Academic Policies and Procedures

Unless designated, the following Academic Policies and Procedures are applicable to

all degree and certificate programs.

Academic Advising

It is the responsibility of each student to monitor his or her academic progress at Paul Smith’s College. The student is expected to know the graduation requirements pertinent to his or her program, to be cognizant of his or her Grade Point Average (GPA), to make appropriate elective course selections, and to add/drop courses to best facilitate attainment of his or her educational goals. To assist in making these important decisions, the College provides each student with an Academic Advisor. Advice and information are also available to each student from the Department Chairs, Registrar’s Office, and online.

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Honesty

Paul Smith's College values intellectual integrity and the highest standards of academic conduct, as set forth in the Ten Principles of Academic Integrity. To be prepared to meet societal needs as leaders and role models, students must be educated in an ethical learning environment that promotes high standards of honor and integrity in scholastic work. Academic dishonesty undermines institutional integrity, threatens the academic fabric of the College, and is not an acceptable avenue to success. It diminishes the quality and value of a Paul Smith’s College education. Fostering an appreciation for academic standards and values is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and staff. Therefore, the entire academic community must establish and enforce rules governing violations of academic honesty.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is any treatment or representation of work as if one were fully responsible for it, when it is, in fact, the work of another person or work in which one has received unacknowledged assistance from others. It includes, but is not limited to:

Academic dishonesty is a serious violation that is counter to the purpose and aims of Paul Smith’s College. A substantiated case of academic dishonesty may result in:

Procedures in Case of Alleged Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

Within seven (7) days of when academic dishonesty is suspected by or brought to the attention of the faculty member, he/she will make every effort to meet with the accused student(s) and attempt to ascertain the facts. After the interview, if the faculty member believes that academic dishonesty has occurred, an Academic Integrity Report Form regarding the incident shall be completed with one copy sent to each of the following: the student, the Department Chair of the Student’s Division, the Department Chair of the course’s Division, the Registrar, and the Provost.

The Report Form shall indicate whether the student admits or denies guilt in the incident, including all relevant documents (crib notes, copy of plagiarized materials, exams, etc.), summarize the circumstance surrounding the incident, and indicate what penalties will be applied and the student’s right of appeal.

If the student disagrees with the faculty member’s determination of academic dishonesty and/or the penalty to be applied, an appeal may be made within seven calendar days to the Division Department Chair, who shall:

  1. Review the faculty member’s report.
  2. Consult with the parties involved.
  3. Agree or disagree with the faculty member’s determination of academic dishonesty and of the penalty to be applied.
  4. Within seven calendar days review and submit a decision in writing to the student, the faculty member, the Registrar, and the Provost. This response shall include a statement informing the student of the right to appear to the Board of Academic Standards which will appoint a Hearing Board as defined below.

If a student disagrees with the Division Department Chair’s determination of academic dishonesty and/or the penalty to be applied and desires to appeal, the appeal must be made according to the following procedures. The appeal shall be in writing, present reasons for the request, and be received in the Office of the Provost within seven calendar days of receipt of the Division Department Chair’s decision.

The Provost shall notify the chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee of receipt of the appeal and meet with the student within seven calendar days of receipt of the appeal in order to inform the student:

The Hearing Board is composed of the chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee, who will select the remaining participants of the Hearing Board: two other faculty members from the Committee’s membership, and two students selected from the membership of Student Government, one of whom must be an officer. The chairperson will preside at the hearing. The Hearing Board will follow established procedures to ensure fair consideration of the matter. (see Clark University, Section IV)

In the event of an appeal or in the case of a second offense of academic dishonesty (which automatically mandates a hearing) the Hearing Board shall:

  1. Convene within seven calendar days to conduct a hearing;
  2. As necessary, request all parties involved to appear as witnesses;
  3. Within three days following the hearing inform in writing the following persons of its decision: the student, the faculty member, the department Department Chair and the Provost;
  4. Return complete file of case to the Office of the Provost

In the event there is new evidence not previously considered by the Hearing Board of the Academic Standards Committee, the student should present the evidence to the Provost and request a second hearing.

If a student disagrees with the decision of the Hearing Board, an appeal may be made to the President. The appeal shall be in writing and must be submitted within seven days of the receipt of written notification of the Board’s decision.

An appeal to the President will be limited to:

The decision of the President is final.

When appealed, a decision in a case of academic dishonesty is held in abeyance.


Should the term end before a case of academic dishonesty has been resolved, an NG (no grade) is temporarily assigned for the course.

Students with an appeal pending will be allowed to register for and attend the next course in the series or a course which requires the disputed course as a prerequisite or corequisite. For a course which is required for the program OR a required pre-requisite or co-requisite to another course in the program, if the charge of academic dishonesty is upheld and the course is failed, the student must repeat the course in order to graduate. If the course was not required for the student’s program or as a pre-requisite or co-requisite for a required course, the student may opt not to repeat the course, however, the “F” would remain on the student’s transcript.

