Binghamton University

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Binghamton University
Binghamton University logo.svg
Motto From breadth through depth to perspective[1]
Established 1946
Type Public
Endowment $116 million[2]
President Harvey G. Stenger
Academic staff
551 (full-time only)
Students 16,098
Undergraduates 13,013
Postgraduates 3,085
Location Vestal, New York, U.S.
Campus Suburban, 887 acres (3.59 km2)
Colors Dark green     
Athletics NCAA Division I America East Conference
Nickname Binghamton Bearcats
Mascot Baxter the Bearcat
Affiliations State University of New York

Binghamton University, or Binghamton University, State University of New York, locally referred to as BU,[3] is a public research university in the U.S. state of New York. The university is one of the four university centers in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Since its establishment in 1946, the university has grown from a small liberal arts college, Harpur College, to a large doctoral-granting institution, presently consisting of six colleges and schools, and is now home to more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The legal and official name of the university is the State University of New York at Binghamton.[4]

Binghamton University is currently ranked 88th among the 201 national universities in U.S. News & World Report '​s 2015 America's Best Colleges and Universities ranking, and internationally, it is ranked 701+ according to QS University Rankings.[5] It has been called a "Public Ivy" by Greenes' Guide.[6] The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has classified the university as Research University with high research activity.[7] Binghamton University is famous for the quality of education given the affordable price. For many years, the university has been ranked as one of the top 10 best-value public colleges.[8]

Although the university's mailing address is in Binghamton, its main campus is actually located in the town of Vestal, with a secondary education center located in downtown Binghamton. The Vestal campus is listed as a census-designated place for statistical purposes and had a residential population of 6,177 as of the 2010 census.[9]



Binghamton University was first established in 1946 as Triple Cities College to serve the needs of local veterans returning from World War II of the Triple Cities area. Thomas J. Watson was an early supporter of the college and helped to establish it in Endicott, New York. Having been a founding member of IBM in Broome County, Watson viewed the region as an area of great potential. In the early 1940s he collaborated with a group of local leaders to initiate the creation of Triple Cities College (of Syracuse University), which would later become Harpur College and then finally Binghamton University. He donated land at and around the original IBM site in Endicott, which the school called home for a few years.

Originally, Triple Cities College offered local students the first two years of their education, while the following two were spent at Syracuse. However, starting in the 1948–1949 year, students were allowed to earn their degrees entirely in Binghamton. When the college split from Syracuse and became incorporated into the State University of New York (SUNY) in 1950, it was renamed Harpur College, in honor of Robert Harpur, a colonial teacher and pioneer who settled in the Binghamton area. It was one of only two public liberal arts schools in New York state in 1950 (the other was Champlain College, Plattsburgh). Among the four University Centers (Stony Brook, Albany, Buffalo and Binghamton), Binghamton was the first to join SUNY.

In 1955, the college began to plan its current location in Vestal, New York. This move was complete by 1961. The 387-acre (1.57 km2) site was purchased from a local farmer, anticipating future growth for the school. Colonial Hall, the original building of the former campus, stands today as the Village of Endicott Visitor's Center.

Aerial photograph of Binghamton University.

After Harpur College was selected as one of the four university centers of SUNY in 1965, it was renamed the State University of New York at Binghamton. As other schools were added to the university, Harpur College retained its name—Harpur College of Arts and Sciences—and its status as the largest of Binghamton's constituent schools, with more than 60% of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its degree programs.[12] In 1967, the School of Advanced Technology—the precursor to the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, which was founded in 1983—was established.

Since 1992, in an effort to differentiate itself from the SUNY system, the school has branded itself as "Binghamton University," or "Binghamton University, State University of New York". It generally uses these names, except in official documents and communications, where it uses its legal name, the State University of New York at Binghamton. Further, the University's Administration Procedures discourages references to the University as "SUNY—Binghamton," "SUNY—B," "Harpur College," or other names not listed above.[4]

Past and current leaders[edit]

The first president of Harpur College, who began as dean of Triple Cities College, was Glenn Bartle. The second president, G. Bruce Dearing, served several years during the Vietnam era, and then left to become vice chancellor for academic affairs at the SUNY Central Administration in Albany. Third in line was C. Peter Magrath, who came from the University of Nebraska, served from 1972–1974, then left in the summer of 1974 to become president at the University of Minnesota.

