Registration Policies

Detailed registration policies and other academic regulations are provided in the Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin.  

General Information:


1)  ATTENDANCE

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Class attendance is a matter between the instructor and the student. Students are expected to attend all classes and all examinations and to complete all course requirements on time. Faculty have the prerogative of developing an attendance policy whereby attendance and/or participation is part of the grade. Instructors are obliged to announce and interpret all course requirements, including specific attendance policies, to their classes at the beginning of the term and may choose to enforce the attendance & absence policy stated in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

GRADUATE STUDENTS
Attendance by all graduate students must be regular.  Regulations concerning attendance in a particular course are at the discretion of the instructor and are announced in the opening class session.  Responsibility for class attendance rests with the student.  In all cases, the work missed through absence must be made up.  However, permission to make up such work is not automatic and is given at the discretion of the instructor.  The University reserves the right to exclude from a graduate program, course, or final examination a student whose attendance in classes is unsatisfactory to the instructor or to the Dean of Graduate Education.

2)  COURSE ENROLLMENT - UNDERGRADUATE

Undergraduate students ordinarily enroll in courses at the level appropriate to their class.  Individual departments have the authority to require a C or S grade in courses that are prerequisites for advanced courses in that area.

Senior Enrollment in 100-Level Courses: Students with senior status (credits completed plus credits in progress equal to or exceeding 88) shall be allowed into courses at the 100 level only during the Program Adjustment (Drop/Add) period as defined by the Academic Calendar. This restriction does not apply to Music Performance courses and any summer or winter session courses. Other exceptions may be granted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (Lecture Center 30). Seniors who need a 100-level course to complete degree requirements should obtain the recommendation of their academic advisor and submit the request to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education during Advance Registration.

Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit: A senior with a superior academic record may register for a 500-level course for undergraduate credit with the approval of the major department chair and the course instructor.  A Permission Number is required to enroll in a 500-level course.  In exceptional circumstances, seniors may be authorized to register for 600-level graduate courses provided they have completed most of the upper-division undergraduate and other courses essential to their major and require a graduate course to strengthen it.  To qualify for such enrollment, the senior must have a superior record, particularly in his or her major field.  To register for a 600-level course, students must have the approval of their advisor and obtain the written consent of their department chair and the instructor offering the course.  The department chair should arrange for copies of these consents to be distributed to the persons involved and to be filed in the student's official folder.  The student who has obtained permission should register, in person, at the Registrar's Office, Campus Center B52.  In all cases, undergraduate students enrolled in graduate courses are subject to graduate grading policies (see Grading Policies below).

Graduate Courses for Graduate Credit:  Seniors of high academic standing in the University may receive graduate credit for graduate courses taken in excess of undergraduate requirements in the last semester of their senior year provided not more than 6 credits are needed to complete the student's undergraduate program. Consent of the Dean of Graduate Education is required and must be obtained in advance of registration to receive such credit. Seniors who are permitted to take courses for graduate credit in their last semester also must make formal application for admission to a graduate program and be accepted as a graduate student before registering for study in the final semester.

3)  COURSE LOAD

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
A normal semester load is 15 credits. Registration for at least 12 credits is required for a student to be considered full-time. For loads of no more than 19 credits, the number of credits for which a student registers in a semester is an individual matter, determined by the student with the advice of that student's academic advisor. No undergraduate may register for more than 19 credits without prior permission obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Students must present compelling academic justification and have the approval of their academic advisor or major department for a request to exceed 19 credits to be considered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

GRADUATE STUDENTS
Beginning in Fall 2017, graduate students in full-time study shall register for 9 or more credits each semester. Prior to Fall 2017, graduate students in full-time study registered for 12 or more credits each semester. Individuals who are employed or engaged in other significant activities are encouraged to adjust their study loads accordingly. Actual course load should be determined in consultation with one's academic advisor. The registration system will allow for a maximum registration of 19 credits per term.

Please note that full-time cohort programs may require registration beyond 9 credits for each semester.

As of Fall 2017, to be certified as in full-time study, graduate students must:

•be registered for 9 credits, or
•be registered for one dissertation load credit (courses numbered 899 only).

Graduate students enrolled for less than 9 credits per semester who are participating in program required full-time field work may also be certifiable as in full-time status, subject to the approval of the Dean of Graduate Education or the Graduate Academic Council, based upon the recommendation of the program faculty.

4)  COURSES - Days/Times/Room Arranged

Students enrolling in course sections with days/times/room listed as arranged (ARR) should contact the instructor or department offering the course prior to registering in order to formalize arrangements regarding the meeting days, times, and room.

5)  FINAL EXAMINATION POLICY

In many courses, final examinations are an integral part of the learning and evaluative process.  Some courses, by virtue of the structure, material, or style of presentation, do not require a final examination.  The following policy in no way requires an instructor to administer a final examination.

