Getting Started and Registration

You are about to begin an educational adventure, a degree program in which you make important decisions about what you will study and how you will study it. You will take an active part in every aspect of your educational planning, from understanding the requirements to reach your goals to identifying what you have already learned and how that contributes to those goals. In developing your degree program and deciding what you will study, you cultivate a capacity for self-directed study that forms the basis for lifelong learning and growth. For more information on planning your degree, review the chapter titled Earning an Undergraduate Degree.


The university offers three terms: Fall, Spring and Summer.

  • Fall (usually begins in early September), 15 weeks
  • Spring (usually begins in mid-January), 15 weeks
  • Summer (usually begins in early May), 15 weeks

Each term may contain shorter sessions. Please see the University Calendar.

Your Mentor

As you enter the university, you will be assigned a faculty mentor. The university uses the term mentor because its faculty members are more than teachers or professors. Besides providing instruction in their own fields of specialization, mentors advise students about the academic alternatives open to them. Your mentor is your academic guide at Empire State University, assisting you and advising you as you develop your degree program and as you create a body of work through your studies. Your mentor will help you identify the learning resources that you need for each of your studies.

Planning Your Courses

The university defines specific periods for advising, course preparation and registration for each term. The registration periods for the 2024-2025 academic year can be found in the University Calendar section. During that time, you contact your mentor and schedule a time to review your goals and your progress toward those goals, and to plan for the upcoming term. The discussions that you have with your mentor are vital to your success at SUNY Empire. You and your mentor carefully consider the courses you select for each enrollment term. Begin this process early, so that you have all of the information and resources you need to begin your courses on time. Your conversations with your mentor may be in person, on the telephone, online or some combination.

During the advising and registration period, the upcoming term guide is available online through MySUNYEmpire. The term guide describes the rich array of topics available to you, and who is available to guide you in each course. You may select from guided independent study, online courses, study groups and residency-based courses. You also may look at the offerings at other colleges and universities near you and consider including them in your course plan for the term. This is known as cross registration. If you consider taking coursework with other institutions, it's important for you to work closely with your mentor to ensure the course is applicable toward your degree requirements, and to also assist you with the additional steps needed. For more information about course delivery, please see Earning an Undergraduate Degree.


MySUNYEmpire is your password-protected online gateway to information and services for students at SUNY Empire. To begin registration, you will need a user ID and login to access MySUNYEmpire. Your login information will be received through email communication.


Once you and your mentor have agreed upon the course plan for the upcoming term and registration is open, register online through Self Service Banner. Registering secures your place in courses that may reach capacity early and allows sufficient time to finalize any learning contracts with your instructors and to get your books and materials before the start of the term.  Logging into MySUNYEmpire and registering signifies that you are enrolling in courses and that you agree to pay the tuition and fees by the payment due date. For more information, please see Tuition and Fees.

The university loans a limited number of devices to students in financial need. Please visit to learn more.

Late Registration

Students may register after the regular advising and registration period ends, contingent upon the availability of courses and instructors. Students who register during the late registration period must pay their bills at the time of registration or have sufficient financial aid (or combination of financial aid and payment) to cover their bills including a late registration fee. Please see information on tuition and fees, and billing.


You may modify an existing registration for a particular term through the first week of the term. A student may drop one or more of their courses during this period and receive a 100 percent refund in tuition as per the current withdrawal policy. Please note, the college fee, student activity fee and late registration fee are not refundable if a student withdraws on the start date or after. A student may modify an existing registration, add or replace a course (if available) with no late fee. The student is responsible for any additional tuition and fees that arise from an increase in the number of credits in the enrollment.

Registration Holds

Students who have registration holds, which the university puts in place when students do not meet academic or administrative requirements, will not be permitted to register. Students who are not registered will not receive instructional services. Any holds that a student has will appear on the student’s registration screen on MySUNYEmpire. The following listing identifies the most common holds and which office to contact for assistance in resolving the hold.

  • Immunization hold indicates that the student has not provided proof of immunity for mumps, measles and rubella. Contact Admissions at 518-587-2100, ext. 2402.
  • Accounts receivable hold indicates that the student has a past due balance that must be paid before the student may register or receive any other services from the university. If you have any questions, contact the 1 Stop Student Services at 800-847-3000.
  • Academic dismissal hold indicates that the student has been dismissed for not meeting the university’s academic requirements. The student should contact 1 Stop Student Services.

Financial Aid

If you must have financial aid to cover your tuition and fees, you must file by April 1, each year. If you do not apply on time, the financial aid that you need may not be in place by the payment due date. If you cannot cover the costs, your registration for the term will be cancelled. Students who plan to enroll for the first time (or after a long absence) must allow at least eight weeks for financial aid processing and should plan accordingly. For more information on financial aid, please see the chapter titled Financial Aid.

Registration Cancellation


The university will cancel a student’s registration if he or she does not pay or have sufficient financial aid to cover the bill by the payment due date. A student who is not registered receives no instructional services. The university will notify the student by email if their registration has been cancelled.

Academic and Administrative Requirements

The university reviews certain academic and administrative requirements after a student registers. These include accounts receivable holds, immunization holds and academic holds. The university will cancel a student’s registration for the term if the student does not meet these requirements on the last day of late registration. A student who is not registered receives no instructional services. The university will notify the student if their registration has been cancelled.

Registration Information for Nondegree-Seeking (Nonmatriculated) Students

You may wish to engage in college-level study with no intention to earn a degree. You can take courses with SUNY Empire even if you are not pursuing a degree. Nondegree, or nonmatriculated, study is a great way to:

  • Experience or prepare for college-level study.
  • Stay current in your field.
  • Earn credit toward a degree at another college or university.
  • Improve your skills.
  • Train for employment.
  • Personal enrichment.

To enroll as a nondegree student at the undergraduate level, please complete the brief online Application for Nondegree Study. First-time nonmatriculated students will receive a welcome email with a user ID and login information. You will register online through MySUNYEmpire. Logging into MySUNYEmpire and registering signifies that you are enrolling in courses and that you agree to pay the tuition and fees by the payment due date. For more information, please see Tuition and Fees.

Your course registration is on a space available basis and not guaranteed. Financial Aid is not applicable toward non-degree coursework. Please contact 1 Stop Student Services for more information. 

Immunization Requirements

New York state law requires certain immunizations for college students. New York State Public Health Law 2165 requires that all students who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1957, who plan to register for at least 6 or more credits will be required to provide the university with proof of immunization against measles, mumps and rubella, or obtain an exemption for religious or medical reasons. Students will not be able to register for courses without proof of immunization. According to the New York State Department of Health, students registered for online courses only do not have to comply with these requirements.

New York State Public Health Law 2167 requires colleges and universities to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students meeting enrollment criteria. The university must receive either a record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past 10 years or a signed acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization from all students. For more detailed information, visit the Empire State University Immunization Requirement web page.