Edit Page

Orientation & Advisement 2020

Freshmen FAQs

Freshmen FAQs

Getting Started at New Paltz

+  What do I need to do before I can register for classes?

You must participate in Orientation/Course Registration in order to register for classes. Information will be emailed and posted on this site at a later date about this program and how to register.

You must pay your pre-enrollment deposit (PED) in order to register for Orientation/Course Registration.

+  Why do I have to send a high school transcript?

Your final high school transcript, with your graduation date should be sent to New Paltz by the first day of classes.  It is required by the New York State Education Department to finalize enrollment and financial aid. 

Submit your final official high school transcripts with date of graduation to:

Office of Undergraduate Admission
SUNY New Paltz
100 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, New York 12561

email: admissions@newpaltz.edu

+  What about final payment and other fees?

Tuition, housing and other fee billing is only done online through your my.newpaltz.edu account. Payment must be received in the office of student accounts by the stated due date that appears on your bill. You can access your bill, accept your charges, complete the health insurance waiver and make payment or payment arrangements online at my.newpaltz.edu after orientation.

+  When is the health report and proof of immunization due?

This information should be received at least 30 days prior to your arrival on campus. The Student Health Service strongly recommends that you schedule a physical with your primary care provider as soon as possible, as you may have to wait several weeks to get an appointment. The ‘Demographics,’ ‘Health History,’ ‘Meningitis Vaccination Response Form’ and ‘Tuberculosis Screening form (p. 1-4 of the Health Report) should be completed by the student or parent prior to the appointment. Your provider must complete the Medical Assessment and provide signed documentation of your immunizations (p. 5-6 of the Health Report). Please mail, fax or email the completed Health Report by July 15, 2020. NYS law requires all students to submit proof of proper immunizations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella or proof of immunity by blood titers. Students must also show proof of a meningitis vaccine within the past five years or complete a waiver form. Returning a properly completed Health Report should fulfill these requirements and allow you to register for classes. The Health Report can be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz website by navigating to the ‘Student Health Service’ and choosing the ‘Forms’ link.

+  How does the room assignment process work?


Each of you will submit a roommate matching survey as part of the summer orientation process. The survey will ask questions about your living habits, such as what time you typically go to bed, cleanliness, amount of preferred social time versus study time in the room, etc.  If you already have a friend or meet someone on social media you decide to live with, you can request them as roommate on your survey. Roommate requests must be mutual so you must make sure your friend requests you on their survey.  If you do not know anyone specific you want to room with, we will use your answers to the survey questions to match you with people that have similar living habits.

Room assignments

Once the roommate matching process is completed, roommate groups will be placed in rooms together. The room and building each roommate group will be placed in is chosen at random. There are three exceptions to this:

  1. Students who choose to join one of our Living-Learning Communities (LLCs). LLCs are building specific, so participants will be assigned to their LLC’s building. LLC participants will be assigned roommates who are also part of the same LLC. Most of you have already received an email with information about the Communities at New Paltz LLCs, and will receive information about our other LLCs soon.
  2. Students who have a medical diagnosis or disability that requires specific accommodations.
  3. Students that need to stay on campus during winter and/or spring break must live in either Bouton or Gage Halls, as those are the only buildings that stay open during those breaks. This includes athletes who will play on teams that have games and practices during the breaks, as well as non-athletes that cannot go home during either or both breaks for any reason.

Advising and Registration

+  How will I register for Fall 2020 courses?

You will register online just like all other New Paltz students.  

+  When will I register for fall 2020 classes?

Freshmen will register online August 10-14, 2020.  Prior to registration, you will have your planned schedules reviewed and approved by an advisor.  The advisor will provide registration clearance to allow you to register. In some cases, the advisor may register you for one or more classes prior to registration week.

The Office of Records & Registration will be available to assist you if you have any challenges during the process.  The Office of Academic Advising and the academic departments will also be available to provide support. 

+  How will I know how to plan my schedule?

You will complete learning modules that will help orient you to the Schedule of Classes, My Schedule Planner, the Eight Semester Plan and Degree Works, among other terrific tools New Paltz students use for planning.

