Colleges in Northeastern New York State

This part of the state has some of the oldest and most prestigious private schools on the east coast, in addition to a good selection of career schools and state universities. The area is an interesting mix of old “rust belt” cities (like Schenectady, where I went to school at Union), beautiful countryside and nice little rural towns.

Austin’s School of Spa Technology
Cazenovia College
Clarkson University
Colgate University
Hamilton College
Hartwick College
ITT Technical Institute
Mildred Elley
Pratt Institute Utica Campus
Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sage College of Albany
Siena College
Skidmore College
St. Lawrence University
SUNY Plattsburgh
College of St. Rose
Union College
Utica College

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St. Lawrence

Schools in Albany County

Austin’s School of Spa Technology

Albany. 300 undergraduates

Austin’s School of Spa Technology offers programs focused on training for entry into the beauty and spa industries. Austin’s School of Spa Technology is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences and The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) for postsecondary schools and programs of cosmetology arts and sciences, electrology, and massage.

Austin’s School of Spa Technology offers programs in:

  • Hairdressings and cosmetology
  • Barbering
  • Esthetics
  • Nail Technology

More info on Austin’s School of Spa Technology

College of St. Rose

Albany. 3000 undergraduates, 2000 postgraduates

Founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet as a Roman Catholic College for women. Today the college is a coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences with over 5,000 students. The Roman Catholic school accepts students of all religious perspectives.

CSR offers over 66 undergraduate and graduate degree programs:

  • Accounting
  • Art Education
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Graphic Design
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Law – Various Specializations
  • Psychology
  • Studio Art

More info on College of St. Rose

ITT Technical Institute

Albany. 80,000+ students nationwide

ITT Technical Institute is a for-profit technical institute with 105 campuses in 37 states of the United States. ITT Tech strives to blend traditional academic content with applied learning concepts, with a significant portion devoted to practical study in a lab environment. In addition the school uses advisory committees to asses and update equipment and practices to maintain the most current training for each industry.

ITT offers associate degrees from the following general areas:

  • Information Technology
  • Electronics Technology
  • Drafting and Design

More info on ITT Technical Institute

Mildred Elley

Albany (also has campus in New York City). 1,200 undergraduates

Mildred Elly is a private two year college founded in 1917, focused on job and technical education. Accredited by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the school is designed mainly to get graduates quickly on a career path, but also has agreements with a number of four year schools for those who want to continue on to a four year bachelor degree.

Offers degree programs in for main categories – Business and Technology, Digital Media Arts and Health and Wellness Professions:

  • Business Management
  • Information Technology
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Office, Project, and Event Management
  • Digital Graphics & Multimedia Design
  • Game Design & 3D Animation
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Assisting
  • Practical Nursing (LPN)

More info on Mildred Elley

Sage College of Albany

Troy. 700 undergraduates

Established in 1916, Sage College of Albany is one of the three Sage Colleges. It is a private, co-educational college of applied studies; for residential and commuter students. About 65% of the students are female. The school offers a number of accelerated undergrad degree programs to move students quickly into Sage’s master’s degree programs.

Offers bachelor’s degrees, with the largest programs being Visual Arts, Management and the interdisciplinary Law & Society:

  • Applied Biology
  • Art: Fine Arts
  • Art: Graphic Design
  • Business Administration
  • Law and Society
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Therapy: Accelerated
  • Public Affairs and Public Policy

More info on Sage College of Albany

Siena College

Loudonville. 3,305 undergraduates 153 post graduates

Siena is a coed, independent college founded by the Franciscan Friars in 1937. Maintaining an identity tied to Franciscan and Catholic tradition, Siena emphasizes the importance of spiritual and ethical growth. Located in a suburban setting outside Albany.

Siena offers degrees in 27 different areas of business, liberal arts, and sciences:

  • Accounting and Business Law
  • Finance
  • Marketing and Management
  • Education
  • Biology
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics

More info on Siena College

Schools in Broome County

Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute Binghampton Campus

Binghampton. 2,000 students.

Ridley-Lowell specializes in training and career placement programs. It offers a variety of diploma programs designed for entry into technical, business and criminal justice careers. The school also has campuses in Poughkeepsie and New London, CT.

Diploma programs in:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Cosmetology
  • Networking and Technical Support
  • Criminal Justice
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Information Processing
  • Legal office Assistance

More info on Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute Binghampton Campus

Schools in Clinton County

SUNY Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh. 5,000 undergraduates, 500 graduate students.

Located in a quiet town not far from Montreal, Canada, this New York State public university offers over 60 different degree majors though three schools: Arts and Science, Business and Economics and Education, Health, and Human Services. As with most SUNY schools, the students tend to come mainly from within New York. The school offers a good mix of liberal arts and more career-focused degree programs. The surrounding area is beautiful, though a bit chilly in the winter months.

Bachelor Degrees in over 40 majors and minors including:

  • Accounting
  • Fine Arts
  • Digital Media Production
  • Business, Finance, Supply Chain Management & Hotel Management
  • Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Childhood Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Journalism

Graduate degrees, mainly in education:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Literacy
  • Special Education

More info on SUNY Plattsburgh

Schools in Madison County

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia. 1,000 undergraduates

Began in 1824 as the Genesee Seminary, a non-sectarian institution sponsored by the Methodist Church. Today it is a private school independent of any church sponsorship.