The fourth president at Binghamton was Clifford D. Clark, who left his position as dean of the business school at the University of Kansas to serve as vice president for academic affairs at Binghamton in 1973. He was asked to take on the job of acting president in the fall of 1974 when Magrath left for Minnesota. Clark was selected as president and served from March 1975 through mid-1990. In Clark's presidency, he led the campus as it moved from primarily a four-year liberal arts college to a research university. Clark added the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts and inaugurated the Summer Music Festival, created the Harpur Forum (now called the Binghamton University Forum), established the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, fostered the expansion and development of the Decker School of Nursing.

Lois B. DeFleur became the university's fifth president upon Clark's retirement in 1990. During her tenure of nearly 20 years, the University experienced its most significant growth. She oversaw substantial additions to the student and faculty populations, vastly expanded research activities and funding, formalized Binghamton's fundraising efforts, expanded the physical footprint of the campus by approximately 20 buildings, launched Binghamton's "green" efforts for which they are now nationally recognized, transitioned the school from Division III athletics to Division I and catalyzed the biggest increase in academic ranking to date. DeFleur retired in 2010 and on July 1, Magrath returned as president on an interim basis.[13]

On November 22, 2011, the SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Harvey G. Stenger, Jr. as the seventh president of Binghamton University, effective January 1, 2012. Stenger had been interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University at Buffalo since April 2011.[14]


University leadership[edit]

There are five administrative offices: Academic Affairs, Administration, Advancement, Research, and Student Affairs, each of which is managed by a vice president.

Binghamton is part of the State University of New York system and is one of four university centers of the SUNY system. The University is governed by the Board of Trustees of the SUNY system. The Binghamton University Council also exists to oversee certain aspects of the school's governance, such as student conduct, budget and physical facilities. Nine of the ten members are appointed by the governor of New York, with the remaining member elected by the student body.[15]

The university has an endowment of $81,919,000 as of 2012.[16] The endowment and fundraising campaigns are managed by the Binghamton University Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation established to further the mission of Binghamton.[17]

Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton—the Campaign for Binghamton University, which ended June 30, 2012—raised more than $100 million, exceeding its initial goal of raising $95 million.

Colleges and schools[edit]

Academic A, School of Management

Binghamton comprises the following colleges and schools:

  • Harpur College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest of Binghamton's schools. It has more than 7,000 undergraduates and more than 1,200 graduate students in 29 departments and 12 interdisciplinary degree programs in the fine arts, humanities, natural and social sciences, and mathematics.
  • The College of Community and Public Affairs offers an undergraduate major in human development as well as graduate programs in social work, public administration, and student affairs administration. It was formed in July 2006 after a reorganization of its predecessor, the School of Education and Human Development.[18]
  • The Decker School of Nursing was established in 1969.[19] The school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing. The school is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The Graduate School of Education was formed in July 2006 as part of the same reorganization that created the College of Community and Public Affairs. It offers master’s of science and doctoral degrees and is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).[20]
  • The School of Management is one of the nation's top business schools. Its undergraduate program was ranked 54th by Businessweek.[21] Usually it is the most selective school for undergraduate students on the Binghamton campus. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in management, finance, information science, marketing, accounting, and operations and business analytics. It is accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, bioengineering, industrial engineering, materials science and computer science. All of the school's departments have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The Graduate School administers advanced-degree programs and awards degrees through the six component colleges above. Graduate students will find almost 70 areas of study. Undergraduate and graduate students are taught and advised by a single faculty.

The University has announced plans to launch a law school, though some administrators have said that the plan is unlikely to continue.[22] This initiative is in its earliest stages though an external review has been completed and the University is moving forward with its proposal. The administration has been working with SUNY, the governor, the American Bar Association (ABA) and other important organizations regarding required accreditation, which the school expects by the time the first class graduates. No decision on where the school will be located has been made.[dead link][23]

Binghamton University has applied to open a new School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy. The plan is well received by the higher administration, including the NY governor Andrew Cuomo.[24] The school is set to open by Fall 2017,[25] in Johnson City, near UHS-Wilson Hospital.[26]


Downtown campus
The Couper Administration Building

Binghamton has grown to include roughly 120 buildings, including recent additions from a $2.2 billion SUNY capital plan. New facilities include a housing complex; academic facilities; an indoor multipurpose Events Center to accommodate the University's commencement exercises, Bearcat athletic events and other activities; an addition to the University Union and the partially completed Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC). Another significant addition is the $29 million University Downtown Center in downtown Binghamton, which opened in fall 2007 and houses the College of Community and Public Affairs. The 2007 soccer season saw the debut of a new outdoor soccer and lacrosse stadium, construction on a $66 million engineering and science building at the ITC is well underway and the University has broken ground for its Center of Excellence building, also at the ITC.

