All students must confirm their registration in order to be considered a student. In addition to payment of all outstanding charges, tuition, and fees, this confirmation is a part of the process, and registration is not complete until confirmed. Failure to confirm enrollment and to conclude appropriate financial arrangements may result in the cancellation of the student's enrollment in classes.
In order to be considered registered, graduate students must confirm enrollment and pay all tuition and fees as billed Even if all tuition and fees are covered by University sources, graduate students must confirm enrollment by the stated deadline. Once a student registers for and confirms a course, the student becomes liable for the tuition and fees associated with that course. If the course is later dropped after the official drop period, the student remains liable for payment of all or part of the costs.
Students sometimes ask a professor for permission to attend a course without officially registering for the course; students should be aware that registering for such a course with a grading option of "Audit" will result in full fee assessment (tuition and fees), regardless of whether or not a faculty member has granted informal permission to sit in on a class.
Graduate students are encouraged to pre-register whenever possible. Funded students are required to pre-register. Pre-registration helps the University plan for course and classroom needs and, thus, helps to assure that course demand is met. Graduate students should be completely registered by the first day of classes. Penalty fees are assessed to all students for late registration, late add/drop and late payment of bill.
Students are responsible for their own registration and to ensure that they are registered for the proper number of credits and type of courses. Although graduate program staff may assist with student registration, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to check his/her registration and correct it as needed. Registration can be checked via BU Brain. The Graduate School will not approve late add/drop course petitions based on the claim that someone else registered for the student. Late add/drop petitions submitted relative to a particular semester, with a third or less of that semester remaining will only be considered for exceptional circumstances beyond the student's control.
Full-Time Registration Requirements for Funded Students
Level 1 students must always register for 12 credits to be considered full time.
Levels 2, 3, and 4 students must always register for 9 credits to be considered full time.
Students who are course complete or ABD, but still wish to be full time for VISA or loan purposes should request full time status through the Graduate School. See the Full-time Certification Form for FUNDED students or the Full-Time Certification form for NON-FUNDED students.Top
Regardless of any previous graduate experience, the minimum university residence requirement for any graduate degree is 24 credit hours.
For pre-master students (i.e., entering the University with a bachelor's degree), credit hours earned under any of the following rubrics normally may not be counted toward the Graduate School's minimum residence requirement: College Teaching of the Discipline (591); Thesis (599); Pre-dissertation Research (698); and Dissertation (699).
Doctoral students are not permitted to register for dissertation (699) credits before they have been formally admitted to candidacy for the degree. Admission to candidacy for any doctoral degree occurs when the student has completed all course work and research skill requirements and has successfully passed the required comprehensive examinations. The graduate program must file the Recommendation for Admission to Candidacy form with The Graduate School on behalf of the student. After approval, the student is ABD (all but dissertation) and the student's level is changed to Level 4. Doctoral students who have completed all course work for the degree, but who have not yet satisfied research skill requirements or have not yet passed the comprehensive examinations, must register each semester for an appropriate number of credit hours under the rubric predissertation research (698).
After admission to candidacy all Doctoral Candidates must register for dissertation research (699) to maintain registration.
Because work on the dissertation may be interrupted from time to time for a variety of reasons, students may register for continuous registration (700) if they are not actively engaged in research and writing during a particular semester. When students declare inactive status, it is assumed that only a minimum amount of faculty supervision is required for them to maintain matriculation. Students are limited to a maximum of two years (four semesters) of continuous registration (700) during the five-year period following the successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examinations.Top
Continuous Registration and Leaves of Absence
All students who have been admitted into a degree-granting program must maintain continuous registration each major (fall and spring) semester for a minimum of 1 credit hour. Once enrolled, students are expected to make continuous progress toward the degree or certificate. Students in thesis master programs who are "course complete" should register for 599; students in doctoral programs who are "course complete" or ABD should register for 699. Graduate students are not required to maintain matriculation during the summer unless they intend to complete their final degree requirements during this period. But students graduating in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit in one (=any) summer session.
