Undergraduate Academic Regulations
As one of the Councils of the University Senate, the Undergraduate Academic Council recommends policy concerning undergraduate academic programs and regulations. To assist in academic governance, individual schools and colleges have collateral committees that can recommend academic policy to this council. It is the responsibility of each undergraduate student to be knowledgeable concerning pertinent academic policy. The University encourages students to accept the widest responsibility for their academic programs. For clarification and interpretation of the regulations contained in this section, students should contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Lecture Center 30.
In rare cases and for extraordinary reasons, exceptions to University, college, school, and department academic regulations may be granted to individual students. A student who wishes an exception to an existing regulation should, in the case of a college, school or department regulation, consult with the head of the unit in question for the approved procedure for submitting an appeal. For exceptions to University regulations, students should contact the Committee on Academic Standing through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education in Lecture Center 30.
Standards of Academic Integrity
Note: The policies and procedures in the following section on Standards of Academic Integrity are effective beginning Fall 2013 by action of the University Senate.
As a community of scholars, the University at Albany has a special responsibility to integrity and truth. By testing, analyzing, and scrutinizing ideas and assumptions, scholarly inquiry produces the timely and valuable bodies of knowledge that guide and inform important and significant decisions, policies, and choices. Our duty to be honest, methodical and careful in the attribution of data and ideas to their sources establishes the foundations of our work. Misrepresenting or falsifying scholarship undermines the essential trust on which our community depends. Every member of the community, including both faculty and students, shares an interest in maintaining academic integrity.
When the entire University community upholds the principles of academic integrity, it creates an environment where students value their education and embrace experiences of discovery and intellectual growth. In this environment, grades and degrees are awarded and applauded as the recognition of years of learning, achievement, discipline, and hard work. Maintaining the highest standards of academic integrity insures the value and reputation of our degree programs; these standards represent an ethical obligation for faculty intrinsic to their role as educators, as well as a pledge of honor on the part of students. If a violation of academic integrity occurs, faculty, deans, and students all share in the responsibility to report it.
Violations of trust harm everyone. The academic community needs to trust that its members do not misrepresent their data, take credit for another's ideas or labor, misrepresent or interfere with the work of other scholars, or present previous work as if it were new. Acts of academic dishonesty undermine the value and credibility of the institution as a whole, and may distract others from important scholarship or divert resources away from critical research. In particular, students who plagiarize or falsify their work not only fail to adhere to the principles of scholarly inquiry and fail their peers by taking undeserved credit or reward, but they also fail to demonstrate their learning.
These guidelines define a shared context of values to help both students and faculty to make individual and institutional decisions about academic integrity. Every student has the responsibility to become familiar with the standards of academic integrity at the University. Faculty members must specify in their syllabi information about academic integrity, and may refer students to this policy for more information. Nonetheless, student claims of ignorance, unintentional error, or personal or academic pressures cannot be excuses for violation of academic integrity. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the standards and behaving accordingly, and UAlbany faculty are responsible for teaching, modeling and upholding them. Anything less undermines the worth and value of our intellectual work, and the reputation and credibility of the University at Albany degree.
Resources for Students
The University Libraries offer two important resources for students needing additional orientation to academic integrity.
Information Literacy Courses: These courses help students learn how to locate and evaluate information effectively —skills that will help not only with university studies, but also in the workplace. Students who have taken an information literacy course note that the process of doing research for a paper or project becomes much more transparent. Some of these courses also investigate ethical, social, and legal issues connected to information in today’s world. The University Libraries offer two such courses, one focusing on humanities and social sciences (U UNL 205) and the other aimed toward the sciences (U UNL 206).
CitationFox: The University Libraries offer CitationFox, an extensive resource developed by UAlbany librarians that provides citation guidance and examples for both the MLA and APA style. Students may also access the Plagiarism 101 Tutorial available through University Libraries for a primer on when sources must be cited.
Students should consult syllabi, their instructors, and in relevant circumstances their advisors for information about specific policies on academic integrity in courses or other academic exercises such as comprehensive/qualifying examinations, theses, and dissertations.
Graduate students may access additional information on Academic Integrity, Conduct, and Research Regulations via the Graduate Education website.
Examples of Academic Dishonesty
The following is a list of acts considered to be academically dishonest and therefore unacceptable. Committing such acts is a breach of integrity and is subject to penalty. No such list can, of course, describe all possible types or degrees of academic dishonesty. Therefore this list should be viewed as a set of examples, rather than as an exhaustive list. Individual faculty members, Deans of Schools and Colleges as appropriate, and Community Standards will continue to judge each breach according to its particular context.
Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own work the work of another person (for example, the words, ideas, information, data, evidence, organizing principles, or style of presentation of someone else). Some examples of plagiarism include copying, paraphrasing, or summarizing without acknowledgment, submission of another student's work as one's own, the purchase/use of prepared research or completed papers or projects, and the unacknowledged use of research sources gathered by someone else. Failure to indicate accurately the extent and precise nature of one's reliance on other sources is also a form of plagiarism. Students are responsible for understanding legitimate use of sources, the appropriate ways of acknowledging academic, scholarly, or creative indebtedness.
Examples of plagiarism include: failure to acknowledge the source(s) of even a few phrases, sentences, or paragraphs; failure to acknowledge a quotation or paraphrase of paragraph-length sections of a paper; failure to acknowledge the source(s) of a major idea or the source(s) for an ordering principle; failure to acknowledge the source (quoted, paraphrased, or summarized) of major sections or passages in the paper or project; the unacknowledged use of several major ideas or extensive reliance on another person's data, evidence, or critical method; submitting as one's own work, work borrowed, stolen, or purchased from someone else.
