Can I earn my degree online?

Many degree programs and certificate programs can be completed entirely or partially online. For a complete list see Degrees and Certificates Available Online.

Do I have to take all my courses online? Can I take just one course online?

You can mix and match online and classroom courses within any semester. With more than 350 online sections offered each year, Cayuga has a wide selection to choose from. If you haven’t taken an online course before, we recommend that you start with just one or two online courses.

Do I have to come to campus for tests or labs?

You never have to come to the Cayuga campus to take an online course. Lab courses either use computer simulations or they require students to purchase lab kits to do experiments at home.

Some courses like math, do require a proctored exam. In that case if you live in the Cayuga area you can come to campus and take the test in the Learning Commons – Academic Support. If you live outside this area instruction in the course will explain how you can find a proctor at a local college, school, church, etc. and take the test there.

How do I access an online course?

You will sometimes see a reference to the “Brightspace” online course delivery system. This is the system used to manage and deliver all Cayuga online courses.

To access this website, you will need a login name and password. For additional information, see Get Started.

Will another college accept credits from a Cayuga online course?

Your course will appear on your transcript (course record) exactly the same as if you had taken it in class, with no indication whether or not it was online. If you are interested in transferring Cayuga course credit to another institution, you will need to adhere to that college’s transfer credit approval policy. Check with that institution for specific information on transfer credit and applicability of coursework toward a degree program elsewhere.

If I am in high school, can I take online courses for credit?

For “dual credit” (counting a course both for college credit and toward your graduation from high school in New York State) you will need your high school administration’s permission and approval. To obtain this, ask your guidance counselor to send a letter to the Cayuga Admissions Office indicating the need for this course as a part of your education. In general, Cayuga will admit anyone who can benefit from a course and has completed the prerequisites.

Do I have to sign on at a particular time or place?

All fully online courses are asynchronous, which means that you can sign on at any time of the day or night wherever you have internet access. Plan your schedule based on the instructor’s course expectations. You will be granted access to your course four days before the beginning of class.

Can I work at my own pace? Are there deadlines?

Online courses are demanding. They are not self-paced or self-study, and should not be viewed as easier than classroom courses. They are actively led by an instructor, and there are deadlines. Normally, a semester course will consist of a series of two-week modules. In each module you will be expected to read the textbook and other materials, read faculty lectures online, submit your answers to questions, complete other exercises or assignments, and participate in online discussions. (In online discussions, you will read short notes posted by other students and post your own responses.) You will probably have to log on to the website about three times per week to complete your work.

As a student with a disability, how do I request accommodations for an online class?

Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources or call 315-294-9633 to request accommodations. Be prepared to provide documentation of your disability. See the documentation guidelines webpage for more information.

Do I have to be an experienced computer/internet user to take an online course?

Although you do not have to be an expert, you must have basic computer skills. You need to know how to access the internet and navigate websites, use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word), and copy and paste between two programs running in separate windows. You should also know how to save a document in “rtf” (rich text file) format.

We recommend that you complete the SUNY Online Student Orientation tutorial in Brightspace. Help Desk services are available seven days a week to answer your technical questions.

How do I know whether online courses are right for me?

Many students find that online study provides valuable flexibility to fit courses into their busy schedule. You might find this aspect of online study ideal for your needs, too. However, you must be self-motivated and disciplined. You’ll have to commit to a schedule of coursework just as you would for on-campus classes, but on your own initiative rather than on a fixed class schedule.

How do I register and pay for online courses?

You can enroll in online courses just as you would for a classroom course. If you plan to pursue a Cayuga degree either full-time or part-time, start by contacting the Admissions Office. If you do not plan to pursue a Cayuga degree or are already enrolled as a Cayuga student, you can register directly with the Registrar’s Office by phone or e-mail.

Can I drop, add, or change an online course after registering?

Contact the Registrar’s Office if you wish to add, drop, or change an online course after registering. College policies for online courses are the same as for on-campus courses. These include dropping, adding, or changing a course, academic calendar, withdrawal dates, and refunds.

What is the attendance policy for an online course?

Attendance in an online course is defined as an active post or submission within the course including discussions, written assignments and quizzes. This standard will be used to determine all attendance issues, including but not limited to, never having attended reports, last date of attendance, and involuntary withdrawal from a course due to lack of attendance.

What is required for admission to the College?

To become a full-time student, you will need to supply your high school transcript or copy of your GED, as well as transcripts from any other colleges where you have earned credit. See Admissions Office.

Is a placement test required?

For all students, a placement test is required for English and Math courses. The Learning Commons – Academic Support offers placement testing on-campus and can arrange for online placement testing as needed. The Admissions Office can assist you with this process.

What do online courses cost?

Tuition is the same per credit hour as for on-campus courses. Online course fees apply. Complete information is at Tuition and Fees.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Follow the same procedure as you would for on-campus courses. See Financial Aid.

How do I get my books and course materials?

Required course materials are listed in the course description, which can be accessed via myCayuga. Visit or call Cayuga’s Bookstore on either campus to purchase course materials. Purchases via telephone will be shipped or set aside for pick-up. You can also purchase course materials from other sources.

What technology do I need?

You need a computer, desktop, laptop or notebook. A variety of devices and operating systems were used to test the supported browsers. Support is not limited to these specific operating systems. The desktop browser versions above are supported regardless of the particular device or operating system on which they run.

  • Operating Systems include: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac OS 10.8+, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome OS
  • Word processing software that will save files in Microsoft Word format (Word, Open Office, etc.)
  • Internet access
  • Web browser (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge are recommended for Windows devices; Safari is recommended for Apple devices)

Is technical help available throughout the course?

SUNY Online Help Desk ( 1-844-673-6786)

If you need help accessing your course, sending assignments, requesting a password or with other technical issues, contact the SUNY Online HelpDesk at 1-844-673-6786 during the following hours (Eastern time), or visit their support website at

Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Is there a smartphone app for my iPhone, Android or Blackberry that I can use?

Yes there is. You would use the Brightspace Pulse mobile application. See Access to Brightspace.