Alyssa's Updates · General Grad School Advice · Getting to Know Plattsburgh · Tips and Hints for Grad School

Prepping for Grad Life at Plattsburgh

So you’re officially a graduate student at SUNY Plattsburgh! Your acceptance letter has been busted open and carefully read (and re-read), your deposit has been paid, and you’re rearingtumblr_ntfu0cAFez1r7j293o1_400 and ready to go. If you’ve never been a student at SUNY Plattsburgh before, there may be a few questions lurking in your mind.

SUNY Plattsburgh has a handy Graduate Orientation Guide to check out online. It provides new students with valuable insight into navigating the campus.

Here’s a few questions asked especially frequently. Remember, if you have any questions about campus and graduate school, the Graduate Admissions Office is here to help.  Give us a call at 518-564-4723, email us at, or stop by Kehoe 113.

Do I need a student ID?

Yes, you should stop by the Campus Auxiliary Services at their office in Clinton Dining Hall to  obtain your campus identification card. Most graduate students do not use their ID cards on a daily basis, so it is not an emergency to obtain this before classes start.  Unless you are living on campus, you can probably survive for a few days (or weeks) without it, but be sure to put it on your To Do list for the first few weeks of school.

At your convenience, stop by Clinton Dining Hall.  Your student ID is printed instantly after they take a quick picture of you.  cardinal cardYour first ID card is free, but if you lose it, the 2nd one will cost ya!

Your ID card allows you to check out Library books, access certain classrooms and residence halls, use meal plan dollars, make purchases at local stores, get discounts, and more!  More information about campus ID cards can be found here.

How do I get a parking pass?

Parking passes are available for purchase via MyPlattsburgh. For a full-time, main campus student, a parking pass currently costs $178 a year. It is advised that students purchase a parking pass before August 15. For more information about parking passes, important parking information, and picking up a permit tag for your vehicle, click here.

I want to make a good impression on my classmates and professors, so how do I avoid getting HANGRY?hangry

Plattsburgh has a number of places to eat on campus which all accept cash, credit card, and Cardinal Cash (money that is added debit-style on your campus ID).

Inside of Hawkins Hall is Einstein Bros. Bagels, which has hot and iced coffees Einstein Bros. Bagel Logoand teas, bagels, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries, and more. It’s a great spot to grab a snack if you’re on the move to and from class in Ward, Redcay, Ausable, Hawkins, or Hudson Halls. This spot is a favorite among School Psychology and Counselor Education students.

Deep inside of Sibley Hall is a lesser-known treasure run by SUNY Plattsburgh’s very own Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management students – Samuel Samuel D LogoD’s.  This tasty spot offers Starbucks beverages, soups, sandwiches, and more. Students in the Speech-Language Pathology and Teacher Education programs have most of their classes near Samuel D’s.

Not feeling like cooking dinner tonight?  Skip the fast food and opt instead for Clinton Dining Hall. Unlike what you may have had in undergrad, Clinton Dining Hall has a large variety of main dishes available daily, a pizza/pasta bar, an ice cream machine, fresh stir-fry, a waffle maker, and allergy-friendly dining options.

The Angell College Center has the campus’ largest variety of dining offerings. Its most popular spot is the Sundowner, which has Italian, Asian, American, and vegetarian/vegan stations, as well as a sandwich and salad station. Take-out or eat-in for lunch, dinner, and late night studying!

Those looking for a snack on the go, a quick coffee, a candy bar or even toiletries should head over to the Angell College Center’s Campus Express store. This campus shop is a great place to snag something on the run.

Tim Hortons web photo

The College Center also has a Subway and a Tim Horton‘s inside, ready to serve your morning java and scrumptious sandwich. Beside Subway is Griddles, which serves breakfast foods all day. That’s right! All day breakfast.


Where do I get my books?

SUNY Plattsburgh’s professors post what books your classes will require on the school’s College Store webpage. A few weeks before the semester begins, you will be able to access your class pages detailing what books to buy or rent and the ability to purchase them online through the College Store for pickup.

class books.png

The College Store recommends purchasing through them to ensure the correct edition and that all supplemental book materials are included. However, if you do plan to buy or rent online, be sure to check that the book edition is correct, that it is not an international copy (which may have significant differences in content), and if there are supplemental materials, that they are all included (such as CDs, access codes etc.).

If an online deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. That said, it can be worthwhile to shop at online retailers that are well-reviewed and widely used. Some examples of popular websites include:,,,, and

If you’re in a pinch and waiting for your books to arrive but need a book right away, check to see if Feinburg Library has the book you need.

Where are good places to study?

Your personal study preferences may come into play with this question. Do you need complete silence or a comfy spot? Maybe you need to be able to get up and stretch now and again? Some notable areas include:

  • Feinburg Library’s study carrels offer students a small office space equipped with a study-carrel-alexdesk, a computer, outlets, and a window. These are located on the second floor of the library and are open for all to use. A limited number of secure carrels on the third floor can be reserved by graduate students; sign up here if interested. The noise level is pretty quiet. Sometimes, passersby or groups can be a little loud.

  • Feinburg Library has a  “reading room” equipped with couches, end tables, outlets, and a door that can be closed. These areas are shared. The noise level is quiet so long as people in the area are courteous.

  • The Computer Lab, located on the Library’s ground level, has a large number of computers and printers for student use. They also have chairs and tables for working. The noise level here varies — it can be loud if students are working as a group.

  • The Library has four “presentation rooms” that are great for studying with peers in an area that is quieter than the rest of the library. The noise level can vary quite a bit, but tumblr_inline_nuix4kl3eO1rx0xmd_400is often quiet.

  • A “deep quiet room” is available in the Library that prohibits talking, food, and laptops. It is an excellent place to get reading done if you have trouble focusing in noisy spots. The noise level here is almost always silent.

  • If you need a space to work but don’t mind some noise, Ward Hall has a large area in its lounge for working as well as two computers available for student use. Likewise, Hudson Hall has a few lounge spaces that tend to be quiet and is equipped with comfortable chairs. Lastly, the second floor of the Angell College Center has many computers and tables open for student use.

Is there orientation for grad students?

The Graduate Admissions Office hosts a new graduate student orientation program in August each year, on the Friday before fall classes begin.  All new main campus graduate students should receive an invitation to our orientation event, which is optional to attend, though strongly encouraged if you are new to Plattsburgh.  Even if you attended Plattsburgh as an undergraduate, a refresher can’t hurt as you’re preparing to enter a more difficult program.  It’s also a great chance to meet fellow new graduate students and some of our current returning graduate students as well.

Some academic programs host a separate program-specific orientation session, with attendance required (you will be contacted by the department if you need to attend one of these).

Getting started on the right foot is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact Graduate Admissions with any questions you may have, big or small!


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