photo of President Thomas J. Schwarz

A Message From
President Thomas J. Schwarz

I am pleased to present the Purchase College Catalog for 2016–18, which provides information on our academic programs, courses, faculty, facilities, and the academic policies that will govern the college during the next two years. I hope you will enjoy this opportunity to investigate fully the variety and vitality of opportunities at Purchase College: the distinctive combination of programs in the liberal arts and sciences and the performing and visual arts, complemented by our impressive campus facilities and resources.

Purchase College is built upon a three-school academic structure:

  • School of the Arts
    The School of the Arts administers the programs in arts management and entrepreneurship in the arts and includes the Conservatory of Dance, Conservatory of Music, Conservatory of Theatre Arts, and School of Art+Design. The degrees offered are the BA, BS (in visual arts), BFA, MusB, MA, MM, and MFA. Postbaccalaureate performers certificates and post-master’s artist diplomas in music are also offered, along with several minors and more than 100 courses in the arts for students in all disciplines.
  • School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences encompasses the School of Film and Media Studies, the School of Humanities, and the School of Natural and Social Sciences. The degrees offered are the BA, BS, BFA (in film), and MA (in art history). An extensive array of minors are available to students in all disciplines. A premedical studies program is also offered for students interested in applying to medical, dental, and veterinary schools.
  • School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education
    The School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education offers the liberal studies degree completion program for adults and transfer students and provides year-round educational opportunities for both matriculated and nonmatriculated students—during the academic year, the online winter session, and three summer sessions, which run from May to early August. These opportunities include credit-bearing and personal enrichment courses (both on campus and online), professional certificate programs, and youth and precollege programs in the arts.

Detailed information on these schools and the academic units and programs within them is available in the Academic Programs and Courses section of this catalog.

To complement and enrich the academic programs, Purchase College provides an equally distinctive living, cultural, and recreational environment:

  • The Performing Arts Center, a unique four-theatre complex, offers a full performance calendar and provides a professional venue for student work, along with a K-12 Arts-In-Education program and numerous community-based events. The Neuberger Museum of Art, the 10th largest university museum in the country, offers exhibitions, concerts and films, educational programs, and tours. Both contribute directly to the academic programs while providing members of the college and the wider community with a rich concentration of the arts.
  • The Center for Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics offers an array of credit courses and programs, as well as a gymnasium and outdoor facilities for sports and fitness activities.
  • Purchase College also offers seven programs—in Costa Rica, France, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, and Spain—for study abroad, along with an increasing focus on internationalization within the academic programs offered on campus.

Purchase College’s commitment to excellence in the liberal arts and sciences complements its distinction in the performing and visual arts. As noted in our 2010–2015 Strategic Plan:

  • We have strengthened our commitment to being a learning-centered institution through innovation, inclusion, and internationalization.
  • We are committed to providing an environment that encourages creativity, diversity, individuality, and collegiality.
  • We seek to nurture our students’ talents and their civic, ethical, personal, and physical well-being by providing opportunities for engagement inside and outside the classroom.
  • We strive to educate the whole student.
  • We recognize our shared responsibility for our students’ success.

Our goal is to provide access to the best public education in the arts and the liberal arts and sciences that this country can produce—and to be a true value in higher education.

I hope that you will come to share these riches with us at Purchase College as a visitor, spectator, parent, family member, and especially as a student.

Thomas J. Schwarz, President
Purchase College, State University of New York

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