Feb 01, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The College Community

The Campus

SUNY Oneonta’s 250-acre campus overlooks the scenic Susquehanna River Valley in central New York about halfway between Albany and Binghamton. On nearby Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, the college maintains a complex that houses its Biological Field Station and Graduate Program in History Museum Studies.

The Oneonta Area

Visitors to SUNY Oneonta enjoy the area’s natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and many historic sites. Cooperstown offers the National Baseball Hall of Fame and many museums. Within a 30-minute drive are two state parks (Glimmerglass and Gilbert Lake) and several popular ski areas. Oneonta offers a shopping mall, a distinctive downtown business community, a wide range of shops and restaurants, and convenient public transportation.

The college is located on the outskirts of the City of Oneonta. In addition to being an educational center, the city offers diverse housing, shopping, cultural, and recreational opportunities. SUNY Oneonta contributes significantly to the cultural and intellectual life of the community.

Major cultural activities at SUNY Oneonta include theatrical productions and musical events offered by student groups, community organizations, and national touring companies. Art exhibitions are shown regularly in the college galleries. A wide variety of speakers address provocative and timely topics throughout the year.

The campus is within walking distance of Oneonta’s shopping district. Public transportation, connecting the campus with the City of Oneonta, runs on a regular schedule seven days a week. The city is served by Trailways bus company. Chartered buses take students to and from the New York Metropolitan Area and other parts of the state for vacation periods. The Binghamton airport is about 60 minutes away, and the Albany airport is about 90 minutes away.

Weather in Oneonta is variable. Winters are usually brisk and snowy. Spring and fall bring beautiful, sunny days interspersed with occasional rain. Spring flowers and fall foliage attract many visitors to the area and make these seasons exceptionally beautiful. Warm days and cool nights make summer extremely popular.

The College

Founded in 1889, SUNY Oneonta became a charter member of the State University of New York in 1948. The college, has grown into a nationally regarded liberal arts institution with a pre-professional focus. The college is noted for an outstanding and accessible faculty, students committed to both academic achievement and community service, excellent facilities and technology, a beautiful campus, and a modern library with exceptional resources.

Student Retention to Degree

SUNY Oneonta maintains data on graduation rates of new freshmen and transfer students. The most recent six-year graduation rate for entering freshmen has been 67 percent. The most recent four-year graduation rate for lower division transfers (those with under 57 credit hours) has been 65 percent. The most recent four-year graduation rate for upper division transfers (57 or more credit hours) has been 81 percent.

These graduation rates refer to students graduating from SUNY Oneonta. It should be noted that significant numbers of additional students transfer to and graduate from other colleges. Taking such transfers into account, the percentage of students completing a degree is significantly higher than those given above.


SUNY Oneonta’s main campus consists of 36 buildings. The 284-acre College Camp, located about two miles from campus, features an observatory, lodge, and outdoor recreational facilities. In nearby Cooperstown, on the shores of Otsego Lake, the college has 2,600 acres of woodland, pond, and shoreline that serve as an aquatic and terrestrial ecological research area for the Biological Field Station.

The James M. Milne Library is a five-story building where students access information and research materials in a technology-rich environment. The library provides access to traditional library services, including research help, circulation, and interlibrary loan.

The Milne Technology Center offers over 100 computers with a wide range of productivity software, digital video editing suites, and a presentation rehearsal room with self-video capability. Under one roof, students are able to retrieve information, write papers, and create presentations in a collaborative environment.

The college’s Fine Arts building houses programs in the visual and performing arts. The north section of the building contains art studios, a computer art lab, and student artwork displayed along the walls. The Laurence B. Goodrich Theater and the Hamblin Arena Theater share the central section of the building with the Martin-Mullen Art Gallery and the Project Space Gallery. Music Department’s studios, music labs, rehearsal halls, and performance spaces include soundproofing, acoustically tunable paneling, industry-grade recording equipment, and secure, climate controlled storage.

The Evelyn R. Hodgdon Instructional Resources Center (IRC) contains nine lecture halls for large classes and public service activities, a television studio used for the production of video programming and computer laboratories. The lecture halls are fully equipped electronic classrooms with complete computer, audio-visual, video, and large-screen projection capabilities.

The college provide a robust technology environment in support of student learning. All traditional classrooms are equipped with multimedia capabilities. The college has over 700 networked computers dedicated to student use in about 50 different labs on campus. Many of the labs, including those in each residence hall, are open seven days a week. 

