A.A.S. Land Surveying Technology

** ABET Accredited

The land surveying technology program’s educational objectives are for students to obtain a sound technical background in fundamental land surveying principles, techniques and skills; become well-rounded technical specialists capable of teamwork, communication and problem solving; and develop life-long learning skills and abilities.

The program provides students with a combination of surveying and land resource knowledge and related skills which are not available anywhere else. Students will be thoroughly exposed to the field of land surveying through a carefully planned combination of classroom lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experience.

As land values increase, technology advances, and laws and regulations become more complex, the education of land surveyors has become increasingly important. This degree addresses the educational needs of the student interested in pursuing a career in surveying, as well as the needs of surveying employers. Students are exposed to the fundamentals of forest technology that are important to the land surveyor and receive a more in-depth education in the area of surveying technology.

This degree was provides the student with knowledge and skills in surveying measurements and computations; the ability to work and communicate effectively with professional land surveyors, survey technicians, lawyers, and the general public; an understanding of the principles and practices of surveying with particular emphasis on boundary surveying; and an understanding of land resource concepts important to the surveyor. Students graduate with an A.A.S. degree in land surveying technology.

Generally, graduates are employed by privately owned, small- to mid-size surveying firms specializing in boundary, construction, and topographic surveying. Graduates are employed as entry-level technicians performing a variety of tasks, including operating various surveying instruments, note keeping, drafting, and computer operation. Employment is also available with local, state and federal agencies such as the state Department of Transportation, state Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

Combining an A.A.S. with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree

There are several advantages of combining a Ranger School forest technology or environmental and natural resources associate's degree with a four-year B.S. degree in professional forestry. Ranger School graduates who go on to pursue the bachelor's degree have a solid field education as well as a managerial orientation and the deeper ecological and social understanding provided by the professional curriculum.

Students wishing to transfer from the forest technology concentration to the forest resources management program at the Syracuse campus will be admitted as juniors. They will be given credit for the summer session in field forestry. They will still have to complete some physical sciences, social sciences and humanities requirements while in residence at Syracuse, depending on prior preparation. A maximum of 32 transfer credit hours from the sophomore year of the forest technology program will be counted toward the B.S. degree. All other requirements as set forth in the forest resources management program option must be met.

Students contemplating subsequent transfer should concentrate their freshman year electives in the social sciences and humanities. Students should also complete the first semester in chemistry, one semester in physics and a course in calculus prior to transferring. It is possible to be admitted without these courses, but subsequent progress in the program becomes more difficult.


Two years of educational credit is given toward land surveying licensure in New York.  Additional field and office experience under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor is needed prior to application to obtain a license.

Transfer into other baccalaureate programs at a variety of institutions is possible; however, students are encouraged to consult with the appropriate admissions office to discuss transfer options.

During the first year, students who plan on enrolling are encouraged to take small business management and additional mathematics as electives.

Given the nature of the curriculum, the availability of high-tech equipment, and the necessity of individualized instruction, entry into this area of study is limited to 15 students.

Program Objectives

Program educational objectives are defined as “broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve”.  We expect our graduates:

  • To have a sound technical background in the fundamental land surveying principles, techniques, and skills.
  • To be well-rounded technical specialists in terms of teamwork, communication and problem solving.
  • To be well prepared for an entry level position in land surveying
  • To have developed life-long learning skills and abilities.

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes are defined as “what a student should have demonstrated by the time the student graduates from the program.”  The educational objectives of the faculty are to produce graduates who have:

  •  An ability to apply the knowledge, techniques, skills, and modern tools of land surveying technology and associated technologies.
  • An ability to apply the knowledge of mathematics, science, and land surveying to solve land surveying technology problems that require limited application of principles but extensive practical knowledge.
  • An ability to efficiently utilize modern surveying measurement technologies to acquire spatial data.
  • An ability to employ industry-standard surveying and related software to analyze and solve technical problems
  • An ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, regarding land surveying technology activities.
  • An understanding of the need for and an ability to engage in self-directed continuing professional development.
  • A positive, professional work ethic and the capability of working independently with minimum supervision, as a member of a team, or as a supervisor of a team.
  • A commitment to quality, timelines, and continuous improvement.

Student Enrollment and Graduation Rates

Academic Year      Enrolled               Graduated

2009-2010             9                          8

2010-2011             9                          9

2011-2012             7                          5

2012-2013             6                          6

2013-2014           13                         13


The Ranger School's one-plus-one plan requires students to complete 30 credit hours of coursework in liberal arts and science at an accredited college during their freshman year and an additional 45 credit hours at the Wanakena campus during the second year of the program.

High school students are encouraged to apply for admission by following the application proceedures listed on page 9. Accepted applicants will be guaranteed a place for their sophomore year at Wanakena upon successful completion of the first year requirements. Students not applying while in high school should apply in the fall semester of their freshman year of college. All applicants are encouraged to contact The Ranger School to arrange for a tour of the campus and its facilities.

Facilities and Equipment

All classes are taught at The Ranger School which houses the classrooms, drafting room, library, and computer room in addition to dormitory rooms, dining hall and offices. The Ranger School's 2,800-acre forest provides an excellent outdoor laboratory. A fully equipped instrument room stores a variety of surveying equipment for field-based learning. Students are introduced to and will use equipment ranging from basic surveying tools to some of the most advanced and sophisticated surveying equipment available.

Employment Opportunities

The Ranger School graduates are extremely employable. Opportunities are available with professional surveying companies, civil engineering companies, and utility corporations. Public agencies employing land surveying technicians include city, county and state surveying offices as well as federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service. Professional land surveyors are involved with a variety of duties and responsibilities including researching deeds, compiling and analyzing data, map making, writing deed descriptions and communicating with clients.

Course of Study

First Year Required Courses

Completed at a college of the student’s choice

Course Codes* Credits
General Biology 4
Physics 4
English with a Focus on Writing 6
Trigonometry 3
Economics 3

Students intending to apply to a four-year program after earning an A.A.S. degree should use electives to meet lower-division requirements

Second Year Required Courses
FTC 200Dendrology 3
FTC 202Introduction to Surveying 3
FTC 204Introduction to Natural Resources Measurements 5
FTC 205Computer Aided Drafting and Design 1 2
FTC 206Forest Ecology 4
FTC 207Communications and Safety 3
FTC 208Remote Sensing and GIS Technology 3
FTC 214Leadership and Organizational Performance 2
FTC 224Field Applications 1
FTC 225Timber Transportation and Utilization 3
FTC 251Advanced Surveying Measurements and Computations 5
FTC 253Survey Law 3
FTC 255Boundary Surveying 3
FTC 256Subdivision Surveys 2
FTC 257Construction and Topographic Surveys 3
FTC 259Computer Aided Drafting and Design II 2


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