Before being cleared to register, advisers will check your registration plans to be sure they meet your needs. Check this site frequently for updated information on student advising and registration information.

+  Will I be able to meet with an advisor or attend a remote session for advisement? How will I be able to ask questions?

The answer will depend on your particular program. Generally, students who are undeclared for a major meet with a general advisor in the Office of Academic Advising and students who are accepted into a major meet with an advisor in the major department. There will be a forum for you to ask questions.

Check this site for updated information on student advising. At this time, we are unsure if there will be any in-person sessions.

+  Who will be my advisor?

Declared students: Freshmen students who have declared a major will be assigned to a faculty member from the department of study. 

Undeclared students: Freshmen students who are undeclared will be assigned to an advisor from the Office of Academic Advising.  

+  How do I receive credit for courses taken in high school?

If you took AP, IB or a college course in high school, you have probably already started earning college credit. It's up to you to ensure SUNY New Paltz receives these official transcripts; your high school does not send these for you. Contact the appropriate institution:

For Advanced Placement (AP) courses, scores of 3, 4, or 5 are accepted for college credit. Contact College Board for official transcripts.

For International Baccalaureate courses, scores of 5 or higher are accepted for college credit. Contact International Baccalaureate for official transcripts.

For college courses taken in high school, grades of C- or higher can be transferred for credit. Contact the college where you took the course for official transcripts.

What you have to do:

Contact the institution that granted the credits and request that official transcripts be sent to:

Office of Undergraduate Admission
State University of New York at New Paltz
100 Hawk Drive 
New Paltz, New York 12561-2499

+  What is the Foreign Language Placement Policy?

Special Programs

+  What if I am an EOP student?

In addition to the required online orientation mentioned above, the EOP office will be offering orientation sessions just for EOP students. Check this page and your hawkmail regularly for updates about orientation. If you have questions, please visit the EOP website for more information or to contact someone from the EOP office.

+  Are EOP students required to attend one of the three 4-day interactive Summer Orientation Sessions?

Yes, all EOP First Year students are required to participate in a 4-day remote summer orientation program.

June 29th-July 2nd

July 6th – July 9th

July 13th – July 16th

+  What can I do if I have questions about joining a Living Learning Community?

For any student who is interested in learning more about a Living /Learning Community or would like to apply, visit our website or email Shannon Moysey, Coordinator for Living/Learning Communities at moyseys@newpaltz.edu

Support Services

+  What if I need a disability-related accommodations for orientation, advisement and registration, and my classes?

If you have a documented disability and will be requesting accommodations, complete the Accommodation Request as soon as you select a virtual Orientation session. This will allow us to build your class schedule based on your need for accommodations. See the requirements, procedures and contact information on our web page www.newpaltz.edu/drc/.

School of Business Students

+  What are the admission requirements to be admitted at New Paltz as a Business major?

As a freshman, you need only be admitted to SUNY New Paltz and indicate to the Admissions office prior to coming that you would like declare a Business major.

+  How do I sign up for advising for the School of Business?

Click here to review available advising time slots. You will need to have a computer with internet access since we will be using WebEx for your session. We will send you the link for the WebEx session after you sign up for a time. 

+  Who will be my business advisor?

Lavoisier Tubman will be the advisor for all new freshman students. Business students will receive all advising from the Center for Business Advising (CBA) – VH 206.

+  What internships are available to me?

The School of Business has a Senior Career Advisor, Christine Daly who assists all Business students with internship prep, notification and availability. 

We also have a password protected database for jobs and internships called HawkHire for our students to access thru my.newpaltz.edu.

School of Education Students

+  What education majors does New Paltz offer?
  • Adolescence Education (grades 7-12) in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, English, Mathematics, Physics, and Social Studies – leads to NYS teacher certification
  • Early Childhood & Childhood Education (birth-grade 6) with required academic concentration in Art History, Biology, Black Studies, Earth Science, English, French, Geography, History, Mathematics, Political Science or Spanish – leads to NYS teacher certification
  • Early Childhood Studies with required academic concentration – not a certification program
+  How do I become an education major?

