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F A S T   F A C T S
Location | Potsdam
Population | 10,000
Enrollment | 2,607
Language | English
Calendar | Semester
Canada | Host Payment

Term Dates
Fall | 08/29-12/16
Spring | 01/23-05/19

SUNY Potsdam

Potsdam, NY

A campus culture that's as eclectic as you are, focused on experiential learning
400 yearly arts events, mentored student research, and the best food in SUNY
The Adirondack Park is our backyard - enjoy the nation's largest state park!

About This Campus

SUNY Potsdam is the oldest school in the nation's largest public higher education system offering 45+ majors and 45+ minors including anthropology, archaeology, geology, mathematics, music performance, theatre, Native American Studies, Arabic and Chinese language. Potsdam is located less than 2 hours away from Ottawa, Montreal, Lake Placid, and the Adirondack Park. With four colleges located within 15 minutes of each other, Potsdam is a traditional college town whose population swells to 20,000 when school is in session. Students are allowed to cross-register and take classes offered at any of the three local colleges. SUNY Potsdam is a Division III school with athletes who participate in hockey, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, softball, golf, equestrian, and cross country. With over 100 clubs and plenty of music, dance, theatre performances and art exhibitions scheduled throughout the year students are bound to explore and cultivate their varied interests.

Location Information

New York’s North Country region is bordered by the Adirondack Mountains to the south and the Thousand Islands to the north, all along the Canadian border. Potsdam is a classic college town, and the fall foliage is unforgettable. Our winters are pretty legendary, too… but we embrace the cold. It makes the spring that much sweeter. Looking for a day trip? Potsdam is within driving distance of Ottawa, ON; Montréal, QC; Burlington, VT; and the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, NY.

Helpful Information

We're an eclectic community where people genuinely care for and about each other. At a uniquely creative school in a quiet, secluded town with minimal public transportation, you make your own fun - and you always support your friends. Life outside the classroom at SUNY Potsdam blends three elements: The stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area, a tight-knit community of adventurous students who explore their interests together, and enduring support from SUNY Potsdam’s extended family.
2024-2025 Chance of Placement
Host Payment |Open
Home Payment |Open
Campus Availability & Deadlines
2025-2026 Chance of Placement
Host Payment |Open
Home Payment |Excellent
Understand Chances of Placement


  • Campus Catalog
  • When will I register? With seniors
  • Syllabus Request for Course Pre-Approval: Contact Host Coordinator for assistance
Music students must submit transcript and audition materials well before March placement conference, and cannot be guaranteed enrollment in the Crane School of Music without a successful audition.