  1. Final examinations in semester-long courses in the university are to be given only during the scheduled final examination period in accordance with the official schedule of examinations as published by the Registrar's Office.
  2. The term "final examination" as used above shall be defined as any examination of more than one-half hour's duration that is given in the terminal phase of a course.  As defined, "final examinations" may be either comprehensive, covering the majority of the content of a course OR limited to only a portion of the content of a course.
  3. No examinations of more than one-half hour's duration are to be given during the last five regularly scheduled class days of a semester.
  4. Instructors seeking any exceptions to the above policy must submit a written request through their respective department chair to their college or school dean, or directly to their dean in those schools with no departmental structure.  If the dean approves the exception, the instructor must notify the class of the new scheduled final examination date at least three weeks before the last regularly scheduled class day of the semester.  At the end of each semester, each college and school dean must submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a summary of all exceptions granted to the final examination policy.
  5. The above regulations notwithstanding, the instructor in any course should always retain the freedom to reschedule a final examination for an individual student should such a student present a case of unquestionable hardship in his or her scheduled examinations.  Such rescheduling should, however, be done in the final examination period if at all possible.
  6. Three Finals in One Day: If a student has three examinations in one day as a result of a departmental exam or of the official rescheduling of an examination after the initial final examination schedule has been published, then that student has the right to be given a makeup exam for the departmental or rescheduled exam.  The request for such an exam must be made to the instructor in the appropriate course no later than two weeks before the last day of classes of the given semester.  If possible, the makeup exam should be given within the final examination period.
  7. Retention of Exams: Each instructor shall retain the final examination papers in his/her courses for one semester so those students wishing to see their papers may do so. This regulation does not apply in those instances in which the instructor chooses to return the papers to the students at the end of the course.

6)  GRADING POLICIES

UNDERGRADUATE (including General Studies and other non-degree students below the graduate level)
The grading policy (undergraduate or graduate) to be used by the instructor when calculating a student's course grade is determined by the level of the course, i.e., the graduate grading policy applies to an undergraduate student registered in a graduate course; the undergraduate grading policy applies to a graduate student registered in an undergraduate course.

The purpose of grading is to communicate the instructor’s evaluation of student performance in terms of student learning outcomes and standards of achievement. The assignment of grades based on the evaluation of student work is at the heart of the University’s academic integrity. Authority and responsibility for assigning and changing grades, within the period of time designated by the Registrar’s Office, rests with the instructor of record.

The undergraduate grading system for the University will include the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, E. Grades reflect the level of student achievement on student learning outcomes and standards presented to students at the beginning of a course in a syllabus. Students are encouraged to seek timely, formative, feedback during a course so they can gauge their progress and have an opportunity to improve their performance before receiving a final, summative grade. Once final grades are submitted they will not be removed from the student’s permanent academic record and will only be amended according to grade change and appeals processes/timelines. For this reason, students should check their grades via MyUAlbany as soon as they are posted to determine if there are any discrepancies.

The normative grading pattern is A–E. However, students may receive S/U grades in two circumstances:

•In sections and/or courses that have been designated by departments or schools as S/U graded
•In courses normally graded A–E in which the student selects S/U grading

Students are limited to receiving S/U opted grades only twice in their undergraduate academic career. Only courses below the 300 level may be S/U opted. These two courses of S/U may be in addition to all S/U grades received in department or school-designated S/U graded sections of courses.

A–E grades are defined as follows: A–Excellent, B–Good, C–Fair, D–Poor, and E–Failure. The grade of E is a failing grade and cannot be used to fulfill graduation requirements. The grade of S is defined as equivalent to the grade of C or higher and is acceptable to fulfill graduation requirements. The grade of U (C- or lower) is unsatisfactory and is not acceptable to fulfill graduation requirements.

Transfer D Grades
Students cannot transfer in any grades of D. However, except for the University’s writing requirements, for which a grade of C or higher or S is required, transfer work graded 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.

Other Grades and Indicators
Additionally, the following grades and indicators may be assigned:

I: Incomplete. No graduation credit. A temporary grade requested by the student and assigned by the instructor ONLY when the student has nearly completed the course requirements but because of circumstances beyond the student’s control the work is not completed. The incomplete should only be assigned on the basis of an agreement between the instructor and the student specifying the work to be completed and establishing a general timeline in which the work will be completed. Incompletes may NOT be resolved by auditing or registering again for a subsequent offering of the course. The date for the completion of the work may not be longer than one month before the end of the semester following that in which the incomplete is received. Once the work is completed, the instructor assigns the appropriate academic grade.

The instructor may extend an incomplete for a maximum of one semester beyond the original deadline providing that the student has made contact with the instructor to request the extension. Additional extensions are NOT permitted.

Any grade of I existing after the stated deadline shall be automatically changed to E or U according to whether or not the student is enrolled for A–E or S/U grading. Except for extenuating circumstances approved by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, these converted grades may not be later changed.

N: Noncredit. No graduation credit. An indicator assigned when a student formally audits a course.

NR: Indicates no grade reported by the instructor for a previous term or courses in progress.