If course is required for graduation, the student will be allowed to participate in commencement, but will not receive his or her diploma or receive official transcripts including grades for the disputed semester until the appeal is settled in favor of student. If the student is participating in commencement

Since it is important to good relationships that the process proceeds as quickly as possible, all parties will endeavor to expedite its resolution. The time limits specified for either party may be extended at the request of either party, with the concurrence of the Provost.

The Provost may appoint alternate hearing officers at any stage of the process to facilitate a resolution of the matter.


When academic dishonesty has been substantiated, a faculty member may assign a grade of F for the course or a zero to the piece of work, assignment, or examination in question.

For a student’s first offense, the Division Department Chair and the Hearing Board, when acting as appeal agents, shall not impose against the student a sanction which is more serious than the one assigned by the faculty member.

The Hearing Board in cases of a second offense may impose a sanction against a student that is more serious then the one assigned by faculty member. In case of a third offense the hearing board may dismiss the student from the College or suspend the student for a designated period of time. Students who are dismissed from the college or suspended will have a notation on transcript stating that the action was due to academic dishonesty

When academic dishonesty has been identified by the instructor, a student’s right to drop or withdraw in good standing from that course is revoked until the allegations are resolved. If the student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, they will not be allowed to drop the course.


All records of the student’s involvement in a case of academic dishonesty, including copies of any sanction letters from the Hearing Board, remain part of the student’s personal file maintained in the Office of the Registrar.

Confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with the College’s policy of student records and release of information.


Attendance is expected of all students. Unsatisfactory attendance occurs when a student’s accumulated absences in a semester exceed the number of times the class meets per week. Faculty report class absences through SelfService, and or Starfish. Weekly updates of students’ absences are provided to faculty and support offices. Faculty, however, may establish individual policies in their syllabi which determine the impact of unsatisfactory absences on the student’s grade in the course. Verification of unavoidable absences is the student’s responsibility.


A student in good academic standing may, with the approval of the academic advisor, audit one course per semester, providing there is space available in the course, as determined by the instructor in concert with the Registrar’s Office.

When auditing a course, the student has the option of doing the work required. The student will receive no grade or credit for an audited course. Course(s) that a student has audited may not later be challenged for credit.

An audited course will appear on the student’s transcript, with an audit (AU) notation. Attendance will be recorded by the instructor of the course. If a student has more than 5 recorded absences, no record of the course will appear on the transcript. Audited courses may not in any way apply to graduation requirements or to the student’s GPA.

With approval of the academic advisor or designee, and the instructor of the course, a student may change his classification from “audit” to “for credit” up to the end of the second week of the semester. Upon reclassification to “for credit” the student will be billed regular tuition costs for the course.

  1. Students enrolled at Paul Smith’s College as full-time students may audit one course per semester, on a space available basis. If the audited course does not place their total load over 18 credit hours, there is no charge. If the audited course is an overload, the charge is $100 per credit hour plus appropriate fees for supplies.
  2. Students enrolled at Paul Smith’s College who are not full-time may audit one course per semester, on a space available basis. The charge is $150 per credit hour, plus appropriate fees for supplies. Individuals, other than full-time Paul Smith’s College students, who are auditing a course must prove high school graduation and have Department Chair’s approval.

Behavioral Standards

Students are expected to attend class regularly, arrive on time, come to class prepared, demonstrate courtesy and respect to the instructor and other students, and contribute to a classroom environment supportive of learning and intellectual development.

The College’s alcohol and drug policy applies to all aspects of student life, including the classroom, where zero tolerance is the standard. Coming to class or other academic functions under the influence constitutes a misuse of alcohol under or over age 21. Coming to class under the influence of illegal substances is also prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Students who, in the opinion of the instructor, fail to abide by these expectations may face academic discipline. In addition, misconduct or disruption in the classroom or other campus areas may result in academic discipline. The instructor will report any violation of the above to the appropriate parties.

Certification of Enrollment

The Registrar’s Office can certify individuals as enrolled in good standing only after students register for courses, and not before the first day of the term for which certification is sought. Note that for student loan and/or health insurance purposes, full-time registration status (a minimum of 12 credits) is required; it is possible that students enrolled for fewer than 12 credits (including externship semesters) may not be covered by parents’ health insurance. All parties are urged to check with their health insurer in advance for eligibility coverage, and if that is not available, to participate in the health insurance coverage plan offered through the Paul Smith’s College Health Services office.

Classification of Students

Freshman standing: 0 to 29 earned credit hours

Sophomore standing: 30 to 59 earned credit hours

Junior standing: 60 to 89 earned credit hours

Senior standing: 90 or more earned credit hours

All classifications are made as of the registration date each semester. Classification will be reviewed upon re-admission, change of program, etc.

The Registrar is the final authority in determining classification.

Commencement Participation

Paul Smith's College conducts an annual commencement ceremony following the Spring Semester. Students who have completed the graduation requirements will graduate at Commencement. Students who have 9 or fewer credits remaining to complete their graduation requirements AND have a 2.00 GPA or higher are invited to participate in Commencement or the December Celebration. Outstanding noncredit work experience hours do not prevent a student from participating in commencement. Students may participate in either Commencement or the Celebration, but may not participate in both for the same degree.

