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SUNY College at Potsdam is a small, public, higher learning institution founded in 1816. It was one of the first 50 colleges in the US, and it is located in Potsdam, New York, which is in upstate New York at the foothills of the Adirondack mountains. Potsdam is just South of the Canadian border, not far from Ottawa and Montreal. The small-town lifestyle allows for a tranquil and nature-filled environment to help students get away from the rigorous academic setting when they have a chance. The roughly 3,500 students, of whom 92% are undergraduates, benefit from a mindful educational experience.

Overview of SUNY College at Potsdam

The college has been described as eclectic, sophisticated, and creative, with a foundation in personal growth and intellectual freedom. Each individual will grow academically, personally, and professionally throughout the education, arts, sciences, and other degree programs. Students will also benefit from an inclusive community that focuses on skill development including innovation, collaboration, creativity, sustainability, and leadership. The fact that students are part of a community provides students with a greater sense of human experience, responsibility, and accountability that often leads to long-term success.

In addition to academic programs, students have access to over 120 student clubs and organizations. Faculty provide support in both the personal and academic lives of students. At SUNY Potsdam, students will also be able to pursue freedom of expression, belief, and thought in a respectful and considerate environment. Ethics, health, and wellness are also at the cornerstone of each program.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 11 to 1
Graduation Rate 61%
Year Founded 1816

Student Enrollment

Total Students3,339


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,164
Female 1,899

Graduate Student

Male 105
Female 171

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Top Rankings For SUNY College at Potsdam



Male 1,837
Female 3,242


Male 1,157
Female 2,302

Acceptance Rate68%

Male 63%
Female 71%

Enrollment 622

Male 112
Female 112
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
Formal demonstration of competencies Recommended
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of SUNY Potsdam is different for in-state and out-of-state students at prices of $8,711 and $18,621, respectively. Despite the fact that out-of-state students pay over twice as much, all students pay the same for additional education-related expenses of almost $14,000 for room and board, $1,000 for supplies and books, and almost $2,000 for other costs. These costs do not include transportation expenses, trips to Canada, nights out with friends, and other lifestyle and entertainment options.

Almost 98% of students at SUNY Potsdam take advantage of financial aid in some form. Many students secure student loans and apply for grants and scholarships. The college offers a wide array of scholarship opportunities for students including freshmen, transfer students, students of alumni, continuing education students, and graduate students. Donor-funded scholarship awards are available in a range of $500 to $2,000 each year along with NCAA Division III athletic scholarships.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $13,454
Average Total Aid $10,038
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $13,900

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,711
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $18,621
  • Books and Supplies - $900
  • Room & Board - $13,900
  • Other - $1,746


The educational opportunities at SUNY Potsdam are quite expansive and varied. Despite the small size of the college, they have around 130 programs based in tradition and the careers of tomorrow. Students have access to roughly 16 undergraduate programs with 54 majors and 60 minors. In fact, many students choose to double major in areas that appeal to career success and personal interests, such as dance and math or science and music.

Students can select from undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and graduate certificates. Three primary schools are available including music, education and professional studies, and arts and sciences. The aim of these programs is to allow students to pursue their personal interests and develop their passions into a successful and rewarding career. As a way to cater to each individual, specialized programs are also available including early college programs, strategic partnerships, Watertown programs, and special sessions. It is also possible to study online, take hybrid courses, or study abroad.

The 73% retention rate at SUNY Potsdam is quite reasonable. And the graduation rates are higher than the national average at 45% for four years and 61% for six years. Part of the reason for the higher graduation rates may be directly connected to the lower student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. It may also be due to the fact SUNY Potsdam has a number of academic support resources available for each and every student.

Student Population Total

Student Population 3,339

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Visual and Performing Arts 104 Total Graduates / 17%
Music Performance, General 25 Graduates
Fine/Studio Arts, General 21 Graduates
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 15 Graduates
Digital Arts 14 Graduates
All Education Majors 92 Total Graduates / 15%
Music Teacher Education 58 Graduates
Elementary Education and Teaching 34 Graduates
All Business Majors 75 Total Graduates / 12%
Business Administration and Management, General 70 Graduates
Business/Managerial Economics 5 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 56 Total Graduates / 9%
Sociology 22 Graduates
Archeology 16 Graduates
Anthropology NA
Political Science and Government, General 6 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 51 Total Graduates / 8%
Psychology, General 51 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 39%

Outcome & Salary

To prepare students for various career pathways, the college offers specialized career services to all students. A career day is available for younger students to start to learn about possible careers, potential employers, and various industries. Older students can network with potential employers and learn of career opportunities at such events. It’s also possible for students to participate in professional development options and select peer advisors to assist with decision making.

In addition to career services, students can take advantage of various personal and professional development opportunities including study abroad programs, travel, research, and creative projects. Students can also reach out to alumni, volunteer, work on campus, and secure internships as ways to improve the chances of employment upon graduation.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $44,900
College Grads Average Salary $62,384
College Grads Mid Career Salary $87,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $623,840
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,499,840
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $53,816
10 Year Projected ROI $570,024
20 Year Projected ROI $1,446,024
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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