Rankings & Ratings
When the editors of America's best known college guides rank your college among the finest, it's something to be proud of. When you offer some of today's "hottest" rated careers, that's pretty cool too. When the work of your faculty members is recognized by their peers, it's wonderful. But the recognition we are happiest with at ESF comes when our students tell us they are having a great college experience, and our alumni share their success stories.
We're happy to share some of ESF's latest rankings and ratings with you here, but we really hope that you'll visit our campus, talk to our faculty, staff and students, and give us your own college rating.
ESF is ranked number 30 among the nation's top public universities in U.S. News' 2015 edition of Best Colleges, the smallest institution to receive such a distinction. When both public and private universities are included, ESF is listed as number 76 for overall quality on the Best National Universities list. The U.S. News rankings consider factors such as academic reputation, admissions selectivity, faculty and financial resources, student graduation rates, and other key measures of quality.
ESF is also recognized as one of the best college values in the nation, ranking number 45 in the U.S. News "Great Schools, Great Prices" category comparing college costs and quality, and ranking number 25 among National Universities whose students graduate with the least amount of student loan debt.
ESF is the only SUNY campus earning a spot on both the Top 30 Public Universities list and the “Great Schools, Great Prices” list, and is the top-ranked SUNY campus among all National Universities.
The magazine says the National Universities category includes 280 top-rated institutions (173 public, 100 private and seven for-profit) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master's and doctoral degrees. Many of the nation's most prestigious research universities are ranked in this group, with Princeton University capturing the top ranking for 2015.
ESF Featured in U.S. News "Science in the Northeast" Video
U.S. News featured ESF, MIT, RPI and Clarkson in its video Science in the Northeast about outstanding science-oriented colleges in the northeastern U.S.
ESF One of Princeton Review's Best Value Colleges
ESF has again been named one of the nation's 150 "Best Value" colleges and universities by The Princeton Review.
The 2014 college guide describes ESF as "nationally renowned" and "highly specialized and selective," and quotes ESF students who described the College as "dedicated to its mission of sustainability." and as an institution where professors "set the bar high for expectations and keep it there."
The 150 "Best Value Colleges" were selected based on institutional data and student opinion surveys collected from 650 colleges and universities the company regards as the nation's best undergraduate institutions. The selection process analyzed more than 30 data points broadly covering academics, cost and financial aid. Data from students attending the schools, collected from fall 2012 through fall 2013, included their assessments of professors and their satisfaction with financial aid awards. The list includes 75 public and 75 private schools.
The ranking earned ESF a place in the new edition of the Princeton Review's annual book, "The Best Value Colleges: The 150 Best-Buy Schools and What It Takes to Get In."
ESF Named to The Princeton Review’s ‘Best in the Northeast’
SUNY-ESF has been named one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review in its website feature “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”
Rankings were determined by asking students to rate their colleges in several areas—from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, other students and campus life.
In describing ESF’s academic offerings, The Princeton Review noted the College’s broad array of service-learning courses, specialized study options and environmental programs.
According to students surveyed, ESF’s “unique class offerings” include using its thousands of acres of forest for education, research, and forestry. The Princeton Review says students are “out in the field learning how to do what they want to do in life.”
The schools were also rated in six categories by The Princeton Review: academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, fire safety, quality of life, and green practices.
Forbes Ranks ESF 20th Nationwide for Best Value Colleges
Forbes has published a new set of college rankings on its Forbes.com website, placing ESF at number 20 in its listing of "Best Value Colleges 2014.”
Forbes said the “best value” schools are “top colleges and universities that deliver the good without picking your pocket.” ESF is the only SUNY institution on the list.
Forbes took the school’s Quality Score (calculated for Forbes’ annual rankings) divided by the school’s in-state tuition and fees to identify the 25 “best value” colleges in the nation.
ESF ranked among the top 250 colleges in the nation in Forbes overall college rankings, which included both public and private institutions.
Forbes.com Ranks ESF #3 for Women in STEM Fields!
Forbes.com has also ranked SUNY-ESF at #3 on its 2010 list of the 20 best colleges for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to Forbes, "these are the schools that are getting it right" by helping significant numbers of women graduate with college degrees in these important and higher-salaried career areas. ESF is one of only two state-funded public colleges on this list, which includes Cal Tech, MIT, and several other schools known for excellence in research and teaching.
Washington Monthly: ESF among Top National Universities, Provides ‘Best Bang for the Buck’
The 2014 Washington Monthly College Guide has ranked ESF among the Top 100 National Universities for its “contribution to the public good” and among the Top 50 universities in the guide’s “Best Bang for the Buck” value ranking.
A college must meet four initial criteria before being considered further for the guide’s value ranking:
- At least 20 percent of enrolled students must be receiving federal Pell Grants for lower-income students
- The college must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent
- The college’s actual graduation rate must meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students admitted
- Schools must have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less
Out of the 1,540 colleges and universities in Washington Monthly’s broader rankings, only 386 made the cut as “Best Bang for the Buck” schools.
