Graduate Student Orientation

Welcome to graduate school at SUNY Cortland!

You've paid your admission deposit - what now?

Complete the following Next Steps to help orient you to SUNY Cortland...

Click on each Next Step below for more details and instructions.
Download Next Steps as a PDF

Next Steps you can take from home

Next Steps to take when you come to campus

Other steps you might consider taking


Next Step Details and Instructions…

Review and accept/decline your financial aid

Review and accept/decline your financial aid award letter through myRedDragon. Be sure to regularly review the Financial Aid checklist. You will be notified by the Financial Aid Office when your award letter is ready. For questions regarding your aid or student loans, call 607-753-4717 or email

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Complete your Medical History Report and return it to the Student Health Service office.

For students entering in the Fall semester your immunization documentation should be completed and submitted to Student Health Service by July 1st, or as soon as possible after that for late admissions, and for students entering in the Spring semester, documentation should be submitted by December 1st or as soon as possible thereafter for late admissions. Failure to provide the Student Health Service with all of the required immunization records and completed Health History Form in a timely manner may delay registration or result in administrative penalties including having a hold placed on your account.

Please note that you MUST submit your health forms and immunity requirements to Student Health Service as soon as possible. Submission of this material is in accordance with NYS Public Health Laws and you may not register for courses until it is received. Please call Student Health Service at 607-753-4811 with any questions about the forms or requirements.

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Become familiar with how to use myRedDragon

Once you have paid your admission deposit, you will have access to myRedDragon, SUNY Cortland’s online portal to many functions you’ll need to use as a student. There is always a link to myRedDragon at the top of each SUNY Cortland Web page or visit the myRedDragon Login Page and bookmark it in your browser. If you have any trouble logging in, call The Help Center at 607-753-2500. Learn more about how to use myRedDragon.

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Access your email account

Once you have paid your admission deposit, you will be issued a email account that can be accessed through myRedDragon on the Home Tab. Look for the Office 365 box on the upper right. This is the method through which all official College communication will be sent to you. You are expected to check your email on a regular basis. If you have any trouble accessing myRedDragon or your email account call the Help Center at 607-753-2500, or stop at the desk in the Memorial Library.

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Contact your academic advisor

Contact your academic advisor or graduate coordinator to review program requirements and determine what classes you should register for. The name and contact information for your academic advisor is located in the Student Tab on myRedDragon (locate the Registrar box and click "Who is my Advisor?"). If you have trouble reaching this person during summer hours you may also contact your program’s Graduate Coordinator or your department’s chairperson (contact information can be found on your department’s website). Please note that your Graduate Coordinator may also be your academic advisor.

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Learn how to use CAPP – your degree audit tool. All students have an online degree audit called a CAPP Report. A CAPP Report displays program requirements and whether each has been completed successfully. Information and a tutorial on how to use your CAPP Report can be found here. All graduate students should be familiar with their individual CAPP Report.

You may see information referring students to use Degree Works, however, currently Degree Works is only for undergraduate students. Graduate students will continue to use CAPP until further notice.

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Review the course schedule and register for classes. Once you know what classes to register for, consult the online Course Schedule to find specific course offering information.

Please note that you may disregard any reference to a Registration PIN – this is only applicable to undergraduate student registration.

General registration tips and helpful information:
You may also wish to view these registration resources:

Call the Registrar’s Office if you have questions or problems with registration at 607-753-4702 or email

IMPORTANT NOTE:  You MUST submit your health forms and immunity requirements to Student Health Service as soon as possible. Submission of this material is in accordance with NYS Public Health Laws and you may not register for courses until it is received. Please call Student Health Service at 607-753-4811 with any questions about the forms or requirements.

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Order your textbooks and visit the College Store for details on how to order your books online. You can purchase your textbooks ahead of time as a “prepack” (you can pick them up when you arrive on campus or they can be shipped to you), or you can purchase them in person. You can even choose to rent your textbooks!

You may also purchase your textbooks from outside vendors. There is no requirement that you purchase through the College Store.

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Review and pay your student bill via myRedDragon, visit Student Accounts for more information. Student Accounts may be reached by calling 607-753-2313 or emailing

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Submit final transcript for undergraduate degree to Graduate Admissions prior to the first day of classes, you will need to provide the Graduate Admissions Office with a final transcript showing conferral of your undergraduate degree. If you are currently a SUNY Cortland undergraduate student, the Registrar’s Office will process the conferral of your degree and a transcript will not be necessary.

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Submit initial teaching certificate as soon as your initial teaching certificate is issued by New York State, please submit a copy from the TEACH system to your advisor or Graduate Coordinator. You may need to submit a Request for Change of Graduate Status form to have the “W” removed from your program code. Students in the Health and Modern Languages programs do not need to submit a Change of Status form. Check with your advisor or Graduate Coordinator if you have questions.

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Watch for your Welcome Packet to arrive in the mail

Shortly before each semester all new graduate students are sent a packet of resource information welcoming them to SUNY Cortland. This packet contains:

  • a brochure describing the graduate student support resources available
  • a Campus Resource Guide
  • helpful tips to start your semester
  • a campus map
  • parking permit information
  • Memorial Library Guide

Also included in your Welcome Packet is an invitation to a Welcome Reception held prior to the fall and the spring semesters. This is a great opportunity to meet some key people on campus including the associate dean of your school and other new graduate students.

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Visit the Graduate Student Support website. This website, designed for you, is updated frequently. Here you will find links to may resources, including:

  • academic policies
  • CAPP Report tutorials
  • a list of all graduate coordinators
  • academic dates and deadlines
  • funding opportunities for graduate students
  • reference guide to academic processes

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 Get your Cortland ID Card. Your SUNY Cortland ID Card is essential! Among its many uses:

  • check out materials from Memorial Library
  • put cash on your card and use it in vending machines, at on-campus dining facilities and at many off-campus eateries
  • use it to print and copy documents on WEPA stations and copiers across campus
  • show it upon check-in if you’ve joined either of the fitness centers

To obtain your Cortland ID Card, visit the Auxiliary Services Corp. (ASC) Office in Neubig Hall. Keep in mind that office hours vary during winter and summer sessions; it is advised that you call ahead to see if they are open (extended hours are offered at the beginning of each semester). Contact the ASC Office at 607-753-2430.

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Purchase your parking permit

You may purchase your permit in person at the Parking Department, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-38, Monday – Friday, prior to 4:30 p.m. (4 p.m. during the summer). Alternatively, you may purchase your parking permit online and pick it up when you get to campus. If you are unable to pick up your permit at the Parking Department during normal business hours, it will be available for you at the University Police Department, Van Hoesen Hall, Room C-17. For details on types of permits and parking fees, visit the Parking Department, or call 607-753-4123.

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