New Student Advisement & Course Registration
Welcome New Students, from the Academic Advising Office!
Congratulations on your admission or readmission to SUNY Plattsburgh.
As a new student, we know that one of your first questions is “How do I get registered for fall semester courses?”
Our answer: Do your best to attend the SUNY Plattsburgh Summer Orientation program. Students report feeling more prepared for college — including academic expectations — when they attended Summer Orientation. Even if you have attended college somewhere else, it’s to your advantage to learn about SUNY Plattsburgh’s academic system, meet members of your department, and receive face-to-face registration help.
- During each freshman orientation session, our office provides a 60-minute academic workshop for new students where we review — via live demonstration — how to choose and register online for classes.
- We also facilitate a course advisement session between you and your department just prior to registering for classes — for both transfer and freshman orientations.
- Gain an edge: From these summer advising activities you’ll leave with a full schedule for the fall semester!
Whether or not you are able to attend summer orientation, the questions and answers below provide you with basic information you should know as you plan for your new semester at SUNY Plattsburgh. We encourage you to read all of the information on this page, as it does include the appropriate places to contact for questions you might have about courses.
What Kind of College Courses Should I Expect?
FRESHMEN & SOPHOMORES: Many of your first courses will fulfill requirements exclusively for your general education program (especially if you are a new freshman). Other courses may get you a jump start on your chosen major or serve as elective courses that you take just for personal interest.
TRANSFER STUDENTS: You will have some or most of your general education courses completed; therefore, more of your courses will fulfill requirements for your major or electives.
General Education (AKA, “Gen Ed” or “GE”)
General education courses build critical skills and a general understanding of the world that you will need regardless of the major you select. SUNY Plattsburgh considers general education courses to be of equal importance to the courses in your major. Even though the general education program is separate from your major, your department may require you to complete specific general education courses. These courses cover specific skills or knowledge relevant to your major, AND they fulfill gen ed requirements as well.
Some Subjects You’ve Studied Before, but Open Yourself to New Subjects, Too
In your high school or community college, you’ve grown accustomed to certain subjects, like English, history, and math. SUNY Plattsburgh has those subjects, too. However, some gen ed categories include subjects that are new to you, such as anthropology, philosophy, sociology, geography, interdisciplinary studies, and many more. In college there are more choices. You have the opportunity to expand yourself by enrolling in diverse course offerings. If you have been preregistered in one or more subjects unfamiliar to you, we encourage you not to fear the unknown. Open yourself to new fields. More often than not, they spark an interest you never knew you had (and could possibly become your college major or minor).
How Do I Get Registered If I Did Not Attend Summer Orientation?
Summer orientation attendees received on-site, face-to-face assistance with course selection and registration. If you missed summer orientation for any reason:
- Complete our online tutorial, “New Student Introduction to Academic Life” if you have not already done so. You may first wish to review the following 1-pg. explanation and login instructions.
- Follow all of the guidance below that applies to you (first section is for freshmen, second section is for transfers, next are questions/answers that apply to all new SUNY Plattsburgh students).
Advisement & Registration Help
- After our summer orientation program has ended, from late July to mid-August advisors in the Academic Advising Office assist freshmen who do not have full-time course schedules.
- It’s probable that your academic department has already preregistered you in a few classes to get you started in your major.
- IF we need to consult with you briefly to discuss your remaining courses, we will attempt phoning you first. Otherwise, we will register you for other appropriate general education courses. [Because we might need to correspond with you, it is important that you have communicated your accurate phone numbers and home address to the Admissions Office.]
- When we have constructed an appropriate schedule for your first semester, we will send a letter to you with important instructions.
- The letter includes a date by which you MUST RESPOND with basic enrollment confirmation. As one example, freshmen who did not attend orientation are asked to let us know whether or not you are planning to attend SUNY Plattsburgh; a failure to respond with your intentions to attend SUNY Plattsburgh means that you will be dropped from your fall courses.
- A few of our general education courses require new students to take placement/competency exams before we enroll you in courses (i.e., Written Expression, Foreign Language, Mathematics). These exams are offered during summer orientation and again during Opening Weekend before classes start. Therefore, if you have missed summer orientation, we will leave certain vacancies in your schedule until we await the results of your placement testing.
- Our Opening Week website provides dates and times for all Opening Weekend Placement Tests, as well as access to online Chemistry Placement and Calculus Readiness Tests (if applicable).
- You may make adjustments to your schedule — and/or register for the remainder of your courses — by attending the New Student Course Advisement & Registration session on Sunday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. sharp, in the Claude J. Clark Learning Center, Feinberg Library. Deans, Department Chairs, Registrar’s Office and Academic Advising staff will be on hand to personally assist you.
Advisement & Registration Help
- Transfer students who are entering SUNY Plattsburgh this fall may register for courses online starting June 27. To register, do the following:
- If you did not register using the above procedures by late July or early August, the Academic Advising Office will register you into appropriate courses (unless you must take placement tests first) and send a letter to you related to your fall schedule.
