Academic Rules


You must be officially registered in order to attend classes. You may not attend, audit, be evaluated or otherwise participate in courses without being officially enrolled. An instructor may not allow you to attend classes and/or submit work unless your name appears on the official class list or unless you are attending with the instructor's approval for the purpose of making up an Incomplete. Registration may be prevented for financial, academic, or other reasons.

You must register for classes in the semester in which you begin work for those classes. You may not attend a class without officially registering, and then register for the class as if it were taken in a subsequent term, either for financial reasons or for scheduling convenience. Advisors and faculty should not advise such actions, and students are held to the policy even if such advice or permission is given. If you do not register appropriately and grades are later reported for recording on your transcript, you’ll be dropped from the later course registration and retroactively registered in the term during which you actually took the course. The Bursar’s Office will adjust tuition and fees to those in effect at that time.

The same rule also applies to internships taken for credit, independent study, experience credit, etc.: You must register during the semester or summer session in which work begins. Retroactive registration is not permitted for such work done without faculty oversight.

Before you register, you will need to clear all holds. If outstanding bills are not paid by Aug. 1 for fall semester, and by Dec. 15 for spring semester, your early registration for the next semester may be canceled and you will be unable to re-register until the semester begins. Your current semester’s registration may be canceled if you have not met the University’s immunization requirements.

New students register just before the term begins. Returning students are eligible to register for the next semester during the registration period at the end of fall and spring semesters. Part-time students register through University College or, for the School of Education’s Extended Campus courses, through Extended Campus. Adding of courses or entire registrations after the late registration and add deadline may be done by petition only.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University Courses: Because of the University’s relationship with SUNY ESF and SUNY UMU, you may take courses at those institutions with the approval of your SU school/college/academic department, subject to availability and fulfillment of any specific requirements. Conversely, SUNY ESF and SUNY UMU students who meet course requirements may take SU courses, subject to availability and in accordance with the rules and approval of their home institution.

Maximum Course Load (Fall and Spring)

Graduate Students
The maximum course load for full-time graduate students is 15 credits each semester.

Undergraduate Students
Full-time undergraduate students typically register for 12-19 credits per semester. Students in good standing in the Renée Crown University Honors Program may register for more than 19 credits without approval of their home school/college. Other students may petition their home school/college to register for more than 19 credits. Undergraduates registering for more than 19 credit hours will be assessed the appropriate extra tuition charges, unless they qualify for an overload rate exception.

Summer Registration

University College coordinates all summer registration for returning and visiting students. Matriculated SU students in good academic standing, as well as visiting and non-matriculated students, are eligible to register for summer sessions. Undergraduate students who were full-time during the spring semester and who intend to register as full-time during the fall semester may not transfer to part-time continuing education status for the summer.

Maximum course load (Summer)

Graduate Students
The maximum course load for full-time graduate students is six credits in Maymester and each of the two summer sessions.

Undergraduate Students
Undergraduates may register for up to seven credits for a six-week summer session, or for Maymester and Summer Session I combined. Students in good standing in the Renée Crown University Honors Program may register for more than seven credits without school/college permission. Other students may petition their home school/college to register for more than seven credits per session for Maymester and Summer Session I combined.

Graduate Students Taking Undergraduate-Level Courses

Prior to registration, graduate students may petition to register for an undergraduate-level course, with the exception of PED courses, which do not require a petition. An undergraduate course taken by a graduate student appears on the graduate section of the transcript with a notation to indicate the course is undergraduate-level and, unless flagged to remove it from calculation, the course counts toward overall credit and GPA calculations on the transcript. However, an undergraduate-level course does not fulfill graduate degree requirements.

Undergraduates Taking Graduate-level Courses

Registration for a graduate-level course is subject to a variety of restrictions, depending upon how the course is intended to apply toward your undergraduate or graduate degree requirements. Taking a graduate course as restricted graduate credit, with the intention of later applying it toward a graduate degree or certificate program, requires prior approval.

A graduate course taken by an undergraduate appears on the undergraduate section of the transcript with a notation to indicate the course is graduate level, and the course counts toward overall undergraduate credit and GPA calculations. However, a graduate-level course neither fulfills undergraduate degree requirements (unless it has specifically been approved for that purpose, either as part of the degree program’s requirements or by petition prior to registration), nor does it count toward calculations for certification, e.g., for University honors.

Changes to Registration

You may make changes to your registration after the semester begins, adding, dropping, or withdrawing from classes in accordance with published deadlines. Courses with nontraditional start and/or end dates have different deadlines than full-semester courses. While the student normally initiates registration and subsequent changes, the student’s college(s) of enrollment may also initiate such actions. Instructors also have the option to administratively drop students who do not attend the first week of classes (up to and including the add deadline). The administrative drop option for instructors is not available in Maymester.

The Health Center or the Bursar’s Office may cancel your registration. No other University persons or units may make substantive changes to an undergraduate student’s schedule of classes without first securing the formal permission of your home school/college.