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Undergraduate Bulletin 2007-2008
Bulletin Homepage |Academic Information | Undergraduate Study

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. Graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences may apply for graduate-level teacher certification preparation programs in the School of Education.

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 Criminal Justice offers a multi-disciplinary degree program, focusing on the study of criminal behavior and societyís response to it. Students take courses in criminal justice, as well as in a disciplinary field related to criminal justice. Admission to this major is highly competitive, and students must complete specific requirements before applying for admission.

The School of Education offers courses for undergraduates who are interested in education-related careers. All College of Arts and Science undergraduate majors may apply to teacher certification programs at the graduate level.

The College of Computing and Information supports education for undergraduates throughout the University in computer science, information science, and information technology. It houses the departments of Computer Science and Information Studies (formerly the School of Information Science and Policy), as well as a campus-wide Informatics Faculty that focuses on interdisciplinary aspects of computing and information. The College offers General Education and advanced courses, and several major and minor programs, including a Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science hosted by the department of Information Studies.

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering offers opportunities for undergraduate research in the college.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy offers undergraduate degree programs in political science and public policy. These programs focus on issues of politics, public policy and management in the public service in the local, state, federal and international arena. The program in public policy is a combined major and minor sequence, where students design an area of concentration.

The School of Public Health offers undergraduate electives in public health and medical informatics and a minor.

The School of Social Welfare offers a combined major and minor sequence that prepares students for beginning social work. This program serves the liberal education needs for students interested in the social sciences and human services professions. Admission to this major is competitive, and students have complete specific requirements before applying for admission.

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 Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education is responsible for the coordination of the academic experience of undergraduate students at this University. The Vice Provost 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 Vice Provost also supervises the Advisement Services Center /Undergraduate Studies. Project Renaissance, Faculty Mentor Program, Honors College, and Tutoring Program.

The Office of Undergraduate Education 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).

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 pre-professional (law and health careers) advisement and support services;
3. Coordinating the Hudson Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universitiesí 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, optometry physical and occupational therapy 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

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 graduate.

Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisers. ASC/US staff is in regular contact with the Universityís 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 studentís abilities, interests, achievements, and future plans. Information about courses, academic study at other institutions, interpretation of the Universityís academic policies, and referral to other University Offices and persons for assistance with the studentís concerns are part of the services provided by academic advisers.

Students may ďdeclareĒ their major at any time after earning 24 credits and completing any other requirements for admission to that major. It is easiest to complete all requirements if a major is chosen by the end of the sophomore year. Some financial aid programs require that a student declare a major by the junior year. Once a major is declared, students receive academic advisement from the major department.

Students are encouraged to meet with their adviser on a regular basis. Together the student and adviser can evaluate the studentís academic experiences and goals, and formulate appropriate educational plans.

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.

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 pre-professional health careers, and the requirements for admission can be met through a variety of majors available at the University.

The Pre-health Adviser in the Advisement Services Center is available to meet with all students considering health professions preparation.  Guidance is provided in regard to curriculum, admission requirements, extracurricular opportunities and the application process

Resource materials, admission statistics, admission test applications, and procedural information are available for University students by contacting the Pre-Health adviser in the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies, LI-36, or by checking the pre-health website at

Pre-Law Advisement

There is no single ďbestĒ 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 interested in law school should watch for meetings of the Student Pre-Law Association and on-campus visits of law schools. Additionally, the Pre-Law adviser maintains a listserv for all pre-law students to disseminate timely information about workshops, tests, guest speakers, etc. Special seminars are offered each semester to provide assistance on applications, test preparation and planning for law school financing.

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 bachelorís and law degree program. A limited number of freshmen are selected for this program based primarily on high school record and SAT scores. Students who are selected for this program and maintain the required GPA and LSAT standards are guaranteed a seat in the first-year class at Albany Law after completing three years on this campus. The bachelorís 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 Education, LI-36, (518) 442-3960.

3Ė2 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 bachelorís 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 Education, LI-36, (518) 442-3960.

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 at the University at Albany; receive the Pre-Health Committee Evaluation and approval 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 and four years of study at the University at Albany. 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 Education, LI-36, (518) 442-3960.

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 the Pre-Health Adviser during their freshman year. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Advisement Services Center /Undergraduate Education, LI-36, (518) 442-3960.

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 contact the Pre- Health Adviser during the freshman year. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Advisement Services Center/ Undergraduate Education, LI-36, (518) 442-3960.

Collaborative Agreement between University at Albany and Sage Graduate School

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Programs

This Collaborative Agreement allows University at Albany graduates to transition into health professions programs at Sage Graduate School.

This Collaborative Agreement provides for:

# Automatic acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Masterís and the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree programs at the Sage Graduate School for students who have a) completed a Sage application and program-specific prerequisite courses, b) completed an acceptable series of courses at University at Albany leading to a baccalaureate degree, and c) obtained a satisfactory recommendation from University at Albany faculty;
#  Waiver of the Sage Graduate School  application fee;
# Early acceptance;
# Opportunity to cross-register through the Consortium in courses during the senior year (no fees in addition to University at Albany registration);
# Access to Sage advisers to coordinate undergraduate electives and coursework to satisfy prerequisites for the graduate program (contact appropriate individuals as indicated below);
# Opportunity to apply early for Graduate Assistantships at Sage Graduate School.