Students who wish to absent themselves from studies for a semester or two should register for one credit of continuous registration (700). The continuous registration 700 should not be used on a routine basis. Once enrolled, students are expected to make continuous progress - semester by semester - toward the degree or certificate. Absence from a class does not constitute official withdrawal. Also, students going off campus to fulfill an internship related to degree requirements should remain registered.
Students who have begun a semester and then find that they cannot finish that semester should officially withdraw from their courses. Registration for one credit of "continuous registration" (700) will be required if the student withdraws from all courses. For withdrawal after the course-withdraw deadline, students must cite extraordinary circumstances beyond their control and ability to foresee that. Poor judgment and academic incompetence do not qualify as extraordinary circumstances. Withdrawing from courses such that the semester credit hours fall below a full-time course load may affect eligibility of students for university funding and other financial aid for that semester; in which case, students may be required to return funds.
Students who do not register and who have not been granted a leave of absence must reapply to the Graduate School and pay additional fees. Students who do not maintain registration are severed and may not return; they must reapply, paying a new application fee. Readmission is not automatic. Students who are readmitted are required to register and pay for one credit for each semester they have not registered, plus one credit for the semester they re-enter, up to a maximum of four credits.Top
Students may add a course or change course sections only during the first 14 calendar days of the semester and may drop a course without a grade being recorded during the first 12 calendar days of class. Students making changes in course enrollments (registrations) after the add/drop deadlines are assessed a late fee for each transaction. Regardless of assistance provided by graduate programs, it is the students responsibility to be registered for the appropriate credits and courses.
To add, drop, or change a course after the add/drop deadlines, students must obtain the approval of the instructor and the department chair or the director of graduate studies on a Late Drop/Add/Change form (available from the Graduate School office). Completed Late Drop/Add/Change forms must also be approved by the Graduate School and are then filed with the University Registrar's Office. A Late Drop/Add fee is assessed for all late adds/drops, regardless of the cause of the change. Students are reminded to review their schedules on BUSI regularly to assure correctness.
Students who wish to drop a course after the end of the drop period must complete the Late Drop/Add form and will receive a grade of W (withdrawn). It is not possible to have a course removed from the transcript after the drop deadline.Top
Students who withdraw from all courses for which they are registered at the University must follow a formal withdrawal procedure if they wish their record to indicate good standing. Mere absence from class does not constitute due notice of withdrawal. Students who are registered initiate the withdrawal process through the Graduate School Office. No grades are recorded for students who formally withdraw within the first eight weeks of the semester. Students who withdraw to enter military service are granted full tuition refund for the semester if no academic credit is received.
Students who have completed at least one semester and do not intend to register for future semesters should send a formal letter to the Assistant Dean for Academic Services at the Graduate School indicating their plans to withdraw from the University.Top
An instructor may assign an Incomplete (I) when a student has done most of the course work and satisfactorily, but due to unforeseen circumstances beyond student's control has not completed the course work. The Incomplete is not for the purpose of converting a failing grade, or unsatisfactory work, to a passing grade. The Incomplete grade option is not for the purpose of extending a project that has grown such that it cannot be completed within the course time frame. Completion of projects that require more than the course time frame can be done in other ways, such as "independent study." It is not a grading option for entire classes or courses. If an instructor assigns an Incomplete, then according to university policy, the instructor is implicitly indicating availability and a commitment to assist that student with completion of the course beyond the usual timeframe - and doing so within the university's six month grace period (or sooner if the instructor establishes an earlier deadline).
The student must request the Incomplete option from the instructor, but it is the instructor's decision as to whether it is appropriate or not. Students should be aware that a grade of Incomplete is automatically assigned in any course for which an instructor has not submitted a grade. Graduate students who are given an Incomplete may be given up to six months from the last day of classes to make up the incomplete work, which includes having the new grade submitted to the Registrar's Office. This is the maximum allowed; the instructor and student should have a written contract that indicates the timeline and requirements for completion. See sample contract (.doc, 26kb) The instructor may set a deadline sooner than the university maximum, reflecting the instructor's availability to extend his/her commitment beyond the course, but the instructor cannot extend the university period of six months. It is expected that, upon submission of the remaining work, faculty will take no longer than one month to file a final letter grade for the course. Therefore, students are advised to submit the remaining work at least one month before the agreed upon deadline or the university six month deadline, whichever comes first. Unless the student completes the coursework (which includes the instructor submitting a final letter grade within six months), the Incomplete changes to a grade of Withdrawn (W). Once an Incomplete has changed to a W, the student has no further opportunity to complete the course and the course will appear on the final transcript as Withdrawn.
