University at Albany SUNY

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Updated August 6, 2020

University at Albany SUNY appears in our ranking of 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Educational Psychology Online.

Founded as a two-year college for teachers in 1844, the University at Albany has evolved in its 170-year history to span three campuses in the Empire State. The school became part of the State University of New York, or SUNY, system in 1962, serving as one of four University Centers. Since then, the university has been offering a broader range of courses and degree programs to undergraduates and graduate students. Forbes ranks the school on its list of the top public colleges in America. It's located in New York's capital city of Albany.

Students at the University at Albany enjoy easy access to a host of on-campus entertainment and educational opportunities. The Uptown Campus, which has been expanded over the last decade, features the school's Performing Arts Center, the University Art Museum and the New York State Writers Institute, among other theatres, rehearsal halls and instructional spaces. The University Art Museum is considered among the best regional museums in the Northeast. Technology and science enthusiasts will also appreciate the school's state-of-the-art data center and the National Weather Service meteorological laboratory, both located at the Uptown Campus.

Despite enrollment topping 17,600 students, the University at Albany boasts a good student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, meaning that students here gain more personalized instruction amid a large metropolitan campus. Comprising nine colleges and schools, the university offers more than 150 undergraduate programs and over 125 graduate programs. Students can also choose from over 1,000 study abroad programs and more than 250 campus clubs and organizations. For sports fans, the university boasts Division I status and 18 NCAA athletic teams. ranked the University at Albany among the top 10 most beautiful public colleges in the country.

University at Albany (SUNY) Accreditation Details

The University at Albany holds institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Individual programs also maintain accreditation from various accrediting agencies. Several of the school's teacher education programs, for instance, have been accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Other education programs hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

University at Albany (SUNY) Application Requirements

Application requirements depend on enrollment status. First-time freshman will apply online through the school or via the Common Application. Required documents include official high school transcripts, standardized test scores from the ACT or SAT, a personal essay and one letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor. There's a nonrefundable application fee of $50.

The school accepts graduate applications online only. Paper applications are no longer accepted. For graduate programs, students should check individual requirements since they vary widely. The online PhD in Literacy, for instance, requires official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample and completion of the GRE. Graduate applicants pay a $75 nonrefundable application fee for degree programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition varies by enrollment and residency status at the University at Albany. Resident undergraduates will pay $4,775 per semester for tuition and fees. Nonresident undergraduate tuition and fees add up to $12,215 per semester. Graduate students pay higher rates, and some programs charge additional or separate fees.

For students who enroll in fully online degree programs, costs also will vary. Online programs cost much less, especially for out-of-state students. Resident undergraduate online students pay $278 per credit hour; out-of-state students pay $333 per credit hour. In-state graduate students pay $453 per credit hour while nonresident graduates pay $543 per credit hour for online programs. The university also charges lower student fees to students enrolled in fully online programs.

The university offers several options for offsetting the cost of education, including grants and scholarships, work-study opportunities and loans. Examples include the UAlbany Foundation Scholarship and the Educational Opportunity Program, or EOP. This program is available to New York residents who meet academic and financial need requirements. The University at Albany also honors military programs like the Montgomery GI Bill. Students who need assistance paying for college should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and submit it by the appropriate deadline based on enrollment period.

Online Degree(s) Available

Students at the University at Albany can choose from a host of on-campus degrees, but the school also offers a wide range of fully online options, including 17 programs at the graduate level. This includes 10 certificates, six master's degree programs and one doctoral program. The doctoral degree is a PhD in Literacy, offered through the School of Education. Per the school's own description, this program is built on three foundations of academic study: literacy and schooling, literacy and society, and the "nature and acquisition of literacy across the lifespan." Course requirements include:

  • At least 24 credit hours of core literacy content
  • At least 12 credit hours of research methods
  • 27 credit hours of electives, which can include master's-level transfer courses

Core courses include classes such as Psycholinguistics and the Reading Process, Texts and Teaching in Literacy Learning, and Literacy as Social Reproduction and Transformation. Research courses might include Quantitative Methods in Literacy Research, and Analysis of Written Discourse. The university expects doctoral candidates to have a strong understanding of research methodology. Students will also take 27 credits of approved and relevant electives, which can be drawn from previous study or classes from other institutions. Candidates will work with their advisers to create an applicable program based on focus area.

Applicants should note that the school requires PhD students to maintain continuous enrollment, excluding summer breaks. Students should enroll in at least three credit hours in the fall and spring semesters. There's also a statute of limitations on the program, meaning that it needs to be completed in a certain timeframe. Students have eight calendar years from the date when they initially enroll to complete the PhD program. While it's recommended to complete a full-time semester or year, PhD candidates are not required to maintain full-time status or residency at the school.

Upon completion of the online PhD in Literacy, students should be able to understand literacy theory, research, policy and practice; analyze and interpret research, and apply it to their fields of study; produce high-quality literacy research; work collaboratively to promote literacy; and find engaging careers based on their qualifications. The University at Albany offers a host of opportunities to students who want to broaden their career prospects in an academically rigorous environment.

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