Two nations, two colleges, two degrees: Turkish alumna Deniz Ahman ’21 shares her New Paltz Dual Diploma story


Turkish international alumna Deniz Ahman ’21 (right) created lasting memories in New Paltz’s Dual Diploma program with Istanbul Technical University

International students come to SUNY New Paltz each semester to pursue the academic and social benefits of the college experience in the United States. Thanks to our Dual Diploma programs, many are able to do so while remaining matriculated at institutions in their home nations.  

The longest-running of these programs at New Paltz is the SUNY-YÖK partnership, an agreement that brings dozens of students from Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey to our campus each year. 

Deniz Ahman ’21 (Business Administration; Business Analytics) is a recent graduate who took full advantage of the benefits this program offers. She chose to pursue a STEM education field by double majoring in business analytics which allows her to work for three years after graduation through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

Ahman made the most of her time in the Dual Diploma program, with a double business major, a minor in computer science, and development of excellent English language skills, to prepare her for a wide range of modern professional opportunities. To boot, she graduated summa cum laude in December 2021, even with the double major, minor and dual diploma program.

“Being a student here definitely exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I started right before the pandemic, but I was ready to make the sacrifice to move to the U.S. I learned a lot from my time here.” 

She also thrived with a web development internship she obtained through our Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program at banking and financial management platform Baselane. Today, Ahman works as a Growth Analytics Associate for the company. 

“New Paltz encouraged me to work hard as much as I did, which led to the internship and job that I have now,” she said. 

She also found good work on campus, chipping in at the Athletic & Wellness Center and leading dance courses for other New Paltz students.  

“Everyone at home is Turkish,” she said, “but in New Paltz, I met people from Australia, Brazil, Mexico and other countries. The social aspect of my time here was especially memorable.” 

About International Dual Diploma Programs at SUNY New Paltz 

The College partners with institutions based in Turkey, China and Brazil to offer Dual Diploma programs that present international students with a unique educational opportunity: full matriculation at two universities, and a chance to earn two diplomas after just four years of study.  Nearly 1000 graduates have emerged from these programs since 2006. 

Alumni of these programs are working at prestigious companies around the world including KPMG, Ernst and Young, and Turkish Airlines, attending well-known graduate programs in the United States and Europe (such as Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard and the London School of Economics) and earning fellowships and awards including Fulbright scholarships. 

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