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Consider Geneseo

A Public Liberal Arts College of National Distinction

One of 13 university colleges in the State University of New York System (SUNY), Geneseo was founded in 1871 as Wadsworth Normal and Training School and offered two-year degrees in English and classics. In 1942, it became a baccalaureate institution with expanded programs in education and the liberal arts. It was one of the original campuses of the SUNY system, founded in 1948. During its 149-year history, it has evolved into a nationally recognized, selective public liberal arts college.

Geneseo prepares students to lead successful, humane, and productive lives through an outstanding undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, a CAEP-accredited School of Education, and an AACSB-accredited School of Business.

Geneseo sets high academic expectations for itself and its students. Geneseo’s faculty are productive, nationally recognized scholars on the cutting edge of their disciplines. They are, at the same time, highly regarded teachers devoted to ongoing pedagogical innovation. For six consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Geneseo the best institution for undergraduate teaching among regional universities in the North. The college’s faculty includes 17 SUNY Distinguished Professors and 61 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients. It is the only SUNY comprehensive college to host a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 2018, Milne Library was ranked first in the nation for institutions of its type by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Milne Library is currently undergoing a $35 million renovation that, when completed, will expand the learning opportunities it provides to students, faculty, and staff.

As part of its liberal arts mission, Geneseo prepares students to become responsible and engaged citizens who can assist the communities they live in to become more diverse and inclusive, more globally aware, and more sustainable. As an indication of its success, for the past seven years, Washington Monthly has ranked Geneseo in the top five master’s universities in the nation for its contributions to the public good; in 2017, the magazine ranked Geneseo number one.

Because of its mission and the quality of its educational programs, Geneseo attracts bright, inquisitive, highly motivated, and socially responsible students who make the most of the opportunities that college affords them. With a mean first-year SAT score of 1,233 and a mean high school grade-point average of 92.6, Geneseo is among the most selective SUNY comprehensive colleges.

This combination of a talented faculty dedicated to student learning and an ambitious student body able and eager to rise to high expectations produces impressive student outcomes. Geneseo has the highest four-year graduation rate among the SUNY institutions and ranks in the nation's top ten public institutions. It is also among the leading institutions of its type in the country in the number of alumni with doctorates in the STEM disciplines, the number of U.S. Student Fulbright Awards receive, and the number of Peace Corps volunteers it produces.

The Academic Program

Excellence in liberal arts education defines Geneseo. Consequently, all its undergraduates complete a core curriculum consisting of required courses in fine arts, social and natural sciences, numeric and symbolic reasoning, United States history, non-Western traditions, Western humanities, critical reading and writing, and foreign language. The faculty has recently reoriented the curriculum around integrative learning, and the College has created a Center for Integrative Learning as part of its strategic plan. Students also have the opportunity to join Living-Learning Communities during their first year. Geneseo devotes spaces in several of its residence halls to this program.

Other high-impact learning opportunities offer students a wide array of undergraduate research, internship, and study-abroad opportunities. An impressive 59 percent of Geneseo’s graduates complete an internship, 40 percent have a research experience with a faculty member, and 37 percent study abroad.

In its 18 departments and two schools, the College offers 50 undergraduate degree programs, 25 interdisciplinary minors, and graduate programs in accounting and education. The undergraduate majors with the highest enrollments are psychology, communication, biology, and political science/international relations. The schools of business and education are also experiencing an increase in majors. Recently, the College began emphasizing the creation of new academic programs, and faculty are rising to the challenge.

Geneseo’s 379 faculty members are known for their commitment to classroom instruction, advising, mentorship, and student/faculty research, in addition to their superb scholarship and generous service. Geneseo’s 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio translates into a median class size of 23 students and facilitates extensive interaction between students and faculty. Eighty-one percent of Geneseo’s faculty report working with undergraduates on research.


The institutional leadership provided by President Denise Battles and the academic leadership provided by Provost Stacey Robertson has refined and strengthened Geneseo’s identity and mission as a distinctive public liberal arts college and a center of excellence in undergraduate education in New York State.

Campus Life

Geneseo enrolls some 5,400 students from 28 states and 23 countries. Of that total, 1,400 are incoming students, 54 of which are graduate students. The first-year-to-second-year undergraduate retention rate is 84.4 percent; the six-year graduation rate is 80.8 percent. A strongly residential college, Geneseo houses 55 percent of its students on campus. Fifty-nine percent of its students are female; 41 percent are male; 24 percent are diverse; 95.6 percent are from New York State; 2.1 percent are out-of-state, and 2.3 percent are international students. Geneseo is a very welcoming campus. The close relationships formed among the various community members—faculty, staff, and students—are similar to those found in a much smaller institution.

Geneseo offers a vibrant student and campus-life environment. Its students participate in an award-winning leadership development program, various community service programs, and more than 200 student-led organizations. Thirty percent of Geneseo students belong to the 28 Greek organizations on campus—12 for men, 12 for women, and four for both.

The Geneseo Knights compete in 12 intercollegiate sports for women and eight for men at the NCAA Division III level in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). They have sustained an impressive record across many sports for many years. The Department of Athletics also offers competition in 21 club sports and 31 intramural sports.

The Campus

SUNY Geneseo’s picturesque 220-acre campus stands on land with historical ties to the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda Seneca Nation. The campus includes a $53 million Integrated Science Center that houses the only Pelletron particle accelerator in the region, a significant point of pride for the community. The college’s 17 residence halls feature a number of Living-Learning Communities consisting of unusual housing opportunities where students with similar interests live in the same building. The academic buildings are centrally located on campus and only a short walking distance from each residence hall. The campus has multiple recreation and sports facilities, including the College Stadium and the Myrtle A. Merritt Athletic Center, which features the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena, the Louise Kuhl Gymnasium, Alumni Pool, a fitness center, squash courts, and the offices of the athletic department staff. The women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams compete in the Carl Schrader Gymnasium; the complex also contains four racquetball courts, academic classrooms, and a student-athlete weight-training facility. Outdoor facilities include the Geneseo track, Saratoga field, tennis courts, Vic Raschi Softball field, and Leg-Up Stables, which is home to the women’s equestrian team and consists of a 300-acre farm with more than 70 horses and a barn used for training and shows.

Village of Geneseo

Located in New York’s Finger Lakes region 40 minutes south of the City of Rochester and 90 minutes east of Buffalo, the Village of Geneseo is tucked in the beautiful Genesee River valley. This wide, fertile valley offers some of the best agricultural land in New York. As a result, agriculture is a large contributor to Geneseo’s economy. The historic district of Geneseo is one of only 24 communities designated as National Historic Landmarks. Its location offers all the advantages of a small community while providing access to the major metropolitan areas of Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo. Geneseo resides in an area of immense natural beauty ideal for a variety of outdoor activities and sports. The college’s proximity to the historic district makes the Village of Geneseo a perfect college town.


This web page was created on 11 December 2020.