The main campus is shaped like a brain. The primary road on campus creates a closed loop to form the cerebrum and cerebellum, and the main entrance road creates the spinal cord which leads up to a traffic circle (representing the medulla). The main road is thus frequently referred to as The Brain. The connector road, which goes behind the Mountainview and College-in-the-Woods residential communities, is closed for a portion of the year (from late fall to spring). The campus is spread over 930 acres (3.8 km2) just south of the Susquehanna River. It features a 190 acres (0.77 km2) Nature Preserve, which contains forest and wetland areas and includes a six-acre (24,000 m²) pond, named Harpur Pond, that adjoins the campus.

Facilities and places[edit]


  • The Glenn G. Bartle Library, named after the University’s first president, contains collections in the humanities, social sciences, government documents and collections in mathematical and computer sciences. Additionally, Bartle Library houses the Fine Arts Collection (focusing on works relating to art, music, theater and cinema) and Special Collections (containing the Max Reinhardt Collection, as well as the Edwin A. Link and Marion Clayton Link Archives).
  • The Science Library contains materials in all science and engineering disciplines, as well as a map collection.
  • The University Downtown Center (UDC) Library and Information Commons, opened in August 2007, supports the departments of social work, human development and public administration.

The libraries offer a number of services including research consultation and assistance, a laptop lending program, customized instruction sessions and three information commons located in the Bartle, Science and UDC libraries. The libraries offer access to various online databases to facilitate research for students and faculty. The entire campus is also served by a wireless Internet network which all students, staff and faculty have access to, funded in part by mandatory student technology fees. The computing services center supports Windows, Macintosh and Unix systems, both in public computer labs and for students' personal computers.

Anderson Center for the Performing Arts[edit]

Anderson Center at Binghamton University

This theater complex has three main stages: Watters Theater, seating 550; the Chamber Hall, seating 450; and the Osterhout Concert Theater, seating 1,200. The concert theater has the ability to become an open-air venue, with its movable, floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open up to a grassy hill. The Anderson Center has hosted performers such as the Russian Symphony and Ballet, the Prague National Symphony and the Shakespearian Theater Company. In March 2006, an overflow house, filling all of the Anderson Center's theaters, was present to hear guest speaker Noam Chomsky.

University Art Museum[edit]

The University's art collection is housed at more than one location, but all within the Fine Arts Building. The building's main-level gallery hosts various artifacts which belong to the Permanent Collection, though typically showcases student work on a rotating basis. The Permanent Collection in the basement level of the building displays ancient art from Egypt, China and other locales. Lastly, the Elsie B. Rosefsky Gallery, just off the Grand Corridor, presents special exhibits and portfolios.

Events Center[edit]

The Events Center is the area's largest venue for athletics, concerts, fairs and more. Home court to the Binghamton Bearcats basketball teams, the facility seats about 5,300 people for games. For concerts, Commencement and other larger events, the Events Center can hold up to 10,000 people. Home site for the America East Conference Men's Basketball Championships in 2005, 2006, and 2008, the court hosted the women's championships in 2007. It's also held intercollegiate indoor track meets, tennis matches and wrestling matches, as well as opening and closing ceremonies for the Empire State Games. Its construction cost $33.1M and it opened in 2004.

Other athletic facilities[edit]

Besides the Events Center, the north end of campus houses two separate gyms—the East Gym and the West Gym—for student recreation and varsity athletic purposes. The East Gym is currently undergoing a major renovation, complete in winter 2012. Other varsity facilities include baseball and softball fields, the Bearcats Sports Complex (a soccer and lacrosse stadium) and an outdoor track. Other student recreation features are a series of playing fields used for soccer, football, rugby and ultimate frisbee.

Nature Preserve[edit]

University Nature Preserve, Vestal, NY

The University's Nature Preserve is 190-acre (0.77 km2) located on the southern end of campus and is referred to as the largest laboratory on campus. Students have actively worked to make sure the space remains untouched. The preserve features approximately 10 miles(16 km) of maintained paths, a large lake, marsh areas, vernal pools, tall hills and a hill-top meadow. A popular hang-out spot is the long wooden boardwalk constructed across one of the marshes, overlooking the lake. For several years, there had been much controversy and discussion over the management of deer population that was rapidly growing. The decision to conduct a deer cull was made in 2011 in order to restore an ecologically balanced preserve. However, subsequent community opposition to the plan, for varied reasons, placed the planned culling on hold for the present time.

