From the School

Founded in 1911, the College of Environmental Science and Forestry is a premier environmental college focused on building a sustainable future through research and degree programs in the environmental sciences, engineering, design and management.

ESF was listed among the nation?s top ?Cool Schools? by Sierra magazine and ranked No. 2 among the nation?s ?green colleges? by the Princeton Review. It is the oldest and largest college in the United States focused solely on the environment. ESF inspires tomorrow?s environmental leaders, creates knowledge and options for innovative solutions, and seeks societal consensus on the great environmental challenges of our time.

ESF is a doctoral degree (Ph.D.)-granting institution in Syracuse, New York. In addition to the College?s main campus in Syracuse, New York, ESF operates 25,000 acres of field stations, experimental forests and study sites across New York state. These natural environments include stunningly beautiful and ecologically rich locations in the Thousand Islands and the Adirondacks.

ESF?s status as a doctoral degree-granting institution tells you a lot about the academic quality you?ll find here. Colleges with doctoral programs typically attract top-notch faculty who want to push the boundaries of knowledge in their academic specialties, and they accomplish that by working with outstanding students on cutting-edge research and real-world problems.

At some colleges (most often the bigger ones), the best faculty members work primarily with graduate students, but at ESF our small-college environment ensures undergraduates also get the personal attention they deserve. You?ll find ESF faculty members want to help you succeed in your academic program and prepare for a rewarding career, and that process begins in the smaller classes ESF often provides. The outstanding students who choose ESF also make a difference in the learning environment. They are well prepared for the focused and challenging academic programs offered at the College, and they come to ESF with a strong commitment to solving environmental problems. This results in a close-knit community of faculty and students who share many interests and work together to improve the world around them.

The faculty at ESF come from impressive backgrounds and work on research aimed at solving many of the world?s environmental problems. Students work side by side with faculty members on current research ranging from restoring polluted lakes to developing new sources of biofuels. ESF has more faculty and students in academic programs focused on the environment than any other college in the United States, but our faculty get to know students on a first-name basis. Outstanding teaching is the top priority of our faculty.

Students participate in classroom, laboratory, and field work at our main campus in Syracuse and in the forest and wetlands at ESF?s regional campuses and field stations. ESF faculty and students are also conducting environmental research all around the globe, and our study-abroad programs can take you to exotic locations.

Career-related internships provide invaluable work experience and often pave the way to a permanent position after graduation. The College has an extensive internship program to help students with the internship process. Every ESF major requires some type of experiential learning to enhance your education.

Next door to ESF?s Syracuse campus is Syracuse University, and ESF students can take advantage of a wide variety of programs and services at both institutions. ESF students are able to take selected courses at SU and participate in academic and cultural events.

SU also provides ESF students with a greater choice of options for on-campus recreation, activities, clubs, dining and religious services. You can attend exciting Division I sports events in the Carrier Dome and join more than 350 student organizations and clubs on both campuses.


From The School

Admission is selective and the College attracts a diverse and academically strong entering class. An Early Decision (first choice) application plan is offered. See for more details on the application process. Students apply to the specific major that interests them and most programs require strong grades in high school mathematics and science. SAT/ACT scores are also important, along with a demonstrated interest in sustainability and the environment.

ESF attracts a large number of transfer students (more than 250 per year) in addition to the entering first-year class, and a minimum college GPA of 2.80 or higher is generally required for transfer admission.

Students use The Common Application and the State University of New York application, ApplySUNY. A campus visit is strongly encouraged.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99

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SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
520 - 630
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
550 - 630

Concordant SAT Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
570 - 650

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
23 - 27

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted


Early Decision — December 1

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay

Level of applicant's interest

Selectivity Rating

Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

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From The School

Academic Programs

ESF?s long-standing partnership with Syracuse University (SU) provides students with the opportunity to take classes at SU as part of their ESF degree program. ESF offers a highly selective Honors Program focused on undergraduate research opportunities. Study-abroad opportunities take students to many countries and provide options to conduct research in a range of ecosystems. Focused on STEM areas of study, academic life is rigorous. The college is committed to each student?s success and provides support through the Academic Success Center (

Majors and Degrees Offered

ESF offers more than 50 associate?s, bachelor?s, master?s and doctoral degree programs focused on sustainability and the science, design, engineering and management of our environment and natural resources. All degree programs offer research and experiential learning opportunities. Popular programs include wildlife science, environmental engineering, landscape architecture, forestry and natural resources management, biochemistry, environmental studies, bioprocess engineering, environmental science, biotechnology, environmental health, conservation biology and several others.

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years



  • Plant Sciences, General.


  • Environmental Design/Architecture.
  • Landscape Architecture.


  • Animal Genetics.
  • Aquatic Biology/Limnology.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
  • Biotechnology.
  • Botany/Plant Biology, Other.
  • Botany/Plant Biology.
  • Conservation Biology.
  • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology, Other.
  • Ecology.
  • Entomology.
  • Environmental Biology.
  • Plant Genetics.
  • Plant Molecular Biology.
  • Plant Pathology/Phytopathology.
  • Plant Physiology.
  • Wildlife Biology.
  • Zoology/Animal Biology, Other.
  • Zoology/Animal Biology.


