History at a glance

The history of SUNY Poly dates back to 1966, when Upper Division College at Herkimer/Rome/Utica was founded and began offering graduate programs to students using classrooms at a local elementary school. In 1971, the college began operating in a former mill building in West Utica, which was gradually remodeled into classrooms, offices, and a library.

With growing enrollment, the institution leased three additional buildings in West Utica and one in Rome, and adopted a new name in 1977: the State University of New York College of Technology at Utica-Rome.

In 1981, construction began on a new campus in Marcy. The first building, Kunsela Hall, was completed in 1984, and the college operated two campuses during a transitional period. In the 1987 fall semester, entering students attended all classes at the new campus. In 1989, the college name was changed again to the “State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome.” Steady growth and construction has continued over the years, including a $13 million student center, a $20 million fieldhouse and athletic fields, and a $23.5 million residence hall all completed in 2011.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) was officially formed on March 19, 2014, when the State University of New York Board of Trustees unanimously approved SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s recommendation to merge the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) in Utica. The transformative merger was the product of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s pioneering vision and leadership to create an entity rooted in academia and capable of supporting New York State’s well qualified workforce to facilitate significant and sustained industrial and economic growth. 

On December 13, 2022, the SUNY Board of Trustees voted to formally begin the process of transferring the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) to the University at Albany. In August 2023, the completed transition was formally announced. SUNY Poly now operates one campus, located in Utica, and is comprised of four colleges — Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering and Health Sciences. The institution remains an innovative academic leader and economic driver in the Mohawk Valley region and beyond.

Furthermore, as a polytechnic institution, SUNY Poly offers a robust and diverse range of professional, technical, and liberal arts programs, combining theory and practice to prepare graduates for rewarding careers that will enable them to be contributing members of society. With approximately 3,000 students currently enrolled, SUNY Poly recognizes that a strong, student-centered educational program is the foundation for baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral education.


SUNY Poly is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and the Empire 8 Athletic Conference. The current roster of SUNY Poly varsity sports includes baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s teams competing in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. SUNY Poly's athletic nickname is the Wildcats.




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