Science Complex[edit]

The science complex includes five instructional and office buildings, as well as a greenhouse[27] and the Science Library. Buildings are named sequentially as Science 1 through 5.

Academic Complex[edit]

The Academic Complex is a two-building complex which opened in 1999. Academic A houses the School of Management and Undergraduate Admissions. Academic B houses the Decker School of Nursing and the School of Education.

University Union[edit]

Clock Tower, University Union

The University Union is divided into two sections, sometimes referred to as the old Union and the new Union, sometimes referred to as Union East and West respectively, yet called "University Union (UU)" and "University Union West (UUW)" by the University itself. The Union houses many student organizations, a food co-op, the food court, Susquehanna Room dining area, a number of meeting spaces, many new classrooms, the University Bookstore and a branch of M&T Bank.

On August 23, 2013, President Barack Obama hosted a town hall meeting in the University Union to discuss College Affordability with students, faculty, and staff at Binghamton University.[28]

Innovative Technologies Complex[edit]

More commonly known as the ITC, the Innovative Technologies Complex is a new development intended to advance venture capital research in both the support of the university's activities and that of the local high-technology industry. Currently the complex includes two buildings: The Biotechnology Building, formerly belonging to NYSEG and now extensively renovated, and the Engineering & Science Building, opened in 2011. The University broke ground in October 2010 for the third building on the site, which will house the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center, a New York State Center of Excellence. A fourth building has been pitched under the SUNY2020 grant proposal and will house research facilities for the Health Sciences. Early talks indicated plans for a six-building complex at its completion.[29]

Residential communities[edit]

Mountainview College

Residence halls at Binghamton are grouped into seven communities. The apartment communities used to house graduate students, but now house undergraduates. Of the residential colleges, Dickinson Community and Newing College feature corridor-style double-occupancy rooms, while College-in-the-Woods mixes suites and double- and triple-occupancy rooms, and Hinman College and Mountainview College (the newest of the communities) consist of suites, exclusively. Susquehanna Community and Hillside Community contain only apartments.

The newly completed Newing College, opened in Fall 2011, is part of the University's East Campus building project. Newing and Dickinson communities are being taken down and new buildings are being erected in their stead, along with a new collegiate center and dining facility. The new buildings were unveiled in 2013.[30]

  • Dickinson Community: Named for Daniel S. Dickinson, a mid-19th century U.S. Senator from surrounding area, important as the "Defender of the Constitution" in pre-Civil War era. Buildings are named after other prominent local figures, including founders of the University. The buildings of this community have recently been replaced with a new state-of-the-art living community completed in the Fall of 2013.
  • Hinman College: Named for New York State Senator Harvey D. Hinman. Buildings are named after former New York State governors.
  • Newing College: Named for Stuart Newing a local automobile dealer who was active in the effort to have SUNY purchase Triple Cities College. Buildings are named for Southern Tier towns and counties. Newing College was rebuilt completely, and the new residence halls and student center/dining hall opened in Fall 2011. The remaining older Newing buildings have been demolished to make room for the new Dickinson Community, which opened in the Fall of 2013.
  • College-in-the-Woods: Named for its location in a wooded area of the campus. Buildings are named after tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. College-in-the-Woods opened for residency in the fall of 1973.
  • Mountainview College: The four individual residential halls—Cascade, Hunter, Marcy, and Windham—were named after peaks in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains and each house up to 300 students. Mountainview is the most recent, fully new community to open at Binghamton as of June 2009. It was completed between 2003 and 2004.[31]
  • Susquehanna Community: Buildings are named for tributaries of the Susquehanna River, which flows through the city of Binghamton.
  • Hillside Community: Named for its location at the highest part of the Binghamton campus. Halls are named for New York State parks. The 16 apartment buildings are ordered in alphabetical order clockwise.

