please consult the bulletin, your degree audit and the department to determine if a course can be taken pass/fail. 

Courses used to fulfill Harpur College requirements, including the upper level requirement and the Harpur College writing requirement can be taken pass/fail. Students will need to take at least one C or J course for a grade to complete the general education requirement. 

Can I Overload?

That depends. 


Starting on the 1st day of the semester, you may enroll in up to 22 credits through the BUBrain and you do not need to petition. If you wish to carry 23 or 24 credit hours, you must petition. Credit loads of 23-24 credits must be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee. Be aware that this Committee will not meet until the 4th week of the semester

STUDENTS WITH LESS THAN A 3.3 GPA WHO WISH TO TAKE MORE THAN 18 ACADEMIC CREDITS (academic credits are defined as courses not offered through OUT, THEP and MUSP):

Overload petitions for Harpur students with less than a 3.30 cumulative GPA will be considered beginning on the first calendar day of the semester. Students must present a strong rationale. Extenuating circumstances may be considered.

STUDENTS WHO WILL NOT BE APPROVED TO TAKE MORE THAN 18 ACADEMIC CREDITS (academic credits are defined as courses not offered through OUT, THEP and MUSP):

  • First semester Binghamton students (freshman or transfers) are not permitted to take more than 18 academic credits.
  • Students on probation are not permitted to take more than 18 academic credits.
  • Students may not overload during a winter or summer term.

What is the policy on incomplete courses?

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 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.

Students who will receive an incomplete in a course should complete an incomplete grade contract with their instructor in order to ensure that the requirements to complete the course are clearly documented.


FERPA & Parents

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a U.S. Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. It is also known as the Buckley Amendment.

I am a parent. What can an advisor tell me about my student's educational record?

We fully understand the often difficult position parents are in when considering their student's future and their student's academic track. We encourage parents to be actively engaged in the process of decision making, research and planning. The flow of information, and any discussions concerning the specifics of a student's academics, should take place between the student and the parent. This reinforces our position that the student is capable of making informed decisions, and furthermore, is capable of articulating and communicating their reasons for their decisions. Furthermore, the staff of Harpur College Academic Advising is committed to honoring your student's right to privacy as laid out in the directives of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which transfers rights to education records to the student once they reach the age of 18. To learn more about our obligations under FERPA, you may view the U.S. Department of Education's summary and complete text of FERPA. Because of our commitments to privacy, parents cannot communicate with us concerning the specifics of their student's academic progress or planning absent written consent, or the presence of the student. Parents can, of course, communicate with us concerning general questions surrounding policy and procedure, however we cannot reveal the specifics of a student's record or case without consent from the student. 



What are the requirements to make Dean's 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.

What are the requirements to earn cum laude, magma cum laude and summa cum laude 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.



I want to take a leave of absence from Binghamton. What do I need to do?

Binghamton does not have any formal leave of absence procedure (unless you are an international student). In order to take a leave of absence from Binghamton, all you would need to do is not register for the semester that you plan on being away from the University. If you have already registered for classes, please contact the Office of Student Records prior to drop all of your classes.  International students should consult with International Student and Scholar Services about your plans. 

I have been away from BInghamton, but I'm now ready to return. What do I need to do?

If you'd like to return to Binghamton to the same program of study and have been away from the University for less than 3 consecutive semesters, you should have received a time-ticket during pre-registration. In order to return to Binghamton, all you need to do is register for courses online during your assigned registration time. 

If you have been away from the University for more than 3 consecutive semesters, you need to complete a "re-enrollment application" found here. Once you have been re-enrolled in the University, you will be permitted to register for courses. 

I'm currently in ________ college but I want to transfer into another college within BInghamton University. What do I do?

The process of transferring from one college to another within Binghamton University is called Intra-University Transfer (IUT). Find out more about Intra-University Transfer on this page

Last Updated: 4/6/20