The commencement ceremony, held in early May, is a time when Paul Smith's College gathers to recognize the accomplishments of members of the academic community, including distinguished guests, faculty, alumni, and students. All students who have become eligible to attend a commencement ceremony since the last ceremony are invited to attend the current Commencement provided that they have not attended the December Celebration for the same degree.

Application to participate in commencement, including for those students not in attendance at Paul Smith’s College during the spring term in which commencement is held, must be made in writing by April 1 through the Office of the Provost, Phelps Administration 205, Paul Smith’s College.

Those students processing at commencement ceremonies although missing one course in order to graduate, may wear honors regalia at the commencement ceremony providing they have otherwise met all honors criteria, and that the course not yet completed be a course that is graded at Paul Smith’s College only on a “Pass/Fail” basis.

Dean’s List

Students qualify for the Dean’s List if they are enrolled full-time during any semester/session in which they obtain at least a 3.30 Grade Point Average and do not receive a grade of “F”, “INC.”, or “DEF”.

As further recognition of outstanding scholarship, students who have met the above conditions, and also have a cumulative average of at least 3.80, qualify for the title of “Adirondack Scholar”.

Students who are on the Dean’s List at the end of any semester and who have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 are permitted to enroll in one additional course (an overload) in the subsequent semester at no extra charge, provided they are full-time students.

Students scheduled for the 15-week semester in the Hotel/Restaurant 260 Practicum course or the Externship are precluded from carrying an overload. The privilege for these students will be carried over to their next semester on campus, provided that they maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00.

Degree Completion

Students who are continually enrolled or are not enrolled for no more than one continuous semester are permitted a ten-year period from their original date of entry into any Paul Smith's College program during which they have the option of meeting the academic requirements in existence at the time of their original entry into the program, or of meeting the requirements of the program at the time of their re-entry. Students may graduate under one or the other, but not a combination of the two programs. Students who at any point during their studies are not enrolled at Paul Smith's College for two continuous semesters, will be required to meet the graduation requirements in force at the time of their re-admission to Paul Smith's College.

Students who are within 9 credits hours of obtaining their degree are permitted a ten-year period from their original date of entry into any Paul Smith's College program during which they have the option of meeting the academic requirements in existence at the time of their original entry into the program, or of meeting the requirements of the program at the time of their re-entry. Students may graduate under one or the other, but not a combination of the two programs.

Students whose degree work extends beyond the ten year period from their original date of entry into the program are required to meet the graduation requirements effective at the time of their re-entry. A course completed prior to re-entry and fulfilling current degree requirements will be accepted providing no significant changes have occurred in the course. If significant changes have occurred in a course completed prior to re-entry and fulfilling current degree requirements or a course in a field where there has been a significant change in the knowledge base (the sciences, GIS, etc.), the course will be accepted only upon the successful completion of a challenge examination by the student.


A student who withdraws from a course after the fourth Tuesday of the term will receive a grade of “WP” (withdrew passing) or “WF” (withdrew failing), unless the student simultaneously withdraws from the college. In that case, a grade of “WD” (withdrew) is issued for all courses registered for in the term of withdrawal. Dropping below full-time may have an impact on the student's financial aid and the ability to remain living on campus. Students are encouraged to speak with the respective offices prior to dropping a course(s) to determine how they will be impacted.

Upon recommendation of his or her advisor, a student may add a course(s) by the first Tuesday of the semester. (The add period will be prorated for courses offered in other than full semester formats. Exact dates are available on the Academic Calendar.)

Dual Degree Guidelines

Paul Smith’s College baccalaureate degrees (B.S. or B.P.S) require 120-121 credits inclusive of a relevant culminating or Capstone experience. The conferral of a second degree is reserved for those students who have satisfied degree requirements in an essentially different area. This requires 24 credits or more in course work different from the primary degree, including a different culminating experience (Capstone). Eighteen (18) of those credits must be upper division coursework. Integrated general education requirements earned for the first degree can be applied to the second degree. The additional course work should provide opportunities for the students to gain essentially different competencies aligned with the new program’s requirements, goals, and learning outcome expectations.

Paul Smith’s College associate degrees (AS, AAS, AA) require 60-63 credits. The conferral of a second associate’s degree is reserved for those students who have satisfied degree requirements for the second associate’s degree. This requires 12 credits or more in course work different from the primary degree. Integrated general education requirements earned for the first degree can be applied to the second degree. The additional course work should provide opportunities for the students to gain essentially different competencies aligned with the new program’s requirements, goals, and learning outcome expectations.

No more than 75% of the additional credits for the second bachelor’s degree or 50% of the additional credits for the associate’s degree can come from transfer credit. Students applying for a second degree must have earned an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Students seeking an additional degree must consult with their advisor and then complete the ‘dual degree’ form and have it approved by the Department Chair of the School offering the second degree. To be effective in the current semester the form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s office prior to the end of the add period for the current semester.