Current and future construction[edit]

Currently, Binghamton is executing and planning several projects to facilitate the growth of the University in terms of population, research capacity and quality.[32]

  • The East Campus Housing Project will reconstruct the Newing and Dickinson residential communities; construction began in late Spring 2008 with the construction of one new building in Newing.[33] At completion, East Campus will consist of two entirely new housing communities and a collegiate center/dining hall. As of Fall 2011, five buildings have been completed.
  • The Innovative Technologies Complex, currently consisting of just one building, will eventually consist of six buildings at completion. The entire complex is dedicated primarily to venture capital research in the areas of science and engineering. The second and third buildings are currently underway. This second building will house some Watson School of Engineering departments (with the exception of computer science and system science). The third building with house the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center (S3IP), the University's New York State Center of Excellence.[34]
  • A fifth science building began construction in Spring 2009 to expand the existing science complex on the main campus. The new facility will host the biology and psychology departments. Once completed, renovations will begin to the existing buildings Science 3 and Science 4.[35]
  • Various pathway, bridge, pipeline and other infrastructure work is taking place. Projects, such as paths and bridges are creating increased access to expanding portions of campus, aesthetic contributions and other are simply require repair.[needs copy edit]

The SUNY facility master plan for Binghamton University has released several plans through a couple of open forums, among which possible constructions of a new Globalization Center and a new Student Service & Academic Center were raised. The current visitor's parking lot and the East Campus will be the main venue where these constructions happen.[36]


  • Bus transportation on campus and in local neighborhoods with a high density of students is provided by the student owned and operated Off Campus College Transport (OCCT). OCCT is entirely student run and is free for all students; it is supported by the student activity and transportation fees, paid as part of tuition, and by funds and resources provided by the university. OCCT is managed by the Student Association.
  • Students are able to ride the Broome County Transit bus system for free, paid for through a portion of the transportation fee.[37]
  • The ESCAPE Student Bus Service, operated by the Student Association, provides coach transportation to students between the Vestal campus and the New York metropolitan area on weekends and on university breaks.


84% of undergraduate students at Binghamton are residents of New York state, with more than 60 percent from the greater New York City area and the remainder from all corners of the state. The remaining 16 percent of the undergraduate student body is made up of residents of other states in the U.S. (7.5 percent) and international students (8.5 percent) from around the world.[38][39][40] Binghamton employs close to 600 full-time faculty, 93% of whom have PhDs or equivalents in their fields.[41]

Over the 20 year span that Defleur served as university president, the university experienced rapid growth in the number of undergraduates and marked increase in focus on athletics but a marked decline in number of graduate students and little focus on academic quality and accountability.[42] In 1990, there were 9,150 undergraduates and approximately 528 full-time faculty members (with a student–faculty ratio of 18:1). There are currently 641 full-time faculty with 12,559 full-time college students (Student/Faculty ratio of 20/1; Likely an overestimation of faculty since some don't teach and others teach only a half semester course a year to graduate students.) The increase in college students between 1990 and 2013 was accompanied by a decrease in graduate students from 3052 in 1990 to 1824 full-time graduates students currently, though as of 2014 there were 3,080 graduate students according to the website. The cut in graduate students by one third with the rise in undergraduates by one third has a negative impact on academics since relatively fewer instructors and TAs are available to undergraduates [43][44]


Binghamton offers more than 80 academic undergraduate majors and more than 30 graduate majors. There also exist interdisciplinary programs that allow individualized degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are also several combined-degree programs which allow students to complete both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years. The school offers several early assurance programs which guarantee acceptance to graduate/professional schools outside of Binghamton, such as SUNY Upstate Medical School. Binghamton is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

General education[edit]

The university requires students to have completed 12 general education requirements in order to graduate, with some exceptions[45] depending on the school. These include courses in aesthetics, global inter-dependencies, humanities, laboratory science, composition and oral communication, mathematics, physical activity and wellness, social science and U.S. pluralism, even the proverbial underwater basketweaving.[46] Individual schools within the University have additional requirements.[47] Students in Harpur College must complete a minimum of 126 credits to graduate. Most classes at Binghamton are worth four credits, rather than the more usual three. The typical undergraduate's course load thus consists of four courses (for 16 credits) rather than the usual five (for 15 credits).


