New Student Advisement & Course Registration

Welcome New Students, from the Academic Advising Office!

Congratulations on your admission to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Did You Complete the MANDATORY “Intro to Academic Life” Tutorial?

Before you receive registration assistance, access our online, self-paced tutorial: “Introduction to Academic Life @SUNY Plattsburgh,” required of new students. Start by reviewing this very important explanation and instructions letter: (182 KB PDF).


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 have gone to Summer Orientation. Even if you have attended college somewhere else, it is to your advantage to learn about SUNY Plattsburgh’s academic system, meet a faculty member, and receive face-to-face registration help.

  • During each freshman orientation session, our office provides a 60-minute workshop: how college academic life takes some adjusting and 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 first semester here. We encourage you to read all of the information on this page, as it includes the appropriate places to contact with questions about courses.

What Kind of College Courses Should I Expect?

FRESHMEN & SOPHOMORES: Many of your first courses will fulfill requirements 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, most of your courses will fulfill requirements for your major.

General Education (abbreviated as “Gen Ed” or “GE”)

General Education courses build critical skills and a general understanding of the world, regardless of the major you select. SUNY Plattsburgh considers GE courses to be of equal importance to those in your major. Even though the General Education program is separate from your major, your department may require you to complete specific GE courses that are most relevant to your major.

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 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, geography, interdisciplinary studies, and many more. In college there are more choices. 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:

  1. Complete our online tutorial, “New Student Intro to Academic Life @SUNY Plattsburgh” if you have not already done so. You may wish to first review the following 1-pg. explanation and login instructions. The tutorial is required. Especially without an orientation, this is your only instruction about academic requirements, your Degree Works audit report, and online registration procedures.
  2. Follow all of the guidance below that applies to you. The first section is for freshmen, the second section is for transfers, and the questions/answers apply to all new SUNY Plattsburgh students.

Advisement & Registration Help

  • After our summer orientation program has ended, from late July to early August, advisors in the Academic Advising Office assist freshmen who do not have full-time course schedules.
    • Your academic department has probably 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. If not, we will register you for other appropriate General Education courses. [Because we might need to phone you, it is important that you update your phone number in our system by phoning the Admissions Office.]
  • When we have constructed an appropriate fall schedule for you, 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 to the Academic Advising Office with your intentions to attend SUNY Plattsburgh means that you will be dropped from your fall courses.
    • A few of our General Education courses, and some of your major courses (if applicable), require you to take placement/proficiency exams before we enroll you in courses (e.g., English Composition, Chemistry, Calculus). If you have missed summer orientation, we will leave certain vacancies in your schedule until we await the results of your placement testing. Some of the exams are offered during summer orientation and again during Opening Weekend before classes start; other exams are available online, such as Chemistry Placement and Calculus Readiness Tests. Please consult our Placement Exams and Proficiency webpage for details.
  • You may make adjustments to your schedule — and/or register for the remainder of your courses — only by attending the New Student Course Advisement & Registration Session on Sunday, Aug. 28, 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.

Transfers Students:
Advisement & Registration Help

  • Transfer students who are entering SUNY Plattsburgh this fall may register for courses online starting June 24. To register, do the following:
    • Read carefully the new student information sent to you by the Admissions Office. You received a 2-page “Fall 2016 Course Registration Options” and a 2-page “Fall 2016 Chairpersons & Department Contacts List,” along with your “Degree Works audit” and a guide to understanding your Degree Works report. These documents are also available on our New Transfer Student Advisement and Registration Admissions web page.
    • On or after May 27, contact the chairperson of your department for advisement and to get your registration PIN code (required to register on Banner).
    • 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.
  • If you did not register using the above procedures by late July or early August, the Academic Advising Office -- in collaboration with you and your academic department -- 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 to our Academic Advising Office 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 Sun., Aug. 28, 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 reserves a predetermined number of seats for new students registering especially 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 have certain entrance requirements. Consult with the Admissions Office for up-to-date information about open and closed majors.

It's August. I Am Examining My Schedule. 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 when attending our New Student Advisement & Registration Session on Sun. Aug. 28, 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 — especially if your department has pre-registered courses that help to keep you in sequence for your major.
      • 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.

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)

Registration Help

For more information, visit the Registrar’s Office website dedicated to undergraduate student registration, or view our "Registration Basics" and "Advanced Banner Registration" videos on YouTube.

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

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.


Contact Information

Academic Advising
Office Location: Feinberg 101-103
Phone: (518) 564-2080
Fax: (518) 564-2079