Cheating on Examinations: Giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an examination. Examples of unauthorized help include collaboration of any sort during an examination (unless specifically approved by the instructor); collaboration before an examination (when such collaboration is specifically forbidden by the instructor); the use of notes, books, or other aids during an examination (unless permitted by the instructor); arranging for another person to take an examination in one's place; looking upon someone else's examination during the examination period; intentionally allowing another student to look upon one's exam; unauthorized discussion of exam questions during the examination period; and the passing of any examination information to students who have not yet taken the examination. There can be no conversation while an examination is in progress unless specifically authorized by the instructor.
Multiple Submission: Submitting substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without receiving the prior explicit consent of the instructor to whom the material is being submitted the second or subsequent time.
Forgery: Imitating another person's signature on academic or other official documents, including class material.
Sabotage: Willfully destroying, damaging, or stealing of another's work or working materials (including lab experiments, computer programs, term papers, digital files, or projects).
Unauthorized Collaboration: Collaborating on projects, papers, or other academic exercises when this is forbidden by the instructor(s). The default faculty assumption is that work submitted for credit is entirely one's own. At the same time, standards on appropriate and inappropriate collaboration as well as the need for collaboration vary across courses and disciplines. Therefore, students who want to confer or collaborate with one another on work receiving academic credit should seek the instructor's permission to collaborate.
Falsification: Misrepresenting material or fabricating information in an academic exercise or assignment (for example, the false or misleading citation of sources, the falsification of experimental or computer data, etc.).
Bribery: Offering or giving any article of value or service to an instructor in an attempt to receive a grade or other benefits not legitimately earned or not available to other students in the class.
Theft, Damage, or Misuse of Library or IT Resources: Removing uncharged library materials from the library, defacing or damaging library materials, intentionally displacing or hoarding materials within the library for one's unauthorized private use, or other abuse of reserve-book privileges. Any violation of the University’s Responsible Use of Information Technology policy. This includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized use of the University's or another person's computer accounts, codes, passwords, or facilities; damaging computer equipment or interfering with the operation of the computing system of the University.
Penalties and Procedures for Violations of Academic Integrity
The course instructor is responsible for determining when a student has violated academic integrity in a course. Students engaging in other academic activities such as qualifying or comprehensive examinations, theses, dissertations must also adhere to the standards of academic integrity outlined in this policy. In these cases, academic advisors and department, college, or school officials responsible for a student's program of study are charged with determining if a student has violated academic integrity.
When a faculty member determines that a student has violated academic integrity, he or she will inform the student and impose an appropriate sanction. Faculty members must respond in a manner most appropriate to the particular infraction and the circumstances of the case in question, according to his or her best judgment. Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Warning without further penalty, or with a requirement that an assignment be redone without a breach of academic integrity and resubmitted
Lowering of an assignment/exam grade
Assigning a failing grade on a paper containing plagiarized material
Assigning a failing grade on any examination in which cheating occurred
Lowering a course grade
Giving a failing grade in a course or other academic exercise
In addition, faculty members encountering a violation of academic integrity in their courses are required to complete and file the Violation of Academic Integrity Report. The report should indicate the sanction imposed and a brief description of the incident. Faculty filing a VAIR will submit copies both to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education, as appropriate, and to the student.
If a faculty member informs the student that he or she will receive a failing grade for the course as a whole or for a component of the course as a result of academic dishonesty, the student receiving such a penalty will not be permitted to withdraw from the course, or to change the grading basis of the course from A-E to S/U.
Students who feel they have been erroneously penalized for an academic integrity infraction, or who think that a penalty is inappropriate, may make use of the grievance procedures, beginning with the Department and the College/School where the course was offered. Each College/School of the University has procedures for students who seek to dispute grades assigned or penalties imposed for academic infractions. Copies of the procedures are maintained in the College/School Deans' Offices or on their respective websites.
If a student is cleared of wrongdoing through the grievance process, the student will not be subject to any penalties and the Violation of Academic Integrity Report associated with the case will be destroyed.
A violation confirmed by admission on the part of the student, by the student's acceptance of the charges and penalties outlined in the Violation of Academic Integrity Report, or through the grievance process will result in the enforcement of the penalty determined by the faculty member reporting the incident.
Under either of the following two conditions, a violation may be forwarded to Community Standards for further adjudication and, potentially, further sanction:
- The faculty member reporting the incident has determined that the violation is serious enough to merit a failing grade in the course, and would like to have the case formally adjudicated at this higher level
- A faculty member or College/School Dean responsible for the academic program in which the offense has occurred deems it to be a particularly egregious case of academic dishonesty, regardless of the penalty imposed by the instructor, and would like to see the case formally adjudicated at this higher level
In these circumstances, the faculty member or College/School Dean may request that the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education, as appropriate, forward the case to Community Standards.
However, the following circumstance will automatically result in the case being forwarded to Community Standards for adjudication:
- A previous Violation of Academic Integrity Report on the student. When a student violates academic integrity in more than one academic exercise, whether those infractions occurred during the same or different periods of time, or in the same or different courses, the University regards the offense as an especially serious subversion of academic integrity. The matter becomes particularly severe when the student has been confronted with the first infraction before the second is committed. Whenever the Offices of Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education receive a second Violation of Academic Integrity Report on a student, the Vice Provost will request a hearing before Community Standards.
If a case is referred to Community Standards, that office will act in accordance with its standard procedures to determine the final disposition of the case, which may include revoking a student's scholarship or fellowship, or teaching or research assistantship, as well as or in addition to disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion. If a hearing is held and a student is found "not in violation," no punitive action may be taken against the student and the Violation of Academic Integrity Report associated with the incident will be destroyed.
A copy of the Violation of Academic Integrity Report associated with any incident in which the student is not cleared of wrongdoing (through the grievance process or by Community Standards) will be retained in the Offices of Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education, as appropriate. The Offices of Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education will maintain a copy of such reports for periods in accordance with SUNY student record retention policies: three years beyond the academic year in which the violation occurred, in the case of minor code violations (a single offense resulting in a sanction or sanctions short of a failing grade in the course), and seven years beyond the academic year in which the violation occurred, in the case of major code violations (a failing grade in the course, or any offense referred to and confirmed by Community Standards). A student's record of violations of academic integrity may be communicated to graduate or professional schools or employers who request such information about applicants who have attended the University at Albany.
