Undergraduate Bulletin, 1999-2000

Undergraduate Admissions

Admission to the University is based on evidence of high school graduation or the equivalent, quality of performance acceptable to the University, and desirable personal characteristics without regard to age, sex, race, color, creed, disability, marital status, or national origin. The University welcomes inquiries from qualified high school students, students interested in transferring from another college or university, and adults who wish to begin or resume their higher education.

Students who wish to obtain additional information about the University or the admission processes and policies described below should call 518-442-5435 or write the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Administration Building, Room 101, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12222 or e-mail at ugadmissions@albany.edu.

Group information sessions and tours are available 7 days a week when classes are in session. Please call (or e-mail) the Admissions Office to make arrangements.

Application Procedure: Admission to most programs is granted for the fall, spring, and summer terms. Application materials are available in the fall preceding any of these admission dates. Application forms are available in all New York State high schools and State University of New York two- and four-year colleges. A supplemental form and credentials may be required of applicants once the formal application is received in the Admissions Office. Applications are also available by contacting the Admissions Office.

Interviews: A personal interview is not required as part of the admissions process. In exceptional cases, those for whom the interview is required will be notified by letter.

Admissions Requirements:
The following information relates to the requirements for specific applicants.

Freshman Admission

The undergraduate program is designed for students with well-defined interests or career objectives, as well as for those who wish to explore a variety of fields before deciding on a major. All accepted students are admitted to the University and are enrolled in either the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies (ASC/US) or the School of Business.

High School Preparation: Candidates for admission must present a minimum of 18 units from high school acceptable to the University. A college preparatory program is required with the following considerations: Two (2) units of mathematics must be presented by all candidates, including elementary algebra and at least one (1) additional unit of academic mathematics, or their equivalents. At least three (3) units of academic mathematics, including trigonometry, should be presented by all candidates who plan to pursue a major in mathematics, one of the sciences, business administration, or public accounting. At least two (2) units of laboratory science are desirable for all candidates. Foreign language study is desirable for all candidates. A concentrated study in one foreign language is particularly recommended for all students planning to pursue a B.A. degree program.

Admission Decision: The decision on an application for admission will be based on the following:

High School Record  Since academic performance in high school is considered to be the best predictor of academic success, the high school record will be examined in light of one's overall high school average as reported by the secondary school, courses taken, end-of-course Regents Examination grades and average (for New York State residents), and rank in class. Acceptance is granted upon satisfactory completion of three years of high school. An acceptance is conditional upon continued success in the fourth year, proof of graduation, and the submission of a complete and satisfactory medical form to the Student Health Service.

Standardized Test Scores  In addition to an evaluation of an applicant's high school record, the University also uses the SAT or ACT standardized test results. (Special tests are available for handicapped applicants. Also, Albany has alternate admissions criteria for handicapped applicants who are unable to take the required tests.)

Standardized Test Policy:  In all categories of admission, standardized test scores are considered as merely one of several academic variables used in the decision making process. Standardized test scores are used in concert with high school average, the quality of the academic program, and the student's rank in class. The University at Albany will use the highest verbal and mathematics score from the SAT to insure that these scores, in most cases, will benefit the applicant in the admissions process. The University realizes that standardized test scores represent the results of a test battery taken on a single day, while the high school record of an applicant represents academic commitment and achievement over a period of three years. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is aware of this difference and incorporates it into the decision making process. Questions about the use of standardized tests at the University may be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 1-800-293-SUNY.

The University generally receives these scores on computer tapes directly from the exam sponsors, and matches them to other application data. Each applicant is encouraged, therefore, to have the results released to us by the exam sponsors. These are to be received in the admissions office generally by mid February.

Recommendations of the applicant's counselor, teacher, and/or employer are welcome, but generally are not required. However, counselor comments which will assist the Admissions Office in its review of the academic credentials should, of course, be submitted.

Note:  A decision as to admissibility cannot be made until all required materials are submitted. Although it is the responsibility of the applicant to see that all required credentials are submitted on time, the Admissions Office does send a reminder concerning missing credentials.

Non-Binding Early Action/Early Decision Policy:

The University at Albany no longer offers the traditional Early Decision program but rather a much more equitable early notification option referred to as the non-binding Early Action\Early Decision program.

The University at Albany's non-binding Early Action\Early Decision option allows students to apply to as many institutions as they wish and students admitted under this program need not finalize their enrollment decision until May 1st. The non-binding Early Action\Early Decision program has an application deadline of December 1st and candidates meeting this deadline may expect an admission decision before the first of the year. If a student is not accepted as an Early Action candidate, the student will be reconsidered during the regular application review.

