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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions by New International Students


Academic Courses

How do I choose academic courses as a freshman?

Please read Course Selection Guide for First-Year Students For more information, make an appointment with your advisor through Myslice via Orange Success.

What academic courses should I choose as a freshman?

Please read Courses Available to First-Year Students.

Why am I required to choose courses that are not related to my major or intended major?

The Liberal Arts Core requirements are a set of principles that flexibly guide students to select courses and serve to define the common structural core of a liberal arts education at Syracuse. They were devised and adopted by the faculty of Syracuse University. They assure that each student’s course of study includes the most important features of an education in the liberal arts. There are three fundamental parts to the Liberal Arts Core requirements: liberal skills, divisional perspective and critical reflections.

How do I know which courses are appropriate for me to take?

As the liberal arts college at the center of a major research institution, the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) offers students a highly personalized academic experience. Students are exposed to a curriculum that is based on the principles of critical thinking, effective communication, and the analysis and understanding of data, geared to educate the leaders of tomorrow. Contact your academic advisor (see below), who can help you navigate choices appropriate for your academic path.

Why do I need to take English language course(s)?

With students from more than 25 countries, ENL courses offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study listening, speaking, reading and writing in addition to vocabulary development and grammar. Class discussions and readings relate to all aspects of life and culture in the United States and beyond, providing students the opportunity to discuss various academic, cultural and social topics with others in the same situation.

Academic Advisor

What is an academic advisor?

An academic advisor is a type of counselor who works with students on a regular basis to provide intensive academic support. Every student will have an assigned academic advisor who will meet with you individually by appointment throughout the academic year. They will help you understand the purpose of a liberal arts education and guide you during the course of your academic career. You can make an appointment with your academic advisor through Myslice.

Your advisor can help you:

  • Explore academic options
  • Understand the Liberal Arts Core
  • Select courses, majors and minors
  • Connect with University resources during challenging times
  • Develop time management skills
  • Map strategies to improve academic performance
  • Identify academic enrichment opportunities
  • Maintain steady progress toward degree completion
  • Plan for graduate school or entry into the job market

How do I know who my academic advisor is?

Visit Myslice

Can I pick my own academic advisor as a freshman?

No, you cannot pick your own academic advisor. The College will assign an advisor to you.

How do I schedule an appointment with my advisor?

  1. Log in to Myslice.
  2. On the OrangeSUccess home page, click "My Success Network" on the left side of the page.
  3. Find your college advisor and use the "Schedule Appointment" link.
  4. Find an open slot and use the "+ Sign up" button to reserve that time. Enter a brief description of what you'd like to discuss in the "notes" section.
    1. Note: Appointments are available both virtually and in-person (masks and observance of social distancing are required for in-person appointments).

When is the drop-in time for the advising office?

Monday through Thursday, 2-4 p.m. via Zoom. Please click for details. For occasional time-sensitive concerns, a limited number of 15-minute drop-in appointments are available during the semester.

Academic Major and Minor

How do I declare a major/minor?

What if I have not decided what I want to major in?

Schedule an appointment to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your interests. You can also request taking Strong Interest Inventory Survey to explore your interests.

How do I know what I can do with my major?

Explore how you can connect majors with a variety of professional careers using What can I do with this major? For additional support or questions during your selection process, schedule an appointment to meet with your academic advisor.

Academic Credits

How many credits do I need to have to graduate with a bachelor’s degree?

A minimum of 120 credits of coursework is required for the B.A. or B.S. degree. For all students enrolling in A&S, 30 of the 120 credits must be taken in upper-division courses.

What is the minimum and maximum number of credits I can take per semester?

12 to 19 credits. Exceptions may apply.

Can I take courses during winter and summer break?

Yes, please check:

How do I transfer credit from another institution to Syracuse University?

You must complete the Transfer Credit Petition prior to registering for classes at another institution. Return the completed and signed petition to the Advising Center (329 Hall of Languages) for approval. Once you complete your approved course, please have an official (sealed) transcript sent to the following address:

Office of Academic and Career Advising
College of Arts & Sciences
The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Civic Engagement
342 Hall of Languages
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244-1170

Electronic official transcripts can be sent to the following email address:

Once the Advising Center reviews your official transcript, the credits will be posted to your academic record at Syracuse University and will appear on Degree Works within 24 hours.

