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Graduate Bulletin
Graduate Bulletin Homepage |Admission and Graduate Policies | General Admissions Requirements

General Admissions Requirements

Each prospective graduate student must submit a formal application for admission and receive a formal letter of admission before registering for any courses.

Graduate students are expected to hold a bachelor's degree from a college or university of recognized standing. Their preparation must be appropriate to the program they wish to pursue and their academic record should generally be a B or better in course work that the department considers preparatory for graduate study. Meeting this requirement does not ensure that an applicant will be admitted.

The University desires diversity of student backgrounds and points of view. To that end, admissions committees also consider an applicant's accomplishments and personal qualities that are brought to their attention by the applicant or by his or her references. A careful evaluation of accomplishments and promise is at the heart of the process.

Students who wish to enter doctoral or certificate programs in specific fields or master's programs, or who wish to engage in a limited amount of study not directed toward a degree (nondegree study) apply directly to the Office of Graduate Studies (UAB-121).

Students from other countries who wish to enter a program or course in any school or college within the University apply through the Office of Graduate Studies (UAB-121).

Students who hold or who have qualified for a master's degree at the University and who wish to continue in or to re-enter graduate study must reapply.

Programs and Courses

Information concerning specific programs of study may be found by referring to the sections in this bulletin headed: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, College of Computing and Information, School of Criminal Justice, School of Education, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, School of Public Health, School of Social Welfare, and International Programs.

Application Procedures

All prospective graduate students must apply in a timely manner to either (1) a program leading to a degree or (2) to nondegree (in-service training, professional improvement, scholarly development) study. With few exceptions, students applying for full-time study in regular sessions or for extended study in other sessions are expected to apply for admission in a program leading to a degree. Nondegree study is limited to a total of 12 credits applicable to a degree program.

The applicant must submit an application requesting a specific field of study along with the appropriate supporting credentials:

  1. Official transcripts of all previous college work (This is all that is required for nondegree candidates.)
  2. Three letters of reference from persons who can speak to the applicant's academic potential and ability.
  3. Standardized Test Scores - GREs, GMATs or NTEs may be required. Check the graduate application for a list of requirements by program.
  4. Portfolio - Some departments require a portfolio of your work. Check the graduate application.
  5. Statement of applicant's objectives of intended graduate study.
  6. Application fee.

The application and all credentials received in support of an application become the property of the University and can not be returned.

Once the completed application and all supporting credentials have been received by the appropriate graduate admissions office, they are reviewed by the admissions committee within that academic unit. On recommendation of the committee and approval of the Vice President of Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Admissions Office will offer admission. For requirements for admission to doctoral candidacy see the section on "Admission to Candidacy." Students admitted to graduate study in a specific degree program are assigned a faculty advisor by the chair of the major department.

Application forms for doctoral programs, certificate programs, master's programs, or nondegree graduate study may be obtained from one of the two graduate admissions offices (see above). They should be returned to the appropriate office, as should all supporting official academic credentials, test scores, and references.

Students may be considered for only one graduate program (or for nondegree status) at one time. Applications of students who have applied simultaneously to more than one graduate program will be halted in processing until the applicants indicate a single program which they prefer. If a negative admission decision is made concerning a student's graduate program choice, the student may then apply for admission to another graduate program at this University or for nondegree study.

Applicants for Nondegree Study

Applicants for admission to a limited amount of graduate study not leading to a degree (except applicants from other countries) apply directly to the appropriate graduate admissions office (see above). Nondegree applications are welcomed for any period up to 10 days prior to the desired session of enrollment. Applicants from other countries apply to the Office of Graduate Studies in UAB 121.

Applicants for Study Leading to a Master's Degree

Applicants for admission to graduate study leading to a master's degree apply directly to the appropriate graduate admissions office (see above). Applicants from other countries apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions in Studies in UAB 121.