The Charles W. Hunt College Union is the focal point for many activities, including student government, leadership programs, Greek affairs, feature films and comedy shows, literary and musical performances, and current affairs programming including speakers and exhibits, as well as faculty functions and educational conferences. It has conference rooms, a lecture hall/movie theater, a snack bar, multimedia lounge, dining room, and club and student organization offices. The Union 900-seat ballroom is used for speakers, concerts, craft shows and special events.

The Outdoor Resource Center, located in Hulbert Hall, is the campus headquarters for the Outdoor Adventure Club and for a wide assortment of outdoor activities and wilderness programming.

One of the busiest places on the campus is the Alumni Field House, which features three basketball courts, a dance studio, an elevated indoor track, a weight training and fitness center, and two racquetball courts. The Dewar Arena in the field house hosts major academic, entertainment, and athletic events. In addition, the G. Hal Chase Physical Education Building contains a gymnasium, fitness center, handball/racquetball courts, a quarter-mile track, and a swimming pool. Tennis and basketball courts, athletic fields, and a lighted all-weather track and field are also available on campus for recreational and scheduled sports activities.

The college’s 15 residence halls provide housing for over 3,000 students, while five additional buildings have office space and classrooms for other academic departments and programs. Fitzelle Hall houses the Education, Mathematics, Philosophy, Africana and Latino Studies, Computer Science and Statistics, and Psychology Departments. Schumacher Hall contains classrooms for the History, English, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Geography and Environmental Sustainability, Economics and Business, Political Science, and Sociology Departments. Two well-equipped science buildings provide laboratory, classroom, office, and research space for Biology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Physics and Astronomy, while the Human Ecology Building provides its department with laboratories, a CAD, Child Development Center, and special purpose rooms.

The Morris Conference Center is a full-service, year-round residential conference center available to college, community, business, and professional organizations. The Center’s comfortable, climate-controlled conference rooms are equipped to support teleconferencing and a variety of audio-visual presentations. Computers with Internet access are also available.

The Center for Multicultural Experiences, located in Lee Hall, provides social, spiritual, and academic support to students of color and international students. Open to everyone at SUNY Oneonta, the CME is the perfect place for meetings, discussions, receptions, or quiet study.

The Center for Social Responsibility and Community

The Center for Social Responsibility and Community (CSRC) provides students with a wide variety of volunteer and service-learning opportunities, connecting students to a rich learning laboratory of nonprofit organizations and agencies off campus. Located at Alumni Hall in Room 101C, the CSRC office is student-led. Throughout the school year, the Center hosts a number of events, beginning in the fall semester with Freshman Service Project when students first arrive on campus. In November, CSRC holds its Annual Conference on Volunteerism and Social Responsibility, partnering with neighboring institutions of higher education. Students are encouraged to participate in CSRC-sponsored activities on campus, such as American Red Cross blood drives, and American Cancer Society (Relay for Life) and Kidney Foundation fundraising events. Each May, CSRC’s Into the Streets event brings the campus and local community together through a full day of service that benefits area organizations and residents. Over 23% of the SUNY Oneonta student body participates in volunteer and service-learning activities, averaging 50,000 hours of community service each year in serving over 90 nonprofits and organizations in our region. Upon graduation, the Center recognizes students for their service at a ceremony attended by College administrators and faculty, with certificates and awards given to those who have reached 350, 500 or 750 hours of service.

The Alumni Association

Established in 1890, the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association is made up of more than 60,000 alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and their service to our College. The Alumni Association can provide you with the tools you need to stay connected, engaged and involved with SUNY Oneonta and each other. Ongoing involvement with the Association can help promote your career and business, increase your professional contacts and lead to other opportunities. The Office of Alumni Engagement works with the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association Board of Directors to develop programs and services that support the Association’s mission. The Office, located in Alumni Hall, Room 128, is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The College Foundation

Established in 1982, the State University College at Oneonta Foundation Corporation, Inc. raises, receives, and manages all gifts and grants from alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, foundations, and corporations. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The principal assests of the Foundation constitutes nearly all of the college’s endowment, which has grown to $60 million and provides financial support for scholarships, academic programs, faculty development, lectureships, student research, and a wide range of other college activities. Gifts and grants are made to the College Foundation on an annual basis and through estate planning.