The Director of Libraries or Chief Information Officer, upon a finding of theft, damage, misuse of facilities or resources, or a violation of University policies, will forward all such cases to Community Standards for review and disposition, which can include suspension or expulsion from the University. The Director of Libraries or Chief Information Officer may, in individual cases, limit access to the Libraries or IT resources pending action by Community Standards. In all other cases of academic dishonesty by students, which come to the attention of any staff, faculty member, or student, it is expected that the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education, as appropriate, will be consulted about such infractions. In addition, University Police may elect to pursue the breaches, consistent with their policies.
Community Standards was established by the governing bodies of the University at Albany and is administratively the responsibility of the Vice President for Student Success. Any questions about the procedures of Community Standards may be secured by inquiry to that office.
Policy for Freedom of Expression
The University reaffirms its commitment to the principle that the widest possible scope for freedom of expression is the foundation of an institution dedicated to vigorous inquiry, robust debate, and the continuous search for a proper balance between freedom and order. The University seeks to foster an environment in which persons who are on its campus legitimately may express their views as widely and as passionately as possible; at the same time, the University pledges to provide the greatest protection available for controversial, unpopular, dissident, or minority opinions. The University believes that censorship is always suspect, that intimidation is always repugnant, and that attempts to discourage constitutionally protected expression may be antithetical to the University’s essential missions: to discover new knowledge and to educate.
All persons on University-controlled premises are bound by the Rules and Regulations for Maintenance of Public Order, which deal in part with freedom of expression (adopted by the Board of Trustees of the of the State University of New York June 18,1969; amended 1969,1980). Members of the University community should familiarize themselves with those rules and regulations. In addition, University faculty are protected by and bound by Article XI, Title 1, Sec. I of the Policies of the Board of Trustees (adopted January 1987), entitled “Academic Freedom.”
University officials or other members of the University community in a position to review posters, publications, speakers, performances, or any other form of expression may establish legitimate time, place, and manner regulations for the maintenance of an orderly educational environment; however, they may not prohibit expression for any reason related to the content of the expression, except as permitted in those narrow areas of expression devoid of federal or state constitutional protection.
Speakers invited to campus by University groups or individuals, and other speakers who may be legitimately present on campus, will be given the utmost protection to communicate their messages without disruptive harassment or interference. Opponents to those speakers enjoy the same protections for expressing their dissent.
All members of the University community share the duty to support, protect, and extend the commitment to the principle of freedom of expression, and to discuss this commitment with groups or individuals who seek to take part in University life. While all persons may seek to peacefully discourage speech that may be unnecessarily offensive to particular individuals or groups, speech that may be antithetical to the University’s values, those persons must support the legal right of free speech.
Under Section VII.188.8.131.52 of its charge, the Committee on Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and Community Responsibility (CAFFECoR) will serve as a hearing body available to those members of the University community who feel their freedom of expression has been unfairly suppressed. The Committee will report its findings to the President for further review and action.
School or College Enrollment
Most students are advised in the Advisement Services Center during their freshman year. When students have been accepted to a major, they are enrolled in the school or college offering study in the desired major field. These are the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Computing and Information, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy; and the Schools of Business, Criminal Justice, Social Welfare and Public Health. In line with policy developed by the Committee on Academic Standing, a particular department, school or college within the University may permit a student to enroll as a major who has not completed a minimum of 24 graduation credits. Upon approval of the Committee on Academic Standing of the Undergraduate Academic Council additional conditions of initial and continued enrollment as a major may be required by individual departments, schools, or colleges.
Students are classified by the Registrar’s Office on the basis of graduation credits, as follows:
||Fewer than 24 credits
||88 or more credits
Attendance and Timely Compliance with Course Requirements
Students are expected to attend all classes and all examinations and to complete all course requirements on time. Faculty have the prerogative of developing an attendance policy whereby attendance and/or participation is part of the grade. As noted in the following section, “Syllabus Requirement,” instructors are obliged to announce and interpret all course requirements, including specific attendance policies, to their classes at the beginning of the term; an instructor may modify this or other requirements in the syllabus but “must give notice in class of any modification” and must do so “in a timely fashion.” This policy also applies to courses that are less than a standard semester in length. In courses that are less than a standard semester in length, the appropriateness of the duration of the excused absence will be determined on a prorated basis consistent with the length of the course in question.
Students will not be excused from a class or an examination or completion of an assignment by the stated deadline except for emergencies, required appointments or other comparable situations. Students who miss a class period, a final or other examination, or other obligations for a course (fieldwork, required attendance at a concert, etc.) must notify the instructor or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education of the reason for their absence and must do so in a timely fashion.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will only provide letters to instructors asking that students with compelling reasons be granted consideration in completing their work when students have missed an exam or assignment deadline or when the absence exceeds one calendar week. Faculty are expected to use their best judgment when students have appropriate documentation for legitimate absences and not rely on the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education for substantiation when it is not necessary.
If the student foresees a time conflict in advance that will prevent attendance at a class or examination or completion of an assignment, the student is expected to bring this to the attention of the instructor or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education as soon as the conflict is noted. In the case of an unforeseen event, the student is expected to notify the instructor or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education within one week of the requested period of absence.
This timeliness is important since if the reason cited by the student is not considered a sufficient excuse, the student will need to know this as soon as possible. Even if the reason warrants granting the excuse, a student’s delay in contacting the instructor or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education may make it more difficult for the University to assist the student with acceptable options for making up the work that was missed.
