Additional Academic Information

The typical undergraduate program at SUNY Fredonia consists of four groups of courses: (1) the General Education Program, consisting of courses in various branches of learning that are focused upon developing a range of skills and are required of all students, whatever their principal interest; (2) the courses required to complete a departmental or inter-departmental major; (3) supporting courses in subjects related to the major field, as well as courses which may be required for teacher certification; and (4) electives necessary to complete the minimum of 120 semester hours of credit required for the baccalaureate degree. The student may also take special concentrations, minors, and second majors.

The basic organizational unit of the university faculty is the academic department, which brings together people with similar academic backgrounds and related interests in teaching and research. For information on academic departments and majors, students should see the first section of the catalog.

On the graduate level, the university offers certification programs and master’s degrees in a variety of fields. For details about post-baccalaureate work, students should see the graduate sections of the University Catalog..

University offices generally are open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters, and from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the summer. Exceptions are extended hours for some student service offices and Reed Library.

Academic Advising

The variety of programs both in major departments and in interdisciplinary areas at SUNY Fredonia requires that every student meet with an academic advisor periodically to review progress and plan his or her academic future. It is particularly important for a student to be aware of requirements for graduation including General Education requirements and those necessary to complete a chosen degree program.

Academic advisors can help students plan educational programs and keep up with new courses and programs, but students should not expect advisors to be knowledgeable about the content in detail of the many individual courses throughout the university and the teaching methods and evaluation procedures of the many individual teachers. Further, students are ultimately responsible for adhering to academic policies as stated in the University Catalog and determining that they have met degree requirements (including general education, major, and minor or concentration requirements).

At the orientation program, new students have an opportunity to discuss educational objectives with an advisor who will be knowledgeable in an area of preference and who will help students understand their schedule for the first semester. Shortly after the start of the first semester, students are assigned an academic advisor by their department. Students can find out the name of their advisor by going on the university website at, signing on to "Your Connection" and going to the General Student Information screen.

Students are required to make an appointment with their advisor prior to course selection to discuss their academic future, review their mid-semester grade report, and plan a program of study for the coming semester.

Academic advising will be successful and help students only if they actively seek advice about their education at SUNY Fredonia. Advising is one of the obligations of the university teaching profession. Students should not feel they are imposing on their advisors by discussing academic progress more than the minimum requirement of once each semester. Students are encouraged to seek advice as often as needed. It is one of the marks of a successful student.

Furthermore, if academic advising is to be successful, students should have confidence in their advisors. If students wish to change advisors, they should contact their department chairperson who will make a new assignment mutually agreeable to students and their new academic advisor.

Questions pertaining to academic advising may be directed to the Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts, Learning Center, 4th floor Reed Library, (716)673-3188 or by checking their web page at or by emailing

Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts students are those students who are exploring the major options offered at Fredonia. The Liberal Arts program is not a major. Exploration will occur as the student takes courses that fulfill the General Education Program required of all students. Declaration of a major is not required until the second semester of the sophomore year, the semester in which one customarily completes 60 credit hours. Most students decide on their major during the sophomore year, prior to reaching 60 credit hours.

The Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts is the primary advisor for Liberal Arts students. The Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts is located in the Learning Center, 4th floor Reed Library. The Coordinator assigns the Liberal Arts student an advisor, who may be a faculty member or a qualified member of the professional staff.

The Liberal Arts Freshman Year Experience is a mandatory, year-long program designed to assist Liberal Arts students in their exploration and selection of a suitable major. The program has three major components: the Liberal Arts Advisement System, including Liberal Arts Liaisons; the Liberal Arts Freshman Seminar in the fall; and a Major and Career Exploration Course in the spring. For more information on the seminars, contact the Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts in the Learning Center. See

Academic Advising: A Manifesto

For both faculty/professional staff advisors and students, advising is a developmental process. In high school, most students make few decisions about what courses to take. Usually, parents and guidance counselors make such decisions. In college, it is the student’s responsibility, in consultation with her advisor, to become her own academic planner. First-year students may need more developmental advising but, by their sophomore year, most students will be making their own decisions about what courses to take, what to major in, what to minor in, and so on. This development will continue so that, in the junior and senior years, a student’s conversations with her academic advisor will be less about meeting specific requirements for graduation and more about planning for a career or graduate study.

