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SUNY Potsdam Acceptance Rate

SUNY College at Potsdam, also known as SUNY Potsdam or Potsdam, is a liberal college established in 1816. The school adheres to a holistic approach to teaching, which begins in their admissions process. Aside from offering various undergraduate and graduate programs, SUNY Potsdam offers many opportunities to further enrich their education.  Located on top of 240 acres of land, the school has two fitness centers, two libraries, an art gallery, and six performing arts halls.

SUNY Potsdam Acceptance Rate

SUNY Potsdam has a selective admissions process with an acceptance rate of 64%. In searching for students who have the potential to succeed at college, they consider the difficulty of classes taken, resume, student essay, student interviews, recommendations, and the student’s GPA.

The school does not believe that standardized test scores solely indicate success, so they adopted a test-optional policy and steered away from evaluating students exclusively according to test scores and GPAs.

Admitted Students Profile

Based on the latest data, SUNY College at Potsdam has 3,321 students enrolled in undergraduate programs and 266 students for graduate programs. According to gender distribution, there are 1,458 male and 2,129 female students on the campus.

Unlike similar colleges, SUNY Potsdam has fewer students–with an average of 12,570 students in larger programs. For online courses, there are approximately 13 exclusively enrolled students and 138 enrolled in just some of the programs.

Tuition Figures

The costs of tuition and other fees at SUNY Potsdam are $8,462 for New York residents and $18,242 for out of state students. In graduate school, the tuition and fees amount to $12,472 for New York residents and $24,032 for others. Out of the entire school population, 2,737 students or 82.41% of the enrolled undergraduate students have been recipients of grants or scholarships aid with an average amount of $9,082.


SUNY College at Potsdam is found in the small village of Potsdam, which is close to the United States-Canada border. The campus is in St. Lawrence Valley—just between the Adirondack Mountain foothills and the St. Lawrence River. It is also roughly 10 miles northwest of the border of the Adirondack State Park in Parishville.

The college is made up of 44 buildings. Barrington Drive cuts through the main center of the campus, with all academic buildings found on the northwest side of the street. Meanwhile, all campus life and residential buildings are on the southeast side.  The Crane School of Music campus is situated in the northern part of the campus, east of the academic quad.


SUNY College at Potsdam has over 50 undergraduate majors and around 20 graduate programs with several specializations. Besides the traditional degree paths, students may take educational enrichment programs to widen the scope and quality of their learning.

Examples of such programs are the Honors Program, study abroad program, student fellowships, internships, learning communities, and so on. The school allows students to design their own degree through the Student-Initiated Interdepartmental Major program.

In addition, students are allowed to join different research projects or take part in a dual-degree program that is coordinated between SUNY Potsdam and other schools in the SUNY system.

Student Life

At Potsdam, there’s on-campus housing along with several student clubs and organizations. SUNY College at Potsdam also has a bustling Greek life. Due to its excellent location that is close to the Adirondack Mountains and St. James River, opportunities for outdoor recreation abound.


The Potsdam Bears are a proud member of the NCAA Division III athletics organization that offers multiple intercollegiate sports including men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and swimming & diving. Women have the extra options of equestrian sports, softball, and volleyball while men have the option to take part in golf. The official school colors are gray and maroon.

For those who are interested in joining sports but do not want to become full-time varsity members, the school offers them intramural sports. Two fitness centers are open to all students—both with extended open hours so members of the campus community can work out before their class or late at night if they want to.

Notable Alums

Over the years, SUNY Potsdam has been home to many talented and exemplary alumni, as well as outstanding faculty members. Some of the most renowned members of the Potsdam community include:

  • Ernest Blood, Basketball coach, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Stephanie Blythe, Opera singer, mezzo-soprano
  • Coraghessan Boyle, Author
  • Marc Butler, Politician, and member of the New York State Assembly
  • Michael J. Colburn, 27th Director of the United States Marine Band
  • Mike Deane, Former Division 1 head basketball coach
  • Daniel Decker, Composer and recording artist
  • Renée Fleming, Opera singer, soprano
  • Arthur Frackenpohl (Professor Emeritus), Composer and Author
  • David J. Hanson (Professor Emeritus), alcohol researcher
  • Maurice Kenny (Emeritus Writer-in-Residence), poet, editor/publisher, and essayist
  • Stanley Kunitz, former U.S. poet laureate
  • Chris Lee (ice hockey), Professional Hockey Player, KHL All-Star
  • Brock McElheran (Professor Emeritus), conductor and author
  • J. Rapp, Entrepreneur and Beverage Executive (creator of Jolt Cola)
  • William Buell Richards, First Chief Justice of Canada
  • Stephen Savoia, Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer
  • Daniel Schaefer, politician, former U.S. Representative from Colorado
  • Clarence F. Stephens (Professor Emeritus), mathematics educator
  • Joy Tanner, actress
  • David Valesky, Politician and member of the New York State Senate
  • Lisa Vroman, Singer and stage actress, soprano
  • Tim Welsh, Former Head Basketball Coach at Providence College
  • John Zakour, writer/cartoonist

Learn more about the other SUNY colleges. Each SUNY has its own unique offerings, campus and academic requirement.

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