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

Satisfactory progress towards a degree is determined by achieving a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, which is required to graduate.

Academic Probation: Academic Probation occurs when a student's cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Students remain on probation until they can raise their cumulative GPA to 2.0 or higher. 

  • Academic probation does not imply dismissal and does not deny registration
  • Students on probation may not elect to use the Pass/Fail grading option while on probation
  • Students may not overload (take more than 18 credits) while on probation

Academic Suspension: Academic Suspension occurs when a student's cumulative and semester GPA falls below 2.0 in a subsequent semester. 

  • Students are blocked from registering for courses through Binghamton for 2 major semesters (1 academic year)
  • Students may petition to return early (after 1 semester) but must discuss the requirements for early return with a Harpur Advisor

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.

Academic Dismissal: Academic Dismissal occurs when a student's semester and cumulative GPA both fall below 2.0 for a third time. 

Academic Suspension/Dismissal Appeals

Suspension and Dismissal are usually only reversed because of grade changes, resolved Incompletes, and late withdrawal petitions that increase a students term GPA to 2.0 or higher. If you have questions about these factors you should speak with an advisor. Beyond these numerical changes that can impact academic standing you can write a formal written appeal that will be reviewed by the Academic Standing committee. To be considered for an appeal, you should first submit the request to appeal form that is included in your academic standing email. Suspension appeals are highly unlikely to be approved and the petition to return early form is more appropriate. Dismissed students are encouraged to appeal if they experienced challenging circumstances, have a GPA that is close to a 2.0, and are within one year of graduating. 

Returning from Suspension

If you have been away from the University for 2 major semesters:

You are automatically eligible to return to Binghamton. Harpur Advising will work with the Office of Student Records to update your Academic Standing to Suspension (RTN) prior to pre-registration in the semester befor you intend to return. Your Academic Standing can be found on the most recent semester of your Online Academic Transcript. When your academic standing has changed, you will be issued a registration time ticket through BU Brain. Please make sure to check your standing in advance of pre-registration and 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 harpuradvising@binghamton.edu.

Petitioning to Return Early from Suspension

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

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

Contact Harpur Advising about full petitioning instructions and completing the necessary forms by the deadline. Students who fail to receive pre-approval for coursework and file their petition by the deadline run the risk of not being allowed to return early from suspension. 

Classes and Grading

Course Retake Policy (Duplicate Course 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.

Grade Earned in First Attempt

Will you receive credit if you attempted the course again?

Will the grade count in your GPA IF YOU ATTEMPTED THE COURSE AGAIN?

D or higher
P (if grading option is Pass/Fail)
No, credit will be zeroed out because credit was earned for first attempt No, the grade will appear on transcript but will not be factored into the GPA (ex: 0A, 0B, 0C)
F Yes, you did not previously received credit for failed course

Both grades will appear on transcript and both grades will be factored into GPA. 

*Note: Retaking courses does not replace grades. 

If you repeat a course to complete a major or minor requirement, please complete the Harpur Degree Audit Help Desk form after your final grade is posted in order for the Degree Works Coordinator to manually update your Degree Works audit. 

Grade Option Change (Pass/Fail)

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. 

Students may elect to change a course's grading option from standard letter grade to Pass/Fail or vice versa) at any time up to the end of the course withdrawal period

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


Can you Pass/Fail a course and have it count for the requirement?

General Education General Education courses must be taken for a letter grade (normal grading option) unless a course is only offered pass/fail.
Major or minor requirements 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.
Harpur College Requirement (Writing or Upper Level) 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.

*Due to the academic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020, the Pass/Fail policy for coursework taken in the Spring 2020 semester differs from the standard policy. Read more


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 instructor's judgment, is a compelling reason. 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.

  • 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
  • Students must determine with the instructor what work is necessary for completion of the course and when the work must be submitted
  • 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
  • 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 and Parents


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.

Parental Boundaries with Academic Advising

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. 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. 


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.

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.

Other Policies

Leave of Absence

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 the first day of classes to drop all of your classes for that semester. International students should consult with International Student and Scholar Services about your plans.

Returning to Binghamton After a Leave of Absence

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 are still considered an active student and 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.