Under exceptional circumstances only, the six month grace period for incomplete grades may be extended for up to another six months. Requests for extensions of incomplete grades require the approval of the course instructor and the Dean of the Graduate School or designee. Requests must be made at least one month before the six month deadline. It is the student's responsibility to make this request to the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at the Graduate School.
To ensure that the University's tuition allocation is used appropriately, the University's Office of the Internal Auditor periodically audits use of tuition scholarships and student compliance with the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of Tuition Scholarship. Incompletes and Withdrawns may be in violation of the Terms and Conditions. The Graduate School's policy on Incompletes and Withdrawals reflects the need for compliance with the University's office of the Internal Auditor.
An Incomplete means that the work required for the course, which has a set end, was not completed, even though the tuition was paid. Depending on why the Incomplete was assigned, the contract to finish the work (or lack thereof), and/or the progress on the contract or Incomplete, there may be a violation of the terms and conditions of the tuition scholarship.
If a student is receiving a tuition scholarship, then the Graduate School expects the department to monitor the Incomplete situation. If the Incomplete becomes a Withdrawn and, as a consequence, the student's registration drops below full time, then the student is in violation of the terms and conditions of the tuition scholarship and the tuition for the semester that course was taken is owed to the University. Students in that situation cannot be funded further by the University until that situation is rectified by payment.
Therefore, departments should not offer funding to unfunded students or further funding to funded students who have an Incomplete. In most cases, funding appointments will not be approved by the Graduate School if the student has any Incomplete grades. That is, funded students who receive an Incomplete for a spring course must resolve the Incomplete before funding offers for fall semester will be approved by the Graduate School. Only exceptional cases with compelling justification will be approved. In the rare instances when approval is granted, funding can only be offered for one semester, and no additional funding will be approved until all incomplete grades are converted to grades. This policy helps students avoid an extra load on top of a regular load of courses, TAing and research required for their degree.
All courses taken by graduate students are subject to the above policy. Incomplete and missing grades must be resolved before students can receive a graduate degree. Because students are using University resources and services, students must be registered in the term for which the Incomplete grade is converted to a grade.
Some departments and programs may have more restrictive policies regarding Incomplete grades and students should make it a point to learn about their department's rules and expectations. Because of the financial issues involved, Graduate Directors should make sure that faculty and graduate students understand the Incomplete policy. The Incomplete grading option should only be used for unusual situations - when circumstances beyond the student's control prevent the student from completing course work.
The Incomplete policy has specific implications for students receiving tuition scholarships and other kinds of financial aid and for international students holding visas:
Auditing of Courses
Students who audit a course must pay tuition and are expected to attend the course faithfully and to fulfill whatever requirements the instructor may set. If, in the instructor's judgment, auditors have not conscientiously participated, the course will be expunged from the student's record. Students taking a course for credit may not change their registration of the course to audit after the add period. Likewise, students auditing a course may not change the registration to credit after the add period.
Audited courses will not count toward full-time status for degree progress, financial aid eligibility, student loan deferments, assistantship or fellowship eligibility, NCAA eligibility, or for some health insurance coverage. Tuition scholarships do not cover audited courses.Top
Transfer of Graduate Credits
Students matriculated in advanced degree programs may petition to have graduate credits from other institutions transferred toward their Binghamton masters' degrees. Transfer credits are not normally considered for doctoral degrees. Using the Graduate School's Application For Transfer Credit form, students petition their departmental or school graduate committee for consideration of previously completed coursework. The petition must include a copy of an official transcript from the institution(s) where coursework was completed (unless it is already on file with the Graduate School).
Credits petitioned for transfer must be relevant to the student's Binghamton degree program, must not have been used to satisfy the requirements of another degree, and must have been earned in graduate-level courses for which the student earned at least a B, and must have been earned at an accredited university.