Is there a maximum number of credits that can be transferred to Syracuse University?

  • A maximum of 66 credits from a combination of credit from a two-year college and any other credit (e.g., AP exams, experiential learning) will be accepted.
  • A maximum of 90 credits from a combination of credit from a two-year program and four-year program and/or any other credit (e.g., AP credit) will be accepted.

Please note: 30 credit hours must be completed at Syracuse University to receive a Syracuse University degree. Students are able to transfer credit hours; however, grades earned at another institution are not calculated in the Syracuse University grade point average.

The College of Arts & Sciences does accept transfer credit from outside of the United States, however starting in Fall 2019 all current and incoming students will be required to submit a course-by-course W.E.S. Evaluation for any credits they have taken outside of the United States. Please check out the W.E.S. Evaluation FAQ page for additional information.

Placement Exam

What are the Placement Exams?

  • Mathematics Exam Instructions
  • ESOL, English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE) -- All non-native English undergraduates need to take the ELAE, which is the English proficiency test. The test dates are different every year; students need to apply for the test online to take it. This test has three parts: writing, listening and reading (including grammar, vocabulary, etc.).
  • Non-English Language Exams -- Note: The following procedure uses the Spanish Placement Exam as an example, but the steps in the procedure are the same for all language exams. Find out which placement exams are available online. Exam system requirements: The language listening part of the Italian and Spanish exams requires speakers or headphones to be tested on Blackboard. Students should take about an hour to complete each placement test, but the actual time will vary.

Academic Supports

How can I seek help if I encounter challenges with my classes?

Your A&S | Maxwell advisor is your primary contact for academic and career support. The additional resources are available to you via other departments on campus. Click Additional Academic Supports.

The Center for Learning and Student Success offers many tutoring sessions for students.

How can I receive help with English writing?

The Writing Center offers one-on-one consulting services to support the success of all Syracuse University students, free of charge. Make an appointment.

Who do I talk to if I feel anxious and depressed?

As the hub for student wellness, the Barnes Center at The Arch features programs, services and offerings that promote holistic health and well-being in one accessible, centralized space on campus. Make an appointment.

24-Hour Support Call: 315.443.8000

150 Sims Drive, Syracuse, NY 13244

May I have an upper-class student help me with college transition?

Yes, the A&S | Maxwell Advising Center sponsors the International Student Success Peer Mentor Program to help incoming first-year and transfer international students successfully transition to Syracuse University. The unit of International Student Success within the Advising Center matches current and incoming students to create a supportive community. Email Ling LeBeau, Associate Director of International Student Success, at for more information.

Do you have a semester-by-semester plan for my undergraduate career?

Yes, please review Academic Success Compass for International Students.

The Academic Success Compass serves as a guideline that helps international students develop learning strategies and refine mindsets and personal management skills during their four years of undergraduate study. It is organized into four directions: Academic Success, Career Preparedness, Networking and Professional Development. Academic and career advisors utilize the compass to ensure students stay on the right track during their academic and personal journey at SU.

Career Advising

Who can teach me to write a resume?

  • The Advising Center has comprehensive career resources to guide you, including writing a resume and cover letter.
  • Your academic advisor can help you review your resume.
  • VMOCK is an SU platform that guides you to write and revise a resume.
  • Syracuse University Career Services offers additional resources as well.

How can I find a campus job?

International undergraduate students can work on campus for no more than 20 hours per week. You may search campus job in Handshake.

How can I find an internship?

View on-campus & off-campus internships on Handshake. You can also access GoinGlobal from Handshake.

  • Click on Career Center – Resources
  • Click GoinGlobal Country Career Guides

VAULT and LinkedIn are great tools for students to search internships as well. A few groups to join:

Can I connect with SU alumni?

Yes. Please contact Matthew Wheeler, Associate Director of Alumni Relations A&S Advising, at 315.443.3150 or and/or visit the Request SU Alumni Connections for Career Guidance.

University Systems

What University systems should I be familiar with?

