I recently visited SUNY’s Purchase College in Purchase, New York, where I toured the campus and spoke with the admissions office about the latest trends in admissions. Here are some takeaways from my visit:

· With 3,226 undergraduates and only 77 grad students, Purchase is relatively unique in that it is both a public university and effectively a small liberal arts college. That means that students will find smaller classes (the average class size is 14 students) at public tuition prices.

· The vibe at Purchase is artsy and bohemian, and the campus has a sleek, modernist feel. Many students major in the arts or humanities. Premed applicants have the option of applying to the combined undergrad/MD program offered in conjunction with SUNY Upstate Medical University.

· Like at many liberal arts colleges, all students complete a senior project, be that original research or a creative work.

· Purchase offers programs in the traditional arts and sciences and the visual and performing arts. Roughly half of students will be enrolled in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and half in the School of the Arts. While doubling majoring in both schools is difficult, LAS students will often double major within LAS or add a minor in a visual or performing art field. The degree of access to arts coursework, theatrical productions, musical ensembles and the like for LAS students, however, can vary.

· Some distinctive majors include Legal Studies, Arts Management, and Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx studies. With 47 majors and 32 minors across both LAS and arts programs, however, the overall selection of majors is somewhat more limited than at many other colleges.

· Due to its proximity to NYC, Purchase attracts a number of arts faculty active in their fields and with industry connections that can benefit students.

· Purchase College is located in an upscale, suburban area of Westchester. Major corporations (PepsiCo, Mastercard) and large, wealthy estates dot the surrounding terrain. As a result, two-thirds of students live on campus all four years (with the remaining third largely commuting from home). For entertainment, the campus is abuzz with activity, including over 50 shows offered each semester at the campus performing arts center. When they head off campus, students often take the free university shuttle to neighboring White Plains, Port Chester or Mamaroneck. There is no town center within walkable distance of campus, which does make the campus feel somewhat isolated.