Undergraduate Bulletin, 2001-2002

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate study is offered through the faculties of each of the separate schools and colleges comprising the University.

The College of Arts and Sciences: provides all undergraduates with study in most of the disciplines within the liberal arts and sciences. Those students wishing to explore any of these areas in depth may become majors within the college. The college cooperates with the School of Education in offering a program that prepares students for certification as teachers of academic subjects in the secondary schools. Programs in the colleges lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy includes the Schools of Criminal Justice, Information Science and Policy, Public Affairs, and Social Welfare offer undergraduate major programs in criminal justice, information science, political science, public affairs, and social welfare. Course work emphasizes the application of social theory to problems in the public realm.

The School of Business offers programs in accounting and business administration. Admission to these programs is competitive, open only to the best-qualified students who have completed 56 or more credits, including specific courses outlined in the School of Business section of this bulletin.

The School of Education provides the professional education for students in the College Arts and Science who plan to enter the field of teaching in secondary schools. In addition, the school offers courses of general interest appropriate for undergraduates who may not be preparing for teaching careers.

The Interdisciplinary Studies Committee of the Undergraduate Academic Council works with the academic colleges and schools to develop and approve Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors. The approval of student-initiated majors and minors is also under the jurisdiction of this committee. In addition, the committee recommends and monitors University-wide independent study, internships, special projects, and interdisciplinary topics courses.

Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies

The Dean of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for the coordination of the academic experience of undergraduate students at this University. The dean works closely with the deans and faculty of the individual schools and colleges and with the Undergraduate Academic Council in developing, coordinating, and implementing undergraduate academic policy and curricula. The dean also supervises the Advisement Services Center /Undergraduate Studies. Project Renaissance, The General Education Honors Program, Faculty Mentor Program, and Tutoring Program are some of the many programs that the dean oversees.

The Office of Undergraduate Studies also provides coordination of and advisement for independent study, student-initiated interdisciplinary majors and minors, and interdisciplinary courses including Washington, NYS Senate and Assembly and other University-wide internships; implements undergraduate academic policies; and edits and publishes the Undergraduate Bulletin.

This office also provides assistance and counseling to undergraduate students who are contemplating leaving the University, who seek to take a Leave for Approved Study at another college or university, or who wish to re-enter the University after having been away from the University for a semester or more. It also coordinates the degree in absentia process.

We are eager to help all students who wish to explore academic issues and concerns. Students may contact the dean in LC 30 (518-442-3950 or 1-800-292-DEAN).

Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies (ASC/US)

The Advisement Services Center/ Undergraduate Studies (ASC/US) serves undergraduate students at the University through direct advisement services and by assisting faculty who work with students in an advising relationship. The primary responsibility of ASC/US is to provide for the academic advisement of freshmen, all students who have not yet declared a major, and those undergraduates not yet accepted into restricted majors.

In addition to providing individual academic advisement, ASC/US currently has the following responsibilities:

  1. Serving as an academic advisement resource center for all undergraduates, faculty, and staff;

  2. Providing preprofessional (law and health careers) advisement and support services;

  3. Coordinating the Hudson Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities' Cross-Registration Program for undergraduates who wish to study at other schools in the association;

  4. Coordination of 3+3 Albany Law program, 3+2 engineering programs, early assurance medical program, and early admission dental and optometry programs.

Students who need assistance regarding their academic concerns are encouraged to contact the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36 (518-442-3960), or visit their web page at www.albany.edu/advisement.

The Office of Academic Support Services

The following nine programs support new undergraduates as they make their transition into the University at Albany community. These comprehensive support services include the study groups, academic early warning program, University Tutors, independent tutoring program, faculty mentoring programs, study skills workshops, developmental courses, and the Educational Opportunities Program.

Study Group Plan

In 29 freshman classes, the Office sponsors study groups free of charge to all students. A study group consists of several students in a given course who decide to meet on a regular basis for discussions, analysis, and reviewing of course material. Participation in a study group can be an excellent way to prepare for exams, since participants must organize their thinking about course topics and present, or defend, their individual perspectives before the group. Study groups emphasize the student's active involvement with course material. Participants are encouraged to re-examine concepts, to question or to challenge each other with respect to course topics. Study groups can also help to maintain a high level of interest and enthusiasm towards course work and allow students to examine ways in which the course is personally meaningful or relevant to their college goals.

Coordinated by a graduate student who serves as a facilitator, the objectives of the student group concept are: 1) to clarify course material through restatement or illustrations, using familiar terms and concepts, and 2) to assist study group members in learning course material and achieving success in the course.

University Tutors

Each study group, in addition to the facilitator, will have two University Tutors on hand to assist with questions and problems. These tutors, who are undergraduate honors students, will at times also offer individualized assistance to those study group students who seek special attention.

Academic Early Warning System

The main objective of this Academic Early Warning System is to have professors identity students experiencing problems and to encourage them to utilize available academic and advising supportive services in order to overcome their difficulties. This warning is in lieu of a mid-semester grade.

The designated university courses include the following: A Bio 110, 111; A Chm 120, 121, 216A, 216B; A Phy 107, 108, 120, 124; A Csi 101, 201; A Psy 101, 210, 211; A Soc 115, 221; A Eco 110, 111; A Mat 100, 101, 106, 108, 111, 112, 113; A Phi 210; and B Acc 211, 222.

During the fifth week of the semester, this composite list of potential failures will be circulated to the academic advisers of these students so that they can encourage the following help: 1) conference with faculty member of particular course; 2) consultation with academic/faculty adviser; 3) participation in respective study group (all of the Academic Early Warning System courses are an integral part of the study group plan); and 4) involvement with an independent tutor. Also, a staff member from the Office of Academic Support Services will contact the students, advising them of their options.

Independent Tutoring Program

The Office of Academic Support Services provides the student community with an updated listing of academically successful students who are available to tutor students on a one to one basis. These independent tutors have taken the course in which they tutor and have received a B+ or higher. These independent tutors must have at least 3.0 cumulative academic average, secure faculty recommendations, pass the personal interview, and complete a tutoring orientation.

Faculty Mentoring Program

Matriculating students at the University at Albany are eligible to participate in one of the faculty mentoring programs. If enrolled in a program, it is expected that the student be willing to interact with a faculty or professional staff member in a mentoring partnership.

University mentoring programs take many forms and address different groups including the following: Presidential Scholars; academic probationers; multicultural recruitment students; special talent admits; and other students, especially incoming freshmen seeking support.

For a new freshman or a continuing student with academic needs, family or personal problems, the value of a trusted friend, confidante, guide and role model is obvious. For mentors, a one-to-one relationship can be an opportunity to give another person the guidance and support they once received from their own mentors.

Mentoring is not an easy job; it is not a job quickly accomplished. Yet helping and guiding a young person may be the most important work a volunteer will ever do.

Study Skills Workshops

Study skills workshops are offered free of charge to all students, especially freshmen. These one hour sessions provide an opportunity to acquire skills vital to achieving academic success. Titles of workshops include time management, textbook mastery, learning from lecture, memory enhancement, listening skills, examination preparation, examination strategies, multiple choice examination skills, and final exam preparation.

The Registrar's Office

The Registrar's Office manages the process by which courses, classrooms, academic space, and final examinations are scheduled; grades are recorded; students are registered and enrolled; degrees are cleared and diplomas are prepared. Records are maintained with accuracy and security and issued to internal and external sources. The office is responsible for assuring that academic policy is carried out and that data concerning registration and enrollment are collected and distributed to appropriate campus offices. It works with appropriate campus offices in the development and implementation of student information systems. Finally, it communicates with clientele both on and off campus by clarifying policy, verifying enrollment and status, and by referring students and staff to the appropriate person or office at the University or elsewhere.