Dual concentrations within one program are not considered separate degrees. Students who wish to add credentials in areas that are similar to their major program (as defined below) are encouraged to add a minor in that area.

The following programs are considered "essentially the same" and therefore will not be allowed to earn two degrees in these combinations

Students who wish to add credentials in areas that are similar to their major program (as defined above) should be encouraged to add a minor in that area.

Externship Verification Process

The Externship semester is a fundamental aspect of the Paul Smith’s College educational experience, and may be required for a variety of academic programs. Instructional requirements of the various externship courses are determined by and maintained by the academic divisions.

Students who wish to have previous experience in their degree subject area considered for satisfaction of an externship course requirement must submit an application in writing to their Department Chair no later than noon on the last day of classes of the second semester (excluding summer sessions) of their enrollment in the program at Paul Smith’s College.

Students who have not met the externship requirement of their degree program, and who are employed in a full-time position that they wish to submit for consideration of satisfaction of an externship requirement, must:

  1. Have applied to the Department Chair of their academic division prior to accepting employment; and
  2. If placement is approved, be registered for the given term’s externship course. Paul Smith’s College is not obligated to accept externship course registrations after the start date of any term.

Students registered in an externship course for any term that follows the most recent commencement ceremony, not including the present term, and who have not submitted satisfactory proof of completion of externship experience, must submit such proof to the Registrar by the close of the first business day following October 31 or March 30, for the fall and spring terms respectively.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (otherwise known as FERPA), sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. FERPA governs the release of records maintained by educational institutions and access to those records. This notice, published in the college catalog, serves as the yearly student notification of their rights under FERPA.

Questions regarding FERPA or any college policies related to it may be directed to the Registrar's Office.

  1. Definition of Education Record:

    The meaning of "education records" is, with certain exemptions as listed below, those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student, and are maintained by any employee or agent of the University. The following categories of information are exempted and are not considered to be "education records:"

  2. Right to Inspect and Review

    Students are granted the right to inspect and review all of their education records, except the following:

  3. Waiver of Rights of Access

    Students may waive their right of access to confidential letters and statements of recommendation. Even if the student signs a waiver, upon request, the names of all persons making confidential recommendations will be made available. Employees or agents of the College may not require a student to waive his or her right of access for receipt of College benefits or services.

  4. Procedures for Inspection and Review
  5. Right to Challenge Information in Records

    Students have the right to challenge the content of their education records if they consider the information contained therein to be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate.

  6. Procedures for Hearings to Challenge Records

    Students challenging information in their records must submit, in writing, a request for a hearing to the Registrar's Office, listing the specific information in question and the reasons for the challenge.

  7. Consent for Release Required

    Consent must be obtained from a student for the release of information from education records, specifying what is to be released, the reasons for release, and to whom, with a copy of the record sent to the student if he or she desires.

  8. Release Without Consent

    The requirement for consent does not apply to the following:

  9. Directory Information

    Paul Smith's College, in accordance with the Act, has designated the following information about students as public (directory) information:

  10. Complaints, Concerns or Suggestions

    Any student who has reason to believe that the College is not complying with the Act or this policy should inform the Registrar in writing. The Registrar shall promptly review all such allegations.

Final Assessment Policy

Paul Smith’s College requires that a final assessment be administered in every course. The assessment, and the student’s preparation for them, provides an opportunity for a comprehensive review of subject material, thus promoting overall synthesis of the course by the student as well as improving long-term retention of the material. Exposure to a final assessment also helps prepare the student for their experiences in possible future endeavors.

A period of two hours will be allocated for classes requesting a final examination period. The final examinations will be given at the specified time and place indicated on the Final Examination Schedule distributed by the Registrar's Office. The final assessment format must be pre-approved by the Department Chair prior to the beginning of the semester and be clearly delineated in the syllabus.

Grade Change Procedure

Considerable care is taken to ensure that all grades entered on a student’s permanent record are accurate. Records are considered to be correct if a student does not report errors within one year of the completion of the course. Any student who suspects an error in a semester’s final grade should follow the procedure described below.

  1. 1. The student first contacts the course instructor to discuss the grade in question within six weeks of the start of the semester (regular academic session) immediately following that in which the grade was awarded. If the instructor agrees that the grade in question was inaccurate, a grade change is processed by the instructor.
  2. If the student and the instructor cannot agree on the appropriateness of the grade in question, the student may contact the Department Chair of the instructor’s department, with a specific reason, in writing, within ten working days after the meeting with the instructor. If a mutually agreeable decision is made through mediation conducted by the Department Chair, the instructor will submit the agreed-upon grade and the process is completed. If there is no outcome that is mutually acceptable to the student and the instructor, the process may continue. If the instructor is also the Department Chair, then Step 2 is omitted and the process goes to Step 3.
  3. The student may appeal the decision to the Office of the Provost in writing within ten working days after the mediation process is complete. The Provost shall collect written views and other pertinent material from the involved instructor, student, and Department Chair, and consult with any other individuals deemed necessary. The Provost shall convene a panel of faculty who have not been involved in the process described above. The panel must be formed within ten days of receipt of the written request by the Provost.
  4. A three-member panel will be selected as follows: The Provost, the faculty member, and the student involved will each select one member of the panel from the designated faculty.
  5. The panel will review all appropriate material and make a written determination about the grade. This review must be completed within thirty days of the formation of the panel. The panel has the authority to assign a grade for the course in question. That grade may be the same grade as assigned by the instructor, or a higher, or a lower grade, according to the panel’s judgment. The student and the instructor will be informed of the panel’s decision and, when applicable, the authorized grade change will be submitted to the Registrar.
  6. The decision of the panel may be appealed by the original instructor, or the student, to the Provost only in the following extraordinary circumstances:
  7. If the Provost believes that the decision of the panel should be reviewed, a three-member appeal panel will be appointed from the pool of faculty as described in paragraph 3 above. The Provost, the faculty member, and the student involved will each select one member. No member of the original panel may serve on the appeal panel. The appeal panel will follow the procedure in paragraph 5 above, including completion of its task within thirty days of the formation of the panel. The written decision of the appeal panel is final.

