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Admission Criteria & Expectations

Admission Criteria
  • A 3.5 GPA or better
  • 30 completed hours at SUNY Potsdam
  • At least four semesters remaining towards completion of an undergraduate degree (including the Fall semester in which you apply)
  • Application to the Program (accepted only in the Fall)
  • Interview by the Selection Committee
  • Selection by the Selection Committee
Expectations of Scholars
  • Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Attend all program events
  • Complete a yearly educational plan and budget
  • Register for and complete APLE 450 Advanced Honors Colloquium (1 cr.) to discuss and share your work. Multiple sections of APLE 450 will be offered every term. Class meets for one hour per week for fifteen weeks.
  • Comply with deadlines
  • Be involved in planned activities
  • Attend Senior Project Presentations
  • Complete a Presidential Scholars Project and present the Project during the senior year
  • All public presentations associated with the Presidential Scholars Program must include the following acknowledgement: “This project is supported by SUNY Potsdam’s Presidential Scholars Program. To learn more about the program, click the link in the description or search for SUNY Potsdam Presidential Scholars Program."
Benefits of the Program

Students admitted to the Presidential Scholar's Program will receive:

  • Priority course registration, in advance of other SUNY Potsdam students
  • Active support from Potsdam faculty and staff
  • An annual stipend of approximately $900 (up to $1800 all told) for project support
  • Full use of the Honor's Lounge, located in the Lougheed Learning Commons, Level B
  • Regular social events, including dinners and receptions with faculty and the President of SUNY Potsdam
  • Presidential Scholar designation on the diploma
Application Procedure

The Presidential Scholars application consists of the following:

  • An online application form to be completed by the student
    • Includes a requirement to upload a completed budget (pdf) and digital scans of any budgetary support documents
    • Includes a required essay, timeline, and budget
  • Two letters of Recommendations (one must be your Faculty Mentor)
    • available on the forms page

Application forms, and recommendations are due no later than 4 p.m. on the date indicated in each year’s official invitation to apply (sent to eligible students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher). Outdated PDFs or paper forms will not be accepted.

Applications will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. Selected applicants will be scheduled for interviews. Applications are only accepted in the Fall.


Note about Recommendations: Your application requires two confidential letters of recommendation from faculty members. One letter must be from your prospective Faculty Mentor (or Professional Mentor if you are working with an on-campus staff member or off-campus mentor). Choose recommenders wisely; the best recommendations are those that come from people who know your academic work and potential well, and who are familiar with your proposed project. Please direct your recommenders to use the Recommendation form by the due date listed above. Questions about the recommendation process may be directed to the team at