Getting Started and Registration
You are about to begin an educational adventure, a college program in which you make major 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 particular 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.
As you enter the college, you will be assigned a faculty mentor. The college 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 SUNY Empire State College, 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.
MyESC is your password-protected online gateway to information and services for students at SUNY Empire State College. To begin registration, you will need a user ID and login to access MyESC. Staff at your location can provide assistance with online registration.
Planning Your Studies
The discussions that you have with your mentor are vital to your success at SUNY Empire State College. In creating your degree program, you customize the topics to meet your own educational goals and college degree requirements. Therefore, you and your mentor consider carefully the studies you create or select for each enrollment term.
The college defines specific periods for advising, study preparation and registration for each term. 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. Your conversations with your mentor may be in person, on the telephone, online or some combination. Once you have made decisions, you and your mentor work on the specifics of any individualized studies, identifying and contacting instructors, and you acquire the books and/or materials that each of your studies or courses require.
Begin this process early, so that you have all of the information and resources you need to begin your studies on time. The table on this page provides the relevant dates for each term.
If you are a financial aid student, you may receive financial aid only for studies that are part of your degree program (with few exceptions). Please contact the Financial Aid office if you have any questions.
SUNY Empire State College strongly encourages students to create individualized studies that move you closer to your goals. In creating individualized studies, you work with your mentor to plan the purpose, the learning activities and how you will be evaluated in the study. Between our online faculty directory and the our term guide you can learn a good deal about the expertise of the college’s faculty. During the advising and registration period, the upcoming term guide is available online through MyESC. Throughout the year, the college’s course catalog also is available through MyESC.
Students and their mentors are encouraged to design individualized studies that meet student goals. The term guide offers a wide variety of courses, but you are not limited to the entries in the term guide. Your mentor can add individually designed study titles to your plan and you can then register for a study created just for you. You should discuss the possibility when you are creating your study plan for the term.
The term guide also describes the rich array of topics available to you, and who is available to guide you in each study or course. You may select from guided independent study, online courses, study groups and residency-based studies. You also may look at the offerings at other colleges and universities near you and consider including them in your study plan for the term. Your mentor will need to add the cross registration to your worksheet. For more information about course delivery, please see Learning Opportunities.
2020-2021 Advising, Study Preparation and Registration Periods
|Term||Advising, Study Preparation and Registration Period||Add/Drop Period1||Term Start||Term End|
|Fall, Session A||April 14 to Sept. 3||Sept. 8 to 14||Sept. 8||Dec. 18|
|Fall, Session B||April 14 to Sept. 3||Sept. 8 to 14||Sept. 8||Oct. 30|
|Fall, Session C||April 14 to Oct. 1||Oct. 5 to 11||Oct. 5||Nov. 27|
|Fall, Session D||April 14 - Oct. 22||Oct. 26 - Nov. 1||Oct. 26||Dec. 18|
|Spring, Session A||Oct. 6 to Jan. 14||Jan. 19 to 25||Jan. 19||April 30|
|Spring, Session B||Oct. 6 to Jan. 14||Jan. 19 to 25||Jan. 19||March 12|
|Spring, Session C||Oct. 6 to Feb. 11||Feb. 16 to 22||Feb. 16||April 9|
|Spring, Session D||Oct. 6 to March 4||March 8 to 14||March 8||April 30|
|Summer, Session A||Feb. 9 to May 13||May 17 to 23||May 17||Aug. 27|
|Summer, Session B||Feb. 9 to May 13||May 17 to 23||May 17||July 9|
|Summer, Session C||Feb. 9 to June 10||June 14 to 20||June 14||Aug. 6|
Subject to a late registration fee
Once you and your mentor have agreed upon the study plan for the upcoming term, created a plan and registration is open, you register online through Self Service Banner. Registering secures your place in studies or courses that may reach capacity early, and allows sufficient time to finalize any learning contracts with your instructors and to get your books before the start of the term. While the college encourages students to have their own computer, students who do not have access to a computer with an internet connection may use a computer at their nearest location, to register. Logging into MyESC and registering signifies that you are enrolling in studies or courses and that you agree to pay the attendant tuition and fees by the payment due date. For more information, please see Tuition and Fees.
The college offers three terms: Fall, Spring and Summer.
- Fall (usually begins in early September), 15 weeks
- Spring (usually begins in late January), 15 weeks
- Summer (usually begins in early May), 15 weeks
Each term may contain shorter sessions. Please see the College Calendar.
Students may register after the regular advising and registration period ends, contingent upon the availability of studies, 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 his or her 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.
Students who have registration holds, which the college 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 MyESC. 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. 2223.
- 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 college. If you have any questions, contact the Student Information Center at 800-847-3000.
- Academic dismissal hold indicates that the student has been dismissed for not meeting the college’s academic requirements for satisfactory academic progress or a minimum of a 2.00 grade point average. The student should contact 1 Stop Student Services.
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.
The college 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 college will notify the student by email if his or her registration has been cancelled.
Academic and Administrative Requirements
The college reviews certain academic and administrative requirements after a student has registered. These include accounts receivable holds, immunization holds and academic holds (satisfactory academic progress, grade point average, etc.). The college 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 college will notify the student if his or her 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 Empire State College 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; or
- Train for employment.
To enroll as a nondegree student at the undergraduate level, please complete the brief online Application for Nondegree Study. You register online through MyESC. First-time nonmatriculated students, or those who have not engaged in study for 12 months, must request a user ID and login, in order to register. Continued enrollment is determined depending on the section capacity and ability to meet student needs. Contact 1 Stop Student Services for more information. Entering a registration signifies that you are enrolling in studies or courses and that you agree to pay the attendant tuition and fees when you submit the form.
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 college 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 college 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 College Immunization Requirement web page.