Harpur College of Arts and Sciences is increasing the liberal arts and sciences credit requirement from 90 to 94 for all future Binghamton University students.
The SUNY-wide change will affect students entering BU this summer and will not affect current underclassmen. Current students will still be held to the 90-credit requirement.
Kathy Brunt, the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising, said courses taken from the School of Management, Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, College of Community and Public Affairs and Decker School of Nursing and Health Sciences will not fulfill the liberal arts and sciences credit requirement.
The change to the minimum liberal arts and sciences credit limit will not require students to take an additional course. As with past years, students will need 126 credits in order to graduate with a degree from Harpur College. The change is that students used to be required to take a minimum of 90 liberal arts and sciences credits and are now required to complete 94 liberal arts and sciences credits. The majority of courses taken in Harpur College count as liberal arts and sciences credits.
Joshua Dorfman, Student Association (SA) vice president for academic affairs and a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, says future students’ degree requirements will not be much different from what has been done in the past.
“Degree requirements will probably not look very different and this change is not a big deal, as students typically get many more than the required liberal arts credits needed,” Dorfman said. “It is important for every student to meet with their Harpur [College] adviser and major advising departments. [Extra costs] shouldn’t be an issue because the vast majority of students will already have the courses needed to fulfill the requirement. Additionally, when a student is full-time, adding another course for a semester doesn’t cost any more.”
Richard Saunooke, a sophomore majoring in political science, believes the four credits will not affect students significantly.
“If we’re not being forced into taking another course that would act as a roadblock, then I don’t see the downside of it,” Saunooke said.
Logan Blakeslee, a senior majoring in history, voiced concern on the more limited credit options imposed on new students.
“I believe this poses an issue by reducing the diversity of subjects that a student can take while attending Harpur College,” Blakeslee said. “While the overall workload might not change, it narrows down the educational experience that many students are looking for.”