Grading System

Paul Smith’s College provides both interim grades and final grades each semester. Only the final grades appear on the student’s transcript. Grades for all courses attempted during the semester/session are available for student viewing on SelfService. Login to SelfService to view your grades, GPA, class schedule and unofficial transcript.

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is computed for each semester, and cumulatively at the end of each semester and other Paul Smith’s College sessions.

Quality Points (QP) are awarded as follows: (NG=Numerical Grade, L=Letter Grades). Grades are recorded by letter (L).











































All grades submitted to the Registrar by Faculty will be reported in letters, except as indicated below:

A student may repeat any course taken at Paul Smith’s College. All attempts will remain on the student’s record (unless the student withdraws within the no-penalty period). The last attempt is the grade of record, and the only one included in the computation of the Grade Point Average. While the credit hours for the course will count both times for attempted hours, the credit hours for a repeated course will count only once. The original grade will still appear on the transcript. Courses attempted after graduation will not be computed and will not change the academic record at the time of graduation. If a failed course has been removed from the curriculum, the students may meet graduation requirements by course substitution if they have a written recommendation from the appropriate Department Chair. (In such a case, the failed course is not to be included in the computation of credit hours or GPA.)

Graduation Requirements

  1. To be eligible for graduation, students must:
    1. have fulfilled the institutional (residency) requirements;
    2. have completed satisfactorily (passed) all courses in their program;
    3. have met satisfactorily (passed) at least the minimum number of credit hours required in their program.
    4. have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00;
    5. have met their financial obligation to the College.
  2. In addition to the requirements stated in 1, baccalaureate candidates must have completed satisfactorily (passed), the minimum number of Upper Division credits (300/400 level) required by their program. No more than half of the upper level courses required in each program may be transferred in for credit.
  3. Students become degree candidates when the Department Chair certifies that the students have completed program and college requirements for graduation. The Provost recommends the students to the faculty for the conferring of the appropriate degree.
  4. The student’s cumulative GPA at the time of his or her completion of the program of study will be used to determine degrees with honor according to the following schedule. A student who receives final honors shall have such honors indicated on his or her diploma, as well as in the commencement program.

    Cum Laude............3.50 to 3.74

    Magna Cum Laude.....3.75 to 3.89

    Summa Cum Laude......3.90 to 4.00

Those students processing at commencement ceremonies although missing one course in order to graduate, may wear honors regalia at the commencement ceremony providing they have otherwise met all honors criteria, and that the course not yet completed be a course that is graded at Paul Smith’s College only on a “Pass/Fail” basis.


  1. Proposed exceptions to graduation requirements must be recommended in writing by the Department Chair to the Provost, who will submit the request(s) to the Academic Standards Committee for action.
  2. Proposed exceptions to other academic policies and procedures must be recommended in writing by the Department Chair to the Provost, who will approve or disapprove.

Independent Study

Students may be eligible for Independent Study where the necessary prerequisites are met. Permission to enroll in an Independent Study must be obtained from the student’s advisor, the instructor of the course, the Department Chair of the course and the Provost. A separate registration form for Independent Study is available at the Registrar’s Office. The student must file the form in the Office of the Department Chair, the instructor and the Registrar to be officially registered in the course.

Independent Study is designed under the direction of a faculty member to allow study of material covered in the course master course outline. Unless previously arranged, Independent Study is conducted under the regular semester calendar and completed by the end of that semester. The evaluation of the student will be by written reports, written or oral examinations, and written final examination during the Final Examination Period.

Permission for Independent Study requires Sophomore or higher standing. The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or better. Independent Study may not be taken to replace a “D” or an “F” grade received in previous work in the course. No more than one course of the minimum requirements for the program may be met as Independent Study.

The minimum number of student-instructor meetings in an Independent Study shall be four plus twice the number of semester hours of credit granted: e.g.


semester hours


number of meetings



4 + 2 =




4 + 4 =




4 + 6 =




4 + 8 =




4 + 10 =


Institutional Credits

Students are entitled to use transfer credit as part of their Paul Smith's College programs, subject to certain limits. Degree-seeking students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours with Paul Smith's College, with at least 15 of those in the major. Institutional credit requirements cannot be fulfilled by developmental courses. No more than half of the upper-level courses requires in each program may be transfered in for credit.