Candidates who wish to receive an early notification from the University at Albany must submit a completed application along with their $30.00 fee to the SUNY processing center and indicate on the application their intent to participate in the Early Action\Early Decision program at Albany. They must submit an official high school transcript and their SAT or ACT test scores. Further, it is recommended they complete and return to the Admissions Office at the University at Albany a non-binding Early Action\Early Decision response form (no fee required). This form can be obtained from the University Admissions Office.

This new option allows students to hear from all the schools to which they apply as well as receive their financial aid notices before having to make a decision on which institution to select for their undergraduate program.

Presidential Scholars Program:

The Presidential Scholars Program is designed to recognize and nurture outstanding students; it offers participants the chance to study with other highly qualified undergraduates. Scholars may participate in the Honors Tutorials of the General Education Honors Program during their freshman and sophomore years.

To be considered for the program, students must first apply for admission to the University at Albany. Students with the strongest academic credentials are then invited to participate in the program. Those invitations are based on applicants' high school performance and combined SAT scores. For further information regarding the program, contact the Director of Undergraduate Admissions at 518-442-5435 or 1-800-292-7869.

Frederick Douglass Scholars Program:

The Frederick Douglass Scholars Program is designed to provide direct aid funding for undergraduate students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and are from underrepresented minority groups. Scholars may participate in the honors tutorials of the General Education Honors Program during their freshman and sophomore years.

The program is limited to undergraduates who are members of historically underrepresented minorities (African American/Black, Hispanic, Native American, or Alaskan American) including permanent resident aliens, enrolled in a degree program who have demonstrated high academic achievement.

For further information, contact the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, AD 118 (518-442-3950).

Special Admission

Freshman applicants who do not meet the traditional admissions requirements should be aware that admission may be possible through special admissions programs. Such programs are outlined briefly here.

Talented Student Admission Program:  A limited number of the total new freshman spaces are set aside for freshman applicants possessing an exceptional talent and/or extraordinary ability in a given area. The minimum academic criteria for consideration has been set at an eleventh-grade cumulative average of 80 and rank in the top one-half of one's high school class at the end of grade 11, as well as SAT/ACT results deemed acceptable by the University. The quality of special talent possessed by an applicant will be assessed and established by the participating department, and admissibility will be determined through a combined review by the department and the Admissions Office. Information concerning this option is sent to traditional freshman applicants upon receipt of the formal application.

Multicultural Student Admission Program:  Students may be eligible for admission to the University through this special admissions program. The minimum academic criteria for consideration has been set at an eleventh-grade cumulative average of 85 and/or rank in the top one-half of one's high school class at the end of grade 11, as well as SAT/ACT results deemed acceptable by the University. Additionally, an autobiographical essay and recommendations may be required to assess a candidate's background and life experiences and to determine potential for success at the University.

Interested minority students are urged to apply early. Contact the Director of Admissions for more detailed information on this minority student admission program.

Educational Opportunities Program (EOP):  Freshman and transfer applicants judged to have high capabilities and motivation for college study, yet whose financial, cultural, and social backgrounds have not allowed them to compete effectively for regular admission to the University, may be admitted into the EOP program. All students must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent. Admission to the program is based on high school performance, recommendations, and a formal assessment of financial eligibility according to legislated guidelines.

Support services available to accepted EOP students include developmental courses in the basic skills areas, such as reading, study skills, English, mathematics, and developmental science; academic and personal counseling; tutoring; and financial assistance. Students carry a full load of regular and/or basic skill courses and are considered full-time University students.

The application procedure should begin as early as possible so that academic and financial evaluations, recommendations, and other arrangements can be completed well before the student wishes to begin study. Transfers are eligible for EOP admission only if they have been enrolled previously in an EOP, HEOP, College Discovery, SEEK, or EOP-type program elsewhere and meet all other transfer requirements.

Other Special Admissions:  In addition to the special programs described previously, the Director of Admissions is authorized, in the limited number of cases of applicants judged to possess unusual maturity or valuable life experiences, to apply flexible subjective standards of admission rather than the usual objective, competitive standards.

Early Admission (Admission Prior to High School Graduation)

The University is willing to enroll a limited number of early admission students. The guidelines for admission require the following:

  • Each applicant will be required to present a minimum of 18 units of high school course work acceptable to the University, including laboratory science, mathematics, and foreign language study. It is expected that these students will have pursued both an enriched and accelerated secondary school program and will present courses in keeping with their expressed goals in the college program.