Notable Academic Programs

  • Crane School of Music - https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/crane-school-music/ Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is SUNY’s only All-Steinway institution and is one of only ten Yamaha Institution of Excellence programs nationally. The Crane School of Music offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs with a strong emphasis on performance and practice, in a tightknit atmosphere. With a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll benefit from working closely with our distinguished faculty artists, teachers and scholars.
  • Chemistry, Biology, and Geology - Our STEM departments focus heavily on hands-on learning in the sciences, guided by students' goals and interests. https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/geol Geology is the study of the earth's physical makeup and history. Topics range from minerals, soil and mountain ranges to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other geologic phenomena. The many sub-disciplines of geology, combination of laboratory and field components, and range of career paths offer something for everyone! Our campus is ideally located in the St. Lawrence Valley and adjacent to the Adirondack Mountains. The ancient meta-sedimentary and meta-igneous rocks of the region record a billion years of earth history and provide a natural laboratory for our students. The faculty take advantage of our prime location by taking students out in the field to apply the skills they learn to real-world questions. https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/bio Biology at SUNY Potsdam is founded on the principle of providing a quality undergraduate education for students with diverse interests. A broad general background in biology, as part of a liberal arts education, allows students to pursue a variety of careers or continue learning at the graduate level. The Department of Biology is always providing new course offerings and research projects. Faculty members' interests include a wide range of subjects in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, cell and molecular biology, and anatomy and physiology, all of which are reflected in the courses and research projects ongoing in the program. https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/chem Our students can explore many different areas of chemistry, all leading to a solid foundation for successful graduate study and/or a career in chemistry or a chemistry-related field. SUNY Potsdam's Chemistry Department maintains a vigorous undergraduate research program in areas such as protein structure, nanoscience, cancer prevention, green chemistry and biosensors. More information on ongoing grant-funded research can be found here: https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/chem/activities-opportunities/research
  • Anthropology and Archaeology - https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/Anth Humans are complex and diverse species, and anthropology gives us the tools to better understand who we are, how we used to be, and to shape what we might become. To do so, the field brings together scholars from multiple subdisciplines. Archaeologists study past people using the material they leave behind. Biological anthropologists show us where biology and culture intersect. Cultural anthropologists explore the customs of people near and far, and linguistic anthropologists consider how and why we use language as we do. Applied anthropologists use knowledge created across the subdisciplines to help solve real-world problems in the present. At Potsdam, students can explore all of these areas by majoring in Anthropology. Students who wish to specialize in archaeology can declare an Archaeological Studies major, which brings together courses from multiple disciplines. In our Anthropology and Archaeological Studies programs, we know that our students learn best by doing. Our students may find themselves curating a new exhibit in the department’s Weaver Museum, analyzing bones and fossil casts in our Biological Anthropology lab, working closely with a local non-profit to help them better serve their clients, cataloging and reconstructing artifacts, or digging in our mock excavation unit. Every year we offer an archaeology field school that allows our students to get to know what an archaeological excavation is really like. And our department’s focus on experimental archaeology allows students to make and use ancient tools to better understand the lifeways of the past peoples they are studying. Anthropology and archaeology students get research experience in our upper-division classes, and many of our more senior students work closely with faculty on independent research projects that prepare them for graduate school and/or the workplace. The projects are executed via internships, independent studies, and specially funded assistantship programs (like the Kilmer Undergraduate Research Assistantship and the Presidential Scholars program). Students have studied the environmental impact of early cordage production on Easter Island, evaluated the ways local communities respond to and plan for natural disasters, curated a museum exhibit on women at Potsdam, sourced ballast from a Spanish colonial shipwreck, to name just a few topics.
  • Environmental Studies and Environmental Science - https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/EnvStudies SUNY Potsdam's Environmental Studies Major is an interdisciplinary major that includes course offerings from 14 departments and programs designed to prepare environmental leaders of the future. The curriculum emphasizes four components: humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, skills and the capstone experience. It seeks to provide students with an understanding of human attitudes and behaviors toward nature, and provides a grounding in science to prepare them to shape viable environmental policy and practice. The major also prepares students for graduate school in related environmental fields. Our curriculum includes topics of environmental concern from global to local and from urban to rural to wild, but one of the distinctive features is our emphasis on experiential and place-based education. Some classes explore the nearby Adirondack Park as a case study and field site, grounding theory in the experience of a protected area of international importance. First-year students are encouraged to begin with the Adirondack Experience Program which combines linked courses and field trips providing students an opportunity to meet conservation professionals, study forest and wetland ecosystems, and explore community environmental issues. Environmental Studies majors take classes across a range of disciplines exploring perspectives on issues in a diverse array of environments. Each student is also required to complete a minor in a field of their choosing to gain an in-depth focus on one specific area. The Environmental Studies Department also offers two minors: Environmental Studies and a brand new minor in Sustainability. The Department of Environmental Studies places a high value on experiential education and applied learning. We strongly encourage students to engage in internships, service learning, field research, or study abroad as an integral part of their undergraduate education. ENVR 391 is the field experience course for the Environmental Studies major. Students participate in a self-designed field project or internship for a non-profit or government organization. As a service-learning project, the field project provides students with hands-on experience in the environmental field while providing service to the organization where they work. Throughout the course, students will reflect on the relationship between their academic and field experiences as well as the application of these experiences to possible future careers. Gain valuable hands-on experience in the environmental field Explore human-environment interactions and develop an understanding of contemporary environmental issues Enhance critical thinking and communication skills through field experiences
  • Public Health and Human Performance - The Department of Public Health and Human Performance offers a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science that focuses on the scientific and applied study of the human body with regards to performance and prevention of injury. SUNY Potsdam's Exercise Science program is part of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Education Recognition program, a prestigious recognition that gives SUNY Potsdam Exercise Science students an advantage over the competition.