For a minor, students must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of institutional credit, and for a certificate students must complete a minimum of 12 credits. Credit earned through approved externships, approved international study (CELL, for example) or study through a consortium relationship counts toward institutional credit.

Students may use the same institutional credit to fulfill requirements for their minors, certificates, and degrees unless otherwise restricted within the specific degree, minor, or certificate requirements.

Minor Guidelines

Minors provide students an opportunity to emphasize study in an area outside of their major curriculum requirements. A minor is defined as an academic program that is typically 18 credits that supplements a major. Students may not minor in the same area of study as their associates or baccalaureate degree. When selecting a minor, students should consult with their advisor and then complete the 'minor add/drop form'.

To be effective in the current semester, the 'minor add/drop form' must be completed and submitted to the Registrar's Office no later than the end of the add period for that semester. Forms received after this date will be effective for the next semester. Students applying for a minor must have earned an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Students must have successfully completed at least one semester at Paul Smith's College to be eligible to enroll in a minor.

Minors must be conferred at the same time as the student's associate or baccalaureate degree. Students may not pursue a minor independently of an associates or baccalaureate degree program and may not finish a minor after completing their degree program. Minors will not be awarded independently of conferral of the associate or baccalaureate degree program.

Mobile Computing Requirement

Paul Smith's College requires that all incoming students are required to bring a mobile computing device that meets the minimum specifications described on the Information Technology website. You can find a link to the most recent required specifications here.


An overload in a semester is any load over 18 credit hours. Students are permitted to register for overloads and are charged as stated in this Catalog, except as stated below:


The College requires that each written assignment be the original work of the student who submits it, and of no one else. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person’s work that has not become common knowledge, whether in the form of original ideas, strategies and research, or in the form of sentences, phrases and innovative terminology. In order to avoid the charge of plagiarism, students should cite a source for all significant facts, ideas and evidence that they did not have before they came upon the material. If a student is in doubt about whether to cite a source or not, the best policy is to cite it. Depending on the circumstances, a person found guilty of plagiarism may be assigned a zero grade for the assignment, failed in the course, or dismissed from Paul Smith’s College. At the discretion of the instructor, the student’s Department Chair and Program Director and/or the Director of Campus Life may be informed of charges of plagiarism. Such notification must occur in all instances of a course failed or dismissal recommended for plagiarism.

Prior Learning Assessment

Paul Smith’s College is guided by national standards for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). This assessment is a process to review non-collegiate learning experiences such as learning gained outside a traditional college academic environment. This includes, but is not limited to, learning and knowledge students acquire working, participating in employer training programs, serving in the military, studying independently, volunteering or doing community service, and studying via open source courseware.

Paul Smith’s safeguards academic integrity by ensuring adherence to the following principles:

1. Paul Smith’s College mission places a high value on student experience as an input to the learning process. Academic credit is awarded for demonstration of outcomes as evidence of learning.

2. To be eligible for participation the student must be admitted as a non-degree or degree seeking student at Paul Smith’s College.

3. Assessment of prior learning is based on standards and criteria defined by the learning outcomes of an equivalent college level course or content areas within Paul Smith’s College.

4. The determination of credit awards and competence levels is made by the appropriate subject matter and academic or credentialing experts defined by the academic deans in consultation with the curriculum dean, and registrar.

5. Academic credit can only be awarded once for the same learning within a student’s overall degree.

6. This process cannot be used to obtain credit for a course that you have received a grade below a C- at Paul Smith’s or any other college without evidence of significant learning achieved outside of the classroom. .

7. PLA falls under non-residency credit totals covered under the current transfer credit policy.

8. PLA Credit will not be awarded for culminating or Capstone experiences.

9. Participation in the PLA process is not considered part of your enrollment status.

Program Changes

A student may change academic programs with permission of the appropriate Department Chair(s) and execution of the Program Change Form. A program change within the first week of the semester will be effective immediately; a change after the first week will be effective at the beginning of the next academic semester. When a student changes their program, they will be responsible for the graduation requirements of that program in the College Catalog in force at the time the change becomes effective. Prior credit from other institutions will be evaluated in regard to the new academic program. A change of academic advisor will be recommended by the Department Chair if appropriate. Students are reminded that changing their program may result in an increase in the time to graduation.

Students who are transferring in 30 or more credits into a program that has been significantly revised (and approved by the state) over the last academic year may choose to follow either the matriculation year program requirements or follow the program requirements defined in the previous year's academic catalog.


A student who withdraws from the College will not qualify for re-admission until he or she has been out of school for one semester. Please see the Withdraw Policy for more information. All readmission applications are processed through the Registrar's Office. A student must apply for readmission if he or she did not attend Paul Smith's College during the previous semester. Applications may be obtained directly from the Registrar's Office.