Students are not admitted automatically to the School of Education, but apply during their first or second year, once they have met entrance requirements. Students considering an education major are encouraged to take EDI233 Education Seminar during their first year.

First-year students who express an interest in education are advised by Joanna Schroer, who has an office in Old Main, the School of Education building.   

+  Can education majors study abroad, join the honors program, or take on a minor?

Yes, with careful planning.  Most education majors are structured and sequenced, without room for many electives.  However, motivated students who begin planning early with their advisors can create space for additional academic opportunities. 

School of Fine and Performing Arts Students


+  What if I am a Music major?

Art Education

+  I’d like to be an Art Teacher. How do I apply?

Students who wish to major in art education must apply and be accepted to SUNY New Paltz and to the Art Department. You can read about our application process on the Art Department website at https://www.newpaltz.edu/fpa/art/art-education/admission. Application to the Art Department requires a portfolio review; acceptance to the Art Education program also requires a 3.0 GPA for transfer students. For more information, please contact the Art Education program at 845-257-3850 or email our administrative assistant Karen Sickles at sicklesk@newpaltz.edu.

+  Will AP classes or classes I took at another college count?

We’ll review your official transcripts and use courses that meet the requirements toward your plan of study. We’re able to transfer in up to 41 credits from other colleges to be used toward your Art Education degree. To qualify the courses must be equivalent to, or a reasonable substitute for, our required courses, you must have earned grades of C or better in art studio classes, C- in Art History B- or better in Art Education courses.

+  Will I have an Art Education advisor?

All Art Education students are assigned an Art Education advisor as soon as they are admitted to the program. Your advisor is your first stop when you need information about your classes and what you need to graduate. You will meet with your advisor each semester to check in on your progress and go over the courses you need to register for to stay on track for graduation. Your Art Education advisor can also help you find information that you need and troubleshoot academic problems.

+  What are the best courses to take first as an Art Education major?

If you are a freshman, you will take the same courses all Art Department students take in their first semester. This means you’ll take ARS Drawing: Visual Thinking I, either ARS102 Design: Color or ARS103 Design: Form, and ARS112 Art Seminar. In addition, you should take English Composition and either ARH201 Art of the Western World I or ARH202 Art of the Western World II.

If you are a transfer student, what you should take will depend entirely on what you have taken at your previous college(s). You will meet with an Art Education advisor to go over what to take, or you can contact Dr. Beth Thomas at thomasb@newpaltz.edu for more information.

+  Do I have to take my classes in a particular order?

Freshmen need to take the foundation studio classes before signing up for 200-level studio classes, but the order foundation studio classes are taken in is flexible. You will need to take 200-level studio classes in the studio areas before you can take upper division (300- or 400- level courses).

Generally, students begin taking Art Education courses in the fall semester of the junior year. These must be taken in sequence, and most are offered only once per year. It’s important to meet regularly with your Art Education advisor to stay on track for graduation.

+  Can I have a minor or have a second major?

Absolutely! Many Art Education students have a minor, choose to apply to one of our BFA programs. These are great options that will help you explore your interests and broaden your experience, all of which makes you a better teacher. These options add more requirements to your degree and should be discussed with your Art Education advisor as early as possible.

+  Are scholarships available?

Yes. There are several scholarships specifically for Art students, and some that give preference to Art Education students. Qualified Art Education majors are encouraged to apply. Scholarships may be used to defray student expenses other than tuition, including room, board, and fees. It may also be used for study abroad, internships, and in-service learning. The College also maintains a database of scholarships for which you may apply; visit https://newpaltz.academicworks.com/opportunities

+  Can I study abroad?

We strongly encourage you to study abroad. This kind of experience helps you think globally, learn more about others, and broaden your perspective – all of which are important and valuable for teachers and artists. If you are interested in studying abroad please discuss options with your advisor as early as possible. You can learn more about study abroad programs by visiting https://www.suny.edu/studyabroad/

Students may also qualify for financial aid for studying abroad; visit https://www.newpaltz.edu/studyabroad/students/financesandscholarships/

+  Does the college provide transportation to the field placements required in the major?

