The Graduate School Manual - Admissions


Application Fee

An application fee of $75 is required from all applicants at the time of application submission. Fees cannot be deferred or waived, except for CSTEP, EOP, HEOP, LSAMP Program, Project 1000, SEEK Program or TRIO Program (McNair Scholars Program, Student Support Services, Upward Bound, etc.) students, GEM Fellowship applicants, and United States Armed Forces veterans and active duty service members. Applications will not be reviewed until the fee is paid and the application is submitted. Departments may pay the fees for applicants if they choose. Students applying to multiple programs must submit $75 for each program. Application fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Costs may be different for PharmD applications, which are submitted through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS).


Academic Test Scores

The Graduate School requires submission of test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other appropriate standardized national exams (e.g., GMAT, PCAT, Miller Analogies). These standardized exams are indicators of how well an applicant can handle graduate coursework. 

GRE scores are required for most programs in the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences and the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science. Some programs may allow students to substitute GMAT scores for GRE scores. Students must submit scores from an exam taken within the last 5 years, as the testing agency considers only scores less than 5 years old to be valid. Departments who require the GRE Subject Test generally specify this on their websites. Applicants for admission to the School of Management should submit GMAT scores. Applicants for admission to the PharmD program in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences should submit PCAT scores. 

Departments/programs that want to waive test scores for individual applicants should request a waiver from the Graduate School and provide appropriate rationale for the waiver (e.g., applicant has already taken graduate courses and done well, thus demonstrating the ability to handle graduate coursework).


Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program and across fall and spring semesters. The Graduate School's online program descriptions provide the specific deadlines for each program. A comprehensive list of deadlines is available in the Application Deadlines section of the Graduate School website. Program staff members should contact the Assistant Dean in the Graduate School to provide or update the precise deadlines for their programs.


Types of Admission: Degree Programs

Applicants admitted as degree (matriculated) students may be placed in one of the following categories:

Regular admission: Students are admitted as fully qualified to undertake a program towards a graduate degree. Students who are expected to receive their bachelor's degrees with satisfactory academic achievement between the time of admission and the time they begin their graduate studies are included in this category. Students under regular admission who do not submit official, final transcripts showing satisfactory academic achievement and degree conferral before the end of the sixth week of graduate studies will not be allowed to register for subsequent semesters until they submit such documentation.

Provisional admission: An applicant whose credentials are incomplete may be admitted provisionally. (Normally, an applicant will not be provisionally admitted if more than one of the required credentials is missing.) Once the missing documentation is received, it will be reviewed by the graduate program and the Graduate School. If approved by both, the status will be changed to a regular admit by the Graduate School. All missing documentation should be submitted before the student initially enrolls. For unusual circumstances and with approval by the Graduate School, the missing documentation may be submitted during the student's first semester. Students under provisional admission will not be allowed to register for subsequent semesters or graduate until they have provided specific documentation and their status has been changed to "regular."

Conditional admission: Students who do not meet academic requirements for admission, as determined by the graduate program and the Graduate School, may be admitted conditionally, with the Graduate School's approval. The Graduate School will not approve a recommendation of conditional admit if the applicant's credentials are incomplete. Graduate programs may recommend admittance and the conditions. It is expected that specific conditions for admission to regular status beginning in the second semester, and a timetable for fulfilling those conditions, will be communicated in writing by the program to the student at the time of conditional admission. Normally a student can only be a "conditional admit" for the first semester. After the first semester, the program will review the student's progress toward satisfying those conditions. If they are not met, the program will recommend appropriate action by the Graduate School. Per federal regulations, international students cannot be granted conditional admission.


Deferral of Admission

An offer of admission applies to a particular starting semester. This is specified in the acceptance letter. If an applicant wishes to defer admission and begin studies at a later semester, the applicant generally must reapply. 

Graduate programs can recommend deferral of admission to the Graduate School. If the graduate program approves an applicant's deferral, the program will submit an admission deferral request to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will review the request and either approve or deny it.

An applicant who wishes to defer admission should contact his/her graduate program. If the applicant has completed additional coursework since submitting his/her graduate application, he/she must submit a new transcript for review.

