Special Programs

The Special Programs Office offers a plethora of opportunities for exchange within the state of New York and across the United States and Canada.

Through the National Student Exchange and Visiting Student Program200 branch campuses of Buffalo State can be accessed without the expense of out-of-state tuition and fees.

Contact us for more information. >>

National Student Exchange

National Student Exchange

The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a program for undergraduate exchange within the United States and Canada. Through the NSE, you can study for up to one calendar year at another location. Instead of crossing oceans, NSE students cross state, regional, provincial, and cultural borders. 

Participating in NSE can be exhilarating, culturally enriching, and one of the most significant experiences of your undergraduate education. The changes seen in student attitudes, understanding of other people in other settings, maturity, self-confidence, and decision-making are similar to the experiences of students who study internationally.


NSE was established in 1968 with three universities in Alabama, Illinois, and Montana exchanging seven students among their institutions. Administrators on those campuses wanted to help students who would not or could not take advantage of studying abroad by providing them with living and learning opportunities within their own country. Since then, NSE has grown beyond their greatest imaginations and has provided life-changing opportunities to more than 90,000 students. The program expanded in the mid-1990s to include Canadian colleges and universities.   


  • experience personal growth    
  • live in a different geographic area    
  • become more independent and resourceful    
  • broaden personal and educational perspectives    
  • explore and appreciate new cultures    
  • widen university boundaries    
  • take courses not offered on home campus    
  • learn from different professors    
  • access courses with different perspectives    
  • explore new areas of study    
  • investigate graduate or professional schools    
  • look for future employment opportunities    
  • break out of their comfort zones    
  • acquire life skills  

Policies and Procedures

The NSE has established a basic framework of policies to which all member campuses are subject. Within that framework, each campus determines its own working parameters and procedures for the program. The campus also sets its own policies relating to student participation. Each campus has a coordinator who is responsible for administering the NSE program at that campus. He or she is the best source of advice about the NSE program as it relates to your participation from your campus.     

For more information in regards to housing, language proficiency, grades and credits, special needs, semester and quarter exchanges, program access and availability, majors, distance education, and athletics please refer to www.nse.org.


All requirements are applicable at the time of application and at the completion of the term prior to your exchange.      

  • full-time enrollment at your home campus    
  • minimum home campus cumulative GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale)   
  • good academic standing as defined by your home institution    
  • no incomplete grades from previous terms    
  • no current or pending probationary status due to academic dishonesty or misconduct    
  • no outstanding financial obligations to your home institution    
  • no current or pending probationary or disciplinary action for violation of codes of student conduct    
  • must not be on probation, parole, or have any pending legal judgments

Note: If your GPA for the term preceding exchange falls below a 2.5, your exchange may be subject to cancelation by your home coordinator even though your overall GPA remains at a cumulative 2.5 or greater. Your home campus NSE coordinator will make the final determination regarding your eligibility as well as select those applicants who will participate from your campus. Therefore, you must also meet any requirements or qualifications which may be imposed by your home campus. Also, consult the campus narratives in the NSE Directory for campus-specific exchange limitations and restrictions which apply to incoming exchange students at the universities you are considering for exchange.


There are two tuition and fees payment plans utilized by NSE:

  • Under Plan A, you pay the in-state (resident) tuition and fees to your host campus. 
  • Under Plan B, you pay your normal tuition and fees to Buffalo State.   

On both tuition payment plans, fees which are assessed as a condition of enrollment (e.g., laboratory courses, general service, computer, technology, art and photography supplies) are paid to your host campus. Room and meal costs are always paid to your host campus. You are responsible for transportation, personal expenses, and sightseeing opportunities while on exchange.  

Financial Aid

Buffalo State students who are eligible for financial aid list only Buffalo State FAFSA code when applying for aid. Financial aid for eligible students will be awarded by and disbursed from Buffalo State whether you pay tuition and fees to Buffalo State or to your host campus.  (That is an exception to NSE policy).

Buffalo State Financial Aid Office >>


You can complete an application by visiting our office in South Wing 420. The application begins with a form which includes basic biographic information; financial aid information; a listing of the campuses and time periods of exchange.

Required supporting documentation:

  • Program of Study statement
  • Reference from Buffalo State faculty/staff
  • Reference from Buffalo State academic adviser
  • Reference from other (parent or family, co-worker, etc.)

A fee of $180 is accepted for an application to be complete. An informal interview is part of the process.

In addition to the eligibility criteria, application fee, and supporting documentation, other factors which may be considered in the application process include your flexibility, the ability to adapt to short-term relocation, clear academic and personal goals, support of your academic department, and a willingness to be a positive representative of Buffalo State to your exchange college or university.

Visiting Student Program

Visiting Student Program

The Visiting Student Program (VSP) allows students enrolled at Buffalo State to enroll at other institutions for up to one year without formally transferring. It is most commonly used to access campuses in New York State. Students will remain degree-seeking students at Buffalo State while studying at the host campus.

Transferring Credits  

As a visiting student, the work completed at the host campus will be credited toward the degree program at Buffalo State and will show on the transcript as transfer credit. Using the VSP, students can participate in the 3-in-1 program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). This allows seniors to be attending FIT and graduate with an associate's degree from FIT in addition to graduating from Buffalo State.


  • written acceptance notification from the host campus must be filed in the Special Programs Office of Buffalo State
  • full-time enrollment at your home campus    
  • minimum home campus cumulative GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale). If applying for the 3-in-1 program at FIT, the minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.  
  • good academic standing as defined by your home institution    
  • no outstanding financial obligations to your home institution    
  • no current or pending probationary or disciplinary action for violation of codes of student conduct    
  • must not be on probation, parole, or have any pending legal judgments
  • written approval from the academic department of the major for both the campus to be attended and the courses being proposed. 

Financial Aid

Only federally funded financial aid will be available from Buffalo State for the time of study at the host campus. All other aid would come from the host campus. A Consortium Agreement must be completed with the Financial Aid Office of the participating campus before you can receive any aid. Seniors are able to participate in the program. 

Eligible students will access financial aid for their time away through Buffalo State using the campus FAFSA code. New York State TAP may have to be accessed from the host campus. The Buffalo State Financial Aid Office will need to be consulted for details on that process. 


Students can pick up a Visiting Student Application from our office in South Wing. The Visiting Student Application is also used for applying for the 3-in-1 program at FIT. The application is processed by Special Programs Office.

Required supporting documentation: 

  • Basic biographic data
  • Program of Study statement and signed and signed approval for those courses 
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

Applying to FIT 3-in-1 Program

The deadline for spring admission should be received by FIT on or before October 1. For fall admission, the deadline should be received by FIT on or before January 1.   

Housing applications for FIT are sent with the acceptance letter. Housing is limited and not guaranteed and is available on a first come, first served basis. Students are still enrolled at Buffalo State and will be given the proper CRN number to register with on BANNER for the corresponding program and semester. Upon graduation at Buffalo State, an official transcript indicating the completion of a bachelor's degree should be mailed to FIT Registrar's Office. Receipt of this transcript will initiate FIT's award of the associate's degree.



Contact Us

Christine A. Frezza
Director of Special Programs
Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Avenue
South Wing 410
Buffalo, NY 14222
Ph: (716) 878-4328 / Fax: (716) 878-3234
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.

Buffalo State  •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Twin Rise 100
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5906 •  Fax: (716) 878-4037