Although University officials will consider each student’s request on its own merits and not attempt to define ahead of time the validity of all the possible reasons a student might give for missing a class or an examination, there are three types of reasons for which excuses will generally be granted: (a) illness, tragedy, or other personal emergency; (b) foreseeable time conflicts resulting from required appointments; and (c) religious observance. It shall be the student’s responsibility to provide sufficient documentation to support any request. (In this context, it should be noted that fraudulent excuses are considered violations of academic integrity and are grounds for academic or disciplinary penalties.)
a. Illness, Tragedy and Emergencies: If the cause is documented hospitalization or other significant medical reason, a tragic or traumatic experience, or other personal emergency, the student should contact his or her professor or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (LC 30) as soon as the student is able to do so. In general, students are expected to provide appropriate documentation. In cases where absences exceed one calendar week, the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will review the documentation and, if appropriate, notify the instructor(s) involved of this fact and of the date(s) for which the student has been excused. An instructor in this case may not penalize the student academically for the absence and is expected to provide reasonable assistance to the student concerning instruction and assignments that were missed. If an examination was missed, the instructor must administer a make-up examination or offer an alternative mutually agreeable to the instructor and the student. Any conflicts between student and faculty in accepting the alternative may be presented for resolution to the Chair of the department in which the course is offered.
Written notes from the University Health Center will only be provided to students in instances where absence due to documentable illness exceeds one calendar week in duration. There will be no provision for notes in instances where an illness-related absence is one calendar week or less in duration, except in cases where the student has missed an exam or significant course deadline due to their absence. In these situations the UAlbany Health center Medical Excuse policy will be strictly adhered to. In cases where the student has an illness-related absence extending beyond two calendar weeks in duration, the absence must be reviewed and approved by the University Health Center, then brought to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will not accept requests for absence notes submitted more than one calendar week after the requested period of absence.
b. Compelling Time Conflicts: If the cause of the absence is a major academic conference at which the student has a significant participation, a field trip in another course, or some other compelling time conflict, the student must notify the professor involved as soon as possible, providing verification of the conflict. When a student clearly would have been able to notify the instructor well in advance of the conflict, the student is required to do so. If an excuse is granted, the instructor is expected to provide, if at all possible, an alternative by which the student will not be penalized as a result of the conflict. Any conflicts between student and faculty in accepting the alternative may be presented for resolution to the Chair of the department in which the course is offered. The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will not accept requests for absence notes submitted more than one calendar week after the requested period of absence.
c. Athletic Events: If the cause of the absence is a varsity athletic contest, i.e., a University-sponsored team competition (excluding practice sessions and intra-squad games), the student should provide the instructor with a note from the Office of Student Athlete Support Services (Department of Athletics and Recreation) listing all scheduled competitions by the last day to add a course. If a student-athlete has provided this documentation in a timely manner, the instructor may not penalize the student academically for these absences and is expected to provide reasonable assistance to the student concerning instruction and assignments that were missed. It is the responsibility of the student to notify instructors of changes to such schedules prior to the date of the event; such changes will be supported with appropriate documentation from the Office of Student Athlete Support Services. If an examination was missed, the instructor must administer a make-up examination or offer an alternative mutually agreeable to the instructor and the student. Any conflicts between student and faculty in accepting the alternative may be presented for resolution to the Chair of the department in which the course is offered.
d. Religious Observance: Absences for religious observance are covered by Section 224-a. of the Education Law: “Students unable because of religious beliefs to register or attend classes on certain days.”
- No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day or days.
- Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.
- It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
- If registration, classes, examinations, study, or work requirements are held on Friday after four o’clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements or registration held on other days.
- In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.
- Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative official to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his rights under this section.
6-a. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to give written notice to students of their rights under this section, informing them that each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.
- As used in this section, the term “institution of higher education” shall mean any institution of higher education, recognized and approved by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, which provides a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree or diploma. Such term shall not include any institution which is operated, supervised or controlled by a church or by a religious or denominational organization whose educational programs are principally designed for the purpose of training ministers or other religious functionaries or for the purpose of propagating religious doctrines. As used in this section, the term “religious belief” shall mean beliefs associated with any corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501 of the United States Code.
As amended by Laws of 1992, chapter 278
The instructor of every section of an undergraduate class at the University at Albany shall provide each student in the section a printed or web-published copy of the syllabus for that section distributed during the first week of the class (preferably on the first regularly scheduled day the section meets). This syllabus must contain at least the information defined below. Each instructor retains the right to modify the syllabus and give notice in class of any modifications in a timely fashion. Students are responsible to apprise themselves of such notices.
Minimum Contents of a Class Syllabus:
- Catalog number and title of the course
- Term and class number of the section
- Location(s) and meeting times of the section
- Instructor’s name and title
- If applicable, name(s) of teaching assistants in the class
- Instructor’s contact information (e.g., e-mail address, office phone number, office location, fax)
- Instructor’s office hours
- Course description, overview and objective(s)
- If applicable, General Education category/categories met by the course and how the course fulfills those General Education objectives
- Prerequisites of the course: the instructor should specifically indicate those prerequisites that are critical to success in the class and that are enforceable
- Grading scheme: whether the course is A-E or S/U graded and overall method by which grades will be determined (“weights” of exams, class participation, etc.)
- Instructors who do not intend to use the full A-E grading scale, including plusses and minuses, must include the scale that will be employed on the syllabus
- Course requirements, including but not limited to: required textbooks; other required materials, purchases; fees when applicable; projected date and time of class exams, papers, projects, midterm, and final; attendance policies for the class; general paper, project, and test requirements; requirement of Internet for course work, when applicable
- Safety policies, when applicable
- Absence policies, including where possible a link to the University's Medical Excuse Policy: http://www.albany.edu/health_center/medicalexcuse.shtml.
- Information about academic integrity*, including where possible a link to the University's Standards of Academic Integrity: http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/regulations.html.