Applicants accepted to any online program may not request a deferral of admission. A new application must be submitted prior to the time frame that the applicant is seeking admission.

International Students: If difficulty in obtaining a visa prevents an international applicant from enrolling in the semester specified in the acceptance letter, the applicant should contact the graduate program directly. The graduate program will then advise the Graduate School of the applicant's status.


Dual/Double-Degree Programs

Applicants to dual-degree or double-degree programs should apply to both degree programs at the same time by submitting two graduate applications and paying two application fees. Both academic departments must recommend the applicant for admission to the dual-degree program. The Graduate School renders the final admission decision. If the student later decides to withdraw from one of the programs, the student is required to notify both academic departments and the Graduate School immediately in writing.

Students are expected to be registered as full-time students every semester and complete the dual-degree program as prescribed by the program. The only exception to full-time registration is for students in the MS Nursing program who are employed full-time, and this exception is noted upon admission. In this case, students are expected to be registered every semester and complete the dual-degree program as prescribed by the program. In all cases, students are expected to maintain continuous registration for the fall and spring semesters and complete the dual-degree program within five years of entering the program. Students are not allowed to be registered in a dual-degree or double-degree program of study and an online program simultaneously.

Only under special circumstances will a student be admitted to a dual-degree program after the student has started the first semester of one of the component degree programs. When applying for the dual-degree program, the student must present a course schedule for every semester and have the schedule approved by both academic departments. The course schedule should meet the timeline prescribed by the dual-degree program. The Graduate School will render a final admission decision. If the student is admitted to the second degree program, enrollment in that program will not begin until the subsequent semester.


Admission: Non-Degree/Non-Matriculated Status

Persons holding a baccalaureate degree may apply to enroll in graduate courses without entering a degree or certificate program. This is known as non-degree/non-matriculated student status and is sometimes referred to as "continuing education." Applicants for non-matriculated student status must follow the Graduate School's non-degree application process.

Non-matriculated students may take up to 12 credits total, though some academic departments and schools limit that number further. Academic departments and schools may also restrict enrollment in their courses to degree- and certificate-seeking matriculated students. Degrees, certificates and graduate assistantships are not granted to non-matriculated students.

Depending on the curriculum requirements of a program, some courses taken as a non-degree student may be applied toward a degree, should the student later gain admission to a Binghamton University graduate degree or certificate program. The maximum number of credits taken as a non-degree student that can be applied toward a degree is 12 and toward a certificate is 8. Whether non-degree credits will be applied toward a degree or certificate is determined at the time of admission to a degree or certificate program. Non-matriculated credits will not be applied toward a degree or certificate once the student has begun the degree or certificate program. If, at a later date, a student decides to apply to the Graduate School for admission to a degree program, the student must submit a regular application electronically. If the student is admitted to a degree program, s/he should obtain from the department an evaluation of graduate courses taken on a continuing education basis as a non-matriculated student. Through this evaluation, those courses that are found appropriate may be officially credited toward the student's degree.

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. For example, application and admission to a degree program should occur before the 12-credit limit is reached. At most, 12 non-matriculated credits will be applied to the degree program and 8 credits to the certificate program.

A non-matriculated student is not subject to the university residency requirement, and in turn, any credits taken as a non-matriculated student do not apply toward university residency, even if those credits are subsequently approved to apply to a graduate degree.


Materials Needed for Consideration for Admission to Degree Programs

To be eligible for graduate study, applicants must:

  • Provide a complete set of undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
  • The applicant has earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
  • The applicant is within one academic year of earning a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
  • The applicant is eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between their current institution and Binghamton University

Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:

  • A 3.0 GPA over the entire undergraduate career
  • A 3.0 GPA during the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of the undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
  • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
  • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

Exception: Applicants for the PharmD program in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) must meet the requirements listed in the SOPPS section of the Bulletin. Applicants must have completed certain courses and must have, at minimum, a 2.75 GPA.

All applicants must submit:

  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Transcript(s) for all previous college or university coursework showing courses, grades and conferral of degree (submitted according to the guidelines outlined in the Graduate School Manual)
    • Unofficial transcripts are accepted for application review; official transcripts are required upon admission.
    • The Graduate School is unable to return transcripts submitted by mail.
  • Personal statement (unless otherwise specified by the program)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Letters of recommendation from individuals who can comment authoritatively on the applicant's academic achievements and/or work or internship experience related to the program (submitted according to the guidelines outlined in the Graduate School Manual)
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores, as specified by the program, unless otherwise specified by the program (submitted electronically according to the guidelines in the Graduate School Manual)
  • Any program-specific application materials, such as writing and/or work samples, licenses and/or certifications, and/or other test scores

Exception: Applicants for the PharmD program in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) must apply through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) and submit official Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores.

For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

Additional Materials Needed for Consideration for Admission to Degree Programs as an International Student

In addition to the materials listed above, international students must also submit:

  • Proof of English proficiency (such as TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo scores or proof of degree earned in certain countries)
  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)

For more information about these materials, see the International Student Admission section of the Graduate School Manual and the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

Materials Needed for Consideration for Admission as a Non-Degree/Non-Matriculated Student

Students must submit:

  • A completed online non-degree/non-matriculated application
  • A non-degree/non-matriculated application fee 
  • Transcript(s) showing undergraduate coursework and conferral of undergraduate degree


Administrative Procedures for Admission

The Graduate School uses an electronic, online admissions system, which speeds up the admissions review and decision process.

After the applicant successfully submits the online application and required supporting documents, the application becomes visible in the academic department’s admission database. The graduate program director and graduate committee will then be able to review the application. Once a decision is made, the graduate program director routes the file back to the Graduate School with an admission recommendation.

Upon receipt of the admission recommendation from the academic department, the Graduate School reviews all documentation and renders a final admission decision. For offers of admission, the Graduate School communicates the decision to the applicant via e-mail and official letter. The admitted student notifies the Graduate School electronically of his/her acceptance of the offer by submitting the admission deposit. For denial of admission, the Graduate School communicates the decision via e-mail.


Admission Deposit

The admission deposit confirms a student's intent to enroll at Binghamton University. It reserves the student's place in the academic program for the semester for which the student was accepted. The $100 (U.S.) deposit is paid online with a credit card and is credited to the student's first semester bill. If a student does not submit the deposit, the admission offer may be withdrawn to accommodate another student. If a student requests and accepts a deferral of the admission offer, the deposit will be forfeited.

Refund Policy: A request for a refund of the admission deposit must be submitted in writing to the Graduate School at by April 1 for the fall term or by November 1 for the spring term. The Graduate School will forward these requests to Student Accounts, which will issue the refund. Refunds will be issued back to the method of payment that was used to pay the deposit. 

Requests made after April 1 for the fall term or after November 1 for the spring term are subject to Graduate School approval and must be made within 30 days from when the deposit was paid. After 30 days, the deposit is non-refundable.



All graduate students admitted to a degree program must register each semester, excluding summer, until all degree requirements have been completed. Students who fail to maintain continuous registration, unless granted a formal leave of absence by the Graduate School, are ineligible to resume graduate study until readmission has been approved. Students applying for readmission to a graduate program are subject to the rules, procedures, curriculum, and standards in effect at the time of readmission. Readmission is not automatic and may be subject to additional conditions set by the department or school or by the dean of the Graduate School. Readmitted students who have missed up to four semesters will be required to register for one credit for each semester missed, up to a maximum of four semesters.

Students admitted to an online program must refer to their program's plan of study, which may include the need to register for summer sessions.

A fee of $75 is assessed for all applications for readmission to Binghamton University graduate degree programs.

For information about non-degree/non-matriculated student readmission, see the Admission: Non-Degree/Non-Matriculated Status section of the Graduate School Manual.


International Student Admission

Applicants to the Graduate School who are citizens of other countries, whether they are enrolled in a school in the United States or abroad, are required to meet academic standards for admission to a degree program, show proficiency in English at the college level and certify that they will have the required amount of money needed for each year of study. When applicants are offered admission to Binghamton University, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services issues a Certificate of Eligibility: either Form I-20 (F-1 visa) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 visa). 