Students are responsible for being properly registered for their course of study at the beginning of each semester/session. They are required to complete the registration processes (both pre- and final registrations) on the dates and at the times specified by the Registrar. See the Academic Calendar for dates and deadlines. A $75 fee will be charged for failure to complete either part of the registration process within those dates. Students can begin enrollment for a given term and register for courses by Tuesday of the first week of classes. With the exception of students eligible for overloads without charge, no student may register for any credit hours beyond his or her prescribed curriculum without the written approval of his or her academic advisor and Department Chair. Charges for additional credit hours are described under the “Expenses” section sub-section, “Other Charges”

Rescheduled Classes

Instructors may reschedule classes only in exceptional circumstances. Such changes, including evening tests, must have the written approval of the appropriate Department Chair and the Provost. In making such changes, instructors must consider the rights of the individual. If such a change is inconvenient to even one student, the right of that student to attend class at the regularly scheduled time must outweigh the desires of the rest of the class. Classes will not be rescheduled or omitted on the two days immediately preceding or following vacations.

Standards of Academic Progress

Students are required to achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average which becomes progressively higher according to the number of total credit hours attempted.


Suspension: Students placing below the Suspension minimum grade point average (see below) will be suspended from the College. Students with 1-18 credit hours attempted and a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.0 or below will be automatically suspended. All students under suspension may appeal their suspended status.


Probation (1)

Suspension (2)







1 – 18


1.00 or below

18.5 - 30



30.5 – 39.5



40 – 59.5



60 +



  1. Students on probation will be required participate in the Academic Recovery Program and develop an academic plan with assistance of a designated advocate. The plan may include services from, but not limited to, the Academic Success Center, Student Counseling Center or the Center for Accommodative Services and may also stipulate other restrictions.
  2. Students may formally appeal an academic suspension in writing to the Academic Standards Committee for readmission in the subsequent semester/session. See Appeals above.

Continued Probation:

Students on Probation whose cumulative grade point average places them in the Probation category for the second consecutive semester/session will be suspended from the College unless they achieve a semester grade point average which is at or above the standard of academic progress for their total hours attempted (see chart below). In this case, the student will be granted one semester in Continued Probation Status. Students whose cumulative grade point average at the end of the Continued Probation semester is still below the Standard of Academic Progress will be suspended.


Continued Probation*


Semester GPA


at or above

1 – 30


30.5 – 39.5


40 – 59.5


60 +


*granted for one semester only


Upon receipt of a written request (including fax requests) the Registrar is authorized to honor a request for a transcript from any current or former student who is in good financial standing with the College.

In the case of current students, good financial standing means that, even though a bill may be outstanding, in the Controller’s judgment the student is making reasonable efforts to pay bills. There can be no state or federal mandated impoundment of the transcripts. Good financial standing in the case of former students means that the student owes no payment to the College and there is no state or federal impoundment of the student’s transcript for failure to honor student loan terms. No exception will be made.

Per New York State Legislation Article 129-B, the College is required to make specific notations on the transcripts of students found responsible of any policy violation that is deemed a violent offense by CLERY reportable crimes.

Transitional Program

After the review of educational records through the Office of Admissions and in consultation with the Vice President of Enrollment Management or designee, a student may be admitted to Paul Smith's College with a requirement to participate in the Transitional Student Program. As with all students, transitional students are required to meet the Standards of Academic Progress each semester.

Additionally, transitional students are required to meet regularly with an Academic Success Counselor to develop an individualized success plan and will be expected to participate in academic tutoring, advising, mentoring, and workshops as identified necessary for optimum educational success. Transitional students will be limited to 15 credits their first semester and must participate in the program until they successfully complete 45 credits.

Veteran Information & Policies

Recommended Procedures for Students Called to Active Military Duty

Paul Smith’s students called to active military duty have the following options, which are based on the current catalog faculty academic policies:

  1. Receive course grades for the current semester, or incompletes for all courses, if approved by your professors.
  2. Receive administrative drops with a refund for some courses and grades/incompletes in other courses, if approved by your professors.
  3. Withdraw from all current semester courses with a full refund of tuition and fees.

Steps to follow when leaving the College for Active Military Duty

  1. Provide a copy of your military orders to the Registrar’s Office.
    If you choose to complete the semester courses via an incomplete and if time permits please follow the appropriate procedures for course completion. If your professor approves an incomplete grade, you and your professor should complete an Incomplete Grade Form, which is available in the Registrar’s Office. The incomplete grade form must be initiated by the instructor, and state the reason for the incomplete grade(s), as follows: "Called to Active Military Duty."
  2. In the event that your military obligation does not permit adequate time to finalize grades or withdrawal, please contact the Director of the Academic Success Center. The Director will act on your behalf to inform the appropriate persons and/or departments of your call to active military duty, and assist to finalize grades or withdrawal. Any grading options and planning for course completion, as agreed upon by your professors, will be documented for you. You will be asked to advise the Director of the Academic Success Center whether you wish to accept the grading option available to you.
    If administrative drops or a withdrawal are to be processed, your Academic Advisor should initiate them. Reasons for withdrawal/administrative drop should clearly state "Called to Active Military Duty."