Credits cannot be transferred for courses in which the student received no letter grade. Credits earned through correspondence courses or through courses or experiences offered under the auspices of proprietary schools, business or industrial training programs, or schools conducted by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense are normally not considered for transfer. Courses taken more than five years prior to matriculation in the Graduate School at Binghamton University are considered only when the graduate program director attaches a statement justifying the transfer.
It is the student's responsibility to initiate the petition process appropriately, and within the first semester that the student is enrolled at Binghamton University. If approved at the department level, the graduate director in the student's program forwards the petition to the Assistant Dean for Administration for review. If approved by the Graduate School, approved transfer credits will be included on the student's official graduate transcript as a single entry of total credits accepted in transfer. Letter grades from transfer credits are not reflected on the Binghamton transcript, nor are they considered in calculation of the grade-point average. Limitations on the number of credits acceptable in transfer are set in the first instance by the minimum residence requirement of 24 credit hours for any advanced degree; transfer credits cannot be applied toward the residence requirement. Thus, for master's programs requiring a minimum of 30 credit hours, no more than six transfer credits may be applied toward the degree. When master's programs require more than 30 credit hours, the Dean of the Graduate School may accept a larger number of transfer credits. Normally, no more than 8 credits may be transferred. No petitions received in the semester of graduation will be approved by the Graduate School.Top
Full-Time Working Toward Degree Status for Loan and Visa Purposes
Graduate students receiving student support (a tuition scholarship, stipend or other university support) are required to maintain full-time registration. Full-time registration status is defined as 12 credits per semester for level one students (who have completed less than 24 graduate credits), and 9 credits for level two students (who have completed 24 or more graduate credits). See terms and conditions (.doc, 64kb) form for TA/GAs These students may not register for GRD 700.
Students who are not receiving student support (a tuition scholarship, stipend or other university support) may be certified as full time working toward a degree for loan or visa purposes when taking advanced coursework, including thesis research (599), comprehensive exams (698), or dissertation research (699). In such cases, the student's supervisor and program director certify that the student is making a full-time investment in research(at least 32 hours per week). These students may take more than one credit of courses. To be certified full time, students must complete the Certification of Full Time Working Toward Degree form (.doc, 62kb). Typically this certification satisfies the requirements of student loan providers and international student Visas. Once the form is submitted, the Graduate School updates the student's base record file, thus notifying the Student Accounts and Financial Aid offices. These students, provided that they are registered for at least one credit of 599, 698 or 699 per semester, may register for GRD 700 as well. GRD 700 may be used only with the Graduate School's permission; and it is only used for students without university support who are certifying full-time working toward degree status for loan or visa purposes. GRD 700 is not a course; it is a place-holder in Banner; it does not make the student "registered full-time". 'Full-time registration' requires 9 or 12 credits of graded courses. 'Full-time registration' is not the same as 'working full-time toward degree'.
Pilot project: Graduate students who are receiving student support (a tuition scholarship, stipend or other university support) and are in the final stage of degree work (doctoral students officially all-but-dissertation and master students officially "course-complete") register for one credit of dissertation/thesis research credit, and they may also apply for certification of "working full-time toward degree." Graduate students with tuition scholarships will have one credit of thesis/dissertation credit covered by the scholarship; because these students are ABD and CC, the tuition scholarship only covers one credit. GRD 701, which is not a course but rather a place-holder in Banner, may be used beyond registration for one credit of research, but only with permission of the Graduate School. To be certified as full time working toward degree for loan and visa purposes, students must see their departments to register for full-time certification as a funded or non-funded student. Typically this certification satisfies the requirements of student loan providers and international student Visas.Top
Level 1 graduate students (master's students who have completed fewer than 24 graduate credits) are considered full-time when they are registered for 12 credits per semester, so an overload for them is > 13 credits. Level 2 students (master's students who have completed at least 24 credits) and Level 3 and 4 (doctoral) students are considered full time when they are registered for 9 credits. So an overload for them is > 10 credits.
Overloads are permitted with the approval of the academic advisor and/or director of graduate programs.