The Registrar's Office is located in the Campus Center, Room B-25, (518-442-5540).

Academic Advisement

Academic advisement services for undergraduate students are coordinated by the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies (ASC/US). Freshmen, students who have not declared a major, and students intending to pursue a restricted major are advised either by the staff of ASC/US or by the staff of the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP). All students who are admitted to the University through the Educational Opportunities Program receive academic advisement from EOP counselors until they declare a major or are accepted in a restricted major.

Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisers. ASC/US staff are in regular contact with the University's academic departments and programs to insure that advisers have pertinent and up-to-date information about school and college offerings. The adviser is therefore able to assist each student to plan and select a course of study that is consistent with the student's abilities, interests, achievements, and future plans. Information about courses, academic study at other institutions, interpretation of the University's academic policies, and referral to other University Offices and persons for assistance with the student's concerns are part of the services provided by academic advisers.

Normally, students are expected to declare their intended major when they have earned 24 graduation credits. By the time they have accumulated 42 graduation credits, students must have officially declared a major. When students have been accepted as a major, they are enrolled in the school or college offering study in the desired major field. Declaration of the major is directly linked to the assignment of academic advisers. When students are officially enrolled in a specific major program, they receive academic advisement from the faculty of the department or school offering that major.

To complement faculty advisement, ASC/US serves as an advisement resource for both faculty and students needing clarification or interpretation of University academic policies, procedures, and programs.

Specialized advisement opportunities are provided by ASC/US for students who plan to apply to professional schools related to allied health or law careers. Specific information about preprofessional advisement is presented during the orientation programs for new students; and advisement resource material is available in ASC/US for student use. Students may also visit the advisement web page at www.Albany.Edu/Advisement.

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisers on a regular basis and to review the advisement information materials that are provided by the staff of ASC/US.

Health Careers Advisement

Approximately 50 students from the University apply annually for admission to medical, osteopathic, dental, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, and veterinary schools. There is little variation in the basic requirements for admission to the professional schools. The majority of these schools require the General Biology sequence and one full year of study in chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English. Many health profession schools now strongly recommend or require that students complete humanities and/or social science courses as well. There is no special major for preprofessional health careers students, and the requirements for admission can be met through a variety of majors available at the University.

The Pre-Health Advisory Committee assists students through formal meetings, counseling, and a library of materials and by preparing the Committee Evaluation during the spring semester prior to application. Currently this committee consists of four faculty members and five professional staff members.

Resource materials, admission statistics, admission test applications, and procedural information are available for University students in the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

Pre-Law Advisement

There is no single "best" program of study in preparation for law school, and students are encouraged to consider a variety of alternatives. The Association of American Law Schools recommends a broad-based liberal arts curriculum and considers the prescription of particular courses unwise. Students seeking further clarification of pre-legal education should read the statement on this subject adopted by the Association of American Law Schools or consult with prelaw advisers.

Students interested in law school should watch for meetings of the Student Pre-Law Association and on-campus visits of law schools.

Written information, such as law school catalogs, The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, LSAT applications, and admission statistics for Albany students, is available in the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

Special Opportunities

3 + 3 Program with Albany Law School of Union University

This program offers a six-year bachelor's and law degree program. A limited number of freshmen are selected for this program based primarily on high school record. Students who are selected for this program and maintain the required standards are guaranteed a seat in the first-year class at Albany Law after completing three years on this campus. The bachelor's degree is conferred upon successful completion of the first year of study at Albany Law School. Students are admitted to this program either prior to beginning their freshman year or at the end of their freshman year. Further information regarding criteria for admission and program requirements can be obtained from Dawn Kakumba, Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

3-2 Engineering Programs

In these programs, students complete three years at the University at Albany and then transfer to one of the participating Schools of Engineering. Two years of carefully planned study complete the requirements for the bachelor's program at Albany in physics or chemistry and the B.S. degree with a major in engineering at the engineering school. Students must apply to the engineering school after their fifth semester of study at Albany. Participating Schools of Engineering are Binghamton University, SUNY New Paltz, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Clarkson University. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

Early Assurance of Admission to Albany Medical College

The Early Assurance Program is a cooperative program developed between the University at Albany and the Albany Medical College. This program provides an opportunity to submit an early application for admission to Albany Medical College. Applicants must have completed three semesters of course work; receive the Committee Evaluation during the spring semester of the sophomore year; and complete a full two years of undergraduate study in order to apply to Albany Medical College at the end of the sophomore year. Students in this program must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and achieve grades no lower than a B in each prerequisite science course.

