SUNY Empire State College Online Information Session

Why SUNY Empire State College?

  • Expert Faculty Mentors
  • Custom-designed Degrees
  • Transfer Friendly
  • Flexible Study Options
  • Credit for Prior College-level Learning

The Empire State College Mission

SUNY Empire State College's dedicated faculty and staff use innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to higher education that transform people and communities by providing rigorous academic programs that connect individuals' unique and diverse lives to their personal learning goals.

About SUNY Empire State College

  • Largest arts and sciences college within the State University of New York (SUNY)
  • More than 20,000 students
  • Fully accredited, State University of New York (SUNY) degree
  • Consistently ranked No. 1 in SUNY for overall student satisfaction, academic advising, course availability, quality of instruction and other quality indicators.
Map of New York state with Empire State College locations.

Where is Empire State College?

Online through the Center for Distance Learning

Onsite at 35 locations across the state

Regional Centers

  • Buffalo
  • Rochester
  • Syracuse
  • Latham
  • Hartsdale
  • New York City
  • Long Island

It's About You

Student-centered Approach

You build a customized degree program aligned with your educational and career goals.

Study Choices

You decide what, where and how you study.

Personal Attention

You are not just another student in a lecture hall.

Flexible Study Options

Guided Independent Study

Work one-to-one with a faculty mentor on a custom-designed study.

Study Groups

Seminar-style studies combine individual learning with group work and discussions.

Online Courses

More than 500 online courses available. Study on your own schedule — 24/7.

Residency-based Studies

Gather with faculty members and other students for an in-depth program on various topics including:

  • Business, Management and Economics
  • Community and Human Services
  • Women's Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • The Civil War

Cross Registration


Undergraduate Concentration Examples

The Arts

  • Arts
  • Arts Management
  • Creative Writing
  • Drawing
  • Music History
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Business, Management and Economics

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Business Administrations
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Management Information Systems

Community and Human Services

  • Counseling Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Services
  • Health Care Administration
  • Human Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Safety Management
  • Substance Abuse
  • Studies in Health Education

Cultural Studies

  • Communications and Media
  • Cultural Studies
  • English and Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Writing

Educational Studies

  • Arts for Children
  • Adult Education
  • Community College Teaching
  • Criminal Justice Instruction
  • Early Childhood Studies
  • Educational Technology
  • Educational Studies

Historical Studies

  • American History/Studies
  • Asian Cultures
  • Historical Studies
  • History
  • History of the Western Tradition
  • Latin American Studies

Human Development

  • Aging and Gerontology
  • Childhood Development
  • Family Studies
  • Human Development
  • Psychology
  • Society and Self

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • American Studies
  • General Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Liberal Arts
  • Photography and Journalism
  • Science and Writing
  • Tourism and Marketing

Labor Studies

  • Employee Relations
  • History of Labor
  • Labor Relations

Public Affairs

  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental/Health Policy
  • Fire Services Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration
  • Public Communications
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy

Science, Math and Technology

  • Biology
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Information Management
  • Mathematics
  • Technology in Education

Social Science

  • Cross-cultural Studies
  • International Affairs
  • Political Science
  • Social Studies
  • Sociology


  • RN to BSN (Courses online only through the Center for Distance Learning with onsite clinicals in your local community.)

Expert Faculty Mentors

Provide personal attention and intensive academic advising

Guide you from orientation to graduation

Help you design a degree, review your prior learning and coordinate your studies with other faculty

Highly qualified SUNY professors — more than 90 percent hold a Ph.D. or the highest degree in their discipline

SUNY Undergraduate Degree Requirements

SUNY General Education Requirements (7 of 10)

  • American History
  • The Arts
  • Basic Communication*
  • Foreign Language
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics*
  • Natural Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Western Civilizations
  • Other World Civilizations

*Required for bachelor's degree

Degree Credits General Education Credits Liberal Arts and Sciences Advanced Level Credits
Associate 64 21 Varies by degree
Bachelor's 128 30 45

Credit for Your Prior College-level Learning

Previous college coursework

  • From a regionally accredited institution
  • Pertinent to the degree program you design
  • Grade of C− or better if not part of an associate degree

Licenses and Training

  • Military
  • Real estate
  • Law enforcement
  • First Aid/CPR
  • EMY Certification
  • Insurance
  • and many more

Standardized tests

  • CLEP
  • Excelsior College
  • Thomas Edison College
  • Advanced Placement (AO)

College-level learning gained through work and life experiences, such as:

  • Noncredit courses
  • Seminars
  • In-service trainings
  • Volunteer work and hobbies

Transfer Policy

Acceptance of Prior College-level Learning

  • Up to 40 credits toward an associate degree (64 credits)
  • Up to 96 credits toward a bachelor's degree (128 credits)
  • Includes college-level learning gained through work and life experiences or college credits from an accredited institution

Community College Pathways Transfer Program

  • Program is designed to provide an easy, seamless transition for community college graduates to Empire State College.
  • Your entire associate degree will transfer, making you eligible for financial aid at the upper-division level.
  • If your community college is a Pathways Partner College, you may take additional coursework at your community college up to a total of 80 transfer credits.

