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  Jul 14, 2019
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Academic Policy - General


Class Attendance

The educational plan for baccalaureate degree programs depends upon the full cooperation of students and faculty. Prompt attendance at academic appointments (classes, lectures, conferences, and examinations) is an essential part of this educational plan. It is expected that students will keep all academic appointments; the responsibility for work missed because of absence rests entirely upon the student. Attendance is required at seminars, laboratories and practice teaching. In addition, departments may require attendance in any of their courses or course sections where such requirement is deemed consistent with the educational objectives and the manner of delivery of those courses.

Schedule of Examinations

Mid-term examinations:  Although midterm examinations are not required in all courses, instructors are expected to submit Midterm Advisory Grades/Early Warnings for students who are deficient in a particular course.  In this context, announced midterm examinations may be helpful in many courses.

Final examinations:  Sage is committed to the principle that all credit-bearing activities must involve a concluding assessment of student learning by the responsible faculty.  Faculty are expected to keep a record of such assessments.

In most college courses the appropriate assessment is a written final examination.  Sage requires such examinations to be given in accordance with the examination schedule.  When a deviation from the schedule is necessary the Registrar and the Department chairperson or Dean of the College should be notified of the change.

Faculty are expected to minimize interference with students’ other academic responsibilities when they schedule different kinds of concluding examinations (lab, clinical, etc.).  In no case may an examination be set at a time which results in a conflict for students with a regularly scheduled meeting of another course.  The Registrar publishes a schedule of final examinations each semester.

Courses must meet for the number of hours specified in the credit hour policy, including the scheduled meeting in the Final Exam week.  The Final Exam week meeting must be used for a class, an examination, a performance, a presentation, or other meaningful academic exercise as determined by the department.  Courses that cover the required contact time in different ways, such as Studio, Online, Reduced Seat Time, and Weekend courses, are exempt from following the Final Exam week schedule.

Final Examinations

During the final examination period, students are not required to take more than two (2) final examinations per day and may request a make-up time for the additional examination(s), if desired. Students requesting a make-up examination must work together with all faculty involved, and the Dean of the College, if necessary, to determine which examination will be rescheduled.

Special Academic Programs

In keeping with the commitment to educational diversity, Russell Sage College offers its students an opportunity to participate in a number of special programs and courses, including independent projects, dual and interdisciplinary majors, internships, and minors. Several of these, as well as additional options, are described below. Consult the director of advisement or your faculty advisor for more information.

Russell Sage College Honors Program

The Russell Sage College Honors Program offers highly-motivated students an innovative, rigorous, and participatory educational experience. The program challenges women to be engaged contributors and leaders within the academic community. A member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the RSC Honors Program is designed to:

  • Enrich any course of study at Sage, including signature programs such as the Discovery Degree.
  • Deliver Honors coursework in a variety of pedagogical modes to foster intellectual and creative risk-taking, the examination of diverse knowledge, and trans-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving and research.
  • Provide Honors-related academic advising from the Honors director, faculty, and Associate Dean for Academic Services.
  • Promote women’s engaged scholarship and leadership on local and global levels through conference participation, service-learning, and study abroad.
  • Deepen the intellectual community at RSC through Honors-sponsored lectures, colloquia, and other events.

 The program requirements:

  • 15 credits of Honors Coursework / 12 credits for transfer students. Honors coursework includes Founder’s Seminar, Honors Seminars, Oxford-Style Tutorials, study abroad, or program-based Honors projects. Students are highly encouraged to take additional Honors coursework to enhance their Honors experience.
  • Presentation of research or creative work at a regional, national, or international conference or appropriate community venue.
  • Demonstration of “engaged scholarship” through participation, leadership, and service. Can include active participation and leadership in Honors Societies, student governance, service-learning, and events that promote the cultural and intellectual enrichment of the local community.
  • Maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.400

More Information:

  • To apply: contact the Honors Director to complete an Honors Enrollment Application. Contact Information is below. 
  • Students may apply at any time after the completion of one semester at RSC, but prior to the completion of 105 credit hours of coursework.  Applicants’ eligibility for the Honors program is based upon recommendations from faculty and/or academic advisers, a minimum G.P.A. of 3.4, and demonstrated potential for academic excellence. Honors students must maintain a “B” average in Honors coursework. 
  • Honors students receive priority enrollment in Honors Seminars. Non-Honors students who wish to enroll in an Honors course must carry a minimum G.P.A. of 3.000 upon registration and gain permission from the Honors Director.
  • Students receive a customized Honors sash for graduation.
  • In recognition of our institution’s founder and her commitment to the advancement of women’s education, Honors graduates receive the following distinction on their transcripts: “Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage Scholar.”