Students selected for admission will matriculate at Albany Medical College after completion of their undergraduate degree. Students pursuing this program should contact the pre-health adviser during their freshman year. For details regarding criteria for admission and program requirements contact the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

Joint Seven-Year Biology/Optometry Program

The Joint Biology/Optometry Program is a cooperative program developed between the University at Albany and SUNY State College of Optometry. In this program, students complete three years at the University at Albany and then attend the SUNY State College of Optometry for four years. Credits from the first year at SUNY State College of Optometry will transfer back to the University at Albany for completion of the B.S. degree in Biology. After completion of the fourth year at SUNY State College of Optometry, students may earn the O.D. degree in Optometry. Students apply for this program in the spring semester of their freshman year. Any students pursuing this program should request to be advised by the pre-health adviser during their freshman year. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Advisement Services Center /Undergraduate Studies, LI-36

Joint Seven-Year Biology/Dental Program

The Joint Biology/Dental Program is a cooperative program developed between the University at Albany and Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. In this program, students complete three years at the University at Albany and then attend Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine for four years. Credits from the first year at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine will transfer back to the University at Albany for completion of the B.S. degree in Biology. After completion of the fourth year at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, students may earn the D.M.D. Students apply for this program in the spring of the sophomore year. Any students pursuing this program should request to be advised by the pre-health adviser during the freshman year. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Advisement Services Center/ Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree Programs

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree Programs: Undergraduate students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity have the opportunity of fulfilling integrated requirements of bachelor's and master's degree programs within a rationally designed and effective framework at the beginning of their junior year. Combined programs require a minimum of 138 credits and up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to the requirements for the baccalaureate.

Students may be admitted to these combined programs at the beginning of their junior year, or after the successful completion of 56 credits, but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required. Students are considered undergraduates until they have accumulated 120 credits and satisfied all baccalaureate degree requirements. At that point, they are automatically considered as graduate students. In some cases, with careful planning, students may complete both their bachelor's and master's degrees within nine semesters.

The following programs are currently registered by the State Education Department: atmospheric science, biology, chemistry, computer science, computer science and applied mathematics/computer science, computer science and applied mathematics/mathematics, criminal justice, economics/public administration, English, French, geography, geology, history, Latin, linguistics/teaching English to speakers of other languages, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, political science/public administration, psychology/counseling, psychology/ rehabilitation counseling, public affairs, rhetoric and communication, Russian, sociology, sociology/public administration, Spanish, theatre, and any undergraduate major (except accounting)/library science.

Students interested in further information regarding the combined programs should contact the appropriate program's department chair or the Office of Undergraduate Studies, LC 30 (518-442-3950).

Combined Bachelor's/Master's in Business Administration Program

The early M.B.A. option is designed for students majoring in selected areas of the liberal arts and sciences who wish to obtain the M.B.A. degree in five years. Undergraduates at the University at Albany may apply for early admission to the School of Business M.B.A. program during their junior year.