- Follow the instructions on the letter. We might have asked to you to RESPOND by a certain date to let us know whether or not you are planning to attend SUNY Plattsburgh. If this is the case, you must respond or you will be removed from your fall courses.
- If, for any reason, you miss out on the opportunity to register for courses this summer, or if you need to adjust or add to your schedule, come to the New Student Advisement & Registration session on Sunday, August 24, at 10 a.m. sharp, in the Claude J. Clark Learning Center (in Feinberg Library). Deans, Department Chairs, Registrar’s Office and Academic Advising staff will be on hand to personally assist you.
Why Can’t I Register BEFORE the Summer?
If I Wait Until Orientation or Later, Won’t All the Classes Be Taken by Current Students?
- No. The college specifically reserves a predetermined number of seats for new students registering in introductory-level courses during the summer months.
- Many students (new and returning) add and drop courses throughout the summer. A course that is full right now might have several open seats in the weeks or months to come.
What Do I Do If I Want to Change My Major?
- You should immediately inform the Admissions Office of your desire to change majors (assuming you have not yet started school at SUNY Plattsburgh). Once you change your major, you should also contact the chairperson of your new department in order to ensure you are dropped from introductory courses in your old major and registered for those in your new major.
- Note: Certain majors are “closed,” meaning that they are full and no longer admitting new majors. Other majors require certain HS prerequisites. Consult with the Admissions Office for up-to-date information about open and closed majors.
May I Make Changes to the Courses That My Department Chair Picked for Me? OR
You Sent Me My Schedule and There are Some Things I’d Like to Change. Is That Possible?
- Please do not request schedule changes by phone after you receive your fall schedule.
- You may alter your schedule, preferably, when attending our New Student Advisement & Registration Session on Sun. Aug. 24, 10 a.m. sharp, in the Learning Center, Feinberg Library.
- If there is a course that you absolutely do not wish to take, you may use Banner online registration on your own to drop it and register for another available course.
- However, it is not advisable to disturb your schedule by modifying it too much — unless absolutely necessary.
- When you register for courses without guidance, you might end up in a class that does not fulfill an important requirement while forever losing your seat in the class that did. You might also register for a course that sounds absolutely perfect but is unknowingly not the best choice for a new student.
- Adding and dropping courses takes place online on BannerWeb starting in late June for transfer students with a PIN code. This will be available on MyPlattsburgh. For access, view the Computing & Media Services information on NetIDs and passwords.
I’m in Some Courses but I Don’t Know What They’re About.
- We agree that you can only tell so much from the title of a course. If you’re registered for a course and you would like to know what you’ll be studying, please refer to our College Catalog online that provides brief course descriptions of every class offered on campus!
- Reading course descriptions is a useful activity, because it can reduce any uncertainty about why you are in the classes you have. You could be enrolled in, for example, two ENG (English) courses and assume they are the same; in reality, ENG100 and ENG101 foster writing skills necessary for your “Written Expression” gen ed requirement, whereas other ENG courses are literature based and fulfill another gen ed category entirely, such as the arts or humanities.
With Whom May I Discuss My Fall Schedule If I Need to?
- If you have a question about a course or your overall schedule, first contact the department chairperson of your major.
- If your department chairperson is unable to assist you within a reasonable amount of time, you may phone our Academic Advising Office, (518) 564-2080.
- If you are an undeclared major, phone the Academic Advising Office, which serves as the academic home for students who have not yet declared a major.
Does Course Selection and Registration Always Follow This Process?
- No. This is the process we follow only for new students, since you have not yet learned to navigate your way through the college’s usual processes.
- Once you start school, each semester all students meet with their academic advisor during a well publicized, two-week “Course Advisement Period."
- At that time, you discuss your course selections for the following semester with your advisor, and she/he provides you with a registration PIN code.
- You register for classes on Banner during the designated “Priority Registration” time.
- Both course advisement and priority registration occur soon after midterm of each semester.
Other Information about Course Registration (for New and Returning Students)
For more information, visit the Registrar’s Office website dedicated to undergraduate student registration.
An additional website exists to assist students, faculty, and staff with common registration procedures. Please visit “Help with Registering for Courses at SUNY Plattsburgh” for information including, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Course Add, Drop, and Withdrawal
- Credit Load (Maximum)
- Hybrid Courses
- Mathematics Notes
- Online Courses
- PIN Disabled/Reset
- Registration Code
- Registration Error Messages (Definitions)
- Registration Fee
- Registration Holds
- Tuition Liability
- Tuition Refund Schedule
As always, please feel free to contact the Registrar’s Office at (518) 564-2100 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Succeeding at SUNY Plattsburgh
As a new first year, transfer, or readmitted student, the Academic Advising Office is committed to assisting you with a smooth academic transition. As you await the start of the new semester, we encourage you and your family to browse several of our web pages to get you going on the path to high academic achievement.
Office Location: Feinberg 101-103
Phone: (518) 564-2080
Fax: (518) 564-2079