Washington Monthly also placed ESF on its Top 100 National Universities list based on the College’s contribution to the public good in three categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D. graduates), and service (encouraging students to give back to their country through community service).
Among the 277 prominent institutions ranked in the magazine's National Universities category, ESF ranked #6 for student participation in community service activities, and ranked #5 for alumni participation as Peace Corps volunteers.
The Huffington Post has established a listing of “The Top 100 Best and Most Collaborative U.S. Colleges.” ESF ranked 88 on this listing bracketed between Brandeis University and Fordham University. Of the other SUNY institutions, only Binghamton and Stony Brook are noted.
ESF Ranked as a Top Producer of Peace Corps Volunteers
In its 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the country, the Peace Corps ranked ESF No. 2 among small schools nationwide.
This marks ESF's first appearance on the Peace Corps' annual Top Colleges list. In the past two years, the school has seen a 143 percent increase in undergraduate alumni volunteers, jumping from seven alumni volunteers in 2012 to 17 in 2013.
Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2013 data as of Sept. 30, 2013, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. ESF is the only SUNY school included on the list.
ESF's Landscape Architecture Program Nationally Ranked
The Department of Landscape Architecture at SUNY-ESF is ranked among the nation's top programs in that discipline.
In rankings compiled by DesignIntelligence, the undergraduate program at ESF was ranked 13th in the United States, and the third best program in the east, along with Penn State and Cornell University. ESF's graduate program in landscape architecture was also ranked 13th nationally.
The magazine rankings were based on a survey of more than 300 professional landscape architecture firms asked to rank the strongest university programs.
ESF a Top College for Return On Investment
ESF has been ranked a top college for return on investment by Affordable Colleges Online (AC Online). ESF is ranked 38th on AC Online’s “Highest Return on Investment Colleges in New York” listing. The ranking identifies 84 colleges in New York state where degrees pay off the most. Students who graduate from these colleges earn more over their lifetimes, on average, than graduates from other New York institutions.
AC Online used the following criteria in its college ranking:
- Tuition plus fees
- Graduate's average starting salaries and return on investment calculation
- Fully accredited, four-year, not-for-profit institutions
ESF Named Top Environmental Programs College
Mother Nature Network has ranked the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) ESF second on a list of the Top 10 Best College Environmental Programs in the United States.
The colleges listed offer a range of environmental programs and often incorporate sustainability into all aspects of their curriculum.
Mother Nature Network noted ESF "handles more than 25,000 acres of land in Central New York and the Adirondack Park, where nearly 2,500 students in the graduate and undergraduate program choose majors as specific as aquatic and fisheries science, construction management, forest ecosystem science, paper engineering, and bioprocess engineering. Research takes priority, too, with faculty working on more than 450 projects - including wildlife disease prevention, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering - around the world."
ESF is the only SUNY institution on the list, which includes Cornell University, Duke University and Yale.
College again earns spot in Guide to Green Colleges from Princeton Review
- Download The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges (PDF, large file, registration required)
ESF is listed in the 2014 Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges. The Princeton Review partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council to identify the schools with the nation's most eco-friendly campuses and present information about each school's sustainability, "green" majors and "green" job placement.
"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," the book states. "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. 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."
ESF Included in Peterson’s Guide for Top Students
ESF was named one of the top 440 colleges in the U.S. in Peterson's Great Colleges for Top Students guide based on the school's competitiveness in the admissions environment. This was measured over a meaningful period of time by entering class statistics, such as GPA, class rank, and test scores. The colleges selected for inclusion routinely attract and admit an above-average share of the nation's top-achieving students.
ESF Named to President’s Service Honor Roll
In recognition of its exemplary student community service and service-learning programs, ESF has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2012. This recognition comes to the college from the federal government for ESF's commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement. This is the fourth year ESF has been recognized through the Honor Roll.
ESF students completed close to 75,000 hours of community service in 2011-2012. Another important selection component is how students and faculty interact with their community and how service is incorporated into the college's learning objectives. ESF faculty members play an important role in connecting students to service opportunities through service learning projects that connect classroom lessons with hands-on activities in the Syracuse area and beyond.
Sierra Club Says ESF is Cool
ESF earned a place on the 2010 Sierra Club list of "Cool Schools," earning a rating that placed the College at 45th in the U.S.
The list was compiled after the Sierra Club surveyed hundreds of colleges and universities to gather information about campus environmental practices, green initiatives, and quality of sustainability-oriented education. The survey looked specifically at energy efficiency and supply sources, food sources, academic programs and research, purchasing, transportation, waste management, and administration.
ESF received a perfect mark of 10 for academics based on the College's broad range of environmentally related degree programs. ESF also scored a 10 on the administration rating, which reflects the College's institutional commitment to campus sustainability; a 10 for its investment practices; and a 10 for its involvement in green initiatives that did not fall into any other category.
Kaplan Calls ESF a "Cutting-Edge School"
ESF was listed among 25 "Cutting-Edge Schools" in the 2008 edition of "You Are Here," a college guide produced by Kaplan Publishing. The cutting-edge schools are tied to what the book describes as "50 of today's hottest careers." Those careers include several ESF specialties: chemistry, environmental engineering, environmental science and hydrology, and landscape architecture.