The course syllabus may also include such additional information as the instructor deems appropriate or necessary.
*Academic integrity: “Every student has the responsibility to become familiar with the standards of academic integrity at the University. Faculty members must specify in their syllabi information about academic integrity, and may refer students to this policy for more information. Nonetheless, student claims of ignorance, unintentional error, or personal or academic pressures cannot be excuses for violation of academic integrity. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the standards and behaving accordingly, and UAlbany faculty are responsible for teaching, modeling and upholding them. Anything less undermines the worth and value of our intellectual work, and the reputation and credibility of the University at Albany degree.” (University’s Standards of Academic Integrity Policy, Fall 2013)
Students ordinarily enroll in courses at the level appropriate to their class.
Individual departments have the authority to require a C or S grade in courses that are prerequisite for advanced courses in that area.
Senior Enrollment in 100-Level Courses: Students with senior status (credits completed plus credits in progress equal to or exceeding 88) shall be allowed into courses at the 100 level only during the Program Adjustment period as defined by the University Calendar. This restriction does not apply to Music Performance courses and any summer session courses. Other exceptions may be granted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (Lecture Center 30).
Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit: A senior with a superior academic record may register for a 500-level course for undergraduate credit with the approval of the major department chair and the course instructor. In exceptional circumstances, seniors may be authorized to register for 600-level graduate courses provided they have completed most of the upper division undergraduate and other courses essential to their major and require a graduate course to strengthen it. To qualify for such enrollment the senior must have a superior record, particularly in his or her major field. To register for a 600-level course, students must have the approval of their adviser and obtain the written consent of their department chair and the instructor offering the course. The department chair should arrange for copies of these consents to be distributed to the persons involved and to be filed in the student’s official folder.
Graduate Courses for Graduate Credit: Seniors of high academic standing in the University may receive graduate credit for graduate courses taken in excess of undergraduate requirements in the last semester of their senior year provided not more than 6 credits are needed to complete the student’s undergraduate program. Consent of the Dean of Graduate Education is required and must be obtained in advance of registration to receive such credit. Seniors who are permitted to take courses for graduate credit in their last semester also must make formal application for admission to a graduate program and be accepted as a graduate student before registering for study in the final semester.
Informal Audit: This category of audit permits any student or resident of the state to visit any course (except those listed here). The informal auditor visits courses without tuition, fees, examinations, grading, or credit; and no record is maintained. The instructor determines the level of participation of the informal auditor. A student matriculated at Albany confers with the instructor of the course and requests consent to visit the course. An individual not matriculated at this University must first contact the Office of General Studies and then obtain consent of the individual instructor of the course. NOTE: Informal Audit is not allowed during Summer Sessions.
Formal Audit: This category of audit allows any student to formally audit any course (except those listed here). The formal auditor pays regular tuition and fees, and the course is entered on the transcript of the student with the grade of N (noncredit) or W (withdrawn) according to 6., as follows.
Exceptions: Generally, the following types of courses cannot be formally audited: practica, internships, research and independent study courses, field courses, clinical courses, workshops, and foreign study programs. Students who feel they have an extraordinary need to audit these courses must prepare a written rationale and submit it to the chair of the department in which the course is offered. Formal audit of graduate-level courses is restricted as outlined in 3. below. If a course is filled and has auditors in it, a student wishing to take the course for credit may displace the auditor.
Formal Audit Policies
1) The student must register for the courses during the program adjustment period
2) Students must pay the regular tuition and fees based on their academic status. Fees and tuition will be based on the student’s total load, including courses formally audited. Credits taken by formal audit will not count toward full-time status for the purposes of academic retention.
3) Registration for the formally audited course must be approved by the student’s academic adviser (for nonmatriculated students, either the Office of General Studies or the Office of Admissions) and the course instructor. A senior with a superior academic record may formally audit a 500-level course with the approval of the academic adviser, the major department chair, and the course instructor. In exceptional circumstances, a senior may be authorized to formally audit a 600-level graduate course provided the student has completed most of the upper-division undergraduate and other courses essential to the major field. To formally audit a 600-level course, students must have the approval of their adviser and obtain the written consent of their department chair and the instructor offering the course. The department chair will arrange for copies of these consents to be distributed to the persons involved and to be filed in the student’s official folder.
4) A student may not change from credit to audit or from audit to credit after the last day to add a course.
5) The formal audit option is limited to a maximum of two courses per term for each student.
6) An individual who formally audits a course must participate in appropriate ways as determined by the instructor. It will be the responsibility of the student to ascertain from the instructor the degree of participation required. The course will appear at the end of the term on the transcript of the student with a grade of N (noncredit). A formal auditor may withdraw from a course not later than one week after the mid-semester date as stated in the academic calendar and be assigned a W. A student failing to participate satisfactorily will be withdrawn and assigned a W.
7) Although not recommended, formally audited undergraduate courses may be taken for graduation credit at a later date. Formally audited graduate courses may not be taken again for graduate credit.
All students must drop and add courses on the Web via www.albany.edu/myualbany.
From the first class day through the sixth class day of the semester, enter MyUAlbany on the Web and enter the class number of the course. If the course is closed or restricted, a Permission Number from the instructor is also necessary. From the seventh class day through the tenth class day of the semester, a Permission Number from the instructor is required for all adds. Enter MyUAlbany on the Web, enter the class number and the Permission Number for the course.
Subject to the approval of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, after the tenth class day of the semester, a Course Permission Number from the instructor must be obtained before the Program Adjustment can be accepted by the Registrar’s Office. After the tenth class day of the semester, all late adds must be done in person at the Registrar’s Office, Campus Center-B52. A fee will be charged for this Program Adjustment.
In the event permission to late add a course after the tenth day of class is denied, a student may appeal that decision for any reason to the Committee on Academic Standing of the Undergraduate Academic Council. A “class day” is here defined to be any day from Monday through Friday in which classes are in session. The above methods of adding a course apply to quarter (“8 week”) courses and summer session coursework on a prorated basis, determined by the length of the course in question.