University rankings
Forbes[48] 174
U.S. News & World Report[49] 88
QS[50] 701+

Rankings and reputation[edit]

  • The university is ranked 606th in the world, 178th in the nation, with a quality of teaching ranked 355+ according to the 2014 Center for University World Rankings.[51]
  • Money Magazine (Time) ranked Binghamton 162 in terms of schools that give students the most for their money, giving it a B+/3.22 in terms of Value grade, which places it below schools like U of Michigan (22), UCLA (31), UC Irvine (32), U of Washington (37) and UNC (40) and Stony Brook (107) but higher than Iona (214), SUNY Albany (261) for 2015.[52]
  • In 2012, the university was ranked 351-400 by Times Higher Education World Ranking. In 2014, the university was not ranked.[53]
  • The university was called a Public Ivy by Howard and Matthew Greene in a book titled The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities (2001).[54]
  • The university was ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2010 the 11th Up-and-Coming Schools which are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, and student life; although it has since dropped in the rankings on their own lists.[55]
  • Binghamton was ranked 174th in the 2013 National Universities category of the Washington Monthly College rankings[56]
  • Binghamton is ranked 88th among the 201 national universities ranked in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 "National University Rankings"[57][58] and 38th in its "Top Public Schools" ranking.[59]
  • According to the 2014 BusinessWeek rankings, the undergraduate business school was ranked 57th among Public Schools in the nation.[60] in 2010 it was ranked as having the second best accounting program.[61]
  • Binghamton's QS World University Rankings have decreased annually from 501 in 2008, to 601 in 2012 and 701+ in 2013 with higher numbers reflecting worse performance.[62]
  • According to the 2012 BusinessWeek rankings, Binghamton's undergraduate business school program is ranked 57th from 59th the year before.[60]
  • According to Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, Binghamton was ranked the #12 best value for in-state students (the second highest in New York State) and #3 for out-of-state students in Kiplinger's "Best Values in Public Colleges 2013".[63]
  • Binghamton ranked 174 on the 2014 Forbes America's Best Colleges rankings.[64][65]
  • Fiske Guide to Colleges (2010) labeled Binghamton as "The Premier Public University in the Northeast," a statement that has become prominent in the university's marketing efforts.[66]
  • According to the 2014 U.S. News & World Report, Binghamton has one of the highest student:faculty ratios of any university in the country at 20:1.[58]
  • The 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked the following departments as such: 87 for mathematical sciences; 119 for undergraduate business; 129 undergraduate engineering; 164 Biological Science, 148 chemistry, 193 nursing among others.[58]
  • Binghamton ranks 573rd in the world in terms of number of highly cited researchers according to the World Top 500 Universities rankings, while the academic quality of the university was not ranked.[67]

Admissions and finance[edit]

Binghamton University is one of the most selective schools in the SUNY system. In 2009, the university received approximately 33,000 applications for less than 3,000 spaces in the freshman class.

Binghamton has a four-year graduation rate of 70 percent (third highest among all public schools according to the National Education Trust), with an acceptance rate of 28%.[68][69][70]

  • According to the latest data (Fall 2013), Binghamton University has the following records: median SAT score: 1800–2060; median ACT score: 26–31; Freshmen Retention Rate: 91% (National Avg. 73.3%); Student To Faculty Ratio: 20:1; Academic Offerings: Nearly 130; Freshmen Enrolled: 2,950; Transfers Enrolled: 1192; median High School GPA: 3.3–3.9 or 91–97; Average Transfer GPA: 3.4.[71][72]
  • The average debt at graduation is $14,734, and the school is in the Top 15 Lowest debt-load amongst public colleges in the country.[70]
  • In-state tuition is $6,170 and out-of-state tuition is $17,810 (as of February 2014).[73] Acceptance ratio is below 30%.


The university is designated as an advanced research institution, thus a number of research opportunities exist for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Division of Research[74][edit]

  • The office of the vice president for research is in charge of the Division of Research in the University and s/he publishes a biannual magazine that highlights research happening at the University. The University received more than $44 million in outside research grants in fiscal year 2009–2010.[75]
  • The Office of Sponsored Programs supports the Binghamton University community in its efforts to seek and obtain external awards to support research, training and other scholarly and creative activities. It provides support to faculty and staff in all aspects of proposal preparation, submission and grant administration.
  • The Office of Research Compliance ensures the protection of human subjects, the welfare of animals, safe use of select agents pathogens and toxins, and to enhance the ethical conduct in research programs at Binghamton University. The research compliance office values integrity and accountability in the conduct of all research.
  • The Office of Research Advancement facilitates the growth of Binghamton University research and scholarship and helps build awareness of the important work being done on campus.
  • The Office of Sponsored Funds Administration, often referred to as “post-award administration,” is the fiscal and operational office for the Binghamton University Research Foundation. It provides sponsored project personnel with comprehensive financial, project accounting, human resources, procurement, accounts payable and reporting services and support for projects administered through the Research Foundation.