Students may register for up to 16 credits (18 for School of Management SOM) with the approval of the graduate director. The Banner computerized registration system will not allow graduate students to register for more than 16 (or 18) credits. Any registration above 16 (18 for SOM) credits requires approval by both the graduate director and the Graduate School.
Students wishing to register for more than 16 (18 for SOM) credits must complete an Overload Petition. After obtaining the approval of the graduate program director, the form is brought to the Graduate School for approval. If approved, a staff member within the Graduate School will then adjust the credit limit within Banner to allow the student to register for additional courses. Please note that the Graduate School adjusts the upper credit limit, but does not register the student for additional coursework. Registration remains the responsibility of the student. Note also that if the Overload Petition is approved after the end of the add deadline, a Late Add/Drop form is also necessary.Top
The grading system of the Graduate School applies to all graduate-level courses offered in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, School of Management, the Decker School, Graduate School of Education, College of Community and Public Affairs, and the Watson School. Grades are based on a letter scale: A through C- are passing grades; D and F have no numerical value and so are not passing grades. Grades of S (satisfactory) and U (unsatisfactory) may be used in a limited number of courses for which no greater precision in grading is required. The grades of S and U are not assigned numerical value and thus are not averaged in with other grades in computing grade-point averages. A grade of S denotes a minimum level of academic performance equivalent to at least a B.
For the purpose of computing semester or cumulative averages, each letter grade is assigned a quality point value as follows:
A = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2.0
C- = 1.7
F = 0.0
These grade values are combined with course credit hours to produce a grade-point average. To calculate the GPA, multiply the total number of grade points times the total number of credits and divide the total points by the total credits.
A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 is required for a graduate degree. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students are required to earn a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all courses that the Graduate School counts toward a degree. The Graduate School may sever a student, when in the estimation of the Dean of the Graduate School (or Dean's designee), the student is not maintaining a satisfactory grade-point average, as required for graduation.
Graduate students may also be severed from the Graduate School for not meeting other academic requirements, such as not passing required exams or not meeting required program deadlines. In this case, graduate students may be severed by action of the Dean of the Graduate School, or designee, on recommendation of the departmental graduate committee with endorsement by the departmental chair, or by the school/college graduate committee with endorsement by the dean of the school/college, if it appears that the student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree and it is unlikely that requirements for the degree will be satisfactorily completed.
Course Repeat Policy
Students are permitted to repeat for credit a graduate course in which they earned a grade of B- or lower. This option is contingent on approval by the graduate program director and then approval by the Graduate School. A course may be repeated only once. However, because tuition scholarships are merit-based, a tuition scholarship award does not cover repeated courses.
When a course is repeated, the grade received in the second attempt is substituted for the first grade in the computation of the grade-point average. Both grades will remain on the student transcript. For the purpose of financial loans, the repeated course remains on the transcript because it was part of the student's academic load.Top
Probation Relative to GPA
Graduate programs in consultation with the Graduate School should determine whether they will allow a student whose cumulative GPA is below 3.0 to continue in the program.
The most semesters that a student can be on "academic probation" due to a cumulative GPA below 3.0 are as follows:
A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0 may be enrolled subsequently only on a probationary status, with the graduate program's written approval. While on probation, the student must meet at the outset of the semester with the director of graduate studies to review academic performance and progress toward a return to satisfactory standing. A graduate program may only continue a student with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 on probation for a maximum of three semesters(excluding summer sessions). The graduate program is not required to continue a student with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 on a second or third probation semester, and any continuance requires the Graduate School's approval. For continuance, it is expected that there will be clear evidence that the student will be able to achieve the required 3.0 GPA to graduate in a timely way.
A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.6 will be considered in academic jeopardy as well as on academic probation. Students may be in academic jeopardy for only one semester.
Students whose grade-point average would place them on a fourth semester of academic probation or a second semester in academic jeopardy are not making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Normally they will be severed from the Graduate School. Their continued enrollment will require the specific written endorsement of their director of graduate studies and approval by the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School.
Graduate programs may have stricter policies, in which case these must be described in the program handbook, but may not have more lenient policies than described above.