  • MySlice is your secure virtual gateway to life at Syracuse University and provides access to your Admission Acceptance Form (AAF), advising, the online course catalog, class registration, and financial aid, tuition, housing, and meal plan information. You can also configure MySlice to share “pieces” of your access with others, such as your parents or guardians (click on “Share My Account”).
  • Access your SUMail Account. Your official email account is established in a system called SUMail. SUMail is managed by the University and utilizes Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud services. All official Syracuse University communication will be sent via email to your SUMail address upon your matriculation. If you choose to redirect this account to another account, such as or, you do so at your own risk.
  • The Blackboard learning management system brings the latest in proven educational technology tools to Syracuse University by making class content available to instructors and students via the Internet. Because it is web-based, it makes course materials readily available to students any time they wish.
  • Handshake is Syracuse University’s centralized career management tool. As a free resource, Handshake hosts available internships, professional employment and professional development opportunities available through ’Cuse Works, alumni and partners.

Tuition and Fees

What is the cost of tuition?

How can I find Bursar account information?

It can be found in "View Student Account" in the Myslice-Finance column.

What is the penalty for late payment of Bursar Office fees?

If the account funds are higher than $500, a fee of $120 will be charged for late payment, and $85 for less than $500.

Where can I find Tuition, Fees and Related Policies?

Tuition, Fees and Related Policies

What happens to my tuition charge if I drop a class after the financial deadline?

  • Undergraduate and Law students: If you choose to drop a course after the posted financial/academic drop deadline, you are financially responsible for that course. If the combination of hours registered and dropped after the financial deadline exceed 19 hours, you are charged the published per credit hour rate for each hour over 19. The financial deadline for each semester can vary depending on term, program, and/or class. Students should check the Financial Deadlines info available on their student account via MySlice
  • Leave of Absence/Withdrawal: University may adjust charges for a term based on the date of your leave/withdrawal. Please refer to Tuition, Fees and Related Policies.

How do I pay for tuition?

International Student Payment Options Syracuse University has partnered with two companies that provide a streamlined way to make international payments. Using Flywire or Western Union Business Solutions offer some advantages over a traditional wire transfer such as:

  • There is no hidden bank fees.
  • Typically, you save on exchange rates.
  • There are multiple payment options and currencies to choose from.
  • 24×7 multilingual customer support by chat, Skype, email and telephone.
  • It is faster than traditional wire transfers (2-3 business days).
  • You can track the status of your payment online.

Who should I contact for problems with international remittances?

Scan and email the remittance receipt to:

After waiting for a week, check the account status on Myslice. If the account balance becomes 0 or a negative number, it means that the money has arrived in the student's account.

For more information please contact:

Bursar Office
119 Bowne Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244
Tel: 315.443.2444
Zoom appointment email:

How do I request a refund?


How do I change/cancel my meal plan?

  • Option 1: Log onto MySlice or visit the Housing, Meal Plan, and I.D. Card Services.
  • Option 2: Visit Steele Hall, Room 206 to change your meal plan.


Where do I live as a freshman?

The University’s placement process for new freshmen housing is random. You may be assigned to live in one of the following residence halls on Main Campus: Boland, Brewster, Brockway, Day, DellPlain, Flint, Haven, Lawrinson, Sadler and Shaw.

The majority of first-year students will live in open- or split-double style rooms, but there are also single rooms made for one student, and open-triple rooms designed for three or more. For more information, visit SU Housing.

Pre-Arrival Supports

Who helps me with the college transition before I arrive on campus? And how?

Ling LeBeau, Associate Director of International Student Success, and her team will be the primary resource for your college transition in terms of academic coaching and success.


310 Hall of Languages, Syracuse, New York 13244
Phone: 315.443.2970

The Center for International Services is the resource for international students, scholars and their dependents on issues related to immigration status, employment, cultural, social and academic concerns which impact your success at Syracuse University. The staff and programs at the Center for International Services help you with your transition to life at Syracuse University.

310 Walnut Pl, Syracuse, New York 13244
Phone: 315.443.2457

For more information (checklist, visa, Undergraduate Pre-Arrival & Graduate Pre-Arrival, etc.), please visit Preparing to Arrive.

Is there any welcome orientation for new students?

Yes. The Advising Center hosts an opening weekend welcome two days before the start of classes. There is also an orientation for new international students. Details will be sent to your SU email.

Center for International Student Services will host a mandatory orientation for International students. Check here for updates.

What other primary Contacts should I be aware of?

Please visit Additional Campus Supports.