  • Each applicant must have achieved at an outstanding level, generally considered to be in the area of a 90 percent or better high school average, with a corresponding rank in class within the top 10 percent. Those applicants who do not meet these qualitative guidelines must present convincing evidence that they possess a special talent and/or extraordinary ability in their chosen field of study.

  • Each applicant must present standardized admissions test results at or above the 90th percentile.

  • The high school guidance counselor must support the applicant's request for "early admission" and must certify to the school's willingness to grant the high school diploma upon successful completion of the freshman year. Courses necessary for fulfilling high school graduation requirements must be so designated by that counselor, and the student must agree to pursue such course work during the freshman year.

Transfer Admission

A sizable number of undergraduates transfer into the University from other colleges and universities each year. The University welcomes applications from all students who are completing work at other two- and four-year colleges. To be favorably considered one should have at least an overall C+ (2.5) average for all college work attempted. The cumulative average necessary for admission will vary, depending on the program and the quantitative background of the applicant. Admission to certain programs (majors) is competitive and is based not only on a required grade point average (GPA) but also on completion of a certain set of prerequisite core courses. The required GPA varies from year to year but generally a B is required for applicants to the accounting, business administration, criminal justice, and social welfare programs. GPA's are computed using grades earned in all courses attempted. Applicants who lack in their high school program the mathematics requirement and other recommendations described in the section entitled "High School Preparation" should ensure their college course work has satisfied any deficiencies.

Students enrolled in EOP or EOP-type programs at other colleges are encouraged to apply for transfer admission to our EOP program.

In addition to submitting the basic application and supplement form, transfer applicants must also submit official transcripts of all work taken at any college or university since high school graduation, whether or not they expect to receive transfer credit. Where only one transcript is offered, such a transcript should include at least one year's grades. Transfers may be admitted also on the basis of one semester of college course work, provided their high school preparation meets the quantitative and qualitative requirements for freshman admission. The transfer applicant is not expected to take an admissions examination. A decision as to admissibility cannot be made until the previously noted items are submitted. If there are gaps in your educational sequence, you will be asked to provide a brief list of your activities during that period.

Minority students (African-American, Hispanics, and Native Americans) who wish to transfer from other colleges and universities are especially encouraged to apply. Contact the Director of Admissions for more information.

An estimate of the total number of credits accepted for transfer will be made when admission is granted. When the student registers for the first time, he or she will be provided with a tentative evaluation of course credits. The tentative evaluation is subject to final approval and modification following the initial advisement and programming session. Transfer students are strongly urged to take advantage of the Planning Conference where a review of the evaluation of course work is offered.

Courses are accepted for transfer credit provided that a grade of C- or higher has been achieved. Credit earned with a grade of D or the lowest passing grade will transfer only if such credit is balanced by a B or A at the same institution. D grades earned in courses within the major/minor must be balanced by grades of B or A earned within the major/minor at the same institution.

All transfer applicants are strongly encouraged to indicate the major they plan to pursue once admitted to the University. Since Albany students, with few exceptions, are required to declare a major by the time they have accumulated 42 graduation credits, and may declare a major after accumulating 24 graduation credits, incoming transfer students with 24 or more credits are usually assigned to major departmental advisers for their initial programming. The prospective transfer student should consult the section of this bulletin entitled "Declaration of Major" for a list of those majors which have specific restrictions, and then consult the departmental description of the admission requirements for that program.

The transfer student's designated class standing (class year) is determined by the number of credits accepted for transfer (see the "Class Standing" section of this bulletin). However, for many majors (combined major/minors in the sciences, for example) over-all class standing should not be construed to mean that the student is necessarily on schedule within the major/minor sequence. This is especially true for students who transfer to the University from technical and applied programs, or for those who change major interest and/or career goals at the time of transfer, as well as for those who will apply to a Teacher Education Program.

The prospective transfer student should examine closely those sections of this bulletin which deal with minor requirements, residence requirements, the General Education Requirements and with the Writing Requirement. These are graduation requirements in addition to those stipulated by the major.

For the B.A. and B.S. degrees, a maximum of 64 transfer credits from two-year colleges or schools may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree requirements. The maximum number of transfer credits from a four year school or from a combination of two- and four-year schools is 90.

Transfer Articulation Agreements

The University at Albany has transfer articulation agreements with a number of New York State community colleges. Those articulated programs provide the best possible vehicle for transferring to the University because they were designed to provide transfer students with a course specific four semester outline of courses, which not only best prepares them for study on this campus, but also serves to maximize their transferable credits. Students attending the community colleges where these agreements exist should make early contact with their Transfer Counseling Office for information and guidance.