Unique Academic Programs

  • Music Business - The Crane School of Music's Music Business program is designed for students who want to earn a place in the music business industry. We provide the preparation for employment in: * Music Products * Arts Administration * Recording Industry It combines the elements of our strong Bachelor of Music with coursework tied into the Departments of Business and Economics. We provide you with a solid foundation both in music and performance a well as knowledge about what makes the industry tick. Our faculty are true experts in audio technology, music retail, music production and music product development. They know the score! The Crane School of Music offers a Music Business, B.M.. This degree program works closely with the Crane Institute for Music Business to provide the most comprehensive preparation for employment in the music industry. We also offer a Music Business Minor for music majors and non-music majors. Unlike the Bachelor of Music degree, no audition is required for non-music majors who minor is Music Business. The primary mission of The Crane Institute for Music Business is to enhance communication and facilitate a mutually beneficial partnership between and Crane School of Music and the music products industry. It works to promote partnerships with music industry associations and businesses.Students in the Music Business major are required to obtain practical experience in their chosen field through an off-campus internship.
  • Wilderness and Adventure Education and Therapeutic Recreation - SUNY Potsdam's Public Health and Human Performance department offers three minor programs in outdoor education: The Adventure Education Track prepares climbing instructors, ropes course facilitators and adventure-based educators by providing them with experience in working with mainstream and special populations. Experiences in this track include indoor climbing ropes course facilitation training, rock and ice climbing in the Adirondacks, leadership in the Challenge Center and climbing programs in the Adirondacks. The Therapeutic Recreation minor will prepare students to assist special populations (those with physical, emotional or intellectual challenges) to engage in backcountry recreation activities. Activities such as hiking, camping and other outdoor activities are a means for special populations to use their leisure time in engaging, healthy and meaningful ways. The Wilderness Leadership Track involves extended four-season Expedition experience in a variety of ecosystems. The field experiences in this track begin with a five-day backpacking trip followed by a sixteen-day August Adirondack Expedition, and culminates with a 20-day Capstone Expedition which students plan and execute. Previous destinations have included the: Grand Canyon in Arizona Gila Wilderness in New Mexico Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana Pasaytan Wilderness in Washington State Students in this track provide leadership for our Backpacking courses, campus programs, area schools and institutions. Due to the adversity of weather, terrain and the ecosystems that we lead trips and travel in, the application process in the Wilderness Leadership Track is selective. The weather on our introductory level Backpacking course often ranges from days of rain mixed with snow and sleet. During Leadership I, you will bushwhack through Adirondack terrain that is so thick that you will not be able to see the person in front of you through the brush. During Leadership II you will routinely hike 10+ miles a day with an elevation change of two thousand feet or more. Students who are committed to being immersed in the world of planning and executing Wilderness Expeditions are ideal candidates for this track. If your goals are to participate and lead more casual backcountry experiences, this track will not be a good match for you.
  • Law Enforcement Training Institute - https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/appliedlearning/law-enforcement-training-institute The SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute is a landmark applied learning initiative, designed to provide students with the opportunity to complete a rigorous pre-employment, state-approved police training course as part of their undergraduate curriculum. Students in an accredited New York State police basic course (colloquially a "police academy", though New York does not officially use this term) are trained in defensive tactics, emergency medical services, emergency vehicle operation, applying field sobriety tests to intoxicated individuals in a controlled setting, processing crime scenes, learning military drill and ceremony, and a plethora of other law enforcement training topics. The New York State pre-employment basic police training curriculum is one of the very best in the country and is above the standard of most other curricula. SUNY Potsdam's Criminal Justice faculty have augmented this excellent curriculum to create an exceptional learning experience. The academic component of this hands-on field school includes advanced law enforcement management training that makes our graduates ideal officer candidates in the law enforcement offices that hire them. SUNY Potsdam is one of only 11 schools in New York authorized to teach pre-employment police basic training, and the only SUNY liberal arts college offering this program primarily to students rather than hired officers. Our program is: * A full semester of dedicated, Division of Criminal Justice Services approved curriculum (485 total contact hours) * Offered in the fall semesters only * Available to up to 24 cadets. * Priority enrollment is given to SUNY Potsdam’s Criminal Justice students, then to the rest of the students enrolled at SUNY Potsdam, then any seats left remaining is opened to all others, to include recently hired police officers, on a case by case basis to be determined by Director Duquette. In our program: * In one semester, students will complete 93% of the total requirements for attending a NYS Police Academy * Students receive professional preparation to work immediately following graduation for organizations like the Supreme Court Police, NYPD, state and regional law enforcement across the nation, corrections offices in many different states, and more. * Those who complete the academy will receive a college stamped transcript of “Pre-Employment Basic Police Training.” * Students will receive 12 upper division credits.
  • Arts Management - https://catalog.potsdam.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=6&poid=1091 The Arts Management program at SUNY Potsdam is an academic discipline which examines professional principles and practices of creative arts organizations and practitioners to develop students as innovative managerial leaders in the arts. An interdisciplinary study combines traditional business and communications administration with arts management, establishing cross-curricular connections which develop students as informed and practiced managers for the 21st century. A focus is placed upon preparing students for arts entrepreneurship and in support of pre-professional artists in the development of their creative careers. In collaborative classroom environments students analyze the ways new media and technologies can enhance communication within, and improve the design of, arts institutions. Analysis of current trends and public policies includes the ways placemaking and creative economic development initiatives can deepen the impact of the arts in communities. Internship and practicum experiences extend student understanding through placements in the day-to-day operations of reputable local, regional, and national arts and cultural organizations. Finally, to support the importance of aesthetic appreciation and knowledge of the artistic process in managers, arts management students are required to minor or major in one of the creative arts disciplines offered at the college. Career possibilities include work in/as: artist entrepreneur, multidisciplinary arts organizations, government and community service institutions, foundations, and the entertainment industry.