According to Kaplan, "The typical ESF student is, no surprise here, outdoorsy and committed to environmental responsibility."
ESF has been included as one of 71 distinctive colleges chosen for the 10th edition of the Making a Difference Colleges guide. Published as "the definitive guide for today's caring students," this publication features colleges that actively support social and environmental responsibility.
Treehugger.com Ranks ESF among Nation's Top 10 Environmental Programs
ESF is listed among the 10 best college environmental programs in the nation by "earn an A-plus for the education, experience, and research opportunities they provide."
ESF, which is second in Treehugger's list, is highlighted for its extensive network of field stations. The College's research also earns praise. Treehugger notes that faculty members work on more than 450 projects around the world.
ESF One of 350 “Most Interesting” Colleges
ESF was named one of the nation's 350 most interesting colleges in the 2009 edition of "How to Get into College" produced by Kaplan/Newsweek. ESF was also listed as one of four top schools for environmental science majors, along with Yale University, Barnard College and Rutgers University.
ESF Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements
ESF has received a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
"We are proud of the progress the College has made in all areas of sustainability, but we are most proud of the fact that it is our students who are the creative and passionate force behind so many of our successes," said ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr. "ESF has committed to carbon neutrality by 2015; the STARS program is an integral part of that effort."
ESF's plan to eliminate its carbon footprint by 2015 uses a combination of energy conservation, alternative energy projects, new construction that focuses on energy-efficient design and innovative heat-and-power systems, waste reduction, and forest carbon sequestration centering on design and management of ESF's forested properties.
College gets "Best Buy" designation from Barron’s
ESF is listed in the eleventh edition of Barron’s Best Buys in College Education. ESF is one of only 198 colleges and universities listed, and one of only three SUNY institutions in the book.
“For students who not only love the environment but are committed to learning how to preserve it through highly specialized and challenging curricula with plenty of hands-on experience, the answer may be SUNY-ESF,”the book states.
Barron's surveys current students and asks them about the quality of each college and not just the cost. As a part of the State University system, ESF is affordable, but also strong academically, and that is what provides the real value to students and their families.
Kaplan calls ESF a “Cutting-Edge School”
ESF was listed among 25 “Cutting-Edge Schools” in a recent edition of "You Are Here," a college guide produced by Kaplan Publishing. The cutting-edge schools are tied to what the book describes as "50 of today's hottest careers." Those careers include several ESF specialties: chemistry, environmental engineering, environmental science and hydrology, and landscape architecture.
According to Kaplan, “The typical ESF student is — no surprise here—outdoorsy and committed to environmental responsibility.” “ESF students forego football in favor of their nationally ranked Woodsmen’s Team — we said it’s outdoorsy — and soccer, golf and hockey clubs.” Kaplan produces more than 150 titles annually on topics such as test preparation, college and graduate school admissions, and finance and investing.
ESF Featured in Service-Learning Guide
A service-learning project completed by the Department of Landscape Architecture was highlighted in the Guide to Service-Learning Colleges & Universities. Landscape architecture students put classroom learning to work to design a public garden space that tells the story of Vietnamese immigrants living in a local Syracuse neighborhood.
The landscape architecture program is one example of the College’s overall service-learning program in which community service is integrated into course curriculum. ESF students consistently contribute approximately 70,000 hours of community service to the area each year.
The Guide to Service-Learning Colleges and Universities is a unique college guide that provides a one-stop resource for the college-bound community to research schools that excel in offering experiential learning opportunities. It also offers community service information to high school counselors and administrators of America's community-based organizations.
National Wildlife Federation Gives ESF High Marks for Environmental Action
ESF received high marks for environmental action in Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability and Higher Education, issued by the National Wildlife Federation.
ESF was among the colleges and universities described as “exemplary and committed” in the category, “Exemplary Schools for Students Taking a Course on Ecology or Sustainability.” The College was also listed as exemplary in the category that examined “Environmental or Sustainability Goal Setting.”
ESF Innovation Recognized in Better World Report
ESF was listed in The 2008 AUTM Better World Report Part Two, which highlights colleges that have successfully transferred academic research into real-world applications. The report was published by the Association of University Technology Managers.
ESF is listed twice among the 100 innovators in the report and is one of only two SUNY schools included. The report includes colleges from the United States and around the world. The College received recognition for its willow biomass research and for improvements in forest biorefinery technology.
ESF earns strong Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index ranking
ESF has been ranked among the nation’s top colleges and universities for scholarly work.
The ranking system, called the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, lists ESF fifth among colleges and universities in the category of “Specialized Research Universities—Applied Sciences.” ESF is also ranked eighth in the subcategory of “Fisheries Science and Management.” The scholarly productivity index is produced by Academic Analytics, a for profit company.
The index rates faculty members' scholarly output at nearly 7,300 doctoral programs around the country. It examines the number of books and journal articles published by each program's faculty, as well as journal citations, awards, honors, and grants received.
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