Departments to contact in the event of call to Active Military Duty.

  1. Academic Advisor – inform your Advisor of your military call up.
  2. Department Chairs' Office, if you experience any difficulties or need assistance in matters relating to your military call up: 518-327-6232
  3. Registrar’s Office, 518.327.6231, to communicate your military call up and future plans. Please tell us if you are receiving Veteran’s Benefits.
  4. Veterans' Services, 518.327.6862
  5. Financial Aid Office, 518.327.6220, if you are receiving financial aid.
  6. Campus Life, 518.327.6440, as appropriate, if you are living in college housing.

Your final decision of the option you wish to pursue depends on your individual situation, the time remaining in the academic semester, and the course completion agreements. Contact the Veterans' Services Office, 518.327.6862 to discuss your military call up status and to answer any questions regarding the above procedures/options.

Standards of Progress for Veterans

Paul Smith’s College cooperates with the Department of Veterans Affairs to report unsatisfactory progress of students receiving VA benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs is notified when students withdraw from school or drop to less than full-time status, when veteran students are not making satisfactory progress, or when those students are suspended or dismissed.


Students withdrawing from the College for any reason are reminded that housing and course registration will be subject to availability when the student’s re-admission application is complete.

1. Non-medical Withdrawals:

2. Medical Withdrawals:

Transfer of Credit Policies

The following procedures must be complied with in awarding transfer credit prior to the student’s matriculation to Paul Smith’s College:

  1. Courses taken at another College: The appropriate Department Chair, in consultation with the Department Chair responsible for the subject of the course, shall evaluate the transcripts submitted by entering students. Credit will be accepted only for those approved courses which are passed with a grade of "C-" or better. Grades in such courses are not used in computing a student's Grade Point Average (GPA). It is the student's responsibility to have transcripts of prior college work sent to the Registrar's Office. To provide for optimum academic advising and scheduling of the student, transcripts should be received at least one week before the start of the student's first semester.
  2. College Proficiency Examinations (CPEP) and College Level Examinations (CLEP)*: An applicant who passes a CPEP or CLEP exam with a grade of “C or better” will receive transfer credit for those courses applicable to his or her program as determined by the Department Chair responsible for the subject of the course. *The awarding of credit by examination, including CLEP and/or CPEP exams, is limited to 15 credit hours.
  3. Advanced Placement: Transfer credit will be awarded for Advanced Placement scores of 3, 4, and 5. College courses taught in a high school under the sponsorship of an accredited college in which a grade of “C or better” is received, will receive transfer credit for those courses applicable to his or her program as determined by the Department Chair responsible for the subject of the course.
  4. International Baccalaureate (IB credit): Paul Smith’s College recognizes the rigorous academic nature of the International Baccalaureate program and actively seeks students with this academic preparation. Thus, students receiving a 4 or above on their Higher Level IB exams will be given credit for the equivalent Paul Smith’s course. Higher Level exam scores of a 6 or 7 will be considered for credit for a two course sequence in the equivalent Paul Smith’s course. Students completing the full International Baccalaureate Diploma will be admitted with 30 transfer credits and advanced standing as a sophomore. To be considered for transfer credits and advanced standing, students must submit their official IB transcripts with their admission application. The Registrar’s Office, in consultation with the appropriate Department Chair, will make the final determination as to the amount of transfer and course credit. No credit will be received for Standard Level courses.”
  1. The following procedures must be complied with in the awarding of transfer credit subsequent to the student's matriculation to Paul Smith’s College:
    1. Courses taken at another College:
      1. Students should obtain approval from the Registrar’s Office before taking a course at another college to avoid the possibility of having a completed course disapproved. A catalog description of the course must be submitted with an appropriate form. Courses are subject to approval by the Department Chair responsible for the subject of the course and by the student's Department Chair. It is the student’s responsibility to have transcripts of college work sent to the Registrar’s Office. Grades in such courses are not used in computing a student’s GPA. For courses taken prior to May 2006, credit will be accepted only for those approved courses which are passed with a grade of "C" or better. For courses taken after May 2006, credit will be accepted only for those approved courses which are passed with grades of "C-" or better.
      2. Courses that are taken at Paul Smith’s College and then repeated elsewhere and transferred back with a grade level as in part (i) will be noted on the student’s transcript. The original Paul Smith’s College grade will not be included in the computation of the student’s GPA.
      3. With approval, a student will be allowed to transfer back up to a maximum of 9 credit hours following his or her last semester in residence at Paul Smith’s College.
  2. In no instance may the total transfer credit accepted exceed one-half the program credit requirement for Associate degrees or 90 credits for Baccalaureate degrees.
  3. A candidate for a Baccalaureate degree must complete at least 30 credits in residence, with 15 of these credits in the major.
  4. Please note that at no time may credit be awarded more than once for the same learning.

Please note that Articulation/Transfer Agreements are listed under the Profile of Paul Smith's College section. Further questions on Articulation Agreements should be directed to the Admissions Office at 518-327-6227.