W
: An indicator assigned when a student withdraws from the University, or drops a course after the last day to add. For information and completeness, the W is placed on the permanent academic record. The W is non-punitive and is not used in any computation of quality point or cumulative average totals. The W affords a student the opportunity to leave a class, without a grade (whether passing or failing). The W will not be removed from a student’s academic record.

Z: An indicator assigned by the appropriate administrative officer indicating a student enrolled in a course, never attended or failed to attend after the last day to add, and took no official action to drop the course. For information and completeness, the Z is placed on the permanent academic record. The Z is not used in any computation of quality point or cumulative average totals. The Z will not be removed from a student’s academic record.

Grades are available to students via MyUAlbany. Students should review their grades in a timely manner and contact their instructors regarding any perceived discrepancies.

ACADEMIC AVERAGE

The grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and E shall be the only grades used to determine an average. Grades shall be weighted as follows: A = 4.00, A- = 3.70, B+ = 3.30, B = 3.00 B- = 2.70, C+ = 2.30, C = 2.00, C- = 1.70, D+ = 1.30, D = 1.00, D- = 0.70, and E = 0.00. The student’s academic average is the result of the following calculation:

1. The number of credits for courses receiving A–E grades is totaled
2. Each grade’s weight is multiplied by the number of credits for the course receiving that grade
3. The results of these multiplications are totaled to yield a weighted total
4. The weighted total is divided by the total number of credits receiving A–E grades to yield an academic   average.

GRADUATE (students admitted to degree or non-degree study through the appropriate graduate admission office)

The grading policy (undergraduate or graduate) to be used by the instructor when calculating a student's course grade is determined by the level of the course, i.e., the graduate grading policy applies to an undergraduate student registered in a graduate course; the undergraduate grading policy applies to a graduate student registered in an undergraduate course.

Grade Definitions

4.0
A- 3.7
B+  3.3
3.0
B-  2.7
C+  2.3
2.0
1.0 (not applicable to a graduate degree)
Failure (academic)
Audit only - noncredit
NR  No grade reported - study in progress
Incomplete.  A tentative grade given only when the student has nearly completed the course but due to circumstances beyond the student's control the work is not completed on schedule.  The date for the completion of the work is specified by the instructor.  The date stipulated will not be later than one month before the end of the session following that in which the incomplete is received.  The grade I is automatically changed to E or U unless work is completed as agreed between the student and the instructor.
Load only.  Used to indicate that a student is engaged in a specified scholarly activity in a particular session.  Registration credit only that does not result in earned credit applicable to any program.
Research credit. Assigned for satisfactory progress in thesis and dissertation research courses.  Credits apply to the appropriate degree when the research project is satisfactorily completed and the thesis or dissertation is accepted by the faculty and Office of Graduate Studies.
Satisfactory.  Awarded in graduate seminars, student teaching, and special courses.
Unsatisfactory.  Awarded in graduate seminars, student teaching, and special courses.
Withdrawn.  Assigned by the appropriate administrative officer for withdrawal from a course or from the University (without penalty).
Failing (penalty grade).  Assigned by the appropriate administrative officer for excessive absence, unofficial withdrawal, and like situations.


7)  WITHDRAWAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Undergraduate Students Withdrawal Policies and Procedures:

Matriculated students may voluntarily depart from the University up to and including the last day of classes in a semester as indicated by the academic calendar. 

Click here for the complete policy.

Questions regarding financial obligations or refunds as a result of leaving the University should be directed to the Office of Student Accounts in CC 26 or by calling (518-442-3202). Students living in residence halls who find it necessary to leave the University must contact the Office of Residential Life in State Quad, or call (518-442-5875).

General Studies and Visiting Students (Undergraduate Non-Degree) Withdrawal Policies and Procedures

These policies and procedures are for students who are dropping their entire course load and pertain only to grading policies (not tuition adjustments/refunds).

  1. A student dropping an entire courseload for a term can do so via MyUAlbany prior to the last day to drop.   General Studies students cannot drop their entire semester's courseload via MyUAlbany after the last day to  drop undergraduate classes for the term.  The General Studies Office must process withdrawals.
  2. A student who withdraws prior to the beginning of classes without having attended any course meetings for that session has the courses for that session deleted from his/her academic record.
  3. A student who has attended classes and withdraws from the University on or before the last day to voluntarily withdraw from classes shall have "W's" assigned for each registered course.

Undergraduate Cross-Registered Students

  1. Visiting and cross-registered students who must discontinue their attendance within a term withdraw under the same policies and procedures as Undergraduate Degree-seeking Students (see above).
  2. Since admission is by term only, visiting and cross-registered students do not need to file an end-of-semester withdrawal form.

Graduate Students Withdrawal Policies and Procedures:

  1. A graduate student who withdraws officially from semester coursework before or during the Program Adjustment Period will have the coursework deleted from his/her transcript.
  2. A graduate student who withdraws from coursework, after the Program Adjustment Period, but before the last day to drop will receive grades of W (Withdrawn without academic penalty).
  3. A graduate student may not withdraw from coursework after the last day to drop.  A graduate student who withdraws from the University at the end of a session should notify his/her department chair and drop all courses for which they have pre-registered.