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Undergraduate Bulletin 2008-2009
 
Bulletin Homepage |General Information | Undergraduate Admissions

Undergraduate Admissions

Admission to the University is based on evidence of high school graduation or the equivalent, quality of high school program, record of achievement, 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 undergraduate program.

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, 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 weekdays throughout the school year as well as many weekends when the University is in session. Please call (or e-mail) the Admissions Office to make arrangements.

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.

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 and can be received by contacting the Admissions Office.

Application forms are also available in all New York State high schools and State University of New York two- and four-year colleges. Candidates may also apply on-line at www.albany.edu/admissions/undergraduate/applying. The University at Albany’s application is a two-part process. Once a candidate submits a completed Part I, the Admissions office will send a supplemental form (Part II) to all applicants. The Part II requests subjective information and an essay that provides the admissions committee with additional information about the candidate. The Part II is optional for freshmen applicants, but required for all transfer candidates.

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 an open major (undeclared), or they can declare an intended major.

Academic Preparation and Achievement

High School Preparation: Candidates for admission to all undergraduate programs must present a minimum of 18 units from high school, acceptable to the University, in a college preparatory program. Within that background, freshman applicants are generally expected to demonstrate the following to be competitive for admission: four units of English or the equivalent; completion of the Course B curriculum in Math (for students graduating from New York State high schools) or the equivalent (for students from high schools in other states or nations); at least two units of laboratory science; three units of social science, including one of U.S. History; at least one year of foreign language; two years or more of foreign language is strongly recommended. In addition students should show electives that offer enrichment (e.g., fine or performing arts) or advanced study in a particular discipline.

Admission Decision: The decision on an application for admission will be based on a holistic review of 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.) All students graduating from high school in 2006 and thereafter are required to submit the results of a national writing component as part of their standardized 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 continue to use the highest critical reading (formerly verbal) and mathematics score from the SAT to ensure that these scores, in most cases, will benefit the applicant in the admissions process. In order to fully understand the appropriate use of the new writing component requirement in the evaluation process, the scores will not be used in the evaluation of applicants for fall 2008.
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 518-442-5435.
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.
  • Ability to Contribute to the University Community. The University at Albany believes that a student body that represents diverse geographic, cultural, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds creates an educational environment that benefits all students. Therefore, in evaluating applicants, the University may also consider non-academic characteristics including involvement in school or community; leadership potential; community service; a student’s ability to contribute to a diverse educational environment as evidenced by his/her geographic, cultural, racial/ethnic, or socioeconomic background; special talents; work experience; and information about the applicant’s ability to overcome obstacles, hardship, disabilities, etc.
  • Recommendations. One academic recommendation from a teacher or counselor is required. Additional recommendations are welcome and may assist the Admissions Office in its review of the applicant’s academic credentials. Note: A decision as to admissibility cannot be made until all required materials are submitted. It is the responsibility of the applicant to see that all required credentials are submitted on time.

Merit Awards

The University at Albany offers several merit awards based on academic achievement. To be considered for these awards, students must first apply for admission to the University. Students with the strongest academic credentials will be offered admission as Presidential Scholars or Frederick Douglass Scholars. This designation is based on the applicant’s high school performance and combined SAT or ACT score. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 518-442-5435 for further information about these or additional awards available in any given year.

Presidential Scholars

Presidential Scholars represent the top 5 percent of the entering class each year. Applicants who are first time college students and demonstrate strong academic achievement as measured by their grade point average, class rank, and standardized test scores at the secondary school level are eligible for consideration. For further information about Presidential Scholars, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 518-442-5435.

Frederick Douglass Scholars

Frederick Douglass Scholars are Presidential Scholars who demonstrate the ability to contribute to the diversity of the University at Albany as determined at the time of their application. For further information about Frederick Douglass Scholars, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 518-442-5435.

Honors College

The Honors College creates a vibrant community of scholars where students and faculty work together in a challenging environment to stimulate the highest levels of academic achievement. The Honors College curriculum combines rigorous introductory University courses with an honors experience that focuses on the major.

Freshmen and sophomores enroll in up to six introductory honors courses that have been specially designed to include a research, service learning and/or creative component that broaden a student’s understanding of the world, sharpen analytic writing and communication skills.

Upper division students work with individual department faculty to pursue the honors curriculum in the major of choice.
Honors College seniors design and complete a year-long original research or creative project that contributes new knowledge to their disciplines.

For more information on the Honors College, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 518-442-5435.

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 Educational Opportunities Program. All students must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent. Admission to the program is based on high school performance, standardized test scores, 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, 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.

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, English, social studies, 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.

Academic Preparation and Achievement: 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 for applicants to the accounting, business administration, criminal justice, and social welfare programs is a  B average or better. GPAs are computed using grades earned in all courses attempted. Applicants who lack in the high school program described in the section entitled “High School Preparation” may present an academic experience as a transfer student that is comparable in its totality, demonstrating breadth and achievement and the potential to compete successfully at the University at Albany.

