Undergraduate Admissions

Sponsor: Office of Academic Affairs
Contact: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
Category: Academic
Number: 100.018
Effective Date: July 1, 2012
Implementation History: Policy on admissions assessment approved May 2009; prior policy on undergraduate admissions approved March 2001.
Keywords: Admission, Academic Skills Assessment, Orientation, Secondary Assessment
Background Information: This policy updates the March 2001 version and integrates the 2009 policy on skills assessment in the admissions process.


Part of the mission of Empire State University is to provide access to higher education for individuals who benefit from alternatives to the traditional time, place and form of higher education. The university's admission policy advances that aspect of the mission.


Applicant: An individual who has initiated the university’s application process but has not received an admissions decision.

Dual Admission: Guaranteed admission for a community college student who earns an associate degree in a program identified in an agreement between the community college and SUNY Empire. Students are admitted to SUNY Empire upon completion of their associate degree. Such agreements typically require a minimum grade point average above 2.0 and other academic requirements may be specified in the agreement.

Joint Admission: The student is admitted simultaneously to a community college and SUNY Empire upon enrolling at the community college. It provides a guaranteed transfer to SUNY Empire upon completion of the associate degree program at the community college, so long as the specific requirements are met, such as a minimum grade point average about 2.0, successful completion of specific courses or other requirements. SUNY Empire often provides academic advisement and counseling during the enrollment at the community college. 

Matriculation: An admitted student’s term of matriculation is the first term of enrollment after admission. A matriculated student is a student who has begun study toward a degree.

Orientation: SUNY Empire provides an introduction to its educational philosophy, academic and administrative policies and procedures, and strategies for academic success. Each newly admitted student is enrolled in orientation. While the orientation process may extend over a new student’s first year of study, attendance at a pre-enrollment orientation workshop is required before the student is permitted to enroll for study.

Undergraduate Admission: If an individual has completed the application process and meets all admissions requirements, the individual is admitted. 


The university reviews each application for admission to determine the match between the applicant’s goals and the university’s resources. Admission shall be without regard to sex, age, race and ethnicity, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status or marital status.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for undergraduate admissions are:

  • A completed application with official transcripts, all other required documentation, and the required, nonrefundable orientation fee.
  • Official transcript of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

The university’s admissions office makes the admissions decision, consulting as specified in this policy, and communicates the admission decision to applicants.

The university will make clear to applicants which programs we can offer and those we cannot offer due to specific requirements for certain professional licenses or certificates. 

Applicants for undergraduate certificate programs complete the same application form as applicants for degree programs. 

Undergraduate students who have been admitted to the university are required to complete the university’s pre-enrollment orientation process before being permitted to register for credit-bearing courses.

Admitted applicants may register at any time up to three calendar years from the date of their pre-enrollment orientation. After that time, they must reapply.

An applicant has three years from the submission of the application form to complete the admissions process, which requires that the applicant submit all required documentation, pay the required, nonrefundable orientation fee, and attend orientation. If the application process is not completed within three years, the application expires.

Application for a Second Degree at the Same Level

A student seeking to earn a second Empire State University associate degree or a second Empire State University bachelor’s degree must complete the entire application process for the second degree. A second associate or a second bachelor’s degree plan must meet a significantly different educational objective from the first degree.

Reapplication to suny empire

Students who have engaged in matriculated enrollment may re-enroll up to three calendar years from the end date of their last enrollment. Students who wish to re-enroll after this time must reapply and satisfy all the requirements for admission in effect at that time.

An applicant denied admission to the university may reapply no earlier than one year after the most recent application date.

An individual who submitted an application but did not complete the admissions process within one year may submit a new application. The applicant must satisfy all the requirements for admission in effect at the time of submission of the re-application.

Joint/Dual Admissions

SUNY Empire may enter an agreement with another college for joint admission (sometimes called dual admission), in which a student accepted in the partner college is also admitted to SUNY Empire contingent upon successful completion of the requirements of the partner college. In such agreements, SUNY Empire applies the same admissions requirements as for general admissions and may include additional requirements. 

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Second Bachelor’s Degree Policy