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Course Registration for International Visiting and Exchange Students

Students who only plan to study at SUNY Plattsburgh for a short period of time are classified as “non-matriculated.” This means that they are not currently seeking to apply their credits toward a degree granted by SUNY Plattsburgh.
Non-matriculated international students (those who do not hold a US passport) typically fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Visiting international student
  2. International exchange student

Visiting and exchange students require the assistance of a Global Education Office (GEO) staff member in order to register for classes prior to their arrival. Please carefully read and follow the instructions below in order to ensure that your course registration can be completed. If you wish, you may download these instructions in a PDF file format.

Step One: Review course options online

To get started, first open our course master schedule. Follow the instructions below to start a filtered search for the courses that are available to you:

  1. In the “Term” field, select the term you wish to study with us
  2. In the “Location” field, select ”Main Campus” to filter out the courses being offered on our branch campus (2.5 hour drive from Plattsburgh)
  3. Click the box next to the phrase “Only courses with seats available”
  4. Click the “Search Master Schedule” button to perform the search

Step Two: Review course details

If a course title interests you, it is a good idea to review a brief description of the subject by clicking on the seven-character string under the column heading “Course.” You can also review the list of required textbooks for each course by clicking the four-digit number under the column heading “CRN” (which is an acronym for “Course Registration Number”). Make note of the name of each course that you are interested in.

Step Three: Select ten (10) desired course titles

As you make your selections, please consider the following pointers:

  • You must be registered as a full-time student. This means you will carry between 12 and 18 credits (between 4 and 6 course titles) for the semester. We ask you to select 10 courses just in case there are no seats available or there are time conflicts between two or more courses.
  • 100-level courses (for example, SOC101: Introduction to Sociology) are considered introductory-level courses. These courses assume no previous knowledge of the subject being taught. Courses with a higher course number (200-, 300-, and 400-level courses) either assume or require that you have previous, university-level knowledge of this subject.
  • You are not limited to courses that are in your academic field of interest. You are free to select courses offered in any department as long as you believe you are academically prepared to take the course. For example, you would not want to take ENG432: Modern American Poetry because it is a very high-level, English literature class for native English speakers.
  • Many students, including those from the U.S. and abroad, are required to take an English writing course in their first semester of enrollment. You will be placed in this course based on your results on the English placement examination given during orientation week.

Step Four: Prioritize your course selections

Please download the PDF file and complete our International Visiting and Exchange Student Course Preferences Form with your list of the ten classes that you would like to take in order of preference. In other words, if your first choice is ECO392: History of Economic Thought, list this course as #1. List your second choice second … and so on. If you need additional information or advice, please contact us.

Step Five: Email us your list

Once we receive your course preferences form, we will review this with the faculty to determine which classes would be appropriate based on your preparatory course work, your academic achievement, and the space available in each class.
We will do our best to get you into the courses that you prioritize the highest. We cannot guarantee your enrollment in any particular class.
We strongly encourage you to send us your course preferences as soon as possible. Course registration becomes more and more difficult as we approach the beginning of the upcoming semester.

Information for Incoming Exchange Students

Please Note:

You may only attend SUNY Plattsburgh as an exchange student if your home institution has an exchange agreement with us. If your home institution does not have an agreement with us, then you must apply through the normal admission application process.

If you are a student at one of our exchange partner universities, you may exchange to SUNY Plattsburgh for a semester or academic year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I study at SUNY Plattsburgh?

SUNY Plattsburgh offers many courses every semester. The schedule for the upcoming spring semester is normally available around the start of October, and mid-March for fall semester. However, you can look at the recent fall and spring semesters to what is normally offered. The offerings do not vary too much. Please follow this link to our course schedule.

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Q: How do I apply?

You must apply through the office at your home institution that administers the agreement with SUNY Plattsburgh. They should have our application form to give to you. You must submit this form to them when finished. We do not accept applications directly from students.

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Q: When is the application deadline?

Your home institution probably has its own deadlines you must meet in addition to ours. We must, however, receive your SUNY Plattsburgh application from your home institution by October 15 for spring semester and April 15 for fall semester.

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Q: When is arrival and departure day, and other semester dates?

Arrival day is the Wednesday before the start of classes, and departure day is the Saturday at the end of finals week. To determine these dates in advance and for information on other key dates (such as holidays), please refer to our college calendar.

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Q: How do I get to Plattsburgh?

We will send you detailed information on how to get to Plattsburgh in your acceptance packet. Plattsburgh is served by a small regional airport — Plattsburgh International Airport (PLB). However, the Burlington, Vermont International Airport and Montreal (Canada) Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport are also both within ninety minutes of Plattsburgh. Montreal is accessible by bus and train. From Burlington, you will have to take a taxi (approximately $80 each way). Some students also fly to New York City, and then take the bus or train to Plattsburgh. However, be aware that Plattsburgh is a long ride from New York City!

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Q: How much do housing and meals cost?

The price can vary depending on what you choose what is available. For information on housing and living at SUNY Plattsburgh, please follow these links: Housing and Residence Life’s website. and meals. You will receive your bill during orientation, and will have a couple of weeks to settle it. Payment plans are available, and you can pay with Visa or MasterCard and electronically.

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Q: Is bed linen provided?

Bed linen is not provided.  During orientation you can take a free shuttle to a shopping center where you can purchase bedding for your personal use.

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Q: Are there any additional expenses?

You must pay SUNY Plattsburgh’s washer/dryer fee (approximately $40 per semester), hall dues (approximately $10 per semester) and Medex (approximately $45 per semester).

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Q: Is my health insurance valid in the United States?

U.S. law requires international students to have health insurance valid here in the United States. It further requires the amount of coverage for this policy to be valid. Most health insurance plans from other countries do not meet these requirements. You will receive information on the coverage requirements in your acceptance packet, and a form to fill out identifying what and how much your insurance covers. If it does not meet the legal requirements, then you must purchase a policy through SUNY Plattsburgh. The current cost is approximately $400, and is due shortly after you arrive. Be aware that if you do not have or maintain the minimum requirements by law, then you will be in violation of the law and subject to any related consequences (such as deportation).

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Q: Do I need a visa?

In order to be an exchange student in the United States, every international student must apply for what is called J-1 status. After you submit your application to SUNY Plattsburgh, we will give you a form called a "DS-2019." You must take this form to your local U.S. consulate* to apply for your J-1 status. You will also have to assemble other documents to support your application, such as proof of having enough to support yourself in the United States. The minimum amount of money you must show is $5,535 U.S. per semester. However, what you must submit is a little different from one consulate to the next. To find the U.S. consulate closest to you and its website, follow this link to the U.S. State Department’s online directory.

*For Canadian Citizens: You do not need to apply at the U.S. consulate. You may apply for J-1 status at the border for same day processing. Bring your DS-2019 form from SUNY Plattsburgh, your Canadian passport, your admissions letter from SUNY Plattsburgh and proof of funds to support yourself ($5,535 U.S. per semester).


Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about study abroad and exchange opportunities at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact us at:

Global Education Office
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Phone: (518) 564-3287
Toll-Free Phone: (800) 388-6784
Fax: (518) 564-3292

Location: We are on the second floor of the Kehoe Administration Building on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.