All students must drop and add courses on the Web via www.albany.edu/myualbany.
From the first class day through the tenth class day of the semester, enter MyUAlbany on the Web and enter the class number of the course. During this time, a dropped course will be removed from the student’s record. A “class day” is defined as in “Adding Courses” above.
After the tenth class day through the “last day to drop a course” (as specified in the Academic Calendar), a student may drop a course by entering MyUAlbany on the Web and entering the class number of the course. During this time, a dropped course will remain on the student’s record and an indicator of W will be entered in the grade column. The W will be entered regardless of whether the student has ever attended a class.
If a faculty member announces a failing grade in the course as a possible result of academic dishonesty, the student receiving such a penalty will not be permitted to withdraw from the course unless the grievance or judicial system rules in favor of the student.
A student still enrolled in a class after the “last day to drop” is expected to fulfill the course requirements. The grade recorded for the course shall be determined on this basis. A student who registers for a course but never attends or ceases attendance before the tenth class day, as reported by the instructor, yet does not officially drop the course shall have an indicator of Z listed in the grade column on his/her record. The above methods of dropping a course apply to quarter (“8 week”) courses and summer session course work on a prorated basis, determined by the length of the course in question.
Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Committee on Academic Standing of the Undergraduate Academic Council.
Note: Students receiving financial assistance through state awards should refer to Academic Criteria for State Awards in the Financial Aid and Estimated Costs sections of this bulletin before withdrawing from courses.
Policies to Deregister Students
Failure to Attend Class
Beginning on the seventh class day, instructors may deregister students who fail to attend class, explain absence, or officially drop within the first six days of classes of a term unless prior arrangements have been made by the student with the instructor. The policy to deregister students is limited to the add period at the beginning of the semester. For courses that meet only once each week, including laboratory courses, the instructor may deregister students who do not attend the first scheduled class.
The above policy also applies to half-semester (“8 week”) courses on a prorated basis, depending on the length of the course in question. A “class day” is defined as in “Adding a Course” above.
WARNING: Not all faculty exercise this prerogative. The fact that a student didn’t attend doesn’t guarantee that the professor dropped the student from the course. Students must take the responsibility for dropping a course on the Web via www.albany.edu/myualbany if they wish to avoid an E or U in that course.
Lack of Prerequisite(s)
Students may be deregistered who lack the prerequisite(s) of the course at any time within the term or quarter the course is being taught. The Registrar will assign students who have been deregistered after the program adjustment period a grade of W for the course.
Transfer of Credit after Matriculation
Transfer equivalencies for institutions and courses previously approved for transfer credit are available online from the University at Albany's Transfer Equivalency Databank on the Registrar’s Web page, http://www.albany.edu/registrar/transfer-credits.php. Courses not included in the databank may still be awarded transfer credit but require a course description or syllabus be attached to the transfer credit permission form. Post-matriculation transfer courses may not meet some requirements for the major, minor, and/or liberal arts credit requirements. Also, they cannot meet residency requirements. Students are strongly advised to consult with their advisors and/or the department in question about transfer credits prior to taking courses at other institutions.
Full-Time, Part-Time Defined
A student registered for a minimum of 12 credits within the semester is classified as a full-time student. Students registered for fewer than 12 credits are classified as part-time students for the semester.
A normal semester load is 15 credits. Registration for at least 12 credits is required for a student to be considered full-time. For loads of no more than 19 credits, the number of credits for which a student registers in a semester is an individual matter, determined by the student with the advice of that student's academic advisor. Except as provided, below, for undergraduates studying abroad, no undergraduate may register for more than 19 credits without prior permission obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Students must present compelling academic justification and have the approval of their academic adviser or major department for a request to exceed 19 credits to be considered by the Office of the Vice Provost.
Undergraduates studying abroad who plan to take more than 19 SUNY credits must apply for permission no later than 4 weeks after the start of classes overseas. Credits earned for pre-session courses which, when added to the regular semester’s course load, bring the total semester’s enrollment to over 19, do not need such permission.
Courses that can be repeated for graduation credit are so indicated within the course descriptions contained in this bulletin.
The following shall apply to students who enroll more than one time in a course that cannot be repeated for credit:
- Appropriate registrations in the course, as of the last day to add a course in a term as specified in the academic calendar, shall be listed on the student’s Academic Record; all A–E grades for such courses will be computed in the average.
- The total graduation credit applicable toward the student’s degree shall only be the credit for which that course has been assigned; i.e., graduation credit for the course can only be counted once.
Repeating Courses to Meet Program Admission Requirements
For the purposes of calculating admissions requirements into restricted majors or programs, once a student has received the grade of B- or higher in a course, no future grade in that course or its equivalent will be used in determining the student’s average for admission to that major or program.
An “equivalent” course, for purposes of this policy, is any course for which the student cannot receive credit by virtue of his or her having satisfactorily completed the original course.
General Policy: In many courses, final examinations are an integral part of the learning and evaluative process. Some courses, by virtue of the structure, material, or style of presentation, do not require a final examination. The following policy in no way requires an instructor to administer a final examination.
Final examinations in semester-long undergraduate courses in the University are to be given only during the scheduled final examination period in accordance with the official schedule of examinations as published by the Registrar’s Office. The term “final examination” as used here shall be defined as any examination of more than one-half hour’s duration that is given in the terminal phase of a course. As defined, “final examinations” may be either comprehensive, covering the majority of the content of a course, or limited to only a portion of the content of a course.
No examinations of more than one-half hour’s duration are to be given during the last five regularly scheduled class days of a semester. Instructors seeking any exceptions to the above policy must submit a written request through their respective department chair to their college dean, or directly to their dean in those schools with no departmental structure. If the dean approves the exceptions, the instructor must notify the class of the new scheduled final examination date at least three weeks before the last regularly scheduled class day of the semester. At the end of each semester, each college and school dean must submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a summary of all exceptions granted to the final examination policy.
