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Undergraduate Catalog

About New Paltz

Mission Statement

In the proud tradition of SUNY, the State University of New York at New Paltz is committed to providing high quality, affordable education to students from all social and economic backgrounds. We are a faculty and campus community dedicated to the construction of a vibrant intellectual/creative public forum which reflects and celebrates the diversity of our society and encourages and supports active participation in scholarly and artistic activity. SUNY New Paltz is an active contributor to the schools, community institutions and economic/cultural life of our region. We are selective in admitting students who show promise of thriving in a learning environment which is challenging, student-centered, and personalized. Our goal is for students to gain knowledge, skills, and confidence to contribute as productive members of their communities and professions and active citizens in a democratic nation and a global society.

We are the only residential public university in the mid-Hudson region. We offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences which serve as a core for professional programs in the fine and performing arts, education, health care, business, and engineering. Our location in the scenic Hudson Valley midway between the State Capital of Albany and metropolitan New York City provides unique opportunities for enriching our academic programs. We are a diverse faculty of distinguished scholars and artists who collaborate across the disciplines and professional areas to inspire our students to a love of learning, a meaningful engagement with the life of the mind, and an involvement in public service.

Campus-wide Goals We strive to carry out the above philosophy across the campus through:

  • Faculty engagement in innovative pedagogy across all disciplines;
  • Faculty-student collaboration in research, performance, scholarship, exhibitions and presentations, internships and fieldwork, community service, and international studies and practica;
  • Capstone activities through which students can demonstrate expertise in a specialized area;
  • Support for risk-taking and innovation in research and scholarly/creative activity;
  • Writing intensive courses and seminars;
  • Educational and clinical centers that provide professional development and services to the region;
  • Library and information technology resources which support the curriculum, independent study, research, and information literacy;
  • Lectures, conferences, concerts, gallery shows, theatrical performances (as the largest cultural institution in the Hudson Valley), and other opportunities for life-long learning;
  • Leadership opportunities for students in campus and community organizations and college governance;
  • A well-rounded program in residence life to support student social, emotional, recreational, and academic needs.

Educational Outcomes

Intellectual: Students are prepared to go on to graduate study or to enter their professional field of specialization through developing:

  • Critical thinking, writing, analytical, mathematical, technological, and oral communication skills;
  • In-depth exploration of at least one discipline;
  • Experience using scientific methods and learning technologies appropriately and critically;
  • Knowledge of and participation in the aesthetic experience and the creative process;
  • Greater understanding and appreciation for the histories, races and cultures, religions, languages, and customs of our country and those of other nations;
  • Knowledge of the rapidly changing political, economic, environmental, and social forces in our world.

Civic/Personal: Students develop the confidence and personal qualities necessary to take their place as citizens in our democracy through cultivating:

  • High personal standards of honesty, integrity, and personal ethics;
  • The capacity for self-reflection and empathy for others;
  • Appreciation for the value of active citizenship and community service;
  • Knowledge, interests, and activities that promote health, well-being, and personal responsibility.

To Learn · To Search · To Serve

The Campus & History

The State University of New York at New Paltz is an exciting blend of tradition and vision. At its educational core is the ever- present belief in the importance of a liberal arts education. This served as the guiding principle at the time the university was founded, in 1828, and continues to aid in the preparation of students for transition into the global community today. Equally important is the commitment to the growth of the student -- intellectually, culturally, and socially. Throughout its history, New Paltz has led the way in the development of significant innovations, not the least of which has been its dedication to providing an international focus to all areas of its curriculum.

Between the founding of this school and the establishment of the present 216-acre campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz, many historic changes took place.

1828    School for teaching of classics founded

1833    The New Paltz Academy established

1885    State normal school established

1886    Normal school opened

1942    Normal school becomes State Teachers College at New Paltz; authorized to grant baccalaureate degree

1947    Graduate courses leading to master's degree introduced

1948    State University of New York created by legislative action; The College at New Paltz joins 30 other institutions of higher learning

1951    New Paltz adds art education degree to its programs

1959    College's name changed to College of Education

1960    Authorization for liberal arts program leading to Bachelor of Arts degree granted

1961    College renamed State University of New York College of Arts and Science New Paltz

1994    Campus renamed State University of New York at New Paltz

Today, the State University of New York at New Paltz has many more programs, facilities, and students than the founders of the classics school could have foreseen in 1828. What has not changed in the course of the history of higher education at the State University of New York at New Paltz is a strong commitment to the principle of excellence in teaching and learning.

Descriptions of the buildings on campus can be accessed on our Campus Map Web site.