Oneonta, New York
SUNY Oneonta is a mid-size, public liberal arts and sciences college with a pre-professional focus. Located in the Leatherstocking Region of Central New York, Oneonta is part of the 64-campus State University of New York system. The college enrolls approximately 6,000 students in a wide variety of bachelor’s degree programs as well as a number of graduate certificates and degrees.
Get to know SUNY Oneonta
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Peer Mentors
- Gender & Sexuality Center
“I chose Oneonta because of the way I felt when I walked on campus. It just felt like this was the right place, the program and the opportunities here—it wasn’t like a cookie cutter. I could do anything I wanted.” – Natalie Costanza ’20, media studies and music industry
SUNY Oneonta students have all kinds of opportunities to make the most of their education by taking an active role in their learning.
Faculty members frequently invite students to participate in research projects. For example, students in Jacqueline Bennett’s undergraduate research group helped test a green chemistry process that won Bennett a United States patent in 2014, and nine biology alumni co-authored a paper that was published in an international parasitology journal, synthesizing six years of undergraduate research with parasitology expert Florian Reyda at SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station. Students also do independent research on topics of their own choosing and present them at an annual student research day on campus. Grant awards of up to $1,500 are available for independent research and creative activity projects in any discipline or interdisciplinary area. Many students also present their research at regional and national conferences, the travel for which is funded by the college.
Each year, more than 500 students complete credit-bearing internships in their fields. Locations range from the Oneonta region to international destinations across 11 countries. The college also offers study abroad and exchange opportunities in 12 countries, including popular semester, year-long, or summer fashion programs at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan. Students can otherwise choose from more than 1,000 international programs offered through other SUNY institutions.
Community service is a big part of the Oneonta experience. Many courses incorporate service-learning activities, and more than 20 percent of students volunteer through the Center for Social Responsibility and Community (CSRC). In the spring, the CSRC hosts its signature event, “Into the Streets,” a day of service that brings more than 600 students together with community volunteers to collaborate on projects at local schools, parks, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to volunteering, Oneonta students support a variety of causes through club activities. Even the Harry Potter Club is civic-minded, holding an annual Yule Ball to benefit “Oneonta Reading Is Fundamental,” a non-profit organization that distributes free books to elementary school children.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 1%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 4%
White, non-Hispanic: 77%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 1%
“When I was a freshman, I participated in a faculty-led trip to Bolivia about international development and culture there. That was a life-changing opportunity for me. We learned a lot about politics and culture, and we used what we learned in class in the field.” – Maaya Sato ’19, International Development Studies
With small class sizes, accessible faculty, and an emphasis on learning by doing, SUNY Oneonta offers many opportunities for personalized learning. Students get plenty of interaction with faculty members who are not just scholars and teachers, but also club advisers, research partners, and mentors.
Freshmen are engaged in their learning before classes even begin. Faculty and peer mentors from the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department lead GEOFYRST, a six-day, pre-semester field trip exploring the geology of New York and the Northeast. Through the annual Common Read, incoming freshmen read the same diversity-related book, which is then discussed in fall courses across several disciplines. As part of the program, the author of this book visits the campus to present the Mills Distinguished Lecture and interact with students.
Students put their learning into practice during hands-on field experiences across many disciplines. For example, every other summer, anthropology students spend a month searching for evidence of ancient hunter-gatherer communities during the Pine Lake Archeological Field School, which is offered in collaboration with neighboring Hartwick College. The Biological Field Station, which is located on the shores of Otsego Lake at the college’s Cooperstown Campus, is a learning laboratory for field research on topics such as parasitology, entomology, and lake management. In an annual summer course called “Water and the Environment of Guatemala,” students conduct water sampling at Lake Atitlán and work with Mayan residents to create community-based solutions and clean the lake area.
Under the mentorship of faculty members, students have a variety of opportunities to apply their learning through co-curricular clubs. For example, the Mask & Hammer theatre club produces two student-directed shows each year; art students mount solo and group exhibitions in the college’s art galleries; student and faculty musicians practice and perform together in a variety of ensembles; and the WIRE-TV club produces weekly programming and live-streams of college events.
“When I came to campus my freshman year, I felt very out of place and didn’t find ‘my tribe’ right away. However, with the help of many faculty members, I was able to revive an old club and start it from the bottom up. I wanted to provide members in my community with a space in which they could speak about campus concerns, network, bond, organize, lead, etc. in a welcoming and friendly environment. Within one year, my organization was able to see Angela Davis speak at SUNY Brockport, support local and campus events, host several networking and cultural events, and so much more! It brings me great pride and joy to know the many faces of my community.” – Jonathan Brown ’19, Africana and Latino Studies, Media Studies
There’s plenty to do on campus when classes are over! SUNY Oneonta offers hundreds of hours of entertainment, athletic events, and social programming every semester. And with more than 150 student clubs and organizations—ranging from the Accounting Society to the Zombie Defense Corps—there’s an activity for every interest.
As of fall 2018, SUNY Oneonta offers six Living Learning Communities (LLCs) for freshmen interested in pre-health professions; leadership; sustainability and the outdoors; teaching and social justice; music; and community and health services. Benefits of living in an LLC include mentoring, special programs, and the chance to live with other new students who have similar interests. Students in each LLC are enrolled together within the same first-year seminar as well as an introductory course related to their major.
