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Undergrad Profile

From SportsCenter’s year-end highlights to the opinion pages of The New York Times, SUNY Cortland’s commitment to excellence has drawn the national spotlight this year, lending credence to our motto: we educate champions.

From SportsCenter’s year-end highlights to the opinion pages of The New York Times, SUNY Cortland’s commitment to excellence has drawn the national spotlight this year, lending credence to our motto: we educate champions.

Whether it’s on the athletic field or in the lab, on remote wilderness trails or in challenged urban neighborhoods, SUNY Cortland students learn to overcome obstacles to succeed at whatever they choose to pursue.

Our 70,000 living alumni include the Army’s first female four-star general, the head of the nation’s largest athletic conference, the writer and producer of a top-rated television series, and thousands of other successful professionals making a difference in education, business, government, fitness, medicine, and many other fields. 

You can feel the momentum on our campus. The College, located near the geographic center of New York State, is a hub of constant student activity. Red Dragons aren’t passive learners. They are engaged and energized participants in the type of well-rounded educational experience that transforms lives.

Learning by doing
Nearly all SUNY Cortland students gain hands-on experience as undergraduates, whether their path is research, volunteer work, student teaching, or an internship. Each of these high-impact practices provides relevant, résumé-building experience.

If doing good makes you feel good, you could join the thousands of SUNY Cortland students who provide more than 200,000 hours of volunteer service to the community annually. Our groundbreaking Institute for Civic Engagement coordinates service-learning experiences that allow students to grow intellectually while making a real difference in people’s lives. Our students’ active role in their local community is one of the reasons we’ve been named to the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for eight years in a row.

Want to explore how hydraulic fracturing fluids might impact drinking water, or assess the threat posed by a new invasive species? Our Undergraduate Research Council offers opportunities for students to do original, scholarly research under the guidance of respected professors from just about any discipline. Our student researchers have presented at professional conferences and been named coauthors of peer-reviewed research papers. One helped identify a new fossil that was written up in National Geographic.

Career Services makes sure SUNY Cortland students are prepared to seize competitive internships with professional sports teams, major financial companies, and national nonprofits.

Spectacular student life
Do you know what three and a half acres of recreation and fitness opportunities look like? See for yourself inside our brand-new Student Life Center that opened in 2015. There you’ll find your choice of basketball courts and weight-lifting machines, plus virtual golf simulators, a rock climbing wall, indoor jogging track, and reserved space for yoga and other group activities. Roughly 2,500 people take advantage of long hours—6:00 a.m. to midnight—during the semester.

Countless choice also proves to be part of the everyday social experience at SUNY Cortland, with more than 100 student clubs and activities, 60+ intramural sports leagues, and nine spots to grab food with friends on campus. And in Cortland you’re only minutes away from a number of activities nearby: ski slopes in the winter, bike trails in the spring, and downtown restaurants and shops year-round.

Adventure off campus
At SUNY Cortland you’ll soon realize learning can take you outside the classroom—to foreign countries on six continents or to a learning center in the Adirondack wilderness that sets us apart from most other colleges.

Our study abroad offerings include more than 30 programs on six continents plus 600 additional international programs through other SUNY institutions. Then there’s the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake, which produces field work and friendships among students from all disciplines. Through these experiences our students are taught to be global thinkers who can change the world around them.

Athletics champions
In 2015 SUNY Cortland added four national titles to its ever-growing record of athletic achievement. We’re one of only five Division III colleges in the United States—and the only one in New York State—to finish in the Top 25 of the Directors’ Cup standings for overall athletic excellence every single year since the competition began two decades ago.

The Red Dragon winning tradition has produced 25 team national titles and 100 individual national champions and propelled our student-athletes to even bigger accomplishments after graduation as teachers, coaches, business executives, and health or wellness professionals. And SUNY Cortland is also home to the Cortaca tradition, a legendary rivalry football game that Sports Illustrated once called “the biggest little game in the nation.”

Affordable education
The benefits and value of a SUNY Cortland education can’t be overstated. And with that in mind, access for qualified students remains a priority, regardless of financial back-ground. All accepted students are considered for scholarships, which is why 80% of them receive some form of financial award. This past year, the College allocated nearly $1 million for scholarships.

If you live outside of New York State and are worried about paying higher, out-of-state tuition, SUNY Cortland will cover most of the difference—worth $5,200 in 2015–2016—through its innovative Future New Yorker Award. All matriculated out-of-state students automatically receive it, provided they meet some basic criteria. It’s part of SUNY Cortland’s mission to keep College affordable for all eligible applicants.

Experience it for yourself
Visit to take the next step. Learn more about us, schedule a visit to campus, and apply to be a future champion.




SUNY Cortland at a Glance

By the Numbers
• 6,958 students (6,317 undergraduate, 641 graduate)
• 67 undergraduate majors
• 17:1 student-faculty ratio

Academic Opportunity
• Nearly 80% of students pursue experiential learning through internships, research, and service
• More than 30 study abroad programs
on six continents, plus 600 programs available through other SUNY institutions
• 70% six-year graduation rate—highest of any comprehensive college in the SUNY system

Most Popular Undergraduate Majors
Exercise Science, Physical Education, Sport Management, Childhood Education, Communication Studies, Business Economics, Criminology, Speech and Hearing Science, Psychology, Biology

State-of-the-Art Facilities
• More than $170 million in new construction and renovation since 2011
• Student Life Center, opened in 2015, houses three and a half acres of recreation and fitness opportunities
• Major renovations completed in 2014 on Bowers Hall, our home to the sciences, and Dowd Fine Arts Center

First-Year Student Profile (2014)
• Applications: 11,221
• Acceptance rate: 49%
• Average SAT score: 1067
• Average ACT score: 24
• Average GPA: 89.5