Apr 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

SUNY Oswego at a Glance


Welcome and Explore


Come and explore our lakeside learning community. Nestled on nearly 700 scenic acres along the shore of Lake Ontario, the SUNY Oswego campus offers magnificent lake views year round.

SUNY Oswego is a comprehensive public college with 159 years of history and tradition. Nearly 8,000 students are enrolled in its more than 110 academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and post master’s certificate of advanced study degree levels through SUNY Oswego’s four schools: Business; Education; Communication, Media and the Arts; and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As Oswego continues its tradition of excellence, our campus community remains committed to providing our most valuable asset—our students—with access to the very best facilities and resources, award-winning faculty and dedicated staff, in-demand academic programs, and applied learning opportunities.

At SUNY Oswego, our core is our students. We measure the success of the institution on how well we nurture, mentor, inspire, and prepare our students so that they may go on to live ethical and meaningful lives and build a better world as successful graduates. 

Academic Quality


SUNY Oswego is a nationally recognized “College of Distinction” and has earned a reputation for quality. Princeton Review annually ranks Oswego among “The Best Northeastern Colleges,” and U.S. News recently ranked Oswego as one of the top 10 public campuses in the Northern region.

The undergraduate academic program is built around a breadth of knowledge (arts and sciences, global awareness, human diversity) as well as a focus on fundamental skills (writing, critical thinking, computer literacy) needed for lifelong success. Students can major and minor in a wide range of programs from both the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs. All programs provide students with the knowledge and skill development necessary to support their career and life goals. Students have many opportunities to participate in applied learning activities such as internships, undergraduate research, and civic engagement. A supportive faculty helps students meet the academic demands so that they can join the ranks of our graduates who have found success in business, education, law, medicine, public service, and other fields. 

Student Profile


Most undergraduate students are between 18 and 24, are studying full-time toward a degree, and live in our campus residence halls. The ratio of women to men is close to 51 to 49. Students come from every county in New York as well as from 32 other states and approximately 36 foreign countries.

They arrive well prepared for college study. Students entering as first-year students have earned an average grade of 90 (3.5/4.0) in high school. About 50 percent have graduated in the top quarter of their class and 85 percent in the top half. Average SAT scores total about 1150. The academic records of transfer students are equally impressive; typically transfer students have earned a B average or better in their previous college work.

Oswego’s Faculty


At Oswego, our faculty and staff form deep connections with our students who are on their quest for knowledge. Among the 360 full-time faculty at Oswego, 85 are grant recipients for research from such agencies as the Sloan Foundation, the Fulbright Scholars Program and the National Science Foundation. The State University of New York has honored dozens of Oswego professors for excellence in teaching.

Faculty strive for quality classroom and online instruction and individualized attention whenever possible. Our student-faculty ratio is 17:1, and about 88 percent of the full-time teaching faculty hold doctoral degrees or the terminal degree in their fields.

Students benefit from daily contact with these scholars, who often share their research interests with them. Each year at Quest, Oswego’s forum for scholarly and creative activities, many faculty and students present their research.

The Oswego Guarantee


SUNY Oswego continues to rate among the best colleges in the country for excellence and educational value. Our college consists of diverse, accomplished and caring faculty and staff; a caring, supportive advisement center; an effective career planning and placement center; and a stimulating residential community. We’re proud to have you as a student and future graduate of our college. The Oswego Guarantee is our partnership with you on your journey through college. We want you to earn your bachelor’s degree at Oswego and are committed to working together with you toward achieving this goal. Therefore, we make the following promise to you:

WE GUARANTEE that the necessary classes will be available to complete a baccalaureate degree in four consecutive academic years of full-time study. If you meet the academic expectations described below and cannot graduate after four years because of course unavailability, the college will enroll you in the remaining course or courses necessary to meet graduation requirements tuition-free.

WE GUARANTEE continued availability of small classes because we believe that small classes offer the greatest opportunity for discussion and interaction between faculty and students. More than 94 percent of all classes offered at Oswego enroll fewer than 50 students. In fact, approximately 56 percent of the classes offered at Oswego enroll fewer than 20 students.

WE GUARANTEE no increase in the cost of room or meal plans for four consecutive academic years. For you and your family, this means the major portion of the cost of a residential education will remain constant for four years.

The Oswego Graduation Return on Investment (ROI)

We guarantee that SUNY Oswego will provide a $300 Graduation Return on Investment (ROI) if, you enter Oswego in the fall semester as a freshman and earn your baccalaureate degree in four consecutive years or less.

The Oswego graduation ROI is our commitment to your future, and it is recognition of your hard work and determination; it’s our way of helping you begin the next leg of your journey. The Graduation ROI is intended to help propel you forward — whether it is traveling to a job interview, offsetting the cost of graduate school or even contributing to a down payment on a first car or apartment.

To qualify for the Oswego Guarantee and Graduation ROI, you must enroll in the fall term as a full-time freshman, declare a major no later than your fourth semester, meet with an academic advisor at least once a semester to verify you are still on course to graduate within four years, fulfill the major and college requirements as described in the college catalog and graduate with a baccalaureate degree in four consecutive years or less.

For additional information visit: www.oswego.edu/admissions/oswego-guarantee.


History and Tradition


Our institution was founded in 1861 as the Oswego Primary Teachers’ Training School by Edward Austin Sheldon, who popularized some of the most innovative teaching methods of his day. Sheldon said his school was the first to combine the object learning method with in-class training for educators. Early Oswego graduates fanned across the nation and internationally to redesign and found countless colleges and schools. Generations of alumni continue this legacy of learning by doing, positively impacting lives, scientific and social progress, and the world as a whole. Today, the college continues to meet the evolving needs of employers and society in creating and adapting its broad selection of programs.

Learn more at https://www.oswego.edu/about/history-traditions.

Accreditation and Membership


SUNY Oswego is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. All programs in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication Media and the Arts, and Education have been approved and registered by the New York State Education Department.

The School of Education at SUNY Oswego is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); this accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs.

All School of Business undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The Department of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The Department of Chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in both the chemistry and biochemistry tracks.

The electrical and computer engineering and software engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.

The Department of Music is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music Curriculum (NASM).

The Department of Technology is accredited by the International Technology Education Association/Council for Technical Teacher Education (ITEA/CTTE).

The mental health counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

The Department of Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

The human resource management program is endorsed by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The school psychology program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Health Services is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

The University Police department is accredited by the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council.



Catalog Disclaimer: Notwithstanding anything contained in this Catalog, SUNY Oswego expressly reserves the right, whenever it deems advisable (1) to change or modify its schedule of tuition and fees, (2) to withdraw, cancel, reschedule or modify any course, program of study, degree, or any requirement or policy in connection with the foregoing, and (3) to change or modify any academic or other policy. Please be advised that, due to publishing deadlines, information contained in this Catalog may be outdated. Changes in information contained in this Catalog and new academic regulations, policies, or programs will be published on the College’s website. It is the responsibility of each student to ascertain current information that pertains to the individual’s program, particularly with regard to satisfaction of degree requirements, through frequent reference to the website and by consultation with the student’s advisor, the office of the student’s dean and other offices as appropriate (such as the Registrar or Financial Aid). In preparing this Catalog, efforts are made to provide pertinent and accurate information; however, Oswego assumes no liability for Catalog errors or omissions.
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