State University of New York at Purchase

Accredited, Affordable Liberal Arts Education at SUNY Purchase

State University of New York at Purchase appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.


Ranked 50th for social mobility by the U.S. News & World Report, the State University of New York at Purchase is a public, coed branch in Westchester County that offers 49 bachelor’s, seven master’s, and six certificate options plus the Dual Enrollment Program at a 14:1 student-teacher ratio. For example, the Dance BFA has a 120-credit, conservatory-style curriculum headed by Dr. Darrah Carr where Panthers can perform at the 700-seat PepsiCo Theatre, tour with New York Live Arts, exchange to Edith Cowan University, and train in Harkness Center. Chaired by Dr. Peter Schwab, a SUNY Chancellor’s Award recipient, the 120-credit Political Science BA provides opportunities to intern at Human Rights Watch, attend the Mary Edwards Memorial Lecture, and join Planned Parenthood Club.

At the Natural Sciences Center, the Biology BA builds a 120-credit, four-year plan overseen by Dr. Jan Robert Factor for SUNY Purchase undergrads to conduct Genetics Lab research, contribute to the Coral Reef Program in Honduras, and present at the National STEM Conference. Directed by Dr. Faye Hirsch, the 60-credit Visual Arts MFA spans two years full-time with 5000-level courses like Studio Critiques plus exhibits at Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery, Neuberger Museum of Art fellowships, and the Windgate Visiting Artist Series.

Featured Programs

Other Purchase College degrees include the Creative Writing BA, Jazz Studies MusB, Psychology BA, Latin American Studies BA, Film BFA, Economics BA, Mathematics BA, Printmaking BFA, Composition MM, Art History MA, and Entrepreneurship in the Arts MA.

About the State University of New York at Purchase

The State University of New York at Purchase originated in 1966 when Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller partnered with architect Wallace Harrison to transform a 500-acre tract into a liberal arts institution. In 1971, Roy and Marie Neuberger donated their $12 million collection to develop the visual arts program. In 1972, President Abbott Kaplan welcomed the inaugural class to the former Strathglass Farm. One decade later, Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci graduated from the State University of New York at Purchase. In 1998, the Purchase Opera was founded to compete in Division II. By 2014, Purchase College won its first Skyline Conference title for men’s soccer. In 2018, SUNY Purchase worked with the New York Power Authority to complete an energy-saving LED Lighting Project.

Endowed for $76.5 million, the State University of New York at Purchase now employs 300 full-time faculty teaching 4,164 undergrad and 100 post-grad Panthers from 31 countries on its Harrison campus north of Manhattan with 35+ clubs like the Philosophy Society. In 2019, Purchase College had the SUNY Patricia Kerr Ross Award recipient. In 2017, SUNY Purchase accepted a GenFKD Grant for its College Startup Pitching Competition. The State University of New York at Purchase won a 2018 Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence Award too. The Princeton Review named SUNY Purchase the fifth-best college theatre and 15th top school for vegetarians. On Niche, Purchase boasts America’s 88th most liberal academics and 323rd most diverse community. Money magazine crowned SUNY Purchase College the 473rd top value. College Factual picked Purchase 26th for visual and performing arts.

State University of New York at Purchase Accreditation Details

On April 18, 2018, the State University of New York at Purchase satisfactorily submitted a Fifth-Year Periodic Review Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to continue the Level III accreditation status through 2021-22 under the fifth president, Dr. Thomas Schwarz, who earned Fordham’s Leonard Manning Award. Located 125 miles down Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, this superb six-state Northeast Region accreditor is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and New York State Education Department (NYSED). Further, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) has continually accredited Purchase College since April 1, 1999.

The State University of New York at Purchase Application Requirements

Getting into State University of New York at Purchase is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since 1,453 of the 3,421 Fall 2018 applicants were okayed for 42 percent acceptance. First-year Panthers are holistically reviewed after high school diploma completion. Only the Dual Enrollment Program allows juniors and seniors age 16+ with a minimum 85 percent average. Freshmen should have finished four English, foreign language, and math units. Successful entrants generally have secondary GPAs of 3.0 or higher. Recommended minimum test scores are 1170 for the SAT and 24 for the ACT. Transfers must have at least 12 quality credits of regionally accredited education with cumulative GPAs above 2.5. Foreign learners of non-English backgrounds need 550 TOEFL pBT, 6.5 IELTS, or equivalent scores. Graduate programs seek a four-year bachelor’s completion at a 3.0 or better GPA. Art History MA cohorts must fulfill five undergrad prerequisite courses, including Western Civilization. The MFA tracks review required portfolios of 15 artwork samples.

The State University of New York at Purchase set an Early Action deadline of November 15th. Undergrads can apply until March 1st for Fall or December 1st for Spring enrollment. The Graduate School has varying program-specific deadlines though. For instance, the Media Arts & Culture MFA closes on March 1st. Entrepreneurship in the Arts MA cohorts apply until August 1st and December 1st. Music MM candidates are considered through January 1st. Accordingly, complete the SUNY or Common Application online for $50 ($75 if graduate). Forward official transcripts to 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, NY 10577. Send optional test scores with ETS code 2878. Attach supplemental materials, such as the SlideRoom portfolio, 2-3 references, resume, 500-word written statement, and sound files. Contact (914) 251-6300 or with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, the State University of New York at Purchase is charging in-state undergrads $3,535 per term or $7,070 annually. Non-resident bachelor’s tuition is $8,490 by semester and $16,980 each year. Mandatory student fees are $941 every semester. Music students pay the $37 Performance Lab fee and $1,219 private lesson fee. Living at the Westchester County campus’ dorms like Farside Hall adds $4,549 for semester rent. Standard meal plans for the D-Hall are $2,725 extra. Annual undergrad attendance equals about $23,501 in-state and $33,411 out-of-state. The Graduate School bills New Yorkers $5,655 and non-residents $11,550 each year full-time. Mandatory post-grad fees are $1,883 every nine months.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office on the Student Services Building’s 1st Floor helps 80 percent of new Purchase Panthers enroll with mean assistance of $8,679 apiece for $4.17 million combined. Institutional scholarships range from $200 to full tuition for full-time undergraduates with cumulative GPAs of 3.0 and better. Recommended private funds include the Chrissy Weems Scholarship, Taco Bell Live Mas Scholarship, Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship, Burger King McLamore Scholarship, Horatio Alger Scholarship, ACT for Excellence Scholarship, and US Bank Student Union Scholarship. Since Fall 2017, the Excelsior Scholarship has nixed SUNY tuition for New York residents with adjusted gross income under $125,000. The Carey Gabay Memorial Scholarship covers four-year costs for SUNY undergraduates maintaining B+ averages and 15+ community service hours. Federal programs, such as the Pell Grant and Work-Study Grant, require FAFSA applications coded 006791. Empire State natives also pursue the Tuition Assistance Program, World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, STEM Incentive Grant, and more.

Explore three accredited divisions with 60+ value-added liberal arts programs placed 233rd overall by Washington Monthly on the State University of New York at Purchase website.