Guide to finding the best study spots in Syracuse

Guide to study spots in Syracuse

With online classes underway and midterms coming up, here's a list of study spots to get you (safely) out of your dorm or apartment.
Published: September 30, 2020

Let’s face it, studying in your dorm or apartment is nearly impossible—your roommates are trying to talk to you, your phone keeps buzzing, along with a handful of other distractions. Study spots can help you get out and go somewhere to tackle your assignments.

Because things are a bit different and complicated this semester, it’s especially important to be able to leave your desk and switch things up. Desired study spots can vary depending on how much focus is required for a given assignment. If a deadline is quickly approaching, it may make more sense to go to a quiet academic building. Otherwise, casual coffee shop environments can be a relaxing change of pace. Both on-campus and off, here is a list of some of the best study spots in Syracuse.

Mower Passage: Newhouse

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Although the winding hallways and study nooks throughout Newhouse can be confusing, there are so many great places to do work throughout the building. If you are looking for somewhere to spend a gap in your schedule, Mower Passage is perfect— it’s a central location so you’re never too far away from your next class, the chairs are comfy, and each workstation has its own power outlet. It’s not necessarily well-suited for being overly productive but it is good for doing some casual computer work or meeting up with a classmate. You can also get a nice view of campus, as the windows allow you to see students walking into the building below.

Carnegie Library

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Carnegie Library is a prominent building on campus. The inside has been recently renovated and feels like the setting for some old-school college movie with dark wood panels and long rows of desks with individual lighting. Carnegie is an awesome option when you need to seriously concentrate. Bird library can get busy, so Carnegie is a nice alternative when you want a quiet change of scenery.

People’s Place Cafe

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The cafe in the basement of Hendricks Chapel should definitely be added to your list. The secluded location makes it an ideal place for homework. You can grab a coffee or snack and find a seat in one of the rooms off the main hallway. The large, round tables are nice for group work and students do not seem to mind others quietly talking amongst each other.  This is a cozy spot to frequent during the winter.

Outdoor tables near entrance

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Before the Syracuse winter makes everyone dread going outside, sitting at the tables outside Newhouse beats sitting in a random conference room any day. Being on your computer in the sun can make it hard to see, this little nook is shaded and cool. Although you may think that sitting outside a popular campus building would be distracting, this entrance is relatively quiet so you can definitely finish up some reading or quickly submit an assignment before heading to class. The Newhouse building isn’t open on weekends this semester but you can still sit in this outdoor spot and use SU’s Wi-Fi as long as the beautiful weather lasts. 

Institute for Veterans and Military Families

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Directly across from Newhouse on Waverly Ave., IVMF is a beautiful and spacious spot. The space is new and, if you walk down the main hallway towards the many conference rooms, you will find this ‘grand hall.’ There are hardly any meetings held here this semester so it is usually open to students. It is a relaxing space with floor to ceiling windows that look out onto Marshall Street.

If you want an excuse to get off-campus…

Recess Coffee

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Sometimes, silence can be more distracting than noise. When that is the case, Recess Coffee is a great off-campus study option. Like many other cozy coffee shops, Recess has a relaxing atmosphere in addition to delicious coffee and reliable Wi-Fi. The Harvard Place location right off of Westcott is walkable from most parts of campus. They also just recently reopened their back room to allow more people to stay and hang out as COVID-19 restrictions ease a bit. They can get pretty busy so you’ll have the best luck finding an empty table during the week. Still, you probably won’t have to wait too long for a spot to open up as most orders are takeaway. Check out their downtown location as well. It’s likely to be quieter as long as you don’t mind making the trip.