Undergraduate Admissions

Admission to the University is based on evidence of high school graduation or the equivalent, rigor of high school course completion, record of achievement, and desirable personal characteristics without regard to age, sex, race, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or national origin. The University welcomes inquiries from qualified high school students, students interested in transferring from other colleges or universities, and adults who wish to begin or resume their undergraduate degrees.

Students who wish to obtain additional information about the University or the admission processes and policies described below should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (518) 442-5435 or ugadmissions@albany.edu.

Information sessions and campus tours are available most weekdays, as well as select Saturdays, when the University is in session. Visit our website at www.albany.edu/admissions/tour.php to view available dates and make reservations. Guests are requested to schedule visits no less than two weeks of the intended date; others will be accommodated on a space availability basis.

Interviews: Personal interviews are not required as part of the admissions process. Applicants for whom an interview may be required will be notified on an individual basis.

Application Procedure: Admission to most academic programs is granted for the fall, spring, and summer terms. Application materials are available in the late summer preceding any of these admission dates.

Application instructions are available at www.albany.edu/admissions/step.php.

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 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, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, or the School of Education’s Human Development program, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Academic Preparation and Achievement

High School Preparation: Candidates for admission to all undergraduate programs must complete a minimum of 18 units from high school, acceptable to the University, from core subject areas* in a college preparatory program. Within that background, freshman applicants are expected to minimally complete the following core subjects to be competitive for admission: four units of English or the equivalent; three units of college preparatory mathematics including elementary algebra, geometry, and Algebra II or an equivalent; two units of laboratory science; four 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. *Core subjects are defined as college preparatory English, Social Studies, the Sciences, Mathematics, and Foreign Language.

Admission Decision: Decisions on applications for admission are based on a holistic review of the following:

  • High School Record: As high school academic performance 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 submission of required health forms to Student Health Services.
  • Recommendations: One academic recommendation from a teacher or counselor is required. Additional recommendations are  welcome. It is the responsibility of the applicant to see that all required credentials are submitted by application deadlines.
  • Essay: All freshman applicants are required to submit a 250- to 650-word personal essay. Most students complete this component through either the SUNY or Common Application.
  • Ability to Contribute to the University Community: The University at Albany believes that a student body inclusive of those from 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, or disabilities.

Test Optional Policy

The State University of New York Provost has authorized the University at Albany to be test optional for students applying for first time freshman admission for the spring semester of 2021, the fall semester of 2021, and the spring semester of 2022. SUNY baccalaureate campuses will each determine their own policies and procedures concerning test optional admission, which may vary from campus to campus. Test policy for UAlbany for first time freshman applicants to the spring 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022 semesters follows:

  • Applicants will be asked on either the Common Application or the SUNY application whether they would like their applications to be evaluated without using ACT or SAT scores, or if they would like us to also consider their test scores when evaluating their applications.
  • UAlbany will proceed as students direct unless we are later advised by students otherwise up until the time we have sent an admissions decision; students cannot change their minds to request reconsideration once an admissions decision has been made.
  • If students request that we use their ACT or SAT scores when reviewing their applications, that will mean that no decision can be made until we have received ACT or SAT scores. Please note that this may delay admissions notification. 

UAlbany Admissions strongly recommends that students request that their applications be considered without test scores unless they believe the test scores are a better indication of their academic ability than their high school performance to date.

Exceptions:

Applicants to the University at Albany Guaranteed Admission to the Upstate Medical College Program at Upstate Medical University must submit ACT or SAT scores in order to be considered.

Home Schooled Applicants will be required to submit ACT or SAT scores to be considered for admission and scholarships.

Freshman Merit Scholarships

Freshman merit scholarships will be determined on a test blind basis for the spring semester of 2021, the fall semester of 2021, and the spring semester of 2022.

That means that all scholarship decisions will be determined based on students’ academic and extracurricular records alone; any ACT or SAT test scores submitted will not influence the scholarship decision.

Most merit scholarships are determined at the time of admission and students are notified in separate messages following acceptance notification.

The Honors College

The Honors College is a vibrant community of student scholars who work with professors in a challenging environment to promote the highest levels of academic achievement. Honors College students have the option of living in honors housing during their four undergraduate years, which enhances the honors community experience and provides students an environment that balances serious academic work and an expanding social life.

First-year and second-year students enroll in 18 honors credits (12 if admitted after the first semester) that represent a wide range of academic disciplines at UAlbany. All honors courses are designed to broaden a student’s understanding of the world, hone analytic assessment, and enhance writing skills.

Upper-division students work with professors to pursue the honors curriculum in their chosen major. This work culminates in the completion of an honors thesis or creative project during the students' last year, in which the developing scholars contribute new knowledge to their disciplines.

Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (518) 442-5435 or ugadmissions@albany.edu for more information about The Honors College.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

Freshman and transfer applicants judged to have high potential and motivation for college success, whose financial, cultural, and social backgrounds have limited their competitiveness for traditional admission to the University, may be admitted thorough the Educational Opportunity Program. Students must earn a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered. Admission to the program for freshmen 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 coursework in areas such as reading/writing and mathematics. Academic and personal counseling, tutoring, and financial assistance services are provided to each matriculated in EOP student. 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

Many undergraduates transfer into the University from other colleges and universities each fall and spring semester. The University welcomes applications from students completing work at both two and four-year colleges.

Academic Preparation and Achievement: To be competitive for admission students should minimally have an overall C+ (2.50) average for all college work attempted. The cumulative average necessary for admission will vary, depending on the desired major and the quantitative background of the applicant. Admission to certain programs (majors) is more competitive and is based on both a required grade point average (GPA) and the completion of certain prerequisite core courses. The required GPA for applicants to Human Development or Social Welfare is a 3.00 or better. A minimum 3.25 GPA is required for applicants to Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Digital Forensics, or Financial Market Regulation. GPAs are calculated using grades earned in all courses attempted. Applicants who lack the high school academic foundation described in the section entitled “High School Preparation” should 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 like programs at other colleges are encouraged to apply for transfer admission through our Educational Opportunity Program.

Besides an application for admission, transfer applicants must also submit official transcripts for all work attempted at any college or university since high school graduation, regardless whether they expect to receive transfer credit. Where only one transcript is offered, such a transcript should include grades for at least one academic year of full time study. Some transfers may be admitted also on the basis of one semester of college coursework, provided their high school preparation and standardized test scores meet the quantitative and qualitative requirements for freshman admission. An admissions decision cannot 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 statement of activities during that period. Proof of high school graduation through submission of a transcript or the equivalent, is required of all transfer applicants.

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, and any disabilities.

An estimate of the total number of credits accepted for transfer will be made when admission is granted. Once students submit an enrollment deposit, they are 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 a Transfer Advisement and Orientation session during which a review of the evaluation of coursework is provided.

Transfer Grades: Courses are accepted for transfer credit provided that a grade of C- or higher has been achieved. No credit graded D from another institution will be accepted in transfer.

Except for the University’s writing and critical inquiry requirement, 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 will receive no graduation credit for the course.

Transfer applicants are strongly encouraged to indicate the major they hope to pursue once admitted. Since UAlbany students must declare a major by the time they have completed 56 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. Prospective transfer students should consult the section of this bulletin entitled “Declaration of Major” for a list of those majors with specific restrictions, and then consult the departmental description of the admission requirements for that program.

Transfer students’ 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 a 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.

Prospective transfer students should examine closely those sections of this bulletin that deal with minor requirements, residence requirements, and the General Education Program. 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 April 1. Spring applicant deadline is December 1.

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 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 the Office of 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 billing, financial aid, and enrollment identification until qualified to receive the bachelor's degree or until enrolled in the 13th credit of graduate coursework. Once a student is qualified to receive the bachelor's degree or enrolls in the 13th credit of graduate coursework, the student will be considered a graduate student for tuition billing, financial aid and enrollment identification, and will be eligible for graduate assistantships, fellowships, and loans.

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 the fall and spring academic terms. Applicants are 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 process as early as possible so that all necessary arrangements can be completed before the term begins. Contact the Office of International Admissions and Recruitment 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 country where the student received their secondary education. 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, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).

Early when preparing for admission, applicants should carefully review the required financial requirements to be issued an international visa. All undergraduate international applicants must provide documentation demonstrating their ability to fully 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. Satisfactorily demonstrating financial requirements 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 early admission require the following:

Each applicant will be required to present a minimum of 18 units of college preparatory high school coursework in the five core subject areas, including mathematics (three units) laboratory science (two units), English (three units), social studies (three units), and foreign language study (minimally one unit; two units are recommended.). 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.

Applicants must have achieved noteworthy academic performance, 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. Applicants lacking 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.

An applicant’s high school guidance counselor must provide recommendations that support an applicant’s request for early admission and must certify the school’s willingness to grant high school diploma upon successful completion of the freshman year. Courses needed to fulfill high school graduation requirements must be so designated by that counselor, and the student must agree to pursue that specific coursework during the intended freshman year at UAlbany.

Early Admission applicants are strongly encouraged to come to campus for an interview with a member of the admissions staff.

Required Health Forms

After acceptance and prior to enrollment, each candidate must file complete and satisfactory required health forms with Student Health Services.

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 an 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 Office of Undergraduate Admissions or by contacting the Program Director, College-Level Examination Program, Box 6600, Princeton, NJ 08541-6600.

The International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program 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.

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 Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. 

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 Undergraduate 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at www.albany.edu/undergraduateeducation.