Students are responsible for their transportation to all fieldwork assignments and student teaching. Many students do not have vehicles when they enter the program, however, and are able to ride-share with other students who do have vehicles. The important thing to know is that the program does not provide transportation, and students are responsible for getting to their field placements on time.

+  What are the requirements for graduation?

In addition to successfully completing the college-wide requirements, you must successfully complete our programs of study in Art Education. You can learn more about our plan of study here.

You must also complete the Child Abuse ID, SAVE, DASA, and Health & Safety Ed workshops in order to graduate. You can learn more about these workshops on the School of Education Certification Assistance webpage.

+  What do I need to do to get my certificate to teach art?

In addition to successfully completing all the requirements for graduation and graduating you need to pass three exams: the Art Content Specialty Test, Educating All Students test, and edTPA. You’ll learn more about these exams in your Art Education courses, and you can find information on them on the School of Education Certification Assistance webpage.

Art History

+  I’d like to study Art History at SUNY New Paltz. What are my options?

Art History is perhaps the most interdisciplinary major offered at the College, involving many other areas of the Arts and Humanities such as Art, Theatre, History, Languages, Literature, and Philosophy. You can major or double major in Art History, complete an Art History minor, or complete a concentration in Art History if you are pursuing a degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education. To learn more, visit our Website https://www.newpaltz.edu/fpa/art-history/

+  What are the requirements for Art History majors, concentrations, and minors?

You may declare an Art History major immediately upon matriculating at SUNY New Paltz. Grades of C- or better count toward the major. Once you declare, you will be assigned a faculty advisor in the Art History Department. For further information about the major, minor, and concentration, visit https://www.newpaltz.edu/fpa/art-history/academics/programs/ and https://www.newpaltz.edu/ugc/education/childhooded/req.html  

+  What if I took AP Art History in High School?

Depending on your AP score, you may receive credit and place out of ARH 201 and/or ARH 202. Determinations are made by Admissions staff.

+  Which is the best course to take first as an Art History major?

Art of the Western World I (ARH 201) or Art of the Western World II (ARH 202). These surveys of Western Art History are open to first-year students and are required courses in the Art History major. Please note that Introduction to the Visual Arts (ARH 200), a course designed for non-majors, does NOT count toward the major in Art History. It may, however, count toward the completion of the Art History minor.

+  Do I have to take art history courses in a particular order?

No. Lower-division courses (i.e., those with course numbers in the 200s) are open to all students. First-year students cannot enroll in upper-division courses (i.e., those with course numbers in the 300s and 400s). All majors must take the Art History Capstone Course, ARH 456 Art History: Theories and Approaches, which is offered every Fall semester and is geared toward third- and fourth-year students.

+  Are Honors in Art History available?

Yes. You may also consider writing an Honors Thesis in Art History. Application must be made at the beginning of the last semester of the junior year. Honors students will enroll in ARH 461 and ARH 462, Honors Thesis in Art History I and II. Credit for ARH 461 will not be allowed unless ARH 462 is completed; only three of these six credits may be used towards completion of the 36-credit major.

+  Are internships available?

Yes. We encourage majors to earn academic credit for unpaid, professional experience in a variety of settings. Our location provides rich possibilities for Internships and fieldwork.  Students have interned at institutions in the New Paltz, The Hudson Valley, Capital District and New York City. The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located on the SUNY New Paltz campus, also offers curatorial and collections management internships regularly.

+  Are scholarships available?

Yes. The Art History Award is awarded every spring semester for the following academic year. Qualified Art History majors are encouraged to apply. The award may be used to defray student expenses other than tuition, including room, board, and fees. It may also be used for study abroad, internships, and in-service learning. The College also maintains a database of scholarships for which you may apply; visit https://newpaltz.academicworks.com/opportunities

+  Will I be able to study abroad?