The following programs are currently registered by the State Education Department for the combined Bachelor's/Master's in Business Administration:

College of Arts and Sciences:
African/Afro-American Studies (General Program: B.A.), Anthropology (General Program: B.A.), Art (General and Departmental Programs: B.A.), Asian Studies (General Program: B.A.), Biology (General Program: B.A. degree only), Chinese Studies (General Program: B.A.), Economics (General Program: B.A. degree only), English (General Program: B.A.), French (General Program: B.A.), Geography (General Program: B.A.), Greek and Roman Civilization (General Program: B.A.), History (General Program: B.A.), Interdisciplinary Studies (General Program: B.A. or B.S.), Italian (General Program: B.A.), Latin (General Program: B.A.), Latin American Studies (General Program: B.A.), Linguistics (General Program: B.A.), Mathematics (General Program: B.A.), Music (General and Departmental Programs: B.A.), Philosophy (General Program: B.A.), Psychology (General Program: B.A.), Puerto Rican Studies (General Program: B.A.), Rhetoric and Communication (General Program: B.A.), Russian (General Program: B.A.), Russian and East European Studies (General Program: B.A.), Sociology (General Program: B.A.), Spanish (General Program: B.A.), Theatre (General Program: B.A.), Women's Studies (General Program: B.A.).

Nelson A. Rockefeller College:
Criminal Justice (General Program: B.A.), Political Science (General Program: B.A.)

Students interested in this option are encouraged to contact the School of Business, BA-361, 442-4984 during their sophomore year.

Independent Study

Independent study and research is considered advanced work which enables undergraduates to go beyond existing course work to investigate a topic or a hypothesis or a relationship either in the library or in the laboratory. The work is supervised and evaluated by a faculty member and culminates in a significant paper or report. Most academic units offer independent study courses with a variable credit option dependent on the extent of the intended project. If students have intended projects not clearly falling within one academic discipline, they may receive independent study and research credit through U Uni 397. This university-wide offering requires approval of the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. Students interested in doing independent and creative study are encouraged to discuss with faculty members their ideas and the feasibility of earning credit.

Since the appropriateness and need for a student to pursue independent study and research is an individual matter, there are no further guidelines on this study. At times, U Uni 397 has encompassed cross-disciplinary work cosponsored by faculty members from more than one academic unit. At other times, the U Uni 397 course has been used to enable a senior to pursue an extensive, major research topic for which the student's academic department or school independent study courses would not carry sufficient academic credit.

Supervised Research

Supervised research for sophomores and juniors enables undergraduates to work with a member of the University faculty as a research apprentice. The work is supervised and evaluated by a member of the teaching faculty and culminates in a research paper or report. Information on U Uni 180, "Supervised Research" is available from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, LC 30.

See also the A Cas undergraduate research and research methods courses in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this bulletin.


Internships give students an opportunity to acquire practical "hands-on" experience in a field or area that interests them. Internships differ from independent study in that an internship involves off-campus participation in the work of an agency, institution, or corporate body other than the University. The work is supervised and evaluated by a designated individual in the agency, institution, or corporate body providing the internship. This supervisor provides an evaluation of the student's work to the Albany faculty member responsible for the final evaluation and assignment of the appropriate academic grade.

Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Students interested in correlating their academic study with practical experience are encouraged to explore the feasibility of participating in an internship.

Some majors, such as social welfare, require fieldwork as part of their major requirements, and these opportunities are open only to students who have been admitted in the major program. In other cases, many academic departments and schools offer internships involving experiences related to the academic focus of the unit. These courses include opportunities in various aspects of the performing arts (A Mus 490, A Thr 415), anthropology (A Ant 400), classics (A Cla 490), planning (A Pln 490A + B), computing (A Csi 490), atmospheric science (A Atm 490), business (B Bus 497, 498), communication (A Com 390), sociology (A Soc 490), public affairs (R Pub 498; R Pos 338, 434), news writing for papers or radio or television stations (A Jrl 400), archaeological fieldwork (A Ant 338), etc.

The University also offers a total of 15 credits for students participating in the following special, formalized internships: Senate Session Assistant Program (U Uni 391), Assembly Session Intern Program (U Uni 392), Operational and Applied Communication Theory (A Com 392, 393), and the Empire State Youth Theatre Institute (A Cas 390). These latter established internships take advantage of Albany's location in the state's capital. Albany is also affiliated with the Washington Center (see U Uni 393, WCLA Internship) and American University's Washington semester program, both of which provide opportunities in Washington, D.C.

