2024-25 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2024-25 Undergraduate Catalog


Message From the President

Welcome to SUNY Cortland. As Cortland's 10th president, I am proud of this fine institution and its place within the State University of New York system.

SUNY Cortland has compiled an impressive record of accomplishment and is poised for even greater achievements. In particular, I am excited that teaching remains the central function of SUNY Cortland and that excellence in teaching continues to be its primary goal. I am also proud that the university is a place where faculty members are teacher-scholars who recognize and appreciate how scholarship and teaching can inform the learning process. Further, as a SUNY institution, Cortland shares SUNY's commitment to excellence and access, providing a quality education to many citizens who never could have afforded it otherwise.

Throughout the years, SUNY Cortland has met the needs of students of varying abilities and backgrounds, providing them with the opportunity and tools to meet educational, career and life objectives. Many of our alumni are first-generation college graduates, and they occupy positions that run the gamut from teacher to performing artist to politician to stockbroker. Still, these alumni share common bonds, such as the lifetime friendships they developed on campus, and the faculty, staff members and coaches who motivated them to achieve more than they thought possible. Frequently, too, SUNY Cortland students and graduates understand their responsibility to their communities and play an active service role in those communities.

Virtually any institution of higher education is capable of producing literate graduates who have mastered fundamental skills and knowledge. At SUNY Cortland, we strive for more: To produce graduates who can make a difference in an ever-changing world. As you review this catalog, take note of the qualities we emphasize in our programs, including a solid knowledge base; writing, reading and speaking skills; problem-solving and critical thinking; effective interpersonal communication; and the intelligent use of technology.

We also seek to develop these qualities within the context of challenges facing our world, such as the preservation of our environment; the appreciation of diversity and of art, music and theatre; an understanding of history and the roots of prejudice; and the power of science and technology. In this way, we strive to prepare our students to apply what they know for the betterment of society, for "the common good."

Once more, welcome, and I hope this represents the beginning of a productive and lasting relationship between you and SUNY Cortland.

Erik J. Bitterbaum

Mission, Campus Priorities, Strategic Plan

SUNY Cortland Strategic Plan: 2018-2023
Commitment to Community

Endorsed by the President's Cabinet and approved by the SUNY Cortland president on March 5, 2018.

A new strategic plan is now being created.

Our Mission

SUNY Cortland is an academic community dedicated to diverse learning experiences. Students grow as engaged citizens with a strong social conscience fostered by outstanding teaching, scholarship and service.

Campus Priorities

Strategic Plan

Diversity at SUNY Cortland

Respect for diversity is an essential component of academic excellence that prepares our graduates to be citizens of the greater global community. SUNY Cortland aspires to create a common vision of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as critical core values of academic excellence. To that end, the campus community upholds the following principles.

SUNY Cortland is dedicated to the premise that every individual is important in a unique way and contributes to the overall quality of the institution. We define diversity broadly to include all aspects of human difference. The university is committed to inclusion, equity and access, and thus is committed to creating and sustaining a climate that is equitable, respectful and free from prejudice for students, faculty and staff.

We value diversity in the learning environment and know that it enhances our ability to inspire students to learn, lead and serve in a changing world. We are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive campus through the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students. As a community, we hold important the democracy of ideas, tempered by a commitment to free speech and the standards of inquiry and debate. To this end, we are dedicated to developing and sustaining a learning environment where it is safe to explore our differences and celebrate the richness inherent in our pluralistic society.

All-College Student Learning Goal

All major programs of study at SUNY Cortland establish specific learning objectives for their students. On April 30, 1996, SUNY Cortland's Faculty Senate endorsed the All-College Student Learning Goal, a statement of desired learning outcomes for all who graduate from the university. This goal is stated as follows: A major expectation for all SUNY Cortland students at the point of graduation is that they possess the skills necessary to gather relevant information, evaluate it critically, and communicate it effectively to an audience in written and oral forms.

Assessment Philosophy

SUNY Cortland is committed to an ongoing assessment of its programs and services. Outcomes assessment offers a means of ascertaining the nature of our students' experiences as learners and as part of the university community. At the same time, students become more aware of the stages in the learning process through the reflection that assessment encourages. SUNY Cortland's assessment program helps students see their college experience in a larger context and take greater responsibility for their own education.

Assessment is closely tied to program enhancement, planning, and faculty and staff development. As faculty and staff members articulate their goals and reflect on the effects of their work, they discover new possibilities for meeting their own expectations and their students' needs.

