First Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Class Graduates From Hartwick College on May 26

May 21, 2012

A bachelor's degree in only three years? A top-quality liberal arts education infused with experiential learning at three quarters of the cost? It almost sounds too good to be true, but for the first dozen students to graduate from Hartwick College's Three-Year-Bachelor's Degree Program can attest, it's very much a reality.

"Hartwick's three-year degree program is a great solution for giving students a more financially manageable option," said Diana Acker, a cognitive science major from South Cairo, NY. "This was a great contributing factor to my decision in joining the program.

"Although the three years went by more quickly than I could have imagined, I don't feel as though my time here was shortened by any significant amount," Acker continued. "I've taken the same necessary classes to complete my education in my field that I would have in four years. I'm just as prepared to enter the work force as anyone else who is graduating this year."

Acker and the 11 other students who completed their Hartwick degrees in three years will join the Class of 2012 during the College's Commencement on May 26.

Hartwick began offering a three-year degree program for 24 of its majors in 2009. By the fall of 2011 a total of 87 students were enrolled. The most popular majors in the three-year program at Hartwick are biology, psychology, and nursing. Students enrolled in the program are required to complete 120 credits hours and participate in the College's acclaimed January Term, when students often study abroad for a month.

Hartwick's Three Year Bachelor's Degree Program is rigorous. Students must complete the program in six semesters, and participate in Hartwick's January Term. To be admitted, students must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or an average of 85 percent. Once admitted, students are supported by a network of dedicated advisors working to ensure their success. Only nursing students who choose the program are required to take summer courses.

These high-achieving students receive the best of a liberal arts education while their cost-in both dollars and time- is decreased by 25 percent. Each fall, the program has attracted larger groups of talented students.

"As a pioneer in the three-year degree model, Hartwick College recognizes that students should have the option to pursue cost- and time-saving options when earning a high quality bachelor's degree," said Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich. "The growth and success of Hartwick's Three-Year Degree program clearly illustrates the viability of, and demand for, this innovative educational approach.

"At Hartwick, we have seen no evidence that Three-Year Degree students have a less meaningful or substantial experience than our four year students," she continued. "They collaborate with professors on research, study abroad, participate in clubs and organizations, perform in college productions, and spend time with friends. They are having the complete college experience."

Having lived the program first-hand, students agree.

"My Hartwick experience was enriched by joining the three-year program," said Sydney Carncross, a biology major from Jamesville, NY. "It is something of which I'm very proud. While at Hartwick, I became an RA for two years, raised two Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppies, was the Executive Director of Up 'til Dawn, held the position of Student Senate Associate Treasurer, was a Peer Leader for Wick 101, and held a work study position for two years, all while in the Three-Year Program. Because I was able to do so much on campus, I don't think I missed out on a thing." 

Hartwick College has a long tradition of providing a top-quality liberal arts education with an emphasis on experiential learning. The College is now breaking new ground with its Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program, and, as the Class of 2012 can attest, the innovation is working.

"Though it's not the right choice for everyone, the three-year program allowed me to save a year's worth of tuition, attend the school I wanted to go to, and reach my career and life goals faster," said Ellyssa Tennant, a geology major from Ogdensburg, NY.

"Hartwick, the three-year program, and the leadership roles I have taken on have really prepared me for the next step in my life," Carncross said. "The program challenged me and helped shape me into the person I have become while here at Hartwick." 

To learn more about Hartwick's Three Year Degree Program, visit

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030