The above regulations notwithstanding, the instructor in any course should always retain the freedom to reschedule a final examination for an individual student should such a student present a case of unquestionable hardship in his or her scheduled examinations. Such rescheduling should, however, be done in the final examination period if at all possible.
Three Finals on One Day: If a student has three examinations in one day as a result of a departmental exam or of the official rescheduling of an examination after the initial final examination schedule has been published, then that student has the right to be given a makeup examination for the departmental or rescheduled examination. The request for such an exam must be made to the instructor in the appropriate course no later than two weeks before the last day of classes of the given semester. If possible, the makeup examination should be given within the final examination period.
Retention of Exams: Each instructor shall retain the final examination papers in his/her courses for one semester so those students wishing to see their papers may do so. This regulation does not apply in those instances in which the instructor chooses to return the papers to the students at the end of the course.
The undergraduate grading system for the University will include the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, E.
The normative grading pattern is A–E. However, students may receive S/U grades in two circumstances:
- In sections and/or courses that have been designated by departments or schools as S/U graded.
- In courses normally graded A–E in which the student selects S*/U* grading.
For students matriculated in the fall 2010 or thereafter, the student is limited to receiving optional grades only twice in their undergraduate academic career. Only courses below the 300 level may be S/U opted. These two courses of S/U may be in addition to all S/U grades received in department or school-designated S/U graded sections of courses. See also “Grading Option Deadline,” below.
A–E grades are defined as follows: A–Excellent, B–Good, C–Fair, D–Poor, and E–Failure. The grade of E is a failing grade and cannot be used to fulfill graduation requirements.
The grade of S is defined as equivalent to the grade of C or higher and is acceptable to fulfill graduation requirements. The grade of U (C- or lower) is unsatisfactory and is not acceptable to fulfill graduation requirements.
Transfer D Grades
1) Students cannot transfer in any grades of D
2) However, except for the University’s writing requirements, for which a grade of C or higher or S is required, transfer work graded D in a course that applies to one or more of the University’s General Education requirements may be applied toward fulfilling the requirements, even if the student receives no graduation credit for the course.
Other Grades and Indicators
Additionally, the following grades and indicators may be assigned:
I: Incomplete. No graduation credit. A temporary grade requested by the student and assigned by the instructor ONLY when the student has nearly completed the course requirements but because of circumstances beyond the student’s control the work is not completed. The incomplete should only be assigned on the basis of an agreement between the instructor and the student specifying the work to be completed and establishing a general timeline in which the work will be completed. Incompletes may NOT be resolved by auditing or registering again for a subsequent offering of the course. The date for the completion of the work may not be longer than one month before the end of the semester following that in which the incomplete is received. Once the work is completed, the instructor assigns the appropriate academic grade.
The instructor may extend an incomplete for a maximum of one semester beyond the original deadline providing that the student has made contact with the instructor to request the extension. Additional extensions are NOT permitted.
Any grade of I existing after the stated deadline shall be automatically changed to E or U according to whether or not the student is enrolled for A–E or S/U grading. Except for extenuating circumstances approved by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, these converted grades may not be later changed.
(NOTE: Students receiving financial assistance through state awards should refer to Academic Criteria for State Awards in the expenses and financial aid section of this bulletin before requesting grades of I.)
W: An indicator assigned by the appropriate administrative officer indicating a student withdrew from the University, withdrew from an entire course load for a summer session, or dropped a course after the last day to add. For information and completeness, the W is placed on the permanent academic record. The W is not used in any computation of quality point or cumulative average totals.
Z: An indicator assigned by the appropriate administrative officer indicating a student enrolled in a course, never attended or failed to attend after the last day to add, and took no official action to drop the course. For information and completeness, the Z is placed on the permanent academic record. The Z is not used in any computation of quality point or cumulative average totals.
An instructor may not permit students in an undergraduate course to submit additional work or to be reexamined for the purpose of improving their grades after the course has been completed. Also, The Registrar’s Office may not enter a change of grade without the approval of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, except, of course, for changes of I to a final grade.
A grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, E, S, or U may not be changed to a grade of I. On a case-by-case basis and for good cause, the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education continues to have the power to allow grade changes for reasons deemed legitimate.
Grading Option Deadline
Students may change their option (A–E or S/U) for courses not departmentally designated for S/U grading until 15 class days after the midterm point. Changes in grading selections cannot be authorized beyond the date specified. The grading option may be changed by filing the appropriate form with The Registrar’s Office by the date specified in the academic calendar. When discussing with an instructor their progress in a course, students should inform the instructor if they are taking the course S/U.
The grades of A, A- B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and E shall be the only grades used to determine an average. Grades shall be weighted as follows: A = 4.00, A- = 3.70, B+ =3.30, B = 3.00 B- = 2.70, C+ = 2.30, C = 2.00, C- = 1.70, D+ = 1.30, D = 1.00, D- = 0.70, and E = 0.00. The student’s academic average is the result of the following calculation:
- The number of credits for courses receiving A–E grades is totaled
- Each grade’s weight is multiplied by the number of credits for the course receiving that grade
- The results of these multiplications are totaled to yield a weighted total.
- The weighted total is divided by the total number of credits receiving A–E grades to yield an academic average.
Student Academic Record
A student’s official progress records are maintained by the Registrar’s Office. Grades for the semester are available to the student via MyUAlbany following the posting of grades by the Registrar.
Academic Retention Standards
Since the University requires that students have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 and an average of 2.00 in the major and the minor in order to earn a bachelor’s degree, the grade point average is an important indicator of the ability to achieve a bachelor’s degree. Thus, the following policies are in effect for students whose performance indicates that they are in danger of failing to meet the conditions necessary to earn a degree.