Direct all inquiries about the Russell Sage College Honors Program to:

Prof. Tonya Moutray
Director, Honors Program
Russell Sage College
65 1st Street
Troy, NY 12180
[email protected]

Founder’s Seminar

Founder’s Seminar (SST 111-112) is a two-semester study of a single topic that is intellectually challenging for students and faculty; some of the topics studied include “Evidence,” “Passion,” “Edges & Middles,” and “Friction and Flow.”  In the fall, students discuss presentations on the topic made by faculty from the different disciplines and professions. In the spring, students develop their scholarly voices as they work on topically-organized individual projects which they present to their classmates. Students earn 1.5 credits (Pass/Fail) each semester.  Founder’s can be an entry point for the Russell Sage Honors program, Honoring Women’s Voices.

Special Topics

Special topics courses may be offered in each discipline under the numbers 248, 348 and 448. Students should consult with the program coordinator or instructor offering the course to obtain a detailed description of that course.

Honors Projects

Each discipline may offer an honors seminar under the numbers 410, 411.

Independent Work

Independent work may take the form of independent study, an internship, or regular courses taken independently. Students must read “Rules and Regulations of Independent Work,” available in the Office of Student Services, and complete a contract for independent study before enrolling.

Independent Study: Independent study is defined as academic inquiry carried on outside the usual instructor/class setting. The credit awarded is variable. To be eligible, students must have completed 30 credits with a 2.7 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Sage or another accredited college.

Internship: An internship is defined as a credit-bearing work experience in the field, which fosters the development of applied skills and typically increases professional competence, links theory and practice, and offers opportunities for career exploration. The credit awarded is variable. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 45 college credits with an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.2.  Note that some programs have higher GPA requirements.  Internships also require prior completion at Sage of at least 6 credits in the discipline awarding the internship credit with a grade of “C” or better. (See also Internships and Field Experience, below.)

Individual Study (Regular Courses Taken Independently): When a student does not have access to a scheduled course within a reasonable time frame and there is a compelling educational reason, she may seek approval from the appropriate program coordinator and faculty member to take a course independently. To be eligible the student must have completed at least 30 college credits with a 2.0 overall GPA or 2.2 GPA in the major. Certain specially designated nursing courses require an overall and major GPA of 2.7.

Contracts for Independent Work: The terms and conditions for all independent work are set down in a contract, which requires the written agreement of the student, the faculty supervisor, and the field supervisor. The contract must also be approved by the student’s faculty advisor, and the department chairperson (or program coordinator).

Contract forms are available online and in the Office of Student Services. The completed contract must be on file with that office before the start of the semester during which the independent work will be done.

Credit Ceilings for Independent Work: In general, no more than 15 credits of independent work, i.e. any combination of independent study, courses taken independently and/or internship, may be counted toward the baccalaureate degree. There are, however, two exceptions to this ceiling:

  • Students who are enrolled in a dual major or who are taking a single major along with a formal minor or concentration in a different discipline may take up to 18 credits of independent work;
  • Students who take a single internship worth 15 credits may take an additional 3 credit independent study.

The ceiling for any such combinations that may be counted toward the degree is 21 credits.

Internships and Field Experience

Academic programs at Sage offer students a broad range of opportunities for off-campus internships and field experiences that connect classroom learning with practical experience. These resources enable students to explore and clarify academic and career goals, develop new skills, and prepare for the changing organization of work. Internships, cooperative education work experiences, community service, “shadowing,” and informational interviewing placements are available in businesses, community agencies, schools, legislative and governmental offices, and a wide variety of student interest areas.

The Career Center has extensive listings of these sites in its onlline employment database, SAGElink.  Career counselors are also available to help with career assessment, guidance, and placement. Internships carrying academic credit must be planned with and approved by a faculty advisor, and an internship contract must be completed and filed in the Office of Student Services. (See “Independent Work,” above, for more information.)

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Programs

Russell Sage College is responding to the demand for advanced education in certain professions by offering accelerated programs that let highly qualified students earn a Bachelor’s Degree along with a Master’s or Doctorate Degree in a continuous course of study, thus saving both time and money. The following accelerated programs are offered:

  • Pre-Law/Law (a 3+3 program with Albany Law Schoo)
  • BA or BS and Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) at Sage
  • BA or BS and MS in Education at Sage
  • BS and MS in Nursing at Sage
  • BA or BS leading to the MS in Occupational Therapy at Sage
  • BA or BS leading to the Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Sage
  • BA/BS with Rensselaer (not accepting new students currently)

The Nursing program requires both the graduate and undergraduate degree in that discipline. Other accelerated programs allow students to choose their undergraduate major from a large roster of arts and science as well as professional majors. Indeed, combinations of undergraduate work in the liberal arts, e.g., a major in English, Sociology, or Psychology, with graduate professional work, are considered particularly effective.

