Forms and Policies

Credit (Alternative Methods for Earning)

Course by Contract
Students who have been accepted to a graduate degree program and are in good standing may request to take a course by contract by contacting the department offering the course. The instructor must be a member of the college's graduate faculty, and the course must be among those already approved by the college. Courses may be taken by contract only if they are not offered in the regular schedule during the semester involved. Under this option, a graduate faculty member provides the student with a course outline, bibliography, and a statement of responsibilities and dates by which these are to be met. The number of student-instructor conferences, the type of evaluation, and the culminating activity is determined by the faculty member and the student prior to registration for the course. These requirements must be filed with the department chair. Before initiating a graduate course by contract, the student must register for the course using the Individual Graduate Study Application form. This form must be signed by the instructor, the department chair, and the school dean by the Individual Study Application deadline. Consult the Academic Calendar for specific application and registration deadlines.

Cross Registration
Graduate coursework may be taken at any public or private college in Western New York with whom Buffalo State College has a cross-registration agreement. Courses are taken on a space-available basis during the fall and spring semesters only. Students must be registered for at least one course at Buffalo State in order to cross register at another institution. International students must be registered for 9 credit hours at Buffalo State to participate.  Cross-registration forms are available through the Registrar's Office. These forms must be signed by the student's adviser and returned to the Registrar's Office for signature. Students then take signed forms to the campus where the course will be taken, where they follow the registration procedures of that campus. Transcripts are forwarded automatically to Buffalo State at the end of the semester. Courses taken through cross registration are recorded as if they had been taken at Buffalo State; the credit hours and grades are included in the student's cumulative GPA. 

Independent Study (XXX 590)
Independent study provides an opportunity for a student to pursue a topic that may be covered only briefly or not at all in a regular course offering.  Independent study is never a substitute for a regular course. Independent study may be offered by any member of the college's graduate faculty. All independent study is listed by the appropriate content area prefix and the number 590 (e.g., EDF 590). A maximum of 6 credit hours of independent study may be included in a master's degree program. Students must register for graduate-level independent study by completing the Individual Graduate Study Application. The application must include a written paragraph describing the proposed course, including the purpose, objectives, method of instruction (e.g., readings, individual consultations with instructor, etc.), and method of evaluation (e.g., research paper, examination, etc.). The application must be signed by the instructor, the department chair, and the school dean by the Individual Study Application deadline. Consult the Academic Calendar for specific application and registration deadlines.

Workshops (XXX 594), Conferences (XXX 596), and Microcourses (XXX 598)
Workshops, conferences, and microcourses are graduate courses offered at variable times and places—on particular themes outside the usual schedule of classes. These courses also carry variable credit. A maximum of 6 credit hours of workshops, conferences, and micro-courses may be included in a master's degree program. Workshops emphasize process and implementation of theory, and they involve participants in the accomplishment of individualized objectives on a specific theme. Conferences emphasize a unique, one-time experience on a given theme. Micro-courses offer intensive instruction with a specific, limited objective.

Auditing Courses
Graduate students who are registered for one or more courses may audit courses, provided they have the approval of the department chair and the course instructor. An auditor attends a course without formal recognition, is not on the official class list from the Registrar's Office, is not required to meet the course requirements, is not charged tuition or fees for the course, and does not earn credit for the course. Special audit: Individuals age 60 or older may audit courses on a space available basis with the approval of the instructor. Arrangements can be made through the Admissions Office, (716) 878-5511.