Associates and bachelors degrees in:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Early Childhood Teacher Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • Fashion Design
  • Interior Design
  • Photography
  • Social Science

More info on Cazenovia College

Colgate University

Hamilton. 2,900 undergraduates

Colgate was founded in 1819 as a Baptist seminary, but has since become a non-denominational private college. A highly-regarded college where the vast majority of students continue on to graduate school in law, business or other specialties.

61 undergraduate programs, largely focused on:

  • Media
  • Business
  • Life Sciences
  • Earth sciences

More info on Colgate University

Schools in Oneida County

Hamilton College

Clinton. 1,800 undergraduates

Began in 1793 as a K-12 school, it was chartered as Hamilton College in 1812, which makes it the third oldest college in New York State (behind Columbia and Union). A high-end private school at was ranked as the 18th best national liberal arts college in the United States in 2011 by U.S. News & World Report.

Offers 50 undergraduate programs, largely in classic liberal arts specializations:

  • Art
  • History
  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Women’s Studies
  • Politics

More info on Hamilton College

Pratt Institute Utica Campus

Utica. 200 undergraduates

Pratt, an old and famous art school based in Brooklyn, operates a campus in Utica , which is the result of an alliance between Pratt and Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (Pratt also operates a school in Manhattan). The school, called “PrattMWP” is designed to give students a two-year foundation in their chosen art, before completing their degree at Pratt’s Brooklyn campus.

First two years of bachelor’s degree in:

  • Fine Arts
  • Communication Design
  • Photography
  • Art & Design Communication

More info on Pratt Institute Utica Campus

Utica College

Utica. 2,500 undergraduates, 600 postgraduates

Utica College’s history goes back to the 1930s, when Syracuse University operated extension courses in the area. UC was established by business and community leaders in the Mohawk Valley, and was launched in 1946 as a free-standing college. Originally, the school was located in downtown Utica, on Oneida Square. In 1961, it moved to its current location off of Burrstone Road.

Degree programs:

  • Business (MBA & Master of Science)
  • Computers & IT (bachelor’s & Master’s degrees in cyber security)
  • Health Sciences (bin Nursing or Physical Therapy, masters in health administration)
  • Criminal Justice (bachelor in economic crime investigation, masters in homeland security or economic crime management)

More info on Utica College

Schools in Ostego County

Hartwick College

Oneonta. 1,500 undergraduates

Hartwick College is a private, four-year liberal arts and sciences college established in 1797. Originally tied to the Lutheran church, Hartwick College dropped its affiliation in 1960.

Offers more than 30 courses of study leading to Bachelor of Arts or Science

  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Pre-Law
  • Sociology

More info on Hartwick College

Schools in Rensselaer County

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy. 5,394 undergraduates 2,127 postgraduates

Rensselaer is the nation’s oldest technical university, and one of it’s most famous. Founded with the goal of applying science to the common purposes of life, Rensselaer is a competitive university that strives to teach engineering solutions to national and international challenges. RPI has long been highly respected in engineering circles.

Offers over 145 bachelors, masters and doctorate programs from 5 schools:

  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Architecture
  • Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Lally School of Management & Technology

More info on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Schools in Saratoga County

Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs. 2,500 undergraduates, 50 postgraduates.

Founded in 1903 as the Young Women’s Industrial Club, Skidmore has risen to be one of the more competitive liberal arts colleges in the country. Skidmore College was ranked 41st in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report ranking of liberal arts colleges.

Offers 60 undergraduate programs, largely focused on liberal arts subjects:

  • American Studies
  • Anthropology Art
  • Biology
  • Business (Management and Business)
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • International Affairs
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies

More info on Skidmore College

Schools in Schenectady County

Union College

Schenectady. 2,100 undergraduates


Founded in the wake of the American Revolution, it was the first institution of higher learning chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The school has historically had a strong tilt towards engineering majors (including a good deal of research), but also offers a full range of liberal arts degrees. The campus, in Schenectady, is absolutely gorgeous. Shenectady itself is less than gorgeous.

Offers undergraduate programs through 21 different academic departments, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Economics
  • Law & Public Policy
  • Hebrew
  • Russian
  • Theater

More info on Union College

Schools in St. Lawrence County

Clarkson University

Potsdam. 2,700 undergraduates, 360 post graduates

The school was founded back in 1896 by the sisters of Thomas Clarkson, a local entrepreneur who died heroically trying to save one of his own workers in an industrial accident. (The family money came from sandstone quarries in the Potsdam area). The private school was originally called the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered by all three schools, and there is also an executive education program. Along with RPI, it’s long been famous for it’s hockey team. U.S. News and World Report ranked it as number 119 on the list of top universities in America for 2010.

Bachelor’s degrees offered in:

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business
  • Engineering

More info on Clarkson University

St. Lawrence University

Canton. 2,100 undergraduates, 130 post graduates

St. Lawrence is the most northerly of New York’s small, old private schools, sitting close by the Canadian border not too far from Ottawa, in the town of Canton. Founded in 1856 by member of the Universalist Church, it is actually the oldest coeducational university in New York State, and it’s student body of 2,400 is just about 50/50 male and female. It’s now a non-denominational school. The school has a whopping 1,000 acres of land, only about 20% of which it actually uses.

Bachelor’s degree programs offered in classic liberal arts specialties including:

  • International Studies
  • Pre-Law
  • Japanese Studies
  • Computer Science and Anthropology

More info on St. Lawrence University

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