Sierra Nevada University

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Sierra Nevada University
MottoWisdom, Responsibility, Freedom
TypePrivate Non-Profit University
Established1969; 52 years ago (1969)
PresidentRob Valli[1]
Administrative staff
24 full time faculty,
50 part time faculty
Location, ,
United States

Coordinates: 39°14′40″N 119°56′20″W / 39.2444°N 119.9388°W / 39.2444; -119.9388
CampusMountain Community
ColorsRoyal Blue and White
Sporting affiliations
MascotEli (an American Eagle)
Prim Library, opened on September 9th, 2004

Sierra Nevada University (SNU) is a private university in Incline Village, Nevada in the Sierras. Founded in 1969, the college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Prior to 2020, the institution was known as Sierra Nevada College.[2] In the summer of 2019, Dr. Ed Zschau became the interim president of Sierra Nevada University and, among other initiatives, spearheaded the change in the institution's name.[3]


The Departments of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business, and Science and Technology offer traditional majors as well as Interdisciplinary Studies programs. The Business department at SNU also offers Ski Business and Resort Management as a four-year degree. The teacher education program leads to Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Administration and Masters in Education degrees as well as to teacher licensure in Nevada. The College also operates two low-residency, Masters of Fine Arts programs. Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Arts MFA's use a low-residency format and individual mentoring to prepare artists and writers for professional and artistic success.

The MFA-IA program focuses on site-specific and community practice, with a large part of each residency taking place off site at partner locations such as the Sagehen Creek Field Station.[4][5]

SNU, in collaboration with UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), houses the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, a facility conducting research on Lake Tahoe.

From 2016 to 2019, as part of an initiative to expand access to four-year degrees, SNU also operated extension centers on community college campuses. There are SNU Extension centers currently on the campus of Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe, Truckee Meadows Community College's Dandini Campus in Reno, Nevada. Each Extension Center offered degrees specific to demand on the campus where they are located, and included B.A. in Psychology, B.A. or B.S. in General Studies, a B.S. in Business Administration (B.S.B.A) in Entrepreneurship or Global Business Management.[6]

Summer visiting artist workshops[edit]

Sierra Nevada University hosts an extensive program of Summer Visiting Artist Workshops which feature well-known artists from multiple disciplines. Artists such as printmaker Sean Starwars, and visual artist and experimental filmmaker Tim Guthrie are regular workshop leaders.[7]


The college has varsity athletics programs in skiing and snowboarding, lacrosse, golf, and soccer in the Cal Pac Conference. The Eagles have won many United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships in both men's and women's events.[8]

Notable faculty, past and present[edit]

  • Laura McCullough – poet (Masters in Fine Arts Program)
  • Suzanne Roberts – American poet, travel writer, and photographer (Creative Writing Faculty – Distinguished Writer-in-Residence 2011–2012)
  • Carolee Schneeman – Experimental filmmaker (Visiting professor, 1994) [9]
  • Brian Turner – poet (Program Chair - Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program)
  • Patricia Smith – poet (Creative Writing Faculty)
  • Gayle Brandeis – author (Creative Writing Faculty - Distinguished Visiting Professor/Writer in Residence 2014-2015)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "A New President for Sierra Nevada University". Sierra Nevada University (Press release). 1 September 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Announcing Sierra Nevada University". Retrieved February 14, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Face the State - KTVN Reno". Retrieved February 14, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "MFA-IA Website". Retrieved August 19, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "MFA-IA Website". Retrieved August 19, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Extension Center Majors". Retrieved May 31, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Fine Arts Department at Sierra Nevada University. "Summer Workshop Schedule 2016". Sierra Nevada University. Retrieved August 19, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Eagles win 14th National title in a row". Tahoe Daily Tribune. March 11, 2004. Retrieved August 19, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "artist's website". Retrieved August 19, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Matea Ferk". Retrieved October 29, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Assemblyman Philip P.K. O'Neill". Nevada Legislature. Retrieved February 6, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Tea PALIC - Olympic Alpine Skiing | Croatia". International Olympic Committee. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "PALIC Tea - Biographie". Retrieved 2017-10-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]