Students enrolled in EOP or EOP-type programs at other colleges are encouraged to apply for transfer admission to our Educational Opportunities 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 may not be made until the previously noted items are received. If there are gaps in an applicant’s educational sequence, the applicant will be asked to provide a brief list of activities during that period.

Ability to Contribute to the University Community: The University at Albany believes that a student body that represents diverse geographic, cultural, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds creates an educational environment that benefits all students. Therefore, in evaluating applicants, the University may also consider non-academic characteristics including involvement in school or community; leadership potential; community service; a student’s ability to contribute to a diverse educational environment as evidenced by his/her geographic, cultural, racial/ethnic, or socioeconomic background; special talents; work experience; and information about the applicant’s ability to overcome obstacles, hardship, disabilities, etc.

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.

Transfer Grades: Courses are accepted for transfer credit provided that a grade of C- or higher has been achieved. a) For students who matriculated before Fall 2000, 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.
b) For students who matriculated Fall 2000 through Summer 2001, prematriculation 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. Postmatriculation credit graded D will not transfer.*c) For students who matriculate Fall 2001 and thereafter, no credit graded D from another institution will transfer.*
* Except for the University’s writing requirements, for which a grade of C or higher or S is required, transfer work graded D+, D or 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.

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 that 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) overall 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.

The prospective transfer student should examine closely those sections of this bulletin that 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, the maximum number of transfer credits from a two-year college, a four-year college, or from a combination of two-and four-year schools are 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 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.

Please note that the University offers prospective students the opportunity for joint admissions with several SUNY community colleges. Please see section on Joint Admissions.

Joint Admissions

Under the Joint Admissions Program, students are admitted to the SUNY community college and acknowledged by the University as first year matriculants, with conditional acceptance to the University after completion of their Associate’s in Arts or Associate’s in Science degree. Students are assured that if they achieve the stipulated academic proficiency and distribution requirements as detailed in the Transfer Guide of the student’s first institution, it will be possible to complete their baccalaureate degree at the University at Albany in four additional semesters (or equivalent for part-time students). Candidates selected for the program will receive a letter of acknowledgement from the Director of Admissions at the University at Albany. Students accepted through the Joint Admissions Program should work closely with a transfer counselor at their community college. The students in the Joint Admissions Program are expected to enroll at the University at Albany in the semester following completion of the associate degree. Students must confirm their intent to enroll at the University by submitting a Joint Admissions Supplemental Application and official transcript to the transfer counselor at their community college early in the semester immediately prior to transfer to the University at Albany. Students who enroll at a third institution lose their automatic transfer and must have their total academic record reviewed for transfer consideration.

Requirements for the bachelor’s degree will be those in effect at the time the student transfers to the University.

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 in virtually all instances. Occasionally, when reasons can be demonstrated as to why a second bachelor’s degree is preferred and educationally sound, individuals could be admitted as matriculated students to an undergraduate program. In these limited cases, such requests will be reviewed by the Admissions Office in accordance with regulations of the Undergraduate Policy Manual.

Students who have been approved to obtain a second bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany must be admitted as a matriculated student by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours as a matriculated student in residence at the University at Albany.

Admission as a Nonmatriculated Student

The University at Albany may enroll individuals who are not seeking admission into an undergraduate degree program as nonmatriculated. The minimum requirement for non-degree admission is a high school diploma. Visiting students from other colleges as well as high school seniors may also apply for non-degree study. All admissions falling within this category are on a term-by-term basis. Please refer to the Office of General Studies section of this Bulletin for details.

Admission of International Students

The University at Albany seeks to enroll international students with the academic and personal background to benefit from and contribute to its academic and co-curricular programs. Admission of undergraduate international students is available for all academic terms.  Applicants will be required to provide evidence of academic preparation at a level comparable to domestic applicants and proof of English language competency (for students whose native language is other than English).

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. Contact the Admissions Office to receive the special application materials required for those applying as international students.

Candidates must demonstrate successful completion of high school in the United States or the equivalent in the native country of the applicant. Academic preparation must include the equivalent of the core academic subjects described in the section entitled “High School Preparation”. SAT or ACT exams will be required of graduates of U.S. high schools.

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.

Early in the preparation for admission, a careful investigation of the financial requirements should be made with the Admissions Office. All undergraduate international applicants must provide documentation demonstrating the ability to support themselves financially. Required amounts of support will be determined by the University each year, and students must provide original financial documents from a financial institution. Satisfaction of the financial requirement will allow for an I-20 to be issued to the student.
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 who submit an official AP score report 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 Columbus Avenue, New York, New York 10023.

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

i. that are equivalent to courses currently acceptable for transfer to the University at Albany, and
ii. 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: A student seeking an exception to this policy must petition the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. 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 6600, Princeton, NJ 08541-6600.

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 4 (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.

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 Noncollegiate 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 “"Withdrawal, Reentry, Readmission."