Faculty and professional staff, too, are constantly developing their competencies as academic advisors. New faculty/professional staff, especially those fresh from graduate school, may have little experience with advising, particularly as it pertains to SUNY Fredonia. They need information, mentoring, and, if at all possible, a reduced advising load. Evidence that a faculty/professional staff member takes advising seriously and is continuing to develop his advising skills should be an important consideration in decisions regarding reappointment, tenure, and promotion. Above all else, advisors should adopt the physicians’ motto with regard to advising: “Do no harm.” If an advisee asks a question and the advisor is not 100 percent confident of the answer, the advisor’s response should be, “Let me check on that and get back to you.” If unsure of where to find the answer, the advisor should contact the Advising Center. Chances are they either know the answer or know whom to call.

With this preamble in mind, the principles that follow are intended to guide faculty/professional staff and students as they engage in the process of academic advising, a process that we at SUNY Fredonia place great importance in, as evidenced by our advising motto: At Fredonia, Advising is Individualized Teaching (and Learning).

Student Responsibilities in the Advising Process:

Students understand that it is their responsibility:

  • To be knowledgeable about General Education Program courses, courses in their chosen major, plus any additional requirements for that major, and also to ensure these requirements are met.
  • To use check lists of requirements made available by departments, departmental advisors, and others, so that they can keep track of their progress.
  • To fulfill all requirements in their program(s). If requirements for a major or minor change, they have the right to graduate under the set of requirements in effect at the time of declaration. If this is not possible due to a certain course no longer being offered, then the department should make a reasonable substitute available to the student.
  • If they have declared a second major or minor in another department, the student should find someone in that department, perhaps the department chair, to answer questions that may arise concerning that program.
  • To understand the necessary timing and sequence of prerequisites to complete, so that an extra semester for one course in a sequence is not necessary.
  • To make and keep appointments with the advisor.
    • To be on time for appointments and come to advising sessions prepared. The student understands it is their responsibility to fulfill any requirements that the advisor has for the student before the meeting.
    • For the course selection aspect of advising, the student should have studied the catalog, various check lists, online course offerings, and any other relevant information, and have drafted a preliminary plan, including alternate courses where appropriate. This plan should take into consideration performance in courses the student is currently taking, as reflected by mid-semester grades. (The student and advisor may discuss the feasibility of dropping or withdrawing from a course; if so, they should keep in mind that this may have financial aid implications.) The student should bring to the advising session a list of courses needed for the major and a list of courses of general interest, plus any downloaded materials necessary for advisement.
    • For the counseling aspect of advising, students should be prepared to discuss their educational and career goals, understanding that such plans should come more into focus as they progress through their undergraduate program of study. Students should come with some real questions and issues to discuss with their advisor.
  • To create and maintain an Advising Portfolio. This should include: letter of admission; important communication concerning the admissions process, including transfer credits and high school transcripts; transfer credit approval forms; a record of progress and plans for meeting CCC, major, and other requirements; current university transcripts; copies of declaration forms; program reviews if applicable; etc. Anything the student receives from the university concerning his/her education should go in this portfolio.
  • To ask the advisor questions. If the advisor does not have the answer, it can be expected the advisor will find the answer or direct the student how to find the answer.
  • All in all, students have the right to expect that faculty/professional staff take their responsibilities as advisors seriously, and regard advising as an integral part of their role as faculty and professional staff members. The student understands that he/she may change his/her advisor with approval of the department chair.

Faculty/Professional Staff Responsibilities in the Advising Process:

Faculty and professional staff advisors understand it is their responsibility:

