Registration for a first semester graduate student can be a tricky process. The bad news is that a lot of the classes that you want to take are probably closed. Sometimes you can speak to a professor and get let in, but sometimes you can't. The good news is, if you're a TA your first semester, you won't have to worry about your TA class conflicting with your schedule. You will usually know what class you will be TAing for before you can register for your own classes. In subsequent semesters, however, you will be registered for classes long before you get your TA assignment, so conflicts will have to be resolved with your class and TA professors.

Your first registration period will be a lot less stressful if you are flexible and have alternate classes that you're willing to take. Classes may be closed when you try to register for your first semester of graduate school, but you can always take them the following year.

One of the things about registration as a grad student that you might not have experienced before is that you don't have to have your advisor's signature to register for class. Consultation with your advisor is still highly recommended, though. We also recommend that you only register for the minimum number of credits for your first semester (12 or 13 for non-funded students and 9 or 10 for TA students). You're going to want plenty of time outside of class to start working out your project ideas and maybe even start on a draft research proposal.

The best way to plan for registration is to start by looking at the fall semester schedule of classes, located on the Registrar's website here. Once you find out what courses are being offered for the semester, you can cross-reference them with the course catalog to see if you might be interested. ESF students are also allowed to register for Syracuse University classes, but it isn't really encouraged. If you would like to see what classes SU is offering, you'll need to visit the MySlice website. If you're just looking at classes, you won't need to log in, just use the "Schedule of Classes" link on the right side of the page in the "Course Catalog/Class Search" box.

Once you've decided on classes and the registration period for new students opens, you will need to be able to log into the MySlice site - even if you aren't taking SU classes. Once you've logged in, you'll want to click the "Enroll in a Class" link on the right side of the page in the "Student Services" box. This will take you to the "Add Classes" tab and ask you to select the semester for which you want to enroll in the class.

Add Classes Tab

You'll then be asked to "Enter Class Nbr."

Enroll in a Class

The Class Number is the 5-digit number printed next to the class title in the ESF schedule of classes. Graduate classes usually start with a 1, 2 or 3.

Class Number

If you don't know the Class Number, you can search for your class with the "Search" button.

Class Search Screen

You should only need to fill in the top part of the class search screen. First, in the scroll box next to "Course Subject", choose the department your class belongs to (i.e. EFB = Environmental and Forest Biology, FCH = Forest Chemistry, etc.). The "Course Subject Code" will automatically fill in. Then, type in the 3-digit course number (i.e. "501", "797", etc.). If you're interested in any EFB graduate course being offered, you can change the scroll box to the left of the number from "is exactly" to "is greater than or equal to", then type in "500". This should provide a list of every grad course offered in EFB. An example class search screen is below.

Example Class Search Screen

Once the basic information is filled in on the class search screen, click "Search" and you'll be provided with a list of available classes that match your search.

Search Results

When you find a class you want to register for, click on "select class" and you'll be taken to the "Enrollment Preferences" screen.

Enrollment Preferences

If the class you want to register for requires instructor permission for registration, you'll be given a code number with the instructor consent. This screen is where you submit your code number. If you're satisfied with the enrollment options, click "Next" and you will get a message that the class has been added to your "shopping cart". Repeat the process for all the classes you wish to register for. Once all your classes are in your cart, click "Proceed to Step 2 of 3" at the bottom of the page. You will be taken to a confirmation page.


Ensure that the classes displayed on the page are the ones you want, then click "Finish Enrolling".

There are no required classes for graduate study. You will need a total number of seminar credits, a total number of coursework credits, and M.S. and Ph.D. students will need a total number of research credits. The credit requirements for M.S., M.P.S. and Ph.D. students are summarized in the course catalog here. Skills classes are highly recommended, such as statistical analysis classes and classes that will teach you field, laboratory and instrumentation techniques.

There may be instances where you want to "sit in" on either an undergraduate or graduate course without all the responsibilities that come with actually enrolling in the course. In these cases, you can formally audit the course and receive either a "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" grade. The grade will show on your transcript, but not be included in your GPA and the credit hours won't count toward graduation requirements. If you are interested in auditing a course, you will need permission from both the class instructor and your advisor. Some instructors for some classes will not allow you to audit a course and will require enrollment. Registration for an audited course is the same as normal registration, but an additional permission form is required to be submitted to the Registrar's office.

Once you have registered, you can view your schedule in the MySlice application. A simpler view is also available on the MyESF website. The Registrar section of the MyESF website is also where you'll go to see your grades at the end of the semester.

Good luck in class!