SUNY Cortland views assessment as a shared responsibility. Faculty, students and staff are expected to participate in a variety of assessment activities, both in and out of class. The university's administration actively supports assessment by providing resources and recognizing faculty and staff efforts as significant service to SUNY Cortland. Our collective effort allows us to monitor ourselves in order to benefit students and to produce a satisfying college experience of high quality.

In an effort to obtain the fullest possible picture of their strengths and weaknesses, programs and units use multiple methods of evaluation, many of which are embedded in coursework and program activities. Educational outcomes measures, portfolios, alumni and student opinion surveys, exit interviews, discipline-specific content tests, and course-teacher evaluations are among the most commonly used approaches.

We see assessment as a dynamic process that provides all areas of the university with valuable information about how well we are accomplishing our objectives as an educational institution. Through outcomes assessment activities and what we learn from them, SUNY Cortland continually seeks to improve the quality of its offerings.

About SUNY Cortland

State University of New York at Cortland traces its beginnings to 1868 and offers programs leading to the award of the bachelor of fine arts, bachelor's and master's degrees in the arts and sciences, education and in professional studies, as well as certificates of advanced study.

SUNY Cortland is a moderate-sized institution with approximately 6,000 undergraduate students and roughly 700 graduate students. As a public institution, Cortland is a charter member of the State University of New York. In its 155-year history, SUNY Cortland has graduated more than 88,000 students, and alumni live in all 50 states and nearly 60 countries.

The campus is located in Cortland, a small city in the geographic center of New York state, adjacent to the Finger Lakes and within an hour's drive of Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton.

The campus covers 191 acres located within walking distance of the city of Cortland's business district.

The main campus is divided into three distinct areas. Most of the classroom buildings, the Memorial Library, the Miller Building, Brockway Hall and Cheney and DeGroat residence halls are found on the north campus. The remaining residence halls, Education Building, Neubig Hall and Corey Union are at the center of the campus. The Professional Studies Building, Park Center, Lusk Field House, the Student Life Center, the Stadium Complex, athletic fields and tracks are located on the south campus. Off-campus locations in Cortland include the Parks Alumni House, the McDonald Building and West Campus Apartments.

A shuttle bus service operates to all campus locations as well as off-campus for shopping and to downtown on the weekends when classes are in session.

The William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education manages SUNY Cortland's outdoor/environmental facilities: Brauer Field Station in Selkirk, N.Y.; Hoxie Gorge in Cortlandville, N.Y.; and W.H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Raquette Lake, in the Adirondacks.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office

Division of Academic Affairs and Provost's Office
Miller Building, Room 408
Fax: 607-753-5993


Ann McClellan, provost and vice president for academic affairs

Carol Van Der Karr, vice provost for academic affairs and institutional effectiveness

Mary Schlarb, assistant vice provost for student achievement

Eunice Miller, senior staff assistant to the provost

Role of the Provost and Vice President

The provost acts in the absence of the president and serves as the chief academic officer, with responsibility for maintaining academic standards within the university and also has oversight for academic support programs. The office is responsible for development and application of SUNY Cortland policies within the academic areas of the university, management of the academic affairs budget, review and approval of curriculum changes, review for recommendation to the president of all new academic positions, replacements, promotions, tenure decisions or continuing appointments, and assistance in the development of university responses to accreditation and other external mandates. The provost represents Cortland at various SUNY, regional and national meetings.

Role of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness

The vice provost is a member of the provost's senior executive staff, reporting directly to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The position is responsible for the overall coordination and support of SUNY Cortland's implementation of curricular issues and programs, planning and assessment, accreditation, and student academic achievement. 

Role of the Senior Staff Assistant to the Provost

The senior staff assistant has responsibilities in the areas of academic dishonesty, national searches, special event planning and budgeting, and serves as the provost's liaison to a variety of groups.

Academic Centers and Programs Within the Office

Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies
James M. Clark Center for Global Engagement
Faculty Development Center
Honors Program
Institute for Civic Engagement
William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education
School of Arts and Sciences
School of Education
School of Professional Studies


Academic Affairs
   Advisement and Transition
   College Writing Program
   Extended Learning
   Institutional Research and Analysis
   International Programs
   Registrar's Office
Enrollment Management
   Financial Aid
Information Resources
   Administrative Computing Services
   Campus Technology Services
   Information Systems and Security
   Networking and Telecommunications
Research and Sponsored Programs