Oneonta Auxiliary Services (OAS)

The mission of Oneonta Auxiliary Services is to support SUNY Oneonta through our commitment to exceptional customer service as we establish, operate, manage, enhance and promote programs and auxiliary services for the benefit of the College community. OAS is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of students, faculty and administrators. Services provided either directly by OAS or through a subcontract include: Dining Services, the Red Dragon Outfitters (supplies, clothing, memorabilia), Damascene Book Cellar (textbooks), the College Camp educational and recreational facility, vending services (snacks and soda), residence hall washers and dryers, check cashing services, campus spending accounts, summer storage solutions, and ID/dining card operation. OAS is a not-for-profit corporation that returns $2 million annually to the College through scholarships, utilities, program accounts and capital improvements.

Student Development

The mission of the Student Development Division is to facilitate student engagement in learning and personal development by providing exceptional enrollment services, co-curricular programs and support services, and fostering a safe and diverse living/learning community.

The Student Development Division contains the following departments: Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics, Career Development and Student Employment, Counseling, Health and Wellness, Office of Student Life and Leadership, Community Standards, Residential and Community Life, Center for Social Responsibility and Community, and University Police.

The Office of Student Development assists students who are withdrawing from the College, taking leaves of absence, or have prolonged absences from classes. The office assists students in problem solving, makes referrals to other student services as needed, and collects documentation on behalf of students.

Campus Safety Report

In compliance with the federal law, Title 11 “Campus Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act”, SUNY Oneonta provides reports about campus safety and security programs, incidents of crime on campus, and information regarding registered sex offenders. In accordance with changes to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (P.L. 110-315) in 2008, the College annually includes information on campus fire safety procedures and standards. This report is available on line at: http://www.oneonta.edu/admin/police/pages/safety.asp.

You may obtain a paper copy of this report from the Vice President for Student Development, 119 Netzer Administration Building, State University of New York Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820, 607-436-2513, and at these additional locations:

  • Admissions Office, Alumni Hall, State University of New York Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820, 607-436-2524;
  • University Police Department, Alumni Hall, State University of New York Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820, 607-436-3550;
  • At our University Police website (www.oneonta.edu/admin/police/) at the tab labeled Campus Crime Report;
  • Student Education and Community Outreach, 135A Netzer Administration Building, State University of New York Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820, 607-436-2665;

Campus crime statistics are available from the United States Department of Education web site at http://ope.ed.gov/security.

Information concerning registered sex offenders is transmitted to the campus by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and may be obtained from the Chief of Police, c/o University Police Department, or on the University Police website.


The primary purpose of our orientation program is to introduce new freshmen and new transfer students to the SUNY Oneonta community. Our orientation program has three unique phases.

  1. An online orientation that students will participate in prior to enrollment.
  2. An in-person orientation at the start of their first semester at SUNY Oneonta. Students will have the opportunity to meet and talk with a variety of academic and student support personnel. Students will meet other students and begin the process of making the transition to their new environment. 
  3. Structured outreach and events during the first semester that students can participate in based on their schedule.

Students accepted for the Fall term attend August Orientation immediately prior to the start of classes. Students accepted for the Spring term attend orientation in January prior to the beginning of classes. SUNY Oneonta’s orientation programs are designed to fit the needs of our exceptional students.


The College’s residence facilities consist of 15 non-smoking halls that provide living arrangements with one- to six-student occupancy styles. A variety of optional lifestyles are offered for students to choose from. The halls are self-contained units where the daily needs of students can be conveniently met. There are washing machines and dryers, as well as vending machines in each hall. Lounges are equipped with study space and recreation rooms have televisions and a variety of recreational equipment. Every bedroom is equipped with voice, cable, and data connections. Additionally, each residence hall has at least one computer lab.

Staffing for the residence halls consists of one full-time professional Residence Hall Director, who is a student development specialist. An upperclassman known as a Resident Advisor lives on each floor/ section to personally integrate student life services in the immediate environment. A concerted effort is made to aid students in the development of positive social behavior and good study habits, rather than to exercise close supervision of the individual.

The College believes that all freshmen and sophomores should live in the residence halls. Students living on campus must contract for one of the dining hall meal plans. This system is flexible, providing a variety of choices in food selection, meal times, and sites. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate and follow through on the procedures necessary to secure housing and meal plans. Inquiries about campus lifestyle options should be directed to the Residential Community Life Office.

Privately-Operated Off-Campus Housing

The College does not own or operate any off-campus housing, nor does it inspect or approve available housing, or become involved in private landlord-tenant matters. However, to assist students and faculty, the Residential Life Office does maintain some listings and informational services regarding available private housing for rent.

Student Health Services

Appointments: Services at the Student Health Center are available to all registered students. Students are encouraged to make appointments, which can usually be scheduled within 24 hours of calling. Appointments can also be made through the health center on-line portal. If a student prefers to be seen without an appointment, an urgent care clinic is available most afternoons. Waiting times for walk-in services vary and are difficult to estimate.