  • To be knowledgeable about CCC requirements (of particular interest to undeclared/Liberal Arts students as they explore for a major), and courses in and requirements for the majors, minors, and concentrations offered by their department.
  • To help students understand their degree requirements, particularly with regard to the CCC and requirements for majors, minors, and concentrations offered by their department.
  • To make check lists of requirements available to students so that they can keep track of their progress the same way the advisor does.
  • To inform students of any changes in requirements and advise them accordingly.
  • To answer questions that may arise concerning a program from students other than their advisees, such as Liberal Arts students or those whose primary major may be in another department.
  • For courses in the major, to know their frequencies and prerequisites, and help communicate this information to students, so that students take courses at the right time and in the proper sequence.
  • To be available. This includes holding regular office hours, as well as being available for consultation via e-mail, telephone, or by appointment. Advisors should announce and hold additional office hours during the week preceding course selection.
  • To be on time for appointments and come to advising sessions prepared.
    • For the course selection aspect of advising, faculty and professional staff should have studied the catalog, various check lists, course offerings, and any other relevant information to prepare to help students select their courses. Functional questions to ask and help the student answer include:
    • Does the schedule take into consideration the student’s past performance and performance in the current semester, as reflected by the student’s mid-semester grades? (If, for example, the student is doing poorly in Course A, which is a prerequisite for Course B, it may be advisable for the student to withdraw from Course A and/or repeat it the next semester, rather than registering for Course B. However, keep in mind that withdrawing from a course may have financial aid implications.)
    • Is the schedule balanced?
    • Are prerequisites met?
    • Does the student have any D's or F's in courses, which, if repeated, would significantly repair the student’s academic record?
    • Does the student meet full-time status?
  • For the counseling aspect of advising, faculty and professional staff should help students address fundamental concerns such as:
    • What are the student’s career options and goals?
    • Does a re-examination of goals appear to be in order?
    • What extra-curricular activities might the student engage in that would develop critical skills in communication and/or leadership?
    • What’s graduate school and is it something the student should consider?
    • Has the student considered internships, study abroad or summer research programs?
    • Is the student becoming increasingly self-sufficient in scheduling and meeting requirements, or remaining dependent on parents or the advisor?
    • Are there problems that may warrant referral: attitudinal, financial/practical, or academic?
  • To help the department maintain an Advising Folder for each advisee. This should include: important communication concerning the admissions process including transfer credits; high school transcripts; transfer credit approval forms; a record of progress and plans for meeting CCC, major, and other requirements; current university transcripts; copies of declaration forms; program reviews if applicable; etc. A copy of anything the student receives from the university concerning his or her education should go in this folder.
  • To help answer questions. If the advisor does not know the answer, he/she should attempt to find the answer by consulting with colleagues and/or the department chair, and then get back to the student, or provide the student with information on who to contact about that specific question.

Department Responsibilities in the Advising Process:

The department understands that it is their responsibility:

  • To provide information to the students and faculty about requirements and courses in the major, including prerequisite and other information necessary for students to take courses in the proper sequence.
  • To clearly and accurately state the requirements in the majors, minors, and/or concentrations offered by the department.
  • To create and provide check lists of requirements that are accurate and current, and that present the requirements in a clear and organized manner.
  • Understanding that requirements for majors, minors, and concentrations may change, but that students have the right to graduate under the set of requirements in effect at the time of declaration. If this is not possible due to certain courses no longer being offered, it is the responsibility of the department to make reasonable substitutes available to students.
  • To provide the best possible information on when courses will be offered, so that students, with the aid of their advisors, may plan ahead.

Additional Sources of Information:

  • Degree Audit Function, available online under Your Connection.
  • Transfer Audit Function, available online under Your Connection.
  • Academic Policies and Procedures, available in the online University Catalog.
  • Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts, Learning Center, 4th floor Reed Library, (716) 673-3188.
  • General Education Program, Associate Provost for Curriculum & Academic Support, 126 Reed Library, (716) 673-3717.
  • Financial Aid Office, E160 Thompson Hall, (716) 673-3253

As a general rule, when a student has questions or concerns about a course, the following individuals should be consulted in the order shown:

  • Professor for the course
  • Faculty/Professional Staff Advisor (for major and general education concerns)
  • Program Coordinator or Department Chair
  • Director of School of Music
  • Dean of College or School (e.g., College of Arts and Sciences; Education; School of Business)
  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Fredonia in 4

Fredonia in 4 is a four-year guarantee program for first-time freshmen by which the university pledges to adhere to a commonly understood agreement with students to schedule sufficient class offerings, provide required courses or suitable substitutes as determined by the department, and ensure qualified academic advising.

With the assistance of the Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts, faculty and staff advisors are able to ensure that students who are willing to adhere to the requirements for doing so will graduate within four years. The spirit of the four-year agreement at Fredonia is to emphasize the university’s commitment to provide all the essential ingredients that enable a student to graduate with a degree in four years. The rest is up to the student.