Students with a cumulative GPA below B average (3.0) are officially on "academic probation", and they are expected to seek counseling in a timely way from their faculty advisors in order to improve their performance to a satisfactory level. Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.6 are officially on "academic jeopardy" as well, and they are expected to check in with their advisors and Graduate Director regularly during their jeopardy semester.Top
Transcript Notations of Major and Minor Fields
For each advanced-degree recipient, the major and minor fields of specialization completed for the degree are listed on the official graduate transcript. Such listings are limited to one major and two minor fields for doctoral candidates, and to one major and one minor field for masters candidates. Minor field listings may be of two types, intra-program or inter-program.
Intra-program majors and minors to be cited on transcripts are normally limited to those specializations listed in the University Bulletin. Inter-program minors are offered by certain graduate programs for students matriculated in other advanced degree programs on campus. These fields, as well as policies governing both types of minors, are listed in the Bulletin.
In addition to the titles of approved and satisfactorily completed major and minor specializations, official graduate transcripts show the titles of doctoral dissertations and masters' theses. All such special transcript listings are made only at the time of completion of final degree requirements. Graduate programs are responsible for forwarding the requested designations and any necessary documentation to the Graduate School.Top
Leaves of Absence
A leave of absence is granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as prolonged illness or other unusual personal hardship, and requires detailed justification. Students on leave are excused from the registration requirement during the period of the leave. Leaves are normally granted for six months; if necessary, an extension of another 6 months, for a total of up to one year, may be approved. If possible, requests for leaves of absence should be submitted one month prior to the semester for which the leave is requested. A student requesting a leave of absence must submit the Application for Graduate Student Leave of Absence.
Leaves of absence are not granted for a semester already begun. Instead, students should use the withdraw procedures. (Note: On a case by case basis, typically for medical reasons, a leave of absence may be granted once the semester has started. In these cases, once the leave is approved, the student will be administratively withdrawn from all current coursework.)
Leaves of absence are not granted to students who wish to absent themselves to undertake thesis or dissertation research elsewhere; such students should maintain continuous registration at Binghamton. Students going off campus to fulfill an internship related to degree requirements should also remain registered.Top
Graduate Students in Undergraduate Courses
Courses numbered 400 through 499 are advanced undergraduate courses for which graduate credit may be assigned only when the graduate student obtains permission from the professor and enrolls in a graduate-level independent study course (numbered 597). The name of the independent study will be the name of the course at the undergraduate level. The student must do additional work beyond that required for undergraduate students in the course. Within six weeks after the start of the semester, the instructor files with the Graduate School a statement as to the nature of additional work the student is doing in the advanced undergraduate course. In general, approval of graduate credit for advanced undergraduate courses is limited to unique program circumstances usually involving interdisciplinary work. Graduate students should not expect to receive graduate credit for more than two 400-level courses.Top
Undergraduate Students in Graduate Courses
Courses numbered 500 and above are graduate courses, ordinarily open only to graduate students, primarily at the masters level; 600-level courses are research seminars primarily for doctoral students. Undergraduate students who are within eight credits of graduation may register for up to two graduate-level courses and receive graduate credit, provided the graduate courses are not used to meet the undergraduate degree requirements. When graduate courses are not taken with the intent of fulfilling undergraduate requirements, such graduate hours do not count toward full-time status for financial aid purposes; thus, undergraduates taking graduate courses may not be eligible for certain types of financial aid.
To receive graduate credit for such courses, the undergraduate student must complete the Petition to Receive Graduate Credits as an Undergraduate form (available from the Registrar or the Graduate School). The form then must be filed with the Registrar and the Student Accounts Office before registration. Such graduate credit will not apply to any Binghamton University graduate degree program without prior approval by the Graduate School and admission into a Binghamton University graduate program.
While graduate courses taken by undergraduates (and not used to meet undergraduate degree requirements) will appear on the undergraduate transcript, these courses are not counted toward the undergraduate degree or used in the calculation of the final GPA. The credits may be counted toward the graduate degree.
An exception to these policies is made for undergraduate students admitted to combined bachelors/masters degree programs.Top
Last Updated: 1/21/14