Although special circumstances may allow an individual to be admitted as a non-degree student for one term, international students (F-1 visa) generally are not eligible for non-degree status.

Admission into an online graduate program does not qualify international students for a F-1 or J-1 visa.


Proof of English Proficiency

International students that will be applying for F or J status must certify their English proficiency by submitting official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), PTE Academic, or the Duolingo English Test. 

TOEFL: The Graduate School requires a minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the Internet-based test or 60 on the Paper-based test. TOEFL MyBest scores are accepted. Depending on location, the TOEFL may be either Internet-based or paper-based. To learn more or register for the test, visit the TOEFL website. To submit a score report, use Binghamton University's code: 2535.

IELTS: The Graduate School requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with no band below 5.0. To learn more or register for the test, visit the IELTS website. Requests for IELTS score delivery to Binghamton University Graduate School must be submitted directly to the test center where you took the IELTS test.

PTE Academic: The Graduate School requires a minimum PTE Academic score of 53. To learn more or register for the test, visit the PTE Academic website. To submit a score report, select "Binghamton University - State University of New York" from the score delivery menu.

Duolingo English Test*: The Graduate School requires a minimum Duolingo score of 105. To learn more or register for the test, visit the Duolingo website To submit a score report, select "Binghamton University (SUNY)" from the list of institutions.
*In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2022 application cycle.

A waiver for the proof of English proficiency requirement is available to applicants who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have received a graduate-level degree from an accredited institution in the United States, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or some Canadian provinces.


  • Have completed at least two years of full-time study at an accredited institution in the United States, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or some Canadian provinces.


  • Are a current Binghamton University student.

Applicants who have not met one of these criteria but will become eligible for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement by the time they start their graduate program at Binghamton University have two options:

  • Certify their English proficiency by submitting official scores from one of the tests listed above.


  • Apply without certifying their English proficiency. If an applicant is admitted without certifying their English proficiency, their offer of admission will be provisional until transcripts are received that verify their eligibility for the waiver. Once eligibility is verified, the admission will be switched from provisional to regular status. Please note that applicants in provisional admission status are not eligible to receive an I-20/DS-2019 immigration document.

Academic departments can also request a waiver of the English proficiency requirement on behalf of applicants. These requests are reviewed on an individual basis and must be submitted to the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. The waiver request must include information on how the English proficiency of the applicant was evaluated in the absence of a standardized test.


International Student Financial Statement and Supporting Financial Documentation

International applicants must guarantee a minimum amount of funds per year to cover expenses (see below). This figure includes living expenses, tuition, fees, and insurance expenses. Additional funds are required for spouses and children accompanying the student to the United States. The minimum dollar resources required are subject to change by the federal government.

See the International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) Form for all expected figures for incoming international graduate students at Binghamton University.


Award of a Second Degree in the Same Field

The State University of New York policy states that a second degree at the same level (e.g., master's or doctorate) can be awarded only when a significant amount of additional course work in a very different field is completed. Normally when a student has already earned a master's or doctorate in a given discipline (e.g., economics or history) at another foreign or U.S. institution, a second degree at the same level in that discipline cannot be earned at Binghamton University.


Switching from One Department/School to Another Within the University

The Graduate School admits students to a specific degree program. Degree programs are housed in specific academic units. Normally a student cannot switch from one academic unit to another. A proposed degree program in another unit cannot admit the student without the Graduate School’s approval. If a student decides that another unit is a better fit, then the procedure is as follows:

The student must formally apply via the standard application process of the Graduate School. The proposed degree program evaluates the application and makes a recommendation to the Graduate School. The Graduate School reviews the application and makes a decision. Student should be aware of specific admissions deadlines. If the student is admitted to the proposed degree program, he/she must formally withdraw from the former program.

Normally few, if any, courses may be transferred to the proposed degree program. Work for and results of qualifying, comprehensive, field area, prospectus and other such exams cannot be transferred. Thesis, dissertation, project, independent study and capstone credits cannot be transferred. ABD students cannot transfer. The student’s funding eligibility is not re-set. Current funding is not transferrable without the consent of the unit providing the funding. International students are also responsible for updating appropriate documentation related to change in study and degree completion timeframe.