General FAQ About Empire State College

How do I study?

Along with having access to more than 500 online courses, you can choose to study in small groups; work independently with a faculty member; participate in short weekend residencies or combine any of those methods.

Where do I study?
How do I apply for admission?

Active-duty Army and activated Army National Guard and Reservists are required to apply and enroll through the ArmyIgnitED portal at ArmyIgnitED

Veterans and all other active-duty service people, including inactive Army National Guard or Army Reservists, may apply to and enroll in Empire State College using the college's normal application and enrollment procedures. Please see the applicable page to apply for undergraduate study or graduate study.

Can I take a course or courses without applying for admission?

Yes, it is possible to enroll in courses as a nonmatriculated (nondegree seeking) student. Please see our Nondegree Study page for details and contact information.

Active-duty Army and activated Army National Guard and Reservists please note:

To enroll as a nondegree student at Fort Drum or SUNY Empire Online (LOI schools), you must enroll through the ArmyIgnitedED portal at ArmyIgnitED.  For nondegree study at an Empire State College location that is not an LOI school, follow the enrollment process explained on our Nondegree Study page.

How many credits can I transfer?
  • up to 40 credits* towards an associate degree
  • up to 93 credits* towards a bachelor's degree

*Credits must meet degree requirements and be applicable to your concentration.

What can I study?

Students can choose from a wide selection of concentrations to create a customized degree program in one of the college's 12 areas of study:

When can I begin studying?

Courses begin at Empire State College five times per year:

  • Spring 1 term begins in January and Spring 2 in March.
  • Summer term begin in May.
  • Fall 1 term begins in September and Fall 2 in late October or early November.

Terms are 15 weeks long, with an eight-week option during the Summer term.

How much does Empire State College cost?

Our Tuition and Fees page provides details about undergraduate and graduate tuition. In addition, please note the special provisions for active-duty military and veteran students:

  • All fees are waived for active-duty military and veteran students.
  • Active-duty military, and their spouses receive in-state tuition rates regardless of their location.


We’re here to help.

SUNY Empire’s Veteran and Military Education staff is ready to work with you to make earning your degree possible and affordable.