Students are involved in a variety of activities to protect the natural environment. Several clubs have a sustainability focus, and some students work as volunteers at the Red Closet Thrift Shop on campus. Student-driven projects can even receive sustainability grants; recent awards have funded the purchase of fruit trees for the campus as well as a program to raise awareness about post-consumer food waste in the dining halls. Each year around Earth Day, the college’s Green Dragon Week features activities such as film screenings, speakers, clothing swaps, a local food dinner, bicycle repair stations, and composting demonstrations.
LEADERSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
Through the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program, students have the opportunity to achieve recognition in three leadership levels (silver, gold, and platinum). Each level requires a mix of programmatic and experiential leadership opportunities. More than a dozen clubs have a multicultural- or diversity-related focus, and a variety of programming—including speakers, films, readings, plays, festivals, and leadership conferences—is offered each semester. The college’s Center for Multicultural Experiences is a popular gathering place and home to an array of social and academic events.
Student scholars from throughout New York state and across the country come to Oneonta for the annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, Undergraduate Political Science Conference, and New Critics Literature and Composition Conference. All three conferences are organized by students and feature keynote speakers in addition to student presenters and discussants. Students also organize the annual SUNY Pride Conference, which brings students, faculty, and staff from SUNY campuses throughout the state to Oneonta for a weekend of workshops and activities. The conference aims to create a more inclusive SUNY environment through education, collaboration, and networking.
Pass Through the Pillars: Freshmen officially join the “Oney” family at the “Pass Through the Pillars” event on the night before fall classes begin. After donning red T-shirts and gathering for a class photo, the students walk through the pillars of Old Main, the college’s first building, to the beat of the Drag’n Rolls Drumline. Faculty, staff, and students gather near the pillars to clap, cheer, and high-five the new students as they make their way down to the quad. The day before graduation, SUNY Oneonta seniors pass through those same pillars in the opposite direction, and the college president leads the class in a champagne toast to their success.
Red Day: The college celebrates the anniversary of its founding on Red Day each September. Decked out in red, students, faculty, and staff gather on the academic quad for food, giveaways, carnival activities, and photos with Red the Dragon, the college mascot.
OH-Fest: One of the most popular social events at SUNY Oneonta is OH-Fest, an annual community carnival and concert that is co-organized by students from SUNY Oneonta and neighboring Hartwick College. Past headliners for the free, outdoor concert have included Blues Traveler, Pitbull, and Panic! at the Disco.
SUNY Oneonta is located in Oneonta, New York, a safe, friendly city known for its small-town ambiance and genuine sense of community. The college’s 250-acre campus overlooks the scenic Susquehanna River Valley, about halfway between Albany and Binghamton and 3.5 hours from New York City. On nearby Otsego Lake in Cooperstown—home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum—the college maintains a complex that houses its Biological Field Station and graduate program in History Museum Studies.
The Oneonta Red Dragons compete at the NCAA Division III level in the State University of New York Athletic Conference and the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference. Oneonta has 21 varsity sports:
- 10 men’s-–baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and wrestling
- 11 women’s–-basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball
Red the Dragon is the college mascot.
“Participating in the College Federal Reserve Challenge helped break me out of my shell and tremendously improved both my public speaking abilities and my ability to work cooperatively in a team environment.” – Danny Lounsbury ’15, Working at Crowe Horwath LLP in New York City
BUILT FOR SUCCESS
At 71%, the college’s six-year graduation rate is well above the national average of 59% for public institutions. SUNY Oneonta students are well prepared for life after college; by the time they hit senior year, nearly three-fourths have been involved in at least two high-impact learning experiences, such as study abroad, research with a faculty member, participation in a service-learning project, or completion of an internship in their field. These powerful experiences not only help students discover what they want to do, but they also give them the tools to succeed—whether that means launching a fulfilling career or continuing their education.
The college’s strong alumni network spans the globe, demonstrating the leadership and accomplishment that exemplify an Oneonta education. Students connect with alumni through programs such as the annual “Backpacks to Briefcases” and “Goodrich to Broadway” networking events, the “Distinguished Alumni Series,” and the “New York City Internship Fair.”
Students participate in service-learning activities close to campus and further afield. Recent projects have ranged from wetlands restoration in New Orleans to work with poor children in Ecuador. In the Human Ecology Department, event-planning students have collaborated with food and restaurant administration majors to put on a fundraising dinners for college scholarships and local charities.
SUNY Oneonta welcomes a freshman class of about 1,300 students each year. Successful applicants will have completed four units of English, history, math and science, and three to four units of foreign language during high school. A challenging college preparatory program is recommended. Regents-level classes are a minimum requirement for New York state applicants, with Advanced Placement and honors courses carrying the most weight. Students should rank in the top half of their class.
SAT Critical Reading
25th Percentile: 490 | 75th Percentile: 580
25th Percentile: 490 | 75th Percentile: 580
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 20 | 75th Percentile: 25
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $6,470
Tuition (out-of-state): $16,320
SUNY Oneonta awarded nearly $4 million in scholarships this past academic year. Qualified applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $6,470 (full in-state tuition). Scholarships are awarded during the application review process, and a notification is sent with the acceptance letter. Funds are limited, and priority is given to students who complete their application, with all required supporting documentation, by Dec. 1.