* NOTE: For the joint degree programs marked with an asterisk (*) the following policies apply:

1. Only students with an admissions status of ďFRESHMANĒ (not transfer students) are eligible to participate. Students following joint degree programs shall be held to the same requirements that apply to students completing their entire degree on campus. This means that students need to complete 30 of their last 69 credits on this campus (residency requirement).

2. All Albany requirements need to be completed by the time the bachelorís degree will be awarded. Therefore, students pursuing these degree programs can continue to take courses, on campus or off, that apply to the requirements they need to complete at Albany (in compliance with residency and transfer limit policies). For example, in the summers following the studentís third and fourth years, the student can return to Albany to take additional coursework. Additionally, requirements at Albany might be satisfied by particular coursework at the partnering institution.

Combined Bachelorís/Masterís Degree Programs

Combined Bachelorís/Masterís Degree Programs: Undergraduate students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity have the opportunity of fulfilling integrated requirements of bachelorís and masterís 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. A grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required. In some cases, with careful planning, students may complete both their bachelorís and masterís degrees within nine semesters.

Clarification to Students in Combined Baccalaureate/Masters Programs

As noted above, ďStudents are considered undergraduates until they have accumulated 120 credits, satisfied all degree requirements and been awarded the baccalaureate degree."

However, although students who have failed to satisfy ďall degree requirementsĒ will not be granted the baccalaureate degree until all undergraduate requirements are met, please be aware that for determining such matters as whether students pay undergraduate or graduate tuition, the following policy applies:

"Although admitted to an integrated degree program, students will be considered as undergraduate students for purposes of tuition, financial aid, and headcount identification until completion of 120 credits of satisfactory work. Upon meeting that requirement, students will be considered graduate students for purposes of tuition, headcount identification, and eligibility for graduate assistantships, fellowships, and loans." (Accepted by University Senate, February 2, 1981)

The following bachelorís/masterís 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, linguistics/teaching English to speakers of other languages, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, political science/public administration, psychology/ counseling, psychology/ rehabilitation counseling, public policy, rhetoric and communication, Russian, sociology, sociology/ public administration, Spanish, theatre, womenís studies, and any undergraduate major (except accounting)/ library science.

Students interested in further information regarding the combined programs should contact the appropriate programís department chair or the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, LC 30 (518-442-3950).

Combined Bachelorís/Masterís 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 Bachelorís/Masterís 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.), Judaic Studies (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.), Womenís Studies (General Program: B.A.).

School of Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice (General Program: B.A.)

Nelson A. Rockefeller College: 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.

Combined Bachelorís/Masterís in Health Policy & Management

Economics/Health Policy & Management (General Program: B.A./M.S.), Economics/Health Policy & Management (General Program: B.S./M.S.), Psychology/Health Policy & Management (General Program: B.A./M.S.), Sociology/Health Policy & Management (General Program: BA/MS)

Combined Bachelorís in Political Science/Masterís in Public Administration and Policy

Department of Public Administration and Policy: Political Science /Public Administration (General Program: B.A./M.P.A.)

Combined Bachelorís in Political Science/ Masterís in Public Affairs and Policy

Department of Public Administration and Policy: Political Science/Public Affairs and Policy (General Program: BA/MA)

Combined Bachelorís/Masterís in Public Administration and Policy

Department of Public Administration and Policy: Public Policy/Public Administration (General Program: B.A./M.P.A.) and School of Criminal Justice (General Program: B.A.)

Independent Study

Independent study and research is considered advanced work that 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 studentís 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, ďSupervised ResearchĒ is available from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, 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 ďhands-onĒ 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 studentís 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 Arh 490, A Art 490, A Mus 490, A Thr 415), anthropology (A Ant 400), classics (A Cla 490), planning (A Pln 490), computing (I 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 Albanyís location in the stateís capital. Albany is also affiliated with the Washington Center (see U Uni 393, WCLA Internship).

Through U Uni 390 (1Ė15 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. Governorís 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 Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, 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 Career Development Center.

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 Ĺ hours per week) in one of many public or private agencies involving different types of service to the community.


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 Albanyís 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 ďgraduation creditĒ 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.

Office of International Education: Study Abroad and Exchanges

Undergraduates may earn academic credit for a semester, an academic year, a wintersession or a summer in one of many study abroad programs in most cultural or geographic regions of the world. A description of the programs currently offered by The University at Albany is presented in the section ďInternational Education.Ē For the most up-to-date information about options, including special overseas short courses taught by UA faculty, consult the website.

Study abroad and exchanges information is available in SL G40, by phone at (518) 591-8170, or by e-mail at (Web: