Office of General Studies
- Nondegree Status
- Admission Information
- General Studies Students
- Visiting Students
- High School Students
- Registration Information
The Office of General Studies offers extraordinary educational value by allowing admission into almost all undergraduate courses offered at the University for academic credit. General Studies applicants must be high school graduates or hold a high school equivalency diploma and must be in good academic standing for any college work done during the 12 months prior to registration. General Studies applicants can also be degree-seeking students from a college or university other than Albany and must be in good academic standing within that home institution. Finally, General Studies applicants may be high school seniors who excel in their high school coursework.
Any student who was formerly matriculated at the University at Albany who has not received a baccalaureate degree is not permitted to register through General Studies and should refer to the section in this bulletin on Readmission Procedures.
Individuals who already have a baccalaureate or higher degree may also register in undergraduate credit courses as a non-degree student through the Office of General Studies. However, those wishing to obtain a second bachelor's degree must be admitted as a matriculated student by Undergraduate Admissions in order to comply with the 30 credit hour in-residence policy. Credit hours earned in General Studies may not apply towards this requirement.
The Office of General Studies normally requires a campus visit to complete a simple application and registration process each term. Since non-degree applicants may be American citizens, permanent residents or nonresident aliens, this office requires that nonresident aliens visit the Office of International Education to obtain written authorization to be admitted and registered prior to visiting our office.
General Studies Students:
Those wishing to register for undergraduate courses but who are not currently attending school (high school or college) may apply for admission through the Office of General Studies. The applicant must possess at least a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to be admitted.
College students wishing to register for undergraduate coursework and that are from an institution other than the University at Albany may apply for admission through the Office of General Studies as a visiting student. Visiting students are expected to be in good standing at their home school and are expected to return to their home college or university to complete their degree program. It is the visiting students' responsibility to ensure that the coursework taken at Albany will transfer back to their home institution and be credited to their degree program at their home school. The Registrar's Office will provide verification of visitor status to officials at the students' home institution in order to assist them in the credit approval and/or financial aid certification.
High School Students:
Students who attend school in the Albany area and who are in good standing can undertake University course work on a part-time, nonmatriculated basis concurrent with their grade 12 secondary school program. Summer coursework between grades 11 and 12 is also allowable. High school students should apply for non-degree study through the Office of General Studies.
To apply, the visiting high school student must:
- obtain a Visiting High School Student Application from the Office of General Studies.
- attach to the application a current high school transcript.
- attach written support from the guidance counselor, who will be expect to:
- attest to the student's emotional and intellectual readiness for college coursework
- state rank within the student's class
- report standardized test results (preferably PSAT or SAT scores, but Regents grades and other testing results will suffice) which indicate that the student can reasonably be expected to compete academically with university students.
- Meet any and all stated prerequisites for the course(s) in question.
Upon admission, non-degree students can review course selections with an academic adviser who is available in the Office of General Studies. The non-degree adviser may guide students through general inquiries. However, program specific questions or those regarding possible matriculation criteria should be directed to the appropriate offices.
All course prerequisites and any other special criteria or restrictions for course registration apply to General Studies students. Evidence of previous college coursework may be required for registration.
Upon completion of initial admission and registration, the telephone registration system will become available for use for all non-degree students. This system will enable the student to perform any schedule adjustments they may require. Telephone registration may be available to continuing students and to students who already hold a bachelor's or higher degree and who seek to enroll in undergraduate coursework on a casual basis.
There are two academic semesters (fall and spring) each year, and a summer session. Students are encouraged to early register for the coming term, which can occur as early as March for the summer and fall terms and October for the spring semester. Admission and registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis and enrollment is limited.
A General Studies student who fails to complete the courses in which he/she is enrolled and to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average each semester may be subject to dismissal. After a student has accrued or attempted nine or more credits as a General Studies student, the University reserves the right to rescind continued enrollment privileges for failure to maintain sufficient academic progress which shall be defined as falling below a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or not completing coursework enrolled for. Continued enrollment may be considered on the basis of submission of an academic plan provided by the student and approved by either the Director of General Studies or the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Matriculation to Degree Status
Each year, many General Studies students apply for admission to degree programs and are accepted by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Credits earned as a nonmatriculated student may be applied toward graduation requirements for specific majors. Requirements for admission to specific majors vary from department to department (see appropriate academic department listings in this bulletin).
Applicants must apply to the University formally through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in accordance with procedures outlined in the Admissions section of this bulletin. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all other colleges previously attended. Standardized admission test scores are not required. Minimum requirements for admission include a high school or equivalency diploma and at least two units of academic mathematics (see Transfer Admissions section in this bulletin).
The Office of General Studies staff admits and registers students falling in the non-degree status, offers basic advisement information, assists students with withdrawals, conveys and interprets University policies, regulations and procedures, encourages and works with nonmatriculated students in applying for degree status and refers students to other University offices and services. The General Studies staff is strongly committed to the needs and concerns of traditional as well as nontraditional students and are available for phone and in-person consultation at convenient times throughout the year. Hours and services are announced in the General Studies newsletters and publications as well as on the University website.
All General Studies students may obtain a University identification card and are entitled to many of the same privileges as other University students, including use of the libraries, athletic facilities and campus services.
The Office of General Studies is joined with Summer Sessions and is called the Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions. This office is located on the University's main campus in LI 85. The office can be accessed via the stairway between the Library and the Business Administration Building or the stairway in front of the Library's main entrance.
For more information on non-degree study, visit, write or call:
Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
phone: (518) 442-5140
fax: (518) 442-5149