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, 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 visit our website at www.albany.edu/admissions/tour.php or call 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.

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 online at www.albany.edu/admissions/step.php. The Supplemental (Part II) is optional for freshman applicants, but required for all transfer candidates. The Part II requests subjective information that provides the admissions committee with additional information about the candidate.

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. Most accepted students are admitted to the University and are enrolled in an open major (undeclared), or they can declare an intended major. For information concerning direct admission as a freshman to the School of Business or College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

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; three units of Math including elementary algebra, geometry, and at least one additional academic unit of mathematics or the equivalent; 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 University Health Center.
  • 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 2012.

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 electronically 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. It is the responsibility of the applicant to see that all required credentials are submitted on time.
  • Essay All freshman applicants are required to submit a 250- to 500-word personal essay.

Merit Awards

Scholarships based on merit are awarded to the top 10 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. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 518-442-5435 for further information about merit awards available in any given year.

The Honors College

The Honors College is a vibrant community of developing scholars where students and professors work together in a challenging environment to stimulate the highest levels of academic achievement. Honors students have the option of living in honors housing, which enhances the honors community experience and provides students with an environment that balances serious academic work and an expanding social life.

First-year and second-year students enroll in six honors courses that represent the wide range of academic disciplines at UAlbany and are taught by some of the best teaching professors at the University. All honors courses are designed to broaden a student’s understanding of the world, sharpen analytic thinking, and strengthen writing skills.

Upper division students work with professors in their major to pursue the honors curriculum in that major. This leads to the design and completion of a honors thesis or creative project during the students’ last year, in which the developing scholars contribute 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/writing and mathematics. Academic, personal counseling; tutoring; and financial assistance are services that are provided to each student matriculated in EOP during their undergraduate tenure. 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.

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+ (2.50) 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 Public Health and Social Welfare program is a B average or better. A minimum 3.25 GPA is required for applicants to the Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Financial Market Regulation programs. The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering requires a minimum 3.50 overall GPA with 24 credits of qualified science and engineering coursework. 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 supplemental 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 coursework, 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 coursework is offered.

Transfer Grades: Courses are accepted for transfer credit provided that a grade of C- or higher has been achieved. Effective 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 advisors 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.

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 Undergraduate Admissions Office in accordance with regulations of the Undergraduate Policy Manual, as outlined below. Fall applicant deadline is May 1st. Spring applicant deadline is December 1st.

Admission: Only students who possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education may apply for a second Bachelor’s degree. Applicants for a second Bachelor’s degree must specify the major they wish to complete. Undergraduate Admissions will process the applications and forward them to a designated individual in the department for review when complete. Students who are not admitted to the major for which they have applied will not be admitted to the University. Appeals will be processed by the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing of the Undergraduate Academic Council.

Degree Requirements: Students must complete all requirements for the major to be awarded a second Bachelor’s degree. It is expected that the majority of a student’s coursework in any given semester will be consistent with requirements in that major. Registration for subsequent semesters will not be allowed if progress in meeting degree requirements cannot be demonstrated. The option of a double major is not available. Students are not required to and may not elect to complete a minor as part of the program for their second Bachelor’s degree unless a requirement of the major. Students are not required to complete the general education requirements, other than the upper-level writing course, in order to be awarded a second Bachelor’s degree. Students must satisfy both the University residency requirements and the major residency requirements while in matriculated status. Students earning a second Bachelor's degree are not eligible for "Latin" honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude). Requests to change majors must be processed through Undergraduate Admissions. Students who have already been admitted for a second Bachelor’s degree will be subject to the rules in place at the time of their admission.

Admission to a combined Second Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree: A student who enters a second bachelor’s program and then subsequently applies and gains admission to a combined second bachelor’s/master’s program will be considered as an undergraduate student for the purposes of tuition, financial aid, and headcount identification until completion of 12 credits of graduate course work or until qualified to receive the second bachelor’s degree. In the semester in which a student enrolls in the 13th credit of graduate coursework, he or she will be considered a graduate student for purposes of tuition, headcount identification, and eligibility for graduate assistantships, fellowships, and loans whether or not the student has completed the bachelor’s degree.

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 or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

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.

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.

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 coursework 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. 

Medical Record

After acceptance and prior to registration, each candidate will be required to file with the University Health Center 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.

College-Level Examination Program: The College 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: that are equivalent to courses currently acceptable for transfer to the University at Albany; and 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; and 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.

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 (IB) 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.

To complete the IB Diploma, three of the six subjects have to be offered at the Higher Level and three at the Standard Level. 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) Individuals and Societies;
(4) Experimental Science;
(5) Mathematics and Computer Science;
(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. The Extended Essay is completed during the final year of the program and is a 4,000 word comprehensive research paper on a topic approved by the high school IB coordinator. Students must also participate in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) requiring 150 hours over the course of the two year program.

The University at Albany will award 30 credits to students completing the requirements for the IB Diploma with a cumulative score of at least 30 (including both Standard Level and Higher Level exams) and no score lower than a 4 (satisfactory). The credits will be awarded as follows:

  • 12-24 credits assigned course credit equivalents on a course-by-course basis for Higher Level courses completed with a score from 4 (satisfactory) to 7 (excellent).
  • 6-18 credits assigned as A CAS 010 (College of Arts and Sciences general elective credit) for the completion of the balance of the Standard Level courses and the Extended Essay requirement.

In addition, 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 without completion of the IB Diploma if a score from 4 (satisfactory) to 7 (excellent) is earned.

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 Bulletin section on readmission policies and procedures under "Withdrawal and Readmission" or visit the website for the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, www.albany.edu/undergraduateeducation/.