Frequently Asked Questions

Who is invited to participate in the Discovery Degree program?

Because the Discovery Degree program is an honors program with an accelerated and interdisciplinary format, students must meet certain academic requirements. Talk to an admission counselor for specifics.

What is the difference between a Discovery Degree and a traditional degree?

The Discovery Degrees accelerated format means that students graduate with a bachelors after the third year, so you can get started on graduate school a year early or enter the workforce.

The programs interdisciplinary format means that courses draw from across the disciplines, and participants take part in a summer sessions spent exploring the Hudson River Valley, testing a career firsthand, or travelling.

Coursework throughout the program is integrated among the disciplines, and students in the program live together for at least the first year and a half of their education.

When do students in the program find time to work a paying job in the summer?

The programs summer sessions only last seven weeks (and only the first summer is in residence), so students have most of July and August to work a paying job or pursue other interests before returning for the fall semester.

Where do students go during the Sage on the Hudson course?

In the summer after the first year, students take a 15-credit integrated course that uses the Hudson River as a means to study history, the arts, and social, political, economic and environmental issues. Students travel from Troy to New York City, test the water, learn about the rise and fall of cities, hear the songs, view the paintings, and read the stories that have made the Hudson famous. Students complete a project and share it with the community at River Fest.

Why is it called Discovery Degree?

Students in the program discover new ways of learning and of approaching traditional topics and interests from different angles, discover more about themselves in the process than they would in a rigid program, and discover firsthand the community and region in which they study and live.

How does the Discovery Degree format benefit the student?

Students graduate after the third year, having saved enough money to pay for the first year of graduate school, if they wish to get a head start on an advanced degree. Discovery Degree recipients can also link seamlessly with Sage graduate programs in education, health sciences or management.

Who do I contact to learn more about the program?

Contact the Admission Office at (518) 244-2217 or

What majors can I study in Discovery Degree format?

Nearly every major offered at Russell Sage - from Biology to Theatre - can be taken in the Discovery Degree format.

When do students in the program find the time for clubs, activities, or sports?

Like their traditional college student peers, Discovery Degree students can participate in campus clubs, activities and sports while balancing their course load.

Where do students in the program live?

Discovery Degree participants live together (on the same corridor) in Kellas Hall for the first year, and then have the option in their second and third years to live in beautiful Wool House which is the designated honors housing on campus.

Why is there spirited debate about three-year degrees?

The three-year model of undergraduate education is fairly new, so some skeptics are concerned that colleges using the format will rush students through and sacrifice quality of education in the interest of saving time and money. This is why Russell Sage has created a program that includes eight semesters, not six, utilizing a portion of two summers for experiential learning.

How much money does the program save me over a traditional four-year degree?

Tuition for students accepted to the program is set for three years and results in significant savings in tuition, room and board, books, and borrowing costs compared to a traditional four-year education.