Providers: Services at the health center are provided by a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioners and registered professional nurses.

Health histories and immunizations: New York State Department of Health requires the college to monitor the vaccine status of all registered students. Therefore, it is mandatory to provide a copy of immunization records to the Health Center within 30 days of the start of your first semester in attendance at SUNY Oneonta. This includes measles, mumps and rubella, and meningitis information. Students who fail to provide these records will be deregistered. It is also required that, prior to receiving services at the Health Center, students complete a health history located on the Health Center on-line portal.

Services and fees: Student Health Center services are covered under the comprehensive fee and include the following for no additional charges: assessment and treatment for medical illnesses, minor injuries, nebulizer treatment, cryo-surgery, comprehensive male and female reproductive health, preparation for overseas travel, follow-up and counseling for chronic illnesses and healthy life-style assessment, referrals to specialty care, limited on-site laboratory testing, limited prescriptions and over the counter medications, annual influenza injections and health education programming.

The following services are available for an additional nominal fee: several types of contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, Hepatitis A, and  Yellow Fever vaccinations. If a student needs comprehensive laboratory or x-ray services, the hospital or lab that provides the services will bill the student or parents directly. Specialty medical care and emergency services are available in the community and at local hospitals.

Office of Health Education

The Office of Health Education is dedicated to fostering a campus climate that promotes community wellness and the development of a healthy lifestyle by educating students on current health concerns and providing skills for responsible decision-making regarding their health and well-being. The Office of Health Education encourages students to work toward optimal wellness through the following services:

Wellness Outreach Programs: The Office of Health Education offers a variety of outreach program that include: community education events, workshops and presentations for Residence Halls, campus clubs, organizations and/or athletic teams and a health newsletter. Programs include but are not limited to the following topics: general wellness habits, sexuality and sexual health, alcohol and other drugs, tobacco, nutrition and exercise, relationships, body image, eating disorders, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and stress management.

Advocacy: The Health Educator acts as an advocate for students concerning any issues regarding personal health and health care. Students are encouraged to stop in Room 110 at the Counseling, Health & Wellness Center to discuss a health-related issue or concern.

Wellness Resources: The Office of Health Education is a clearinghouse of information concerning a variety of health topics. Members of the college community may access materials, including pamphlets, posters, videos and books. The Health Educator acts as a resource person and consultant for students requesting topical materials for class work, service projects or personal use.

Internships: Students have the opportunity to earn one to three credits working with the Office of Health Education. Internships can focus on specific health topics or provide a broader view of health promotional activities on the college campus.

For more information please visit us on the web at www.oneonta.edu/development/wellness or call 436-3540.

Services for Students with Disabilities

SUNY Oneonta is committed to ensuring access and equity to all students. Students diagnosed with a disability may be entitled to a wide array of accommodations to meet specific needs. These needs are supported through individualized accommodation plans formulated in a collaborative effort by the Student Learning Center and the student. These plans must be supported by a current evaluation from an appropriate professional. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, classroom assistance, testing assistance, adaptive technology and individualized accommodations as needed. It is strongly suggested that all new students register with the Student Learning Center at the beginning of their first semester.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center, located in the Counseling, Health and Wellness Building, provides supportive, collaborative, and professional counseling for students. When young adults leave home for college, they face many new experiences, challenges and stressors which can interfere with the academic and social goals of students. Talking with a licensed professional counselor can help students to developing new insight, emotional coping skills and problem solving techniques. The Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling services and offers same day appointments for students experiencing a mental health crisis. 

  • Students are seen by appointment on a voluntary basis.
  • Counseling is confidential.
  • There is no charge for services.

In addition to providing counseling services, counselors also offer consultation to friends, roommates and family members who may be concerned about a student. Confidential information cannot be discussed, but counselors can help to evaluate concerns, discuss options, and assist in problem solving. Reach the Counseling Center by calling 436-3368 or by visiting the Counseling Center’s website.