Second Bachelor's Degree:

The University encourages students who have already earned a bachelor's degree and/or an advanced degree to pursue graduate studies. However, if reasons can be demonstrated in writing as to why a second bachelor's degree is preferred and how it is educationally sound, students already possessing a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree after having bypassed the baccalaureate, could be admitted as matriculated students to an undergraduate program. All such requests will be reviewed by the Admissions Office in accordance with regulations of the Undergraduate Policy Manual.

Admission as a Nonmatriculated Student

A limited number of nonmatriculated students can be admitted each term. These undergraduates are expected to be enrolled in good standing at a secondary school.

High School Students:  Students who attend school in the Albany area can undertake University course work on a part-time, nonmatriculated basis concurrent with their grade 12 secondary school program. Requests for this opportunity should be made through the student's high school counselor at least one month prior to the term under consideration. Summer course work between grade 11 and grade 12 is also possible. Applicants should submit information on their high school preparation and achievement to date, as well as a statement of approval from their secondary school counselor.

Special student application forms may be obtained from the Admissions Office, Deadlines for the submission of these applications and required credentials are as follows:

Fall semester: August 1

Spring semester: December 20

College and University Students:  see Office of General Studies.

Admission of International Students

Students who desire admission to the undergraduate programs and are citizens of other countries should begin the application procedure as early as possible so that all necessary arrangements can be completed before the term begins. Special application materials should be used by those who are applying as international students. Early in the preparation for admission, a careful investigation of the financial requirements should be made with the Admissions Office. Students whose native language is other than English are required to submit proof of English language competency through submission of the scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Exam administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540.

It may be necessary to rescind an acceptance if the University finds that a student is no longer financially independent to the extent certified on the formal application.

Medical Record

After acceptance and prior to registration, each candidate will be required to file with the Student Health Service a complete and satisfactory medical record.

Credit by Examination

Students may be granted advanced placement and/or credit at any time that they can demonstrate the requisite proficiency. The programs described here represent a variety of opportunities for receiving credit for college courses by examination prior to or while enrolled at the University. Some of the testing programs offer examinations in the same or similar academic areas. Duplicating examinations, like duplicating courses, should be avoided. Credit for a course by examination will be awarded only once, regardless of how many different exams for the same course are taken. As a matter of policy, the first examination pursued takes precedence over subsequent tests.

Advanced Placement Tests:  The University grants advanced placement and/or credit to qualified participants in the College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Program. Current University policy is to award advanced placement with credit to those students with a score of 5, 4, or 3 on the AP examination. Information about AP can be obtained from a student's high school guidance counselor or by writing to the Director, Advanced Placement Program, College Entrance Examination Board, 45 Columbia Avenue, New York, New York 10023.

College Proficiency Examinations:  The New York State Education Department, in cooperation with colleges and universities in New York State, has established the College Proficiency Examination Program (CPE), in order that those who have acquired college-level knowledge in ways other than through regular, traditional classroom attendance might demonstrate their competencies and receive credit for them.

The University at Albany participates in the CPE program and will grant credit to those who have taken a CPE test, provided the faculty of the department involved determines that the exam content is equivalent to the content of courses currently acceptable for transfer to this University and if the grade earned is equivalent to a grade of C or higher based on normative data supplied by the New York State Education Department. Further information on the CPE program can be obtained by writing to the College Proficiency Examination Program, New York State Education Department, Albany, New York, 12224.

College-Level Examination Program:  The College Entrance Examination Board has developed a program containing Subject Examinations and General Examinations known as the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). This program enables individuals who have acquired their education in nontraditional ways to demonstrate their academic achievement.

The University at Albany participates in the CLEP program and currently will award credit and/or placement for Subject Examinations and General Examinations

  1. that are equivalent to courses currently acceptable for transfer to the University at Albany, and

  2. on which the student has scored at or above the 50th percentile (i.e., equivalent to the grade of C.)
    Students seeking to gain CLEP credit should be aware that the following three (3) restrictions apply:

    • First, CLEP credit will not be awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a course and then pass a CLEP examination covering substantially the same material.

    • Second, CLEP credit will not be awarded for CLEP examinations if the student has satisfactorily completed more advanced courses in the same field.

    • Third, since the General Examinations and Subject Examinations are designed to test lower-division study, students who have completed either their sophomore year and/or 56 credits of undergraduate study cannot earn credits from either the General Examinations or the Subject Examinations.