A student whose semester grade point average falls below a 2.00 (but is a 1.0 or above ) will receive an Academic Warning from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. This action will not subject the student to any further penalty but is intended to remind the student of the University’s policies as well as to inform the student of the resources available to ensure good progress in achieving an undergraduate degree.
1) A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below a 2.00 will be placed on Academic Probation for the following semester. A student placed on academic probation will be notified by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and will be advised of the resources available to assist students in improving their academic standing.
2) Students on Academic Probation will be expected to improve their academic performance immediately. They must raise the cumulative GPA to at least 2.00 to be removed from academic probation. Students who fail to meet this condition will be placed on Terminal Probation in the following semester.
1) A student will be placed on Terminal Probation for the following semester if either of the following occurs:
the student’s semester GPA is below 1.00, or
the student has a cumulative GPA below 2.00 for a second semester
2) Students on Terminal Probation for a semester are in danger of academic dismissal at the end of that semester. Therefore, as a condition of continuing their enrollment at Albany, they must complete an “Academic Improvement Plan” (AIP) to improve their academic performance in consultation with their academic adviser, and must file this plan with the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education by the date designated on the AIP. (Failure to file this form could result in a hold on the student's record.)
3) If the student achieves a semester GPA and cumulative GPA of at least 2.00, the student will be removed from Terminal Probation.
4) If the student’s semester GPA is at least a 2.00 but the cumulative GPA remains below 2.00, the student will remain on Terminal Probation and must continue to meet the conditions described in section 2) above. The student must raise the cumulative GPA to at least 2.00 to be removed from Terminal Probation.
5) If the student earns a semester GPA below a 2.00 while on Terminal Probation, the student will be dismissed.
Academic dismissal will occur only if a student has been on Terminal Probation and fails to earn a semester GPA of at least 2.00. The student’s record will have the notation “Academic Dismissal.” Students who have been academically dismissed have the right to seek reinstatement to the University by submitting a written petition to the Committee on Academic Standing through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Lecture Center 30.
Academic Dismissal Policy: Educational Opportunities Program Students
Students enrolled at the University through the Educational Opportunities Program will be granted an additional semester on Academic Probation before they are subject to Terminal Probation, even if their cumulative GPA is below a 2.00.
Good Academic Standing
The term “in good academic standing” (satisfactory academic standing) means that a student is making satisfactory progress toward a degree and is eligible or has been allowed to register and take academic course work at this campus for the current term. Students placed on “Academic Probation” or “Terminal Academic Probation” are considered to be in good academic standing since they are making satisfactory progress toward a degree and are still authorized to continue studying toward their degrees. Academic Probation only serves as an academic warning that a student is in danger of not meeting minimum academic retention standards and being terminated from the University. Only those students who are officially terminated from the University are considered not to be in good academic standing.
(The above definition should not be confused with the academic standing criteria for eligibility for New York State financial awards as detailed in the Financial Aid section of this publication.)
The Committee on Academic Standing of the Undergraduate Academic Council is responsible for insuring and reviewing procedures for individual student academic grievances at the school and college level. Most academic grievances are expected to be resolved at the school or college level. However, if (1) the student feels due process was not followed at the school or college level or if (2) the student feels the decision rendered at the school or college level warrants further review, the student may address a petition to the Committee on Academic Standing of the UAC for a review of the case. The action of this committee is final except in grievances arising out of grades assigned due to violations of academic integrity. CAS action on academic integrity grievances will be reviewed by and must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs before implementation.
If the case has also been submitted to the student judicial system for University action, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will consult for the Vice President for Student Success before rendering a final decision.
Each school and college shall have established procedures for considering student academic grievances. Copies of the established procedures shall be available to students upon request. Students should contact the office of the dean of the academic unit involved if further information is desired or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Lecture Center 30.
Students challenging an academic grade must first discuss their grievances with the instructor involved. If not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at this level, the grievance must then be discussed with the appropriate department chair. Failure to obtain satisfactory resolution at this level shall lead to the school or college review as stated in its procedures. Any such requests on the school or college level must be appropriately reviewed and a decision rendered.
Leave for Approved Study
1) Students may apply for permission to pursue a Leave for Approved Study with the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Lecture Center 30, 518-442-5821. That office shall ascertain that the student has been informed of University residency requirements, including major, minor and senior residency minima. Students interested in pursuing an approved leave must submit an application and other necessary paperwork prior to the beginning of the semester following their departure from the University. Completion of the semester prior to the commencement of the leave is required.
2) Study must be in an approved program at another college or university.
3) A leave for approved study is granted for only one semester and can be granted for a maximum of two semesters. A request for a leave implies an intent to return to the University in the next successive semester after completion of the leave.
4) Adviser approval is necessary for the leave to be approved. If the student was admitted through the EOP program, approval of the EOP director is necessary.
5) A student may pursue part-time or full-time course work during the leave.
6) A student who has satisfied the previous conditions and whose University at Albany cumulative average, as well as the GPA in the major and minor, is at least 2.00 at the time the proposed leave would begin will be granted a Leave for Approved Study.
7) A student who has satisfied the previous conditions and whose University at Albany cumulative average is less than 2.00 at the time the proposed leave would begin has the right to seek prior approval for a Leave for Approved Study by written petition to the Committee on Academic Standing.
8) Academically dismissed students are not eligible for leaves for approved study.
Degrees in Absentia
Formerly matriculated undergraduates who have almost completed their degree and cannot return here to finish remaining requirements may apply for permission to finish their degree in absentia.
Their cumulative University at Albany grade point average, as well as their GPA in the major and minor, must be at least a 2.00. In addition, a waiver of residence requirement(s) and departmental support may be necessary.
An application and other necessary forms for this process are available upon request by calling 518-422-5821 or writing the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Lecture Center 30.