First Year Programs

SUNY Potsdam is the first school in the SUNY system to merge academics, residential accommodations, and the faculty into one first year program!

  • Orientation

    Become familiar with your orientation and introduction process, our First Year Success Seminar, Welcome Convocation, and other programs sponsored by this office.

    For students/families who are starting to plan for our 2015 New Student Summer Orientation, please note that your "Welcome to SUNY Potsdam Orientation Packet" will be mailed out mid-February.

    Summer Orientation 2015 Dates:

      Session 1:  Tuesday, 6/30/15 – Wednesday, 7/1/15
      Session 2:  Tuesday, 7/7/15 – Wednesday, 7/8/15
      Session 3:  Tuesday, 7/14/15 – Wednesday, 7/15/15
      Session 4:  Thursday, 7/16/15 – Friday, 7/17/15
      Session 5:  Monday, 7/20/15 – Tuesday, 7/21/15
      Session 6:  Thursday, 7/23/15 – Friday, 7/24/15
  • First Year Experience Program

    Explore the residential component of the first year program available at SUNY Potsdam.
  • First Year Interest Groups

    Browse through the different academic cluster of classes offered to incoming students and see which one is right for you.
  • First Year Success Seminar (FYSS)

    A two-credit course designed to accelerate students' transition to SUNY Potsdam. FYSS provides students with the opportunity to become integrated into the life of the campus by exploring their academic and social development.  A strong emphasis is placed on critical inquiry – enhancing reading and writing, time management, and study skills.  In addition, the course provides an orientation to campus resources and services and encourages self-exploration and personal development.  Most courses have a SUNY Potsdam upper-division student who provides peer mentorship in a Teaching Assistant role.

Our first year programs are a unique way to become involved on the college campus and allow you to meet new people.

2014 Common Read - The Impossible Will Take Awhile, Paul Loeb

This year, students involved in First Year Programs have the opportunity to participate in various workshops and lectures that will feature guest speakers addressing the topic of Civic Engagement.  Find about how you can be part of the 2014 Civic Engagement Experience!

Past FYSS Common Read

If you would like to contribute to the Student & Family Transitions blog or if you have any questions, please contact Louise Tyo via e-mail at