      Exceptions:  Student seeking an exception to this policy must petition the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. In that petition, the student must include an explicit recommendation from the academic department that grants the credits. In addition, the student must provide a compelling educational rationale detailing the reasons why an exception should be considered.

      Note:  This policy applies to all students who matriculate at the University at Albany in Fall 1999 and thereafter.

    Further information concerning CLEP can be obtained either from the Admissions Office at this University or by contacting the Program Director, College-Level Examination Program, Box 1821, Princeton, New Jersey 08540.

    The International Baccalaureate

    A secondary education program with origins in Europe, the International Baccalaureate Program now being offered in some American high schools is an upper-secondary-level program with a core curriculum and distribution requirements leading to a diploma or one or more certificates of examination.

    Similar to the British "A Level" examinations and the French Baccalaureate, the IB program is a system of syllabuses, or course descriptions, and examinations based on the concept that general education at the upper-secondary-level should encompass the development of all the main powers of the mind through which a person interprets, modifies, and enjoys the environment.

    With these principles in mind, an international group of educators has designed a program which requires that each student become proficient in language and mathematics, the two most important tools of communication and analysis; become familiar with at least one subject that exemplifies the study of human behavior and with another that involves scientific inquiry; develop an acquaintance with aesthetic and moral values; engage in creative, aesthetic, social service, or physical activities; and participate in a common course that reflects upon the truth, criteria, values, and inter-relations of the subjects under study.

    The six areas studied at the eleventh- and twelfth-grade level in the American high schools which employ the program are (1) Language A (first language); (2) Language B (second language); (3) Study of Man; (4) Experimental Science; (5) Mathematics; (6) Art, Music, Classical Language. A seventh course known as Theory of Knowledge is also included, and through it each student engages in creative, aesthetic, or social activities.

    Three of the six subjects have to be offered at the Higher Level and three at the Subsidiary Level. Courses are graded on a scale from 0 to 7. The University at Albany will consider for credit and/or placement on a course-by-course evaluation those IB subjects completed at the Higher Level in which a score from 3 (satisfactory) to 7 (excellent) is earned.

    Because of the comprehensive nature of the courses in the IB program, and since it has been the University's experience that exact course equivalents are difficult to identify, credit is generally awarded on an elective basis. Students wishing credit for more specific University courses, especially in the mathematics and science areas, are urged to take the appropriate Advanced Placement (AP) examination administered by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB).

    United States Armed Forces Institute/Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support

    The United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI), an educational division of the Department of Defense, once provided educational opportunities at various levels for personnel on active duty with all branches of the military. College-level courses culminated in USAFI Subject Standardized Tests and End-of-Course Tests.

    In 1974, in an administrative move, the Department of Defense discontinued the USAFI program and created the DANTES program, which is very similar in nature and purpose to USAFI. The guidelines used for USAFI courses are also used for the DANTES program.

    The University will award appropriate credit for Subject Standardized Tests on which a percentile score of 50 or higher was earned and for End-of-Course Tests for which a rating of S (Satisfactory) or D (with Distinction) was assigned, provided the courses are considered equivalent to courses currently acceptable for transfer to this University. Information on acceptable courses, score levels, and amounts of credit can be obtained from the Admissions Office.

    Credit for Work Done at Noncollegiate Institutions

    In 1974, the New York State Education Department (SED) began a systematic evaluation of the formal learning experiences sponsored by noncollegiate institutions; that is, organizations whose primary focus is not education. They include private industry, professional associations, labor unions, voluntary associations, and government agencies. The publication A Guide to Educational Programs in Noncollegiate Organizations describes the available courses offered by each organization and includes SED's credit recommendation.

    The University will award transfer credit for work done through noncollegiate institutions if:

    1. The course is listed in A Guide to Educational Programs in Noncollegiated Organizations
    2. The course meets all present criteria and standards for transferability, is comparable to a University at Albany offering, and is collegiate in nature

    3. The course is approved by the appropriate University academic department, school, or college

      Requests for transfer credit should be made initially to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The student making the request must provide the Admissions Office with a course syllabus, an extended course outline, and any other supplementary material on the course that might be required by the academic department, school, or college. If a course receives departmental approval, it will generally be eligible for transfer credit in the future, but will be subject to periodic review by the approving department, college, or school.

      Readmission Procedure

      A former student who wishes to be readmitted as an undergraduate should refer to the section on readmission policies and procedures under "Undergraduate Academic Regulations."

      University at Albany