Career Development Center

The Career Development staff is professionally trained to assist students and alumni in career decision-making, career planning, job search, and graduate school search. The Center’s philosophy is to encourage and enhance student development through career counseling, workshops, and support services. Services are available to current students and alumni. Specific services include:

  1. Career Counseling appointments are scheduled daily to help students work through concerns or problems associated with any aspect of career development.
  2. Focus, a computer-based career guidance system, helps students analyze their interests, skills, values and to explore career options.
  3. The Center’s Career Library maintains resources in a number of areas for Exploring Careers, Job Searching and Exploring Educational Alternatives.
  4. Career Development Center Staff is available to present a variety of career topics to halls, classes, clubs, organizations, honor societies, fraternities and sororities.
  5. The Center produces, receives, and subscribes to many different vacancy listings. Job seekers can identify which listings are most appropriate in their fields, and monitor them regularly by visiting the office or DragonLink.
  6. On Campus Recruitment events are scheduled through the Center during fall and spring semesters. Representatives from graduate/professional schools, business and industry, education, and government visit the campus to hold information sessions and interviews. Interested students should view the calendar of events on the Career website or stop by the office for last minute additions.
  7. Internship Opportunities: In partnership with Faculty Internship Coordinators, the Career Development Center Internship Coordinator provides local and regional outreach to representatives of organizations offering experiential learning opportunities. Internship information is disseminated to students through DragonLink. Students are required to first meet with Faculty Internship Coordinators to discuss academic requirements.
  8. Summer Opportunities Fair: This annual Spring Semester event provides a venue to learn about potential jobs and internships, career paths and organizations, and to network with employers. Student registration is not required. However, it is encouraged that students submit professional documents to CDC Staff for review prior to the event. Professional attire is recommended.
  9. Credential Files are available for students and alumni to support their efforts to obtain employment or admission to graduate/professional school. Credential files are maintained electronically via DragonLink.
  10. The Student Employment Service is available to all currently enrolled students seeking part-time jobs on or off campus. As this is an on going service, students are encouraged to check job listings regularly on DragonLink.
  11. Mock Interviews are scheduled with a career professional for students who would like to practice their interviewing skills. Students have the opportunity to practice answering typical interview questions while being videotaped which will then be reviewed to discuss areas needing improvement. Students can also use Interview Stream for on-line practice interviews.
  12. Resume and Cover Letter critiques are offered to students and alumni who need to improve the appearance and content of their resume and/or cover letter when applying for jobs, internships and scholarships. The resumes and cover letters may be dropped off and picked up typically within 4 business days.
  13. An annual Graduate and Professional School Fair is offered in the fall semester with an average of 80 schools in attendance.
  14. For undecided freshmen and sophomores, the Center offers PROF 100 - Survey of Career Fields 1 s.h. , a 1 credit, 5 week mini course in which students learn about themselves and career options through inventories, structured assignments and exercises. PROF 100  is offered during mini 1 and 2 during the Fall and Spring semesters.
  15. Career Development Website is a comprehensive site that offers many office services online to help cater to students’ hectic 24/7 lifestyle. There are interactive career related videos and podcasts, an online job searching database, ‘what can you do with a major in…” packets, as well as information on all of the aforementioned services. The site can be accessed at www.oneonta.edu/career

The Student Association

The Student Association uses the Student Activities Fee that all undergraduate students pay to fund campus organizations, intramural athletics, concerts, lectures, movies, plays, the campus newspaper, radio station, “Red Dragon Safe Escorts,” a portion of College Camp, scholarships, and free legal advice. The Student Association also funds the OPT bus service from campus into the city and to Southside Oneonta. The Student Association is managed by an elected student government, and all fee-paying students are qualified to seek a position in any one of the three governmental areas (Senate, Judicial, and Executive Board), as outlined in the Student Association Constitution. The Student Association is also the primary liaison between the administration/faculty and the student body. If students ever have a concern, they are highly encouraged to let the Student Association know by coming to a meeting (6:30 Tuesdays in the Waterfront) or e-mailing SA@oneonta.edu

Organizations of the Student Association include academic clubs, cultural enrichment organizations, musical and performance organizations, special interest and recreational groups, and men’s and women’s intramural sports. A complete list of clubs and organizations is available on the college website. Please visit the SA website at http://mySA.oneonta.edu The SA is “for students and by students”—and student participation is encouraged and vital!


SUNY Oneonta is proud to recognize service to our country and to assist Veterans and eligible family members in reaching specific academic and career goals.  Whether you need help with your benefits paperwork or you need assistance navigating your campus experience, there are many people invested in your success.  The primary contact for all things related to Veterans’ support is the Veterans Certifying Official (VCO).  The VCO is located in the Academic Advisement Center. 

Students who are veterans, active duty, reservists, and those using veterans’ benefits are all provided priority registration to ensure timely degree completion. The college awards credit for basic training and other military courses as outlined in Academic Policies and Standards  . 

SUNY Oneonta is a signatory to on both the EXECUTIVE ORDER 13607, establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members and the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success.