Applicants for Study Leading to a Certificate of Advanced Study or to a Doctoral Degree

Applicants for admission to doctoral study and certificate programs apply directly to the appropriate graduate admissions office (see above). Students from other countries applying for admission to graduate study in any of the fields previously mentioned apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions in Studies in UAB 121.

Because of the time involved in obtaining all credentials required in support of a doctoral or a certificate application, and since the required Graduate Record Examinations are given only at stated intervals during the year, applicants in these programs must submit their applications and arrange to take the necessary tests well in advance of the date they desire to enroll. Ordinarily the entire procedure involves at least three months.

International Students

The University welcomes students from other countries to engage in graduate study leading to master's and doctoral degrees. This school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

All inquiries for graduate admission should be made through the Office of Graduate Admissions, Studies in UAB 121, State University of New York at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12222.

In addition to any application form required by sponsoring agencies, ALL international student applicants must complete and submit an official International Student Application. Each application must be supported by the submission of official college/university transcripts of all previous marks or grades, an International Student Financial Affidavit, and required standard test scores, as determined by the University.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by the Educational Testing Service.  A minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the written exam (or its equivalent) is required of all international applicants with the exception of those who have completed two full-time semesters of study at a college or university whose primary medium of instruction is English.  An exception to this requirement may be granted in the event a department, through its chairperson, wishes to certify competence and attest to a student's English proficiency.  In that event, the department should bear the burden of any necessary English language remediation and, in particular, that such a burden should not fall on other academic and/or support units.

Admitted international graduate students who are offered University funding associated with their assignment to instruction support (teaching assistants, etc.) must have a TOEFL score of 600 or above and also be certified by the chair of their department to be competent to conduct classroom discussion before they can be authorized to teach classes or laboratories where the language of instruction is English. If their TOEFL score is less than 600 (less than 90 on the American Language Institute of Georgetown University exam or the Michigan Test of English language proficiency), they must pass the Test of Spoken English with a score of 50 and also be certified by their department chair to be competent to conduct classroom or laboratory discussion.

The University operates an International Student Office which provides all newly admitted students pre-arrival information, an orientation program upon their arrival, and continuing counsel on personal matters and University procedures.

The University offers no general scholarship program for the support of international graduate students. Applicants may wish to investigate the availability of financial assistance from various organizations such as the Institute of International Education, the Asian Foundation, the African Graduate Fellowship Program, or the Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities. They may wish to inquire into the prospects of such awards with the Educational Attache of the U.S. Consulate, with the Education Office of their government, or through literature available at the Office of the U.S. Information Service.

Intensive English Language Program

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) is designed for students who wish to improve their English in order to gain admission to an American college or university, and also for those who need to use fluent English in their professional lives. There are 23 class hours per week. Classes are communicative, integrating all language skills, and are taught at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Elective classes are offered one day per week and include TOEFL preparation, accent reduction, computer instruction, and idiomatic English, amongst others. Cultural activities expand each student's ability to use English in a variety of situations.

In addition to the full-time intensive program, IELP also offers ESL 001 - Oral Communication for International Students. This class is intended for matriculated undergraduate and graduate international students. Off-campus students may also participate if their spoken English is at least an intermediate level.

The IELP runs year round (concurrent with the University at Albany's fall and spring semesters) and there is an 8-week summer session. For further information, contact the IELP at: Telephone (518) 442-3870, Fax (518) 442-3871, E-Mail, Web

Formal Admission

Prospective graduate students, including students entitled to a waiver of tuition, must submit a formal application for admission to the appropriate Graduate Admissions Office of the University and receive a letter formally admitting them to graduate study before registering for any courses in any session and for either full- or part-time study.

Admission to graduate study does not necessarily imply admission to candidacy for a degree. Students admitted in a program leading to a degree are considered later for admission to degree candidacy. Students admitted to nondegree study are limited to a maximum of 12 credits of study in this category unless an extension is granted.

Graduate students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program are not authorized to enroll through the Office of General Studies for undergraduate courses unless they receive prior approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Last updated on 11/5/2008