The SUNY Cortland Name

The official, acceptable names for the College are SUNY Cortland and State University of New York College at Cortland.

Unacceptable names include:

Cortland College
Cortland State
Cortland State University
State University at Cortland
State College at Cortland
State University of New York at Cortland
SUNY College at Cortland
S.U.N.Y. Cortland


Our College has been known by various names since its founding in 1868. For the first 75 years of its existence, the institution was called the Cortland Normal School, a shortened version of its official title — The New York State Normal and Training School at Cortland.

In 1942, the New York Legislature officially changed the name to New York State Teachers College at Cortland, more popularly called Cortland State Teachers College. When the State University of New York (SUNY) was created six years later, the official name became the State University Teachers College, Cortland, New York, but Cortland State Teachers College (CSTC) and State University Teachers College (SUTC) remained the popular versions.

From 1959-61, the school briefly became the State University College of Education at Cortland (SUCE) before the SUNY Board of Trustees finally settled on State University College at Cortland (SUCC). Cortland State remained a widely used shortened version but was countered by the use of Cortland College in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Since 1996, the College has officially referred to itself as SUNY Cortland, a name that pays homage to the power of the State University of New York, the most comprehensive university system in the United States, as well as to the illustrious 140-year history of Cortland and its alumni, faculty, staff and students.

The College will continue to use SUNY Cortland exclusively as the shortened version of its full official name, State University of New York College at Cortland, to solidify the Cortland brand and to negate any public confusion that may arise from using multiple names to describe the same institution.