Originally part of Syracuse University, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry was first chartered in 1911 by Governor John Alden Dix. When the State University of New York (SUNY) system formed in 1948, ESF became an independent public doctoral-granting research institution specializing in the natural sciences. SUNY-ESF enrolls around 2,200 undergraduate and 570 post-graduate students annually into its sustainability-focused curriculum. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is headquartered on a main 12-acre urban campus in Syracuse with a satellite Ranger School in Wanakena. ESF also operates field stations in Tully, Newcomb, Cranberry Lake, Warrensburg, and the Thousand Islands.
According to the U.S. News, SUNY-ESF is the 89th best national university, 37th top public school, 41st best value college, and 72nd top college for veterans. Forbes recognized ESF as America’s 122nd best research university and 290th top overall college. SUNY-ESF also ranked third nationally for women in STEM fields. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is consistently included in the Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back” and “Top 50 Green Colleges.” Washington Monthly honored ESF as the 87th best bang for the buck in the Northeast. SUNY-ESF also ranked second among small schools in the United States for producing Peace Corps volunteers.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Accreditation Details
Last reaffirmed in 2012, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is regionally accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). SUNY-ESF is approved by the U.S. Department of Education and New York State Education Department (NYSED). Forestry programs meet the standards of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Engineering degrees align with the guidelines of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The college’s landscape architecture program also have approval from the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Application Requirements
Getting into the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry isn’t simple with the more selective acceptance rate of 51 percent. First-year freshmen must present strong high school academic credentials with a state-approved diploma. Taking at least three units of college prep mathematics and science is required, though four units are recommended. Prerequisites in art and technical drawing are mandatory for landscape architecture majors. On average, admitted students have a high school GPA of 3.87. ESF freshmen achieve an average score of 27 on the ACT and 1190 on the SAT, excluding writing.
Approximately 40 percent of SUNY-ESF students are transfers. Those taking this route should hold at least 30 credits from another regionally accredited institution. Incoming transfers who’ve earned an associate’s degree from a SUNY or CUNY community college are given priority. Transfer students must carry a minimum GPA of 2.0. International applicants must score at least 213 on the computer-based TOEFL or successfully complete ELS Level 112. Graduate applicants should already hold a bachelor’s degree from a four-year, accredited university. Maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 undergraduate hours is preferred. GRE subject tests in chemistry or biology are recommended.
Before the January 15th and November 1st deadlines, interested students applying to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry must submit:
• Completed online admissions form
• Official, sealed academic record
• Non-refundable $60 application fee
• Standardized testing scores (SAT, ACT, or GRE)
• Two to three letters of recommendation
• Current resume or curriculum vitae
• Proof of English proficiency (if non-U.S. citizen)
• Statement of professional goals
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time New York residents will pay $3,235 per undergraduate semester. Out-of-state undergraduates enrolling full-time at ESF must afford $8,160 each semester. Part-time learners are billed $270 (in-state) or $680 (out-of-state) per undergraduate hour. At the graduate level, SUNY-ESF charges full-time students $5,435 per semester. Non-resident graduates are billed $11,105 each full-time semester. Part-time graduates can pay $453 (in-state) or $925 (out-of-state) per credit hour. Room and board is estimated to cost $7,900 and $6,590 respectively every year. Textbooks and supplies usually cost around $1,200 extra.
91 percent of beginning full-time students at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry earn financial aid. Using school code 002851, students can apply for federal aid through the Perkins, Stafford, or PLUS loans. Some undergraduates qualify for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents can utilize the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Federal Work-Study (FWS) and graduate assistantships are available. Veterans benefits are offered through the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program. Scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship, Legacy Scholarship, Haudenosaunee Scholar Award, and Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, are also awarded.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is a specialized school focused on promoting effective management of natural resources for sustainability. Currently, students can select from 24 undergraduate and 30 graduate degrees. The Ranger School in the Adirondacks offers three A.A.S. degree options. There’s Pre-Health, Pre-Law, and Pre-Public Administration tracks as well as a Joint 3+3 program in physical therapy with SUNY Upstate Medical. SUNY-ESF has a low student-faculty ratio of 13:1 for small class sizes. Available degrees include:
B.S. in Wildlife Science
Founded in 1919 at the Roosevelt Wild Life Station, the B.S. in Wildlife Science program at ESF is lauded for preparing scientists with the ecological knowledge to solve environmental challenges associated with wildlife, including plants. The 126-credit curriculum features courses on organic chemistry, genetics, ecology, statistics, evolution, cell biology, calculus, biological assessment, and wildlife diversity. Students benefit from hands-on learning in the 15,000-acre Adirondack Ecological Center.
B.S. in Forest Health
Fully accredited by the SAF, the B.S. in Forest Health program allows biology-oriented SUNY-ESF students to broaden their understanding on the ecological principles that shape forest ecosystems. Students are required to complete two field courses at the Cranberry Lake Biological Station for applied learning. Coursework in the 126-credit program will delve into physics, ecological monitoring, forestry, genetics, chemistry, tree pathology, evolution, soil science, silviculture, dendrology, and entomology.
M.S. in Ecological Engineering
Requiring 30 credits, the M.S. in Ecological Engineering program is focused on studying the effective design of ecosystems for the mutual benefit of humans and the global environment. Students can tailor their studies with tracks in Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Systems, Stream Restoration, or Phytoremediation and Bioremediation. Graduate students conduct their own master’s thesis projects abroad in Mexico, Honduras, and Belize.
Other unique degrees at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry are the B.S. in Bioprocess Engineering, B.S. in Paper Science, M.S. in Polymer Chemistry, M.S. in Ecosystem Restoration, and Ph.D. in Sustainable Energy.