  • Construction Management.


  • Biology Teacher Education.
  • Chemistry Teacher Education.
  • Environmental Education.


  • Engineering-Related Technologies.
  • Surveying Technology/Surveying.


  • Biological/Biosystems Engineering.
  • Chemical Engineering.
  • Civil Engineering, Other.
  • Construction Engineering.
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering.
  • Forest Engineering.
  • Paper Science and Engineering.
  • Water Resources Engineering.


  • Environmental Health.
  • Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Other.
  • Pre-Dentistry Studies.
  • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies.
  • Pre-Pharmacy Studies.
  • Pre-Veterinary Studies.


  • Pre-Law Studies.


  • Nature Appreciation.


  • Air Force JROTC/ROTC.
  • Army JROTC/ROTC.


  • Historic Preservation and Conservation.
  • Sustainability Studies.


  • Environmental Science.
  • Environmental Studies.
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management.
  • Forest Management/Forest Resources Management.
  • Forest Resources Production and Management.
  • Forest Sciences and Biology.
  • Forest Technology/Technician.
  • Forestry, General.
  • Forestry, Other.
  • Forestry.
  • Land Use Planning and Management/Development.
  • Natural Resource Economics.
  • Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other.
  • Natural Resources Conservation and Research.
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy.
  • Natural Resources/Conservation, General.
  • Urban Forestry.
  • Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management.
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management.
  • Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management.
  • Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology.


  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies.


  • Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, General.
  • Chemistry, General.
  • Chemistry.
  • Environmental Chemistry.
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Science.
  • Polymer Chemistry.

Students Say

The State University of New York—College of Environmental Science and Forestry is the country's oldest college dedicated entirely to environmental discovery, learning, and sustainability. Campus occupies 12 acres in Syracuse and the institution uses 25,000 acres scattered throughout the Adirondacks as a "living laboratory" for hands-on projects and research. ESF's 1,600 undergrads choose from 24 majors (as well as plenty of specialized courses) and are able to take classes and use facilities and resources at nearby Syracuse University. The school reports an excellent job placement rate, and students tell us "the student body and faculty care about each other and help everyone get the most out of the experience."

The professors here are "so down to earth and passionate." They "seem to love what they do, and they are all conducting their own research," and this research "is sprinkled into the undergraduate experience." Every class "is applied directly to your major and field of interest." Be it paper science, forest resources, or environmental interpretation, "ESF will cater to your specific needs." The small campus size allows plentiful opportunities for students to gain close relationships with professors, often eventually leading to projects or teaching assistant positions." When it comes to jobs in the environmental field, ESF is well recognized and "the name alone will likely set you ahead in your career." The school "truly does provide you with the necessary experience for your field with challenging courses and endless volunteer, research, and internship opportunities throughout your time at ESF."


Post-Bachelor's certificate
Terminal Associate
Transfer Associate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Joseph Martens
Commissioner, NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Ronald J. Eby
National Medal of Technology winner 2007

Scott Kasprowicz
World record holder for helicopter flight

Jean Frechet
Won 2013 Japan Prize for polymer research

Anne Papageorge
Led planning and design of World Trade Center memorial

Howard Ris
President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Col. Richard P. Wagenaar
Led Army restoration of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

SUNY-ESF students take “specific courses with specialized programs that allow for very high job placement after graduation.” Many believe they are also getting a career boost in terms of the “opportunities for interaction with professors and administrators. First year students are doing research and we have the ability to become close to high level administrators including the president.” One unique offering, the Job Location and Development Program, matches students with careers right after school, and has made connections in the paper industry, conservation, wildlife management, and environmental research. SUNY-ESF alumni who visited reported an average starting salary of $49,700 with an average mid-career salary of $87,500.


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

Tuition, room, board and fees for the 2017-18 academic year total $26,193 for New York state residents and $36,043 for out-of-state residents.

Financial Aid

ESF has been ranked among the top 50 ?Best Buy? colleges in the nation. Special scholarships offset out-of-state costs. The College awards approximately half of its scholarships based on academic potential and half based on financial need. Students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for financial aid consideration, with a priority deadline of Feb. 1. Admissions applications must be submitted by Feb. 1 for academic (merit) scholarship consideration.


Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Mar 15

Required Forms

State Aid

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition (In-State)
Tuition (Out-of-State)
Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


From The School

ESF attracts student interested in making a difference through the pursuit of careers in environmental sustainability. Their passion for the environment and common goals create a caring and supportive relationship between all members of the student body. ESF students are committed to giving back through service projects that stretch from the campus to around the globe ( Building a diverse and inclusive community is very important to the entire student body ( They are serious about exploring their career options and take full advantage of the career services offered (

Students participate in approximately 30 clubs and organizations sponsored by ESF?s student government and may join more than 300 student organizations at Syracuse University. ESF offers intercollegiate athletics teams in basketball, soccer, golf, cross country, track and timber sports. Community service is an important part of the student culture at ESF, and many student activities focus on outdoor recreation and travel. Go to to learn more about ESF?s student organizations and activities.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented


47% female
53% male
18% are out of state
98% are full time
2% are part time

Students Say

Students describe ESF as "fostering a community that uses the knowledge it gains through schooling to make real changes to our world." Though "everyone takes a different path towards the end goal of helping our planet prosper, it's a main concern for all of us," according to one student. With this common goal, students feel "an almost instantaneous camaraderie." This is "one of the most accepting groups of students" out there, and students here "are free to rock their own styles." "Of course we have hippies and rednecks and everyone in between, but no one is afraid to be themselves and it is a very open…environment," says a student. While some are more focused on wildlife and others on timber resources, "everyone enjoys being outdoors," and students are "often caught discussing class or lab topics in their free time."


From The School


ESF?s main campus is in Syracuse, New York, immediately adjacent to the Syracuse University campus. This offers students a unique ?small and large school? environment, where students benefit from small classes and personal attention from faculty on the ESF campus while also having access to the academic facilities, diverse student population, and active social life offered by Syracuse University, truly the ?best of both worlds?.

Campus Facilities & Equipment

Students participate in classroom, laboratory and fieldwork at ESF?s Syracuse campus and in more than 25,000 acres of forest and wetlands at seven regional campus and field stations throughout the state. The College features a number of sustainability demonstration projects and a LEED platinum-rated student center. Computing, library, dining and sports facilities are available at ESF and at neighboring Syracuse University.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Syracuse is a medium-size city and a ?college town? featuring many cultural and entertainment options. Students often attend Division I sports events at the Syracuse University Carrier Dome. The downtown area is a five-minute shuttle bus ride from campus, and the city culture is student-friendly. The largest shopping mall in the northeast (Destiny USA) is in Syracuse.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Small Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
Wellness Housing

Students Say

ESF is home to is an extremely active student body, with "students participating in several clubs at a time and holding several leadership positions at a time." There are a lot of wonderful organizations on campus to get involved in, but when students are tired of those things, "the school shares a border with a 160 acre forested cemetery and it is a very popular place for students to explore and hang out." Central New York is also filled with things to do for students with cars, mostly parks and waterfalls. "Here at 'tree school' we spend most of our time studying, chilling with pals, or appreciating nature," says one student, adding that students looking for a more active social life enjoy "using Syracuse University facilities and attending their parties." ESF students have the option of pledging Greek organizations at Syracuse, as well. ESF is a smaller school so "everyone really does know everyone." The off-campus housing situation illustrates this pretty well; "most of the students from our school live along this one street."

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

2% join a fraternity
2% join a sorority


Athletic Division

11% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Mighty Oaks)
6 Sports

Cross Country
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Mighty Oaks)
5 Sports

Cross Country
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor

Student Services

LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups:

Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus


SUNY ESF is the only school in the nation where all of its academic programs are oriented toward natural resources and the natural and designed environments. With sustainability at the core of the university’s mission, SUNY ESF has been at the forefront of nationally-recognized, government-supported research in green issues. In one such instance they have partnered with the New York State government and private industry to develop the state’s first bio-refinery aimed at producing ethanol and other chemical products from wood sugars. SUNY ESF is committed to becoming carbon neutral in the next three years. Almost half of all the university’s vehicles are powered with renewable fuels, electric, or hybrid technologies. The college's new Gateway Building, designed to achieve LEED Platinum, will feature a biomass fueled power plant which will generate 65 percent of the heat and 20 percent of the electrical power for the entire campus. SUNY ESF’s career center is dedicated to placing students in internships and careers in the science, design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. The university conducts more than $15 million of sponsored research each year aimed at solving environmental and natural resource challenges.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Developed Bicycle Plan

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Fee for Network Use

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

A variety of vendors offered through the Syracuse University Bookstore.

Campus Visits Contact

Undergraduate Admissions Office

1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Centennial Residence Hall
Gateway Center (Student Union)
Green Houses and Wildlife Collection
College Quadrangle
SUNY-ESF is located on the same campus as Syracuse University. The most popular sites on that campus are the Carrier Dome, Crouse College (a historic building), Schine Student Center, and Hendricks Chapel

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Marshall Street shopping district
Armory Square Entertainment District
Destiny USA Mall
Museum of Science & Technology
Syracuse University Carrier Dome
The city of Syracuse offers a wide array of historic sites, museums, galleries, theaters, shopping and dining.

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: 9:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Hancock International Airport serves Syracuse with several carriers. The Regional Transportation Center is served by Amtrak, Greyhound Lines and Trailways as well as local bus service, (Centro). Taxi service is available at the airport and transportation center.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Go to Take Adams Street exit from NY State Route 81 in downtown Syracuse and follow signs to campus.

Local Accommodations
Go to

Articles & Advice