Yes. We strongly encourage our students to study abroad. Summer On-Site Studies in Art History Abroad is our faculty-led, intensive overseas study program. Recent programs include 19th-century French painting in Paris and Provence, ancient art in Italy and Greece, and contemporary art through the lens of the exhibitions Documenta, Munster Sculpture Project, and the Venice Biennale. To learn more, visit https://www.newpaltz.edu/fpa/art-history/on-site/past-programs/2019/ For additional study-abroad programs, visit https://www.suny.edu/studyabroad/

Students may also qualify for financial aid for studying abroad; visit https://www.newpaltz.edu/studyabroad/students/financesandscholarships/

Graphic Design

+  Do I need a computer?

Not every design student has their own equipment, but most do. When classes meet face to face students work in the labs we use for teaching. Students taking design courses have afterhours access to computers and printers.

We recommend the Apple MacBook Pro. The entry-level model comes with a 256GB hard drive and 8GB of RAM. Upgrade these to at least a 512 GB hard drive and 16 GB of RAM. Apple’s education purchase program info is at: https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop. Computer Hut, a local New Paltz computer store, sometimes has refurbished fairly current used laptops for sale, but check out the hard drive and memory specs with them, as well as the ability to run the current Apple operating system (http://www.computerhutsales.com/) And Adobe offers student discounts for the Creative Suite (https://www.adobe.com/products/pricing-info/ccste-pricing-info.html).

We suggest holding off on purchasing the Creative Suite. This past semester when we moved to teaching online we were able to extend our lab license to include our students.

+  What’s the community like?

With your very first design class you’ll be connected to our course blogs. We not only use the blog to teach, but to share news and events as well. Design Society, the Graphic Design Student Club, meets every week during Fall and Spring semesters and everyone is welcome.  

Current students and alumni share news, stories, jobs and info on the SUNY New Paltz Graphic Design Community’s Facebook page.

+  Can I double-major in design and another area? Can I graduate with two majors?

Yes. A double major is when you complete requirements for two majors of the same degree type, for example two BFA, BSc or BS degrees. Someone earning a BFA in Graphic Design could potentially earn a BFA in another studio area, but this is rare. The dual degree is more common: students earn their second degree outside the Art Department. For example, a student recently graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and a BSc in Psychology. With careful planning dual degrees are do-able in five years and require 150 credits.

A carefully planned, single major degree can be achieved in four years and 120 credits.

It’s not uncommon for design students to minor in an area outside of the Art Department; with careful planning this can be achieved within a four-year period. If you receive financial aid, it’s important to review your degree plans with a financial aid advisor each year.

+  How is previously completed coursework applied?

Any college credits taken at another institution will show up on your New Paltz progress report. Up to 27 studio credits may be applied to the Graphic Design major requirements, but at least 50% of your studio credits must be taken at New Paltz. A B- or better is required for all major courses. A C- or better is required for all Art History courses. Some of your credits will transfer in when you are accepted. Work with your design advisor to transfer remaining applicable credits once the semester begins.

+  I have an AA, AS, or AAS. Do I still have to take GE courses?

Students who transfer to New Paltz with a SUNY associate degree (AA or AS) will continue to be admitted with General Education requirements fulfilled. Students with an AAS will need to take any outstanding GE courses. All transfer students, regardless of degree, are still required to complete a Diversity course.

+  What are the expectations for design majors?

BFA students are expected to maintain no less than a 3.0 GPA. If your GPA falls below this, a review with the Graphic Design faculty may result, at our discretion, to conversion of the BFA to a degree outside the program.

+  What about Study Abroad?

Many of our students study overseas during both regular semesters, Summer and Winter intersession. Recent experiences include universities in Cuba, the UK, Italy, France and Australia. https://www.newpaltz.edu/studyabroad/

+  Can I do an internship?

Internships are strongly recommended. Many of our students pursue internships at local (and given the ability to work online, not so local) design studios. You’d pay tuition for and earn 3 studio credits. You can also pursue funded student research opportunities as well as independent study.

+  Anything else I should keep in mind?

Yes, thanks for asking! Here’s some advice: Reach out to and get to know your faculty and advisors. Join Design Society. Foster friendships with other design students. Work hard. Ask for feedback. Give feedback. Aim high. Read widely. Seek out good design and analyze it. Design. Design. Design.