Research Foundation[edit]

  • The Research Foundation[76] is a private, nonprofit educational corporation that administers externally funded contracts and grants for and on behalf of SUNY. The foundation carries out its responsibilities pursuant to a 1977 agreement with the university. It is separate from the university and does not receive services provided to New York State agencies or state appropriation to support corporate functions. Sponsored program functions delegated to the campuses are conducted under the supervision of foundation operations managers.

Organized Research Centers[edit]

  • There are about 30 organized research centers that have been developed to facilitate interdisciplinary and specialized research.[77]

Partnerships with out-of-campus institutions[edit]

  • The university operates the Southern Tier Center on Aging in conjunction with the SUNY Upstate Medical Center. The center develops, implements and evaluates new interventions and models of service delivery geared to enhancing quality of life of older adults and their caregivers.[78]

Student life[edit]

Student Organizations[edit]

Student organizations at Binghamton are organized and run through the Student Association at Binghamton University. The Student Association provides a number of services and entertainment for students, including bus transportation and the annual Spring Fling festival. In 2013, the University and the Student Association collaborated to introduce B-Engaged, a website which features a complete list of all involvement opportunities at Binghamton.[79]

Pipe Dream[edit]

Founded in 1946, Pipe Dream is Binghamton University's oldest student organization. The paper is published twice-weekly in the fall and spring with one issue in the summer aimed at students at orientation. Content sections include News, Sports, Opinion, and Release, the arts and entertainment section.

Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service[edit]

"Harpur's Ferry" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Formed in 1973, Harpur's Ferry provides EMS care for the Binghamton University Campus and all off-campus students. As of 2012, they have twice been recognized as the No. 1 collegiate Emergency Medical Service agency in the nation.[80]


Explorchestra is the university's composers' orchestra and is dedicated to the promotion of new music by composers from diverse backgrounds. The ensemble performs exclusively original music and offers its members the opportunity to compose, conduct, perform, and produce music without enrolling in the music major. Explorchestra has strong ties with the Music Department, as well as the Binghamton Philharmonic and many local Broome County businesses.


Main article: Binghamton Bearcats

Binghamton University's Intercollegiate Athletics program is an NCAA Division I program. The Intercollegiate Athletics program comprises 21 sports that compete in the America East Conference for all sports except wrestling and golf. The 21 sports includes Baseball, Men & Women's Basketball, Men & Women's Cross Country, Men's Golf, Men & Women's Lacrosse, Men & Women's Soccer, Softball, Men & Women's Swimming & Diving, Men & Women's Tennis, Men & Women's Indoor Track, Men & Women's Outdoor Track, Women's Volleyball and Men's Wrestling.

The school also hosts several intramural and inter-community sports. Binghamton University, and more specifically Hinman College, is considered to be the creator of Co-Rec Football, a popular version of flag/touch football and is generally played amongst several teams within each dormitory community. Though complete statistics and records are not well maintained, the greatest Co-Rec Football team in the history of the school is considered to be "Well Hung Over" (2002–2004), from the Lehman dormitory in Hinman College.

In the Rolling Hills of Binghamton[edit]

In the Rolling Hills of Binghamton is the official Alma Mater of Binghamton University, composed by David Engel (class of 1986)[81]

In the rolling hills of Binghamton, ’neath everchanging skies,

Where two gently flowing rivers meet, we form our cherished ties.

Oh Binghamton, we carry thee, with us for all our time
And through us individually, forever may you shine.
Together we spend these years, united in our aim.

Through our bold pursuit of excellence, we proudly bear your name!

Oh Binghamton, we carry thee, with us for all our time
And through us individually, forever may you shine.


To fans of the americana-psychedelic-rock band The Grateful Dead, the name "Harpur College" specifically refers to a legendary concert the band played at the college on May 2, 1970. The reverence in which this concert is held owes both to the quality of the performance and to the fact that high quality bootleg cassette recordings circulated widely among "DeadHeads" for decades before the recording was officially released on CD as Dick's Picks Volume 8. "The Harpur College show has long been prized by tape collectors as an example of the depth the Dead were capable of on any given night."[82]

Notable alumni[edit]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°05′21″N 75°58′12″W / 42.089250°N 75.969890°W / 42.089250; -75.969890