Frequently Asked Questions for new and current students

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You're expected to have questions – and we like questions here so ask away. To make it easier for you, we have created this FAQ section for our current undergraduate and graduate students. Feel free to browse through them, and if you don't find the answer to your question, contact us. If you are a prospective undergraduate student, please refer to the FAQ section for prospective undergraduates. If you are a prospective graduate student, please refer to the FAQ section for prospective graduates.



Dissertation and Thesis

Preparing to Graduate




How do current or former Binghamton University students apply for graduate school?

Former Binghamton University students should fill out the online application and pay the application fee. Please click here for guidelines that current, former and accelerated Binghamton University students should follow when they apply to the Graduate School. 

How do I find information on student housing?
For all residential information, please visit

How do I pay first semester fees?
For all fees and payment questions, visit the student accounts page at 

Can I take a graduate course while I am an undergraduate student?
Undergraduate students who are within eight credits of graduation may register 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.

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). This form is then filed with the Registrar and the Student Accounts Office before registration.

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/master's degree programs.

I'd like to be an Undergraduate Course Assistant. How do I apply?

A link to a Google Doc will be e-mailed to students each semester sometime after early registration for the following semester. The doc will ask you to fill out information about the courses you have taken and what grades you received for those courses. It will also ask what your first, second and third choices are. The professor of each course can add anyone he/she chooses from the list or from an approval made by the student contacting the professor requesting to be a UCA.

Registration is done by our department after the professors approve the list of applicants. If you are chosen as an Undergraduate Course Assistant, when your registration has been entered, you will see ECE 491 on your list of courses in BU Brain.

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How do I identify my faculty advisor?

MS students should take steps to identify an advisor to guide their thesis project as soon as possible. Similarly, PhD students should also take steps to identify an advisor to guide their research projects as soon as possible.  Until you have found an advisor, the ECE Graduate Director will act as your interim advisor.

Where is the Graduate Coordinator?

The Coordinator of Graduate Programs can be found in the Engineering Building on the main campus (M Pod).

Do undergraduate course grades affect a graduate student's GPA?

Undergraduate courses taken as a graduate-level student will not be calculated into the graduate GPA. It will appear on the student's transcript with whatever grade is received but it will not be used to calculate the student's graduate GPA. The only "bad thing" that could happen is that if the student receives a failing grade, that will remain on the student's transcript.

I am an international student. Where can I find information about Full-time Certification?

Please click here for information regarding full-time status.

When a student is course complete as a master’s student and therefore only needs to register for 1 credit (of thesis or project), he/she needs to complete a Full-time Certification form for students not receiving funding.

The full-time certification forms can be downloaded from our forms web page. Choose either the MS or the PhD form. Have your advisor sign your form after you fill it out.  Take it to the ECE secretary. You must be registered for qualifying classes before you can be certified.

As an international student you are required to be full time. As a PHD student, 9 credits is considered full time. If you have completed all coursework, you may register for one credit per the policy above, and be certified full time for the balance.

Note: If you are beginning your first year of PHD study it is unlikely you have met all course requirements and can be certified full-time per the policies found at the first link. If you aren’t registered for a qualifying course as noted in the procedures you cannot be certified full time

What about the job opportunities for electrical and computer engineers after graduation?

Job opportunities depend heavily on many external factors (e.g., the economy, the particular area of specialization, the student's job search skills, etc.) so it is hard to give precise information on this. Graduates from our master's and PhD programs have been successful getting job offers from both large and small employers throughout the U.S. The ECE Department keeps a running list of job opportunities on under the "Resources" tab on the web site. For additional information, consider conducting an Internet search or contacting Watson Career and Alumni Connections .

I am a Binghamton University student, do I need to submit GRE and TOEFL scores?

GRE and TOEFL scores are waived for current and former Binghamton University students. After you apply and pay your application fee, contact the department so a notation can be added to your application decision screen showing scores are to be waived.

What are the add/drop deadlines?

Please check the academic calendar at
Click "University Calendar" on the on the left of the above web page to view your choice of calendars.

When do I use the yellow "Independent Study Registration" form?

Use this form to register for independent study courses, including:

  • Undergraduate Research (499)
  • Internship (594)
  • Project (595, 598)
  • Thesis (599)
  • Pre-dissertation and dissertation (698, 699)
  • Other independent study (497, 597, 697)
  • Continuous registration (700)
  • Assistantship credit (701), for TA, GA, and RPA only

Independent Study can be registered any time, beginning with the pre-registration period, and running through the sixth week of classes. Note that the registration deadlines (e.g. the "Add / Drop" deadline for course registration) do not apply to independent study, which can be freely added, dropped or changed, up until (approximately) the sixth week of classes.

To register for Independent Study, you must submit a completed Independent Study Registration Form (a "yellow form"), signed by you faculty adviser. This form is submitted to your department office, where it will be processed.

How do i recover my forgotten Binghamton University password?

Go to and click manage account profile. Enter your user name and click forgot Binghamton University password to reach security questions that must be answered in order to receive your password. 

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What is the total number of credits that can be used toward the matriculated status?

If a non-matriculated student seeks admission to a degree or certificate program with the intention of applying some of the student's non-matriculated course credits to the degree or certificate, then it is the student's responsibility to apply to the degree or certificate program in a timely way. At most, 12 non-matriculated credits will be applied to the degree program and 8 credits to the certificate program.

I am applying for a certificate. Do I need to be in matriculated status?

"Stand-alone" certificates are available to applicants who already hold the appropriate bachelor's or master's degree, as well to currently enrolled, matriculated graduate students at Binghamton University (see desired program for details).

I am considering transferring to Binghamton to finish out my degree but would like some more information. Since I have never taken any graduate placement exams, I was hoping to enroll non-degreed and then matriculate into a program later. If this is possible, how would I go about it?

Yes it is possible to take courses as a non-matric but you should plan to matriculate as soon as possible. You must apply for non-matric at the graduate application site.

Can I transfer my credits from another university if I am starting at Binghamton University as a non-matriculated student but planning to matriculate?

You can transfer up to two courses from elsewhere. You would do the paperwork after you matriculated.

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Last Updated: 1/18/16