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Admission to The Graduate School

Admission to Graduate School is conditional upon review and acceptance of an applicant's credentials by appropriate faculty members and upon the recommendation of the appropriate department chairman or program director to the Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School.

Application Requirements

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  • Transcripts
    Transcripts of an earned bachelor's degree from a recognized institution with an academic record showing at least a "B" average for junior and senior years of the baccalaureate program or for the master's program
  • Application
    The graduate application
  • Scores
    Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and for some degree programs, advanced test scores (institution code for official score reports: 2530)
  • Recommendations
    Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your academic or professional skills. This should NOT include personal friends and family
  • Resume
    A resume or CV
  • Statement
    A statement of educational and professional goals
  • Fee
    A nonrefundable $60(US) application fee

Students whose primary language is not English are also required to provide evidence of English language proficiency.

Applying for Admission

Faculty seek graduate students who are well prepared for rigorous study, responsive and receptive to constructive feedback, and a good fit with their programs. The most effective way for applicants to demonstrate these qualities is to communicate with faculty prior to applying and to understand the programs ESF has to offer. Therefore, individuals who are interested in applying for graduate study should contact ESF faculty to discuss degree programs and learn about specific opportunities for study and research at ESF. Faculty Web pages provide contact information and additional insights about ESF degree programs. We also encourage applicants to visit campus and meet with faculty and current graduate students.

Application Deadlines

While the following dates are particularly important for applicants wishing to be considered for fellowships, assistantships, and other forms of financial assistance, ESF will continue to accept and fully consider graduate applications beyond each of the noted deadlines:


Semester of Matriculation Application Deadline *
Fall January 15
Spring November 1
*Applications completed by these deadlines by these dates will normally receive decisions by mid-March for fall matriculation and by early December for spring matriculation.


Transfer Credit

Credit hours appropriate to the graduate degree in which a minimum grade of B was earned from an accredited institution can be transferred to the College, but grades and grade points cannot be transferred.

Up to six credits of graduate coursework not used to complete another degree may be accepted toward completion of a master’s or doctoral degree as approved by the steering committee.

Up to 30 credits of graduate level coursework earned as part of a conferred master’s degree may be transferred (by petition) to a doctoral degree with approval of the steering committee.

Students may transfer no more than nine credits of credit-bearing non-degree ESF coursework to graduate degree programs.

All transfer credit will remain tentative until official, final transcripts are received. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that official, final transcripts are sent to and received by the College.

Part-time Study

Part-time study at the graduate level provides an excellent opportunity for working professionals to extend their educational credentials or broaden their general knowledge by enrolling for courses on a part-time basis. The M.P.S. or M.F. professional degrees are available for students who are initially matriculated on a part-time basis. Part-time students apply, matriculate and register through the same processes that all ESF graduate students complete. During any semester, students who enroll in part-time programs may register for the equivalent of full-time study, which is at least 12 credit hours. Part-time students are held to the policy for continuous registration, but not to the policy for time to degree (delimitation).

Deferred Admission

Students accepted to graduate programs at ESF who wish to defer their enrollment beyond their original entry date must make this request in writing directly to the The Graduate School.

Faculty as Students

Employees of the College who carry faculty status in accordance with SUNY-ESF Faculty Bylaws and are at or above the rank of assistant professor or equivalent, may not enter into matriculated status at the College.

For International Students

Students from countries outside of the U.S. are required to submit additional forms to verify English proficiency skills as detailed at: Admission Information for International Students.

After a student has been officially admitted to the college they will also need to provide financial evidence for one year of expenses at ESF. Review here for cost estimates: Estimated International Student Annual Expenses.

Upon submission of the financial evidence, the Office of International Education will issue an I-20. For more questions about visas or other immigration-related concerns, email

Mail graduate applications and all supporting documents to:
The Graduate School
1 Forestry Drive, 227 Bray Hall
Syracuse, NY 13210