For more information about Fredonia in 4, students should contact the chairperson of their major department, or contact the Coordinator of Academic Advising & Liberal Arts, Learning Center, 4th floor Reed Library, (716) 673-3188, or by emailing See

3-1-3 Program

The SUNY Fredonia 3-1-3 program provides an opportunity for some high school seniors within driving distance of the university to take courses at Fredonia while they still have the close support of family and high school. The 3-1-3 program is a time-shortened, combined high school and college course of study that can lead to a B.A. or B.S. degree in three years after high school graduation. It is possible because the university gives credit for the successful completion of selected high school courses and the high school allows successfully completed college English and social science courses to count toward the high school diploma. Therefore, the name 3-1-3 means three years of high school, three years of university study and one transitional year during which the student is enrolled simultaneously at his/her high school and at the university.

3-1-3 students are selected by the SUNY Fredonia admissions staff on the same basis as regularly admitted students.

During the last semester of the 3-1-3 program, students are invited to apply for the Honors Program at Fredonia, based on their cumulative Grade Point Average.

Interested persons should contact the SUNY Fredonia Admissions Office at (716) 673-3251 for more information on the 3-1-3 program.

Pre-Professional Programs

Students may arrange pre-professional programs to prepare for specialized training in engineering; health related areas such as dentistry, medicine, optometry, and veterinary medicine; or law. Students seeking admission into professional schools should obtain the catalog of the institution they hope ultimately to enter and develop their academic program, insofar as possible, according to the listed entrance requirements.

Advisement on pre-medical, pre-dental, and other health related programs may be obtained from the Health Professions Advising Committee through the Department of Biology, located in Jewett Hall. Students interested in these careers are encouraged to register with the selection committee through the biology department as early as possible to ensure appropriate advising on matters of course and major choices, and application procedures to professional school.

Advisement for pre-law is available along with LSAT preparation workshops. Students should choose a major within any department and enroll in the Pre-Law Advisement group as soon as possible, to ensure appropriate advising on course choices and law school application procedures.

For information on Pre-Medicine and Allied Sciences (see page xx), see those program pages.

For information on Pre-Law Advisement (see page xx), see those program pages.

For information on engineering, please check with the Director of the Cooperative Engineering Program. Contact information is provided in the Engineering (Cooperative) (see page xx) portion of the catalog.

Maytum Lecture

The Maytum Lecture each year presents a major scholar of national reputation to the campus community. Students, faculty, staff, and community guests gather in King Concert Hall for a Convocation address on a major subject by a prominent figure such as anthropologist Richard Leakey, author Dr. Maya Angelou, musician Sarah Caldwell, biologists Dr. James Watson and Dr. Ruth Hubbard, philosopher Dr. Robert Nozick, historian Dr. Christopher Lasch, environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, population geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells, and civil and children’s rights advocate Marian Wright Edelman. A panel discussion on a related topic typically follows the lecture. A convocation theme is chosen based on the speaker's topic of interest and various events take place throughout the year that are consistent with this theme.

Student Creative Activity and Research

The mission of the Office of Student Creative Activity and Research (OSCAR) is to promote and support student scholarly activity and creative work across the SUNY Fredonia campus. Such an endeavor is integral to the teaching and learning experience. It provides an opportunity for students to become closely affiliated with a faculty mentor and to develop skills and knowledge that will benefit them in the future. Both students and faculty gain from such activity and the institution has made a concerted effort to promote such collaborations. Funding is available for student travel to conferences and an annual exposition is held in the spring to celebrate student achievements. For more information, students should contact the Office of Student Creative Activity and Research at (716) 673-3123 or (716) 673-3808, or visit the office's web page at

Office of Sponsored Programs

Fredonia's Office of Sponsored Programs is a one-stop grants development and management unit. The office offers a wide range of services, from funding searches to assistance in proposal development to grant writing to budgets to campus approvals to account establishment through project close-out and required records retention support. The staff strives to be of assistance to faculty and staff in the widest range of activities. A hub of information and activity, the Office of Sponsored Programs is known for its willing staff with a propensity to never say no. The office is also the entry point for human subjects and export control. For more information, please visit or email