Office of General Studies
The Office of General Studies offers extraordinary educational value by allowing admission into almost all undergraduate courses offered at the University for academic credit. General Studies applicants must be high school graduates or hold a high school equivalency diploma and must be in good academic standing for any college work done during the 12 months prior to registration. General Studies applicants may also be degree-seeking students from a college or university other than Albany. Finally, General Studies applicants may be high school seniors who excel in their high school coursework.
Any student who was formerly matriculated at the University at Albany who has not received a baccalaureate degree is not permitted to register through General Studies and should refer to the section in this bulletin on Readmission Procedures.
Individuals who already have a baccalaureate or higher degree may also register in undergraduate credit courses as a non-degree student through the Office of General Studies. However, those wishing to obtain a second bachelor’s degree must be admitted as a matriculated student by the Undergraduate Admissions Office and, once matriculated, must meet University residency requirements as well as residency requirements for the major. Credit hours earned in General Studies may not apply toward these residency requirements. Additional requirements and restrictions are outlined in the Undergraduate Admissions section of this Bulletin.
The Office of General Studies requires each student to complete a simple application and registration process each term. This process can be accomplished by visiting the General Studies website at www.albany.edu/generalstudies to access the online application or a printable version that can be mailed, faxed or brought into the Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions. General Studies’ non-degree applicants may be American citizens, permanent residents or nonresident aliens. Permanent residents must submit a copy of their permanent residency card to the Office of General Studies. Nonresident aliens must first visit the Office of International Student Services to obtain written authorization to be admitted and registered prior to admission through General Studies.
General Studies Students
Those wishing to register for undergraduate courses but who are not currently attending college may apply for admission through the Office of General Studies. The applicant must possess at least a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to be admitted. A transcript of any previous college work should be provided.
College students wishing to register for undergraduate coursework and who are from an institution other than the University at Albany may apply for admission through the Office of General Studies as a visiting student. Visiting students are expected to return to their home college or university to complete their degree program. It is visiting students’ responsibility to ensure that the coursework taken at Albany will transfer back to their home institutions and be credited to their degree programs at their home schools. The Registrar’s Office will provide verification of visitor status to officials at the students’ home institutions in order to assist in credit approval and/or financial aid certification.
High School Students
High school students who are in good academic standing may undertake University coursework on a part-time, nonmatriculated basis concurrent with their grade 12 secondary school program. Summer coursework between grades 11 and 12 is also allowable. High school students should apply for non-degree study through the Office of General Studies.
To apply, high school students must:
- Submit a General Studies High School application for non-degree, undergraduate study to the Office of General Studies
- Attach to the application a current high school transcript
- Attach a letter of reference from the guidance counselor. This letter, written on school letterhead, should attest to the student’s emotional and intellectual readiness for college coursework and indicate that the student can reasonably be expected to compete academically with university students
- Meet any and all stated prerequisites for the course(s) in question
NOTE: Home-schooled students are bound by the same guidelines as visiting high school students.
Limited advisement is available in the Office of General Studies. This office may guide students through general inquiries. However, program specific questions or those regarding possible matriculation criteria should be directed to the appropriate offices.
All course prerequisites and any other special criteria or restrictions for course registration apply to General Studies students. Evidence of previous college coursework may be required for registration.
Upon completion of initial admission or readmission, the University’s web-based student service system, MyUAlbany, becomes available for use for all non-degree students. This system enables students to register or perform any schedule adjustments they may require. Prior to using MyUAlbany, students must obtain an Advisement Verification Number (AVN) for each semester from the Office of General Studies.
There are two academic semesters (fall and spring) each year, as well as a winter term and summer sessions. Students are encouraged to early register for the coming term which can occur as early as March for the summer and fall terms and October for the spring and winter terms. Admission and registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis.
A General Studies student who fails to complete the courses in which he/she is enrolled and who fails to maintain a 2.00 cumulative grade point average each semester is subject to dismissal. The Office of General Studies reserves the right to rescind continued enrollment privileges for failure to maintain sufficient academic progress which shall be defined as falling below a 2.00 cumulative grade point average and/or not completing coursework in which the student is enrolled for at least two consecutive terms.
Matriculation to Degree Status
Each year, many General Studies students apply for admission to degree programs and are accepted by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Credits earned as a nonmatriculated student may be applied toward graduation requirements for specific majors. Requirements for admission to specific majors vary from department to department (see appropriate academic department listings in this bulletin).
Applicants must apply to the University formally through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in accordance with procedures outlined in the Admissions section of this bulletin. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all other colleges previously attended. Standardized admission test scores are not usually required. Minimum requirements for admission include a high school or equivalency diploma and at least two units of academic mathematics (see Transfer Admissions section in this bulletin).
The Office of General Studies’ staff admits and registers students falling in the non-degree status, offers basic information, assists students with withdrawals, conveys and interprets University policies, regulations and procedures, encourages and works with nonmatriculated students in applying for degree status and refers students to other University offices and services. The General Studies staff is strongly committed to the needs and concerns of traditional, as well as nontraditional, students and is available for phone and in-person consultation at convenient times throughout the year. Hours of service can be found on the University website.
All General Studies students may obtain a University identification card and are entitled to many of the same privileges as other University students, including use of the libraries, athletic facilities and campus services.
The Office of General Studies is joined with Summer Sessions and is called the Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions. This office is located on the University’s main campus in the Social Science Building, Room 110.
For more information on non-degree study, visit, write or call the Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions, SS 110, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222; phone: (518) 442-5140; fax: (518) 442-5149; e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.albany.edu/generalstudies.