Part-time students are also eligible to apply. Students are usually admitted to the 3 + 3 program with Albany Law School as first-year students, although they may also apply at the end of their first year. Students in the other programs may apply either as entering first-year students or at any time prior to the second semester of the junior year. Students who wish to apply after they have been admitted to Sage may obtain an application from the History, Law, and Government department offices or the Dean of Sage Graduate School.

In all accelerated undergraduate/graduate programs, students must maintain certain minimum GPA requirements and meet specific program requirements. See the appropriate catalog pages or consult with the program coordinators in the specific disciplines for more information.

Interdisciplinary Majors (Self-Designed)

In addition to those majors offered in the regular college curriculum, students may design interdisciplinary majors to accommodate and define particular academic interests. Examples include majors that combine coursework in art and sociology, in history and economics, and in English and psychology. Many other combinations are possible. Students should first consult with their advisor and then write a proposal explaining their areas of interest and listing the courses that will enable them to achieve their objectives. This proposal must be approved by a faculty advisor or department chairperson in each discipline and by the Dean of the College. At least one-half of the credits of the proposed interdisciplinary major must be credits completed as a matriculated baccalaureate level student. Students requiring assistance with developing an interdisciplinary studies proposal may consult a faculty member or the Associate Dean for Academic Services.

Minors for Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree Students

A minor is a cohesive group of courses that allows students to explore, in a structured way, an area of interest outside the major. Each minor is defined by one or several academic departments and consists of at least six one-semester courses usually totaling 18 to 24 credits. Only two of the required minor courses may also count toward major or another minor’s requirements.  A minimum of 12 required credits for the minor must be completed at Sage. 

Minors are commonly declared at the end of the sophomore year, but may be declared any time before the completion of the drop/add period in the first term of the senior year or before completion of 87 credit hours, whichever comes later. Successful completion of at least a one-semester course in the discipline is a prerequisite to such declaration.

Upon declaration of a minor, students are assigned to a faculty advisor in that program.  Minors are designated on student transcripts if all requirements are met, including a GPA in the minor of at least 2.200.

  • Students wishing to add or change a major or minor can do so by sending an email message from their Sage account to the appropriate office of academic advising ([email protected] or [email protected]) with their name, ID number, and the new major or minor they wish to declare. All academic program changes require the approval of the Associate Dean on a student’s home campus.

Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities

Academic requirements may be modified, on a case-by-case basis, to afford qualified students and applicants with disabilities an equal educational opportunity. Complete information on these policies, and procedures for requesting these adjustments may be found in the Student Life section of the catalog.

Study Abroad

 Sensitivity to international interdependence and to the importance of multicultural perspectives is fostered in various ways in the College’s offerings. Study abroad and structured travel in another country support these directions, as does the “cross-cultural” component of general education. International study promotes rapid personal, as well as intellectual, growth, widens horizons, and opens the way to unexpected career options.

Sage sponsors several international study opportunities and is affiliated with other colleges for additional programs. Each year Sage faculty offer a variety of foreign travel courses. Sage faculty-sponsored programs in recent years have included: France, England and Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam.

Students enrolled either in the sponsored or affiliated programs pay their regular tuition and room-and-board fees to Sage. Students are eligible to continue to receive financial aid during their time away from campus. Books, miscellaneous personal expenses, and the cost of travel are not covered.  Credit earned in Sage-sponsored study abroad programs appear on the transcript as Sage credit.

Early planning for study abroad is essential; students must meet with their academic advisor, the Director of Study Abroad and the office of Financial Aid at least one semester in advance.

Any student who is considering studying abroad/away must seek prior approval from the Sage Colleges and meet the following criteria: have at least sophomore standing, maintain a 3.000 cumGPA or higher, be a full time student the semester prior to studying abroad and during the term abroad/away.  All students who have been accepted to participate in a study abroad/away program are required to attend the pre-departure meeting held during the College’s reading day in the semester prior to travel.  To begin the application process to study abroad a student must meet with the Director of Study Abroad.

Specifics about different programs and advising are available though the Director of Study Abroad. The director is also available for assistance should a student decide to enroll in a program not sponsored by or affiliated with Sage.  Coursework completed at a program that is not affiliated with Sage is subject to the same policies as other “transfer credit after matriculation” (see “Credits” section of Catalog). Specifically, students should fill out and have signed transfer credit forms that are available in the Registrar’s Office before they register for courses in a study abroad program. No grade below a “C-” will be accepted for transfer.  Note that students who participate in a study abroad program not affiliated with Sage will likely need to take a leave of absence from Sage while they are abroad and make their own financial arrangements through the institution that is sponsoring the program.