Veteran and Military Friendly

Acceptance of Military Credits

  • Accept transcripts from all military branches

Military and Veterans

  • All fees waived, except residency fees for residency-based courses
  • Students pay New York state resident tuition rates, no matter where they are stationed

Family Members of Active-duty Military

  • Family members also may be eligible for in-state tuition

Office of Veteran and Military Education

  • One-stop shop of information and resources for military and veteran students, including tuition assistance and GI Bill requests

Convenient Enrollment Dates

Fall — September or November

Spring — January or March

Summer — May

Note: All terms are 15 weeks long, except May, which includes both 8-week and 15-week options.

Library and Learning Resources

Library Services

  • Tens of thousands of e-books and journals available 24/7 online
  • Reference librarians available via phone and Internet
  • Full access to libraries on all SUNY campuses


  • Online support available 24/7

Academic Support

  • Mathematics and writing

Online Career Resources

  • Career Information Center
  • Resume-building services

We Help You Stay Connected and Motivated

  • Student Academic Conference
  • Student and Alumni Networking
  • Student Workshops
  • Graduation Ceremonies
  • Disability Services

Nondegree Study Opportunities

You may enroll as a nonmatriculated student if

  • You are not interested in earning a degree at this time
  • You want to try a study or two before applying
  • You need or want a few specific studies for work or personal interest
  • You need courses to fulfill degree requirements at another institution

As a nonmatriculated student

  • You are not eligible for federal or NYS financial aid
  • You may be eligible for funding from a third-party sponsor such as your employer or union

To enroll

  • Fill out an online application

Graduate Programs

M.B.A. in Management (including Veteran and Military M.B.A. Pathway) 48 Credits
M.B.A. in Global Leadership 42 Credits
M.A. in Social Policy 36 Credits
M.A. in Labor and Policy Studies 36 Credits
M.A. in Liberal Studies 36 Credits
M.A. in Adult Learning 36 Credits
M.A. in Community and Economic Development 36 Credits
M.A. in Learning and Emerging Technologies 36 Credits
M.A. in Teaching 42 Credits
M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning 36 Credits

Advanced Certificates

Child and Family Advocacy 12 Credits
Community Advocacy 12 Credits
Global Brand Management 12 Credits
Health Care Management 12 Credits
Human Resource Management 12 Credits
Innovation Management and Technology Transfer 12 Credits
Nonprofit Management 12 Credits
Project Management 12 Credits
Public History 15 Credits
Public Sector Labor and Employment Policy 12 Credits
Veterans' Services 12 Credits
Women's and Gender Studies 12 Credits

Undergraduate Tuition

Part time
1-11 credits
Full time
12-16 credits
New York State $245 per credit $2,935 per term
Out-of-State $343 per credit* $4,109 per term*

  • Most studies are 4 credits each
  • Lowest fees of any four-year SUNY institution

*All nonresident students attending the college are automatically eligible for an Empire State College nonresident tuition grant to offset their educational costs.

Tuition an fees are subject to change.

Financial Aid

Sources of Aid

  • Federal and state grants — Pell, TAP and Aid for Part-time Study (APTS)
  • Scholarships from the Empire State College Foundation
  • Employer or third-party tuition assistance programs
  • Loans and work study

Federal Aid (including student loans)

  • Submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • Empire State College federal code — 010286
  • Students who would like a loan must complete the Entrance Loan Form and Master Promissory Note at

New York State Tuition Assistance

  • Full time: complete the Express TAP application online at
  • Empire State College TAP code - 0913
  • Part-time: complete the aid for Part-time Studies application at

Requirements for Admission

Four Easy Steps

  1. Complete online admissions application, including a 300-word essay at
  2. Request official college transcripts be sent to SUNY Empire State College.
  3. Submit proof of high school completion (high school transcript, high school diploma or GED).
  4. Pay $50 orientation fee.

Expect a reply two to three weeks after all application materials have been submitted.

Proof of Immunization

Measles, mumps and rubella (if born after 1956)*

  • Shots — two measles, one mumps, one rubella
  • Positive titers (blood test)
  • Date of disease for measles and mumps


  • Shot within the last 10 years OR,
  • Signed and dated statement

*Note: Proof of immunization is required for all students, except those enrolled at the School of Nursing, Center for Distance Learning or the Center for International Programs

Apply Today!

Questions? Call our Student Information Center: 800-847-3000

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