Through U Uni 390 (1-15 credits), students have obtained approval for full- or part-time internships in a very wide variety of areas. For these pursuits, it is assumed the student will secure the opportunity on his or her own, find appropriate faculty sponsorship, and then apply to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for approval of the desired credit.

The range of possible internship opportunities is too great to list here. The more common internships pursued by previous students through U Uni 390 have included work with: U.S. Congress, federal judiciary and numerous federal executive agencies, various state agencies (Lt. Governor's Office, Attorney General, Correctional Services, Division of Criminal Justice, etc.), the New York Public Interest Research Group, the Civil Liberties Union, the Environmental Planning Lobby, Albany Medical Center, stock brokerage firms, law firms and media internships with local and national television stations and corporations. Further information and application forms for U Uni 390 may be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Studies, LC 30.

In addition to the credit-bearing internships, there are also many opportunities for noncredit internships, mostly during the summer, some of which pay the participants a stipend. Information on many of these programs and their application process is available through the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies.

Community and Public Service

Through a community and public service program offered by the School of Social Welfare, undergraduates may earn up to 6 credits through enrollment in R Ssw 290 and 390. Through the program, students participate in volunteer work for a minimum of 100 hours per semester (about 7 ½ hours per week) in one of many public or private agencies involving different types of service to the community. A community and public service component is also a feature of the Project Renaissance Program.

Study at Other Institutions

Since not all courses are acceptable for transfer credit, matriculated students wishing to take courses at other institutions for credit toward the degree at this University should have prior approval in writing from their academic advisers. Such written approval must be filed with the Office of the Registrar, and an official transcript of work satisfactorily completed at the other institution(s) must be received before credit will be awarded.

Credit may be earned through one of the following formally established programs.

Cross-Registration: University at Albany undergraduate students may cross-register for courses at other campuses within this area while enrolled at this institution.

Cross-registration enrollments elsewhere must be in courses not available through the University at Albany's curriculum. This program is available in fall and spring semesters only.

Cross-registered students must be full-time undergraduate, matriculated students, and at least one-half of the credits for which a student is registered during a cross-registration semester must be from course work offered on the Albany campus. No extra tuition charge is assessed, but students are responsible for any fees that may be required by the host institution for a particular course. Credits earned through cross-registration are recorded on the transcript with a cross-registration course entry and the appropriate number of credits earned recorded in the "graduation credit" column. Grades earned at the other institutions are not recorded on the Albany transcript.

Students seeking more information about the participating institutions and the courses available should contact the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36.

ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps)

Albany undergraduate students have the opportunity to enroll in the Air Force ROTC program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or the Army ROTC program at Siena College through the Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities' Cross-Registration Program. Military Science classes may provide valuable management and leadership instruction applicable in both the military and civilian environment. Leadership laboratory offers the essential elements of physical fitness in the context of dynamic and challenging leadership training activities. Students should contact the appropriate military science department on the two campuses for precise information regarding course content, sequencing and summer expectations.

All Army ROTC classes are conducted on campus in the Physical Education Building where the Army ROTC offices are located. Further information on the Army ROTC Program is available in Room B74 of the Physical Education Center.

Course Enrollment and Credit:

The procedure for obtaining University approval for enrollment in Army or Air Force ROTC courses is the same as for any other cross-registration enrollment except that a faculty adviser's approval is not required for a ROTC course. The University permits students to earn and apply up to a maximum of 12 degree credits as "Applied Elective" toward their Albany degree.

Study Abroad: Through the State University of New York, undergraduates may participate for a semester, an academic year, or a summer in one of many study abroad programs in most of the major cultural or geographic regions of the world. Information on these programs may be obtained from the Office of International Education ULB 66. A description of the programs currently offered by The University at Albany are described in the section, Office of International Education.

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