Universities in New York

SUNY Potsdam


University Information

Location: Potsdam, New York
Founded: 1816
Undergraduate Students: 3 900
Campus Type: Rural
Institution Type: Public state university 
Website: www.potsdam.edu

About the University

The State University of New York at Potsdam, also known as SUNY Potsdam, or, colloquially, Potsdam, is a public college in the village of Potsdam in St. Lawrence County, in the U.S. state of New York. Founded in 1816, it is among the 50 oldest colleges in the United States. It is composed of the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Education and Professional Studies, and the Crane School of Music.

The campus is in the small village of Potsdam, near the Canada–United States border. It is situated in the St. Lawrence Valley, between the St. Lawrence River and the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. It is about 10 miles northwest of the border of the Adirondack State Park in Parishville.

The school sits on 240 acres (97 ha) and consists of 44 buildings. Barrington Drive runs through the center of the campus, with all academic buildings on the northwest side of the street, and all campus life and residence buildings on the southeast side. 

The State University of New York at Potsdam prepares students to act as engaged global citizens and to lead lives enriched by critical thought, creativity and discovery. As an inclusive scholarly community, rooted in our historic role in providing exemplary teacher and music education and our leadership in the fine and performing arts, we are committed to the liberal arts and sciences as an academic foundation for all students. With an abiding sense of responsibility to our region and to the world beyond, SUNY Potsdam fosters an appreciation of and respect for the variety of human experience.

Excerpt from SUNY Potsdam’s website.

TOEFL: 80/120

IELTS: 6,5

Health insurance is required of all full-time degree, resident, and international students with F1 and J1 visas.

All non-Canadian international students are automatically enrolled in the full SUNY international health insurance plan for international students.  This plan has accident/illness/medical coverage and evacuation and repatriation coverage.  For a full explanation of coverage please download and review the Insurance brochure (PDF).

Coverage is August – August.  The fee amount varies depending on when you begin studies i.e. fall admits are charged the full fee for a full year’s coverage; spring admits are charged a prorated fee for January – August coverage; summer admits are also charged a prorated fee for May – August coverage.  Continuing students are charged for a full year’s coverage every fall semester. 

For current costs, please email International Education & Programs directly at international@potsdam.edu or call the office at +315-267-2507.

The SUNY international student insurance plan is very comprehensive.  However, if you have purchased another insurance plan, you may qualify for an insurance waiver.  In order to qualify for an insurance waiver, your current health insurance policy must “meet or beat” the SUNY policy (PDF).  Submit a health insurance waiver request when the link becomes active mid-June (fall semester) or mid-December (spring semester).  International health insurance waivers must be completed online at http://hthworldwide.force.com/SUNY.  Do NOT submit your international health insurance waiver request through BearPaws.  Use the link provided above.  Insurance waiver requests can only be submitted once so be sure you have all the required information on hand before submitting the waiver request.

Cost$879.00 per year

Students may choose instead to try and subscribe to the insurance proposed by MICEFA, CHARTIS.  Please contact SUNY Potsdam before purchasing.

Living on-campus:  On-campus housing is available on first-come first-served basis for undergraduate students. 

  1. We encourage international students to live in Lehman Hall as it is open during the entire academic year, including student breaks and vacation periods.
     *Please note that if you choose a housing option other than Lehman Hall, you will be required to make alternate housing arrangements during the College break periods.
  2. Room assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis since space in many areas is limited.
  3. We advise you to submit your housing preferences as soon as possible to ensure a higher chance of receiving your first preference.
  4. Please note that SUNY Potsdam does not have a linen service – students are required to bring their own bed linens/towels or purchase them when you arrive in Potsdam.
  5. There is an organized shopping trip as part of the required Orientation Program in August.

For more housing information, please visit this website.  

Cost: $3,680.00-$4,510.00 per semester**Students living in residence halls must also purchase a meal plan please visit the website for more information. (Costs $2,000.00+)

Off Campus Housing: You may choose to live off campus near the University, for ressources, contact your international student advisor.


The average budget per month is: $400 – 500 

In order to be accepted, students must prove financial resources of $8,000.00 per semester.