Honors Access: Yes

Undergraduate Majors Open to NSE Students

Anthropology, Archaeology, Art... ++ show all


GPA and Other Academic Requirements Exchange Preferences
  • Full-year exchange Accepted
  • Single term exchange Accepted
Non-Native English Speakers
  • TOEFL: must have a score of 550.00 paper, 213.00 computer or 79.00 Internet
  • IELTS: must have a score of 6.00
Summer Exchange
  • Not available
International Students (Visa Students)
  • Will accept on Host Pay
Canadian Students - learn more
  • Will accept Host Payment Pay

Tuition / Finances

Figures per Semester are current as of 05/18/23

Finances Tuition and Fees Per Semester - Host Payment Students
  • Pay resident-rate tuition to your host campus. No tuition/fees are paid to your home campus
  • Estimated cost: $4356.
  • Figures are based on full-time enrollment.
Tuition and Fees - Home Payment Students
  • Pay regular tuition to your home campus. No tuition/fees are paid to your host campus.
Maximum Credit Hours Per Semester
  • Host Payment: 18
  • Home Payment: 18

Financial Aid for NSE Students
Regardless of Payment Plan, financial aid is awarded by and disbursed from your home campus.

Miscellaneous Fees - Per Semester

Purpose Amount Period Plan Status
Parking Fee $140 Year Host & Home Optional
Orientation Fee $40 Semester Host & Home Mandatory
Pharmacy Fee $3 Year Host & Home Optional
Course Fees / MaterialsVariesSemesterHost & HomeMandatory

Important Notes: ID Card- $10 Fee for Replacement Card College, Health, Technology, SGA, Fitness, Athletic, Transportation and Career Services - $1,752 Per Year (Exact amount per fee is stated in Student Bills) Pharmacy Fee: Provides many services to any student who pays the fee at no additional cost, instead of charging the student at their visit or writing a prescription to send to local pharmacies. Please direct questions regarding this fee to the student Health Center at (315) 267-2377. Orientation Fee: A one-time fee charged to all first time students for social, cultural, and educational activities for students related to entering college. Please direct questions regarding this fee to the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, (315) 267-2507 or appliedlearning@potsdam.edu. Parking Fees: Student Vehicle Registration Fees are based on full or part-time student status. All student vehicle registration is now completed online through BearPAWS. When you register, you will need your vehicle's license plate number. Your vehicle decal has an expiration date as follows: Decals for Academic year - Valid from September through May (Decals expire on Commencement Day in May) Decals for Summer Session - Valid from May through August (Decals expire on the first day of the Fall Semester) Pricing is as follows: $140 full time student (12+ credit hours) $120 parking fee $ 20 registration fee $80 part time student (1-11 credit hours) $ 60 parking fee $ 20 registration fee Special pricing options available for student teachers, summer session only students, and motorcycle permits. Direct questions to University Police at (315) 267-2222.

Room / Meals

Figures are current as of 05/18/23

On-Campus Housing Per Semester Meal Plans Notes About Meal Plans
Students living on campus are strongly advised to choose at least a 14 meal plan, with some amount of Flex spending included. Students have voted SUNY Potsdam's food service #1 in the State University of New York system for the past 9 years!


Figures per Semester are current as of 05/18/23

Exchange with Canada - Health Insurance
Students must purchase campus health insurance at $1,076 per semester.


Comments on Problems or Conditions for Access
Some buildings are not handicap accessible. Snow and ice conditions on walkways, steps, etc. make for hazardous travel.

Other Health Related Comments
Fully Vaccinated (booster-shot included) Students/Faculty/Staff are not required to wear masks on campus.

All data in this document is the responsibility of the campus and has been provided by the campus NSE coordinator.
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