The State University of New York College at Cortland was founded in 1868, as the Cortland Normal School, which included among its earliest students, inventor and industrialist, Elmer A. Sperry of Sperry-Rand Corporation fame. Over the decades, the Campus expanded, and in 1941, by an act of the Legislature and Board of Regents, the Institution officially became a four-year college providing courses leading to a baccalaureate degree. In 1948, Cortland was a founding member of the State University of New York.
During the fall of 2017, approximately 7,000 students were pursuing degrees within the College’s three academic divisions – Arts and Sciences, Education, and Professional Studies. Twenty-eight departments, with nearly 600 faculty, offer the SUNY Cortland student body 64 majors and 38 minors from which to choose.
The College’s main campus covers 191 acres and includes 40 major traditional and modern buildings. Fifteen of these structures are residence halls on the main campus and fifteen are apartments located at West Campus. All 30 residence halls provide on-campus housing for approximately 3,200 students. SUNY Cortland also operates the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education facilities located at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, the Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve outside of Cortland, and the Robert C. Brauer Memorial Education Center on the Helderberg Escarpment near Albany.