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Anyone care to rank the SUNY colleges?

kellyinaurorakellyinaurora Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
edited May 2010 in SUNY - General
Those of you with experience / knowledge, would you care to rank the SUNYs ? I am a Cornell alum (but nearly 20 years now). Never had much of an opinion of the SUNYs all those years ago, but I know they have improved in the past two decades. Daughter now interested in applying.

Curious to read your opinions ...
Post edited by kellyinaurora on

Replies to: Anyone care to rank the SUNY colleges?

  • orchestramomorchestramom Registered User Posts: 735 Member
    You DO realize there are 64 SUNYs? With probably as many different and varied instititutional profiles. It would be much more helpful for you to share a little information about your D, what she's interested in, what kind of setting/environment/ atmosphere/geoegraphical location she's looking for...etc.

    But I'll start the convo anyway. Of the four university centers, many folks consider Binghamton the top SUNY uni overall. On the other hand, depending on academic focus and other factors, the other three definitely offer things that Bing doesn't have. UBuffalo is the biggest, with well over 20,000 including grads, and has the largest concentration of international students. Very strong programs in pharm, dentistry and engineering (look for posts by crazed and neonzeus), and the only law and architecture schools in the SUNY system. Lots of other programs with specialties hidden in surprising nooks and crannies. Just as an example, my D is an English major; UBuffalo has the one of the most important collections of materials related to James Joyce, and also has one of the top literary theory grad programs in the country. I know that, depending on the field, there are many more interesting gems like this, all across the state in the SUNY system. Albany has a great criminal justice program and also great poli sci and public policy programs that benefit from the proximity to the capital and internship opportunities. Stony Book is renowned for its science programs and also, perhaps less well known, continental philosophy. It also hosts the Emerson String Quartet (one of the finest in the world) as artists-in-residence.

    Then there are the university colleges, of which Geneseo is considered the top choice, the premier LAC in the SUNY system. Search for posts from geneseograd for insights there. If it's music she's interested in, look at Potsdam (for music ed, the Crane School of music created first music ed program in the country), Fredonia, or Purchase (for the only conservatory in the SUNY system). Oneonta has a great communications program and also is attached to the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. Cortland has a specialized program in sports management. Oswego for meterology (Al Roker!!) Visual Arts? look at Plattsburgh and the studio programs at Purchase.

    Since you are a Cornell alum, also don't forget about the parts of Cornell that are actually part of the SUNY system, serving as the NY State land grant institution -- and at a greatly reduced tuition.

    Those are only a few examples of the diversity of SUNY. Other voices will chime in with more examples (and will correct my mistakes I'm sure).
  • kellyinaurorakellyinaurora Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Thanks Orchestramom - your post was very interesting and informative. I should have been more specific, I was mainly interested in the SUNY colleges, not the universities. I suppose you are also counting the community colleges in the 64 SUNYs you are talking about. We were looking at 4-year degree programs.

    So, let's stick with Geneseo, Fredonia, Cortland, Potsdam, Plattsburgh, Buffalo, Brockport, Oswego, Purchase, etc. The reason is we are looking for a smaller environment - my daughter would be lost at a big university.

    Any other opinions to discuss?
  • ironicallyunsureironicallyunsure - Posts: 2,059 Senior Member
    i'll go for it, based on my opinion and what i think is the general opinion of them from where i'm from (long island):

    1. geneseo
    2. bing
    3. stony brook (though i was miserable here, so i recommend not bothering with it)
    4. buffalo
    5. new paltz
    6. albany
    7. the rest of the big ones, depending on program/major

    edit: just saw you want a smaller environment, in which case i recommend new paltz or geneseo.
  • orchestramomorchestramom Registered User Posts: 735 Member
    I totally forgot New Paltz. my bad. great school, terrific location. Tell us more about your D and her interests....
  • kellyinaurorakellyinaurora Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    thanks ironicallyunsure and orchestramom

    My D is at a school for the arts right now, but would rather go to college to study drama. I wish she would choose a broader liberal arts major and then get a masters if she is still interested in an MFA or MA in theater. Her creative / artistic talent is amazing but luckily, it won't be going anywhere, even if she majors in something else for 4 years. Point is, I don't want her to dig herself into a hole with a fine arts degree (maybe I'm wrong, dunno)

    My first choices for her would be as follows

    Geneseo, New Paltz, Purchase, Cortland, ... however, being an artistic gal, she has not done particularly well in other aspects of school. Kind of middle of the road, so I'm a little concerned about her chances at Geneseo. We both like New Paltz because of its proximity to New York without actually being in NY (for all the art and culture it can offer). My daughter is a sophomore so still has time, but the search is kind of fun and kind of nerve wracking at the same time :-)
  • ironicallyunsureironicallyunsure - Posts: 2,059 Senior Member
    could she double major in theater and something else like english or public relations or something like that? then she'll have both what she likes and something slightly more marketable.

    and just out of curiosity, what was your major at cornell? :)
  • GeneseogradGeneseograd Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    Geneseo or New Paltz are probably two good choices...
  • vahevalavahevala Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    I don't think Geneseo is considered to be strong in the arts. Also, if she is not that strong in her other academic areas, Geneseo could be a reach. Fredonia has a strong musical theater and music ed. program, probably Purchase for straight drama, theater production and set design, New Paltz has a great visual arts (I think the only SUNY to offer BFA, BS and BA in visual arts) and also a good drama/theater program, Brockport is well known for it's dance program, and Potsdam for music ed.

    If she is only a soph. now, I would say relax and enjoy looking for now. My D2 changed her mind on her major atleast 8 times in junior year! Stop in and see some schools if you happen to be traveling or visiting nearby. You will have a better feel for the campus. Each of these schools has a very different campus, location, etc. You can't go wrong if your D is happy and learning! One quote I repeated to both of my kids "College is a match to be made not a prize to be won", so true! Good luck and enjoy the ride :)
  • LilyMoonLilyMoon Registered User Posts: 1,832 Senior Member
    Sounds like New Paltz would be a really good fit for your D in the SUNY system. They are really strong in the arts and theater but have strong programs in many other areas as well so she could have the best of both worlds. My son is a visual arts major with a concentration in graphic design at New Paltz. He is having a really wonderful experience. He loves that he is able to take classes in any area of interest....there is a lot of flexibility within individual programs. The student body is very creative and down to earth. He has met lots of awesome people. If I can answer any questions, feel free to ask.
  • kellyinaurorakellyinaurora Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    to Ironicallyunsure - I graduated Hotel Administration :-))

    Loved every minute of it!
  • kellyinaurorakellyinaurora Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Thanks all for your suggestions! You have helped clarify some points. I know, she may change her mind, they always do, but we're trying to find a good plan of action. She will also apply to some other private schools and see what happens.

    Another point of interest, my daughter goes to a school in Italy where she studies art intensively. She'll be doing one more year then transferring as a senior in September so she can graduate from a local HS and I'm hoping this makes her a little more interesting than your average NYS student - her portfolio is out of this world and class field trips include visits to museums in Milan, guided tours in Venice and Verona, and next year a week-long trip to Paris. I don't think she realizes how lucky she is. She always complains that she wants to go to school in the US for the homecoming and proms, etc. Teenagers!
This discussion has been closed.