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 elsewhere. 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 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 may be employed as entry-level technicians performing a variety of tasks, including operating various surveying instruments, note keeping, drafting, and computer operation. Employment is also possible 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.

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. 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
2014-2015 11 11


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 appropriate application procedures. 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.


Laptop Computer Requirement (April 6, 2015)

Land Surveying Technology students are required to have personal laptop computers

To meet the demands of advanced academic applications, document formats, media, etc., your computer should meet minimum specification levels for features, memory, drive space and processing power. The pre-configured systems available to ESF students through the SU Bookstore meet these minimum specifications for surveyors.


The College is primarily a Windows-based computing environment.

Owning Your Own Computer

Use the specifications below to help you make the best decision, if you are purchasing a new laptop. The information listed is pertinent to the land surveying program at The Ranger School. If you already own a laptop you do not need to purchase a new one to meet these specifications, instead use this information to assess your current system. If your current system doesn't meet these minimum requirements, we suggest that you replace or upgrade.

Recommended Minimum Laptop Specifications for Land Surveying Technology



  • Intel® Core™ i5 (2.5GHz, 3M Cache)
  • Operating system - Windows 7 Professional or Higher
  • 8.0GB, DDR3-1600MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
  • 250 - 320GB Hard Drive, 7200 RPM
  • 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio
  • 256 MB or Integrated - 1 GB Graphics Memory
  • Integrated Audio
  • Minimum 14” display monitor

Computer Systems Available through the Syracuse University Bookstore

Syracuse University (SU) offers computers for purchase by students through the Syracuse University Bookstore, (; computers can be purchased online. The systems described on the SU site meet or exceed the minimum performance specifications of ESF academic programs, and they are very aggressively priced. These same specifications can be used if purchasing computers from other sources.

Regardless of where you purchase your computer, ESF recommends that you carefully consider service arrangements in case you need to have your computer serviced while attending school.

Manufacturer’s warranties also apply. All questions regarding purchases of a computer through SU should be directed to the SU Bookstore, (315) 443-9900, (



The Microsoft Office suite of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher) is recommended as basic software for academic use. Please note that Microsoft Office is NOT included with the computer systems offered through the SU Bookstore. Information on purchasing it, at a substantial discount to ESF students and staff, can be found at:

Land Surveying students will also be required to purchase Carlson Survey. You should NOT purchase this software until after arriving at Ranger School in order to receive the student version discounted price for a one-year license.

If you have specific questions about computers you are considering for purchase, please contact the Ranger School at 315-848-2566, or by email at prior to purchasing the unit.




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
Second Year Required Courses
FTC 200Dendrology 3
FTC 202Introduction to Surveying 3
FTC 204Introduction to Natural Resources Measurements 4
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 4
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 3


YouTube Channels

ESF | Athletics | Research | Academics | Sustainability | New York | Nature

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
1 Forestry Drive | Syracuse, NY 13210 | 315-470-6500
Copyright © 2015 | Admissions Information | Webmaster