The University at Buffalo recognizes that students benefit greatly from integrating the material they have learned in the classroom with hands-on experiences. That’s why, beginning as freshmen, 100 percent of students have the opportunity to participate in research, internships and experiential learning.
A distinctive aspect of these offerings is the opportunity for students to work closely with faculty who are actively engaged in research and scholarship. In support of this kind of integrative learning and UB’s commitment to public service, the university offers special coursework opportunities in the form of fieldwork, practica, internships and related learning activities.
Many of these opportunities are considered to be tutorial coursework, conducted individually with a faculty member. In accordance with academic standards that uphold the integrity of degrees issued by the university, a substantial portion of the 120 credit hours required for degree completion must be earned through lecture, seminar, and/or laboratory courses that have been reviewed and approved by appropriate faculty committees. Therefore, no more than 18 credits of tutorial coursework can count toward the credits required for graduation with a bachelor’s degree.
494 Senior Capstone Courses
In these seminar-style courses, students collaborate with faculty and classmates to apply classroom knowledge to practical, real-world situations, integrating knowledge gained in lower-level courses taken throughout their time at the university. Topics may vary, and usually focus on faculty and student interests.
495 Undergraduate Supervised Teaching
Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships (UTAs) add value to the academic experience, both as a learning experience for those who teach and as an opportunity for students to experience unique perspectives and approaches to classroom learning.
In order to serve as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, students must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Must have at least junior status (at least 60 credit hours completed);
- Must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher; and
- Must have received a grade of A- or better in the course in which they are to assist or in a course taken elsewhere that is equivalent.
- UTAs shall not regularly conduct scheduled class meetings, lectures or seminars. If the UTA is expected to give a presentation in a lab or recitation, the material shall be prepared or reviewed by the instructor.
- UTAs shall not assign final grades. If the UTA is expected to grade quizzes or exams, an explicit, annotated key shall be provided by the instructor, who will also supervise the UTA’s grading. In all other matters where the UTA exercises judgment, that work shall be closely supervised by the instructor on a weekly basis.
Each course must be approved for UTA use prior to UTAs being appointed.
Many departments offer hands-on internship experiences as part of their course offerings or degree requirements. The Academic Programs section of this catalog provides information on specific opportunities. Students are also encouraged to contact individual departments for more information. Participation in these experiences is governed by policies placed by the offering department.
497 Departmental Honors
Each department may award Program Honors which includes a minimum GPA requirement and a senior thesis or project as defined by the department. Students completing the thesis or project component of the program should register for their department’s 497 course.
Departments also have the option to award the Program Distinction designations of “with highest distinction,” “with high distinction,” and “with distinction” to students who achieve a certain level of academic excellence and creativity.
Criteria vary from department to department. Enrollment in a departmental honors program may be a prerequisite for registration in a 497 course. Students should be directed to consult with their departmental advisor regarding the awarding of departmental honors.
498 Undergraduate Research
Students collaborate with faculty mentors on an ongoing faculty research or creative activity project, or conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. This experience provides students with an inquiry-based learning opportunity and engages them as active learners in a research or creative activity setting.
Either the student’s own project or the faculty member’s project to which the student is contributing should use methods for creating new knowledge that are recognized in the field and should result in a unique contribution to the field of knowledge. For more information, consult with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities.
499 Independent Study
Opportunities for individualized work under faculty guidance are available to students from any discipline. Independent study courses enable students to pursue topics that are not currently offered through regular coursework at UB. Independent study may be the focal point in the design of an individual program or it may merely add desired depth or breadth to a student’s formal degree program.
To enroll in independent study, students must identify a member of the faculty or appropriate professional staff member willing to sponsor their work and gain approval of the appropriate department.