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50 Things You May Not Know about SUNY

2 male college students walk outside along tree lined path.

The State University of New York, SUNY, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the country, but what does that actually mean for you? SUNY has 64 colleges and universities throughout New York State, along with many research, extracurricular, and professional development opportunities at each one.

We admittedly have a lot to say about SUNY, so here are 50 facts about our university system that paints a small picture of what we’re all about. We keep it official, but have a little fun with some interesting points at the end too.

Learn about what makes SUNY unique in higher education:

  1. SUNY was established more than 65 years ago way back in 1948. The main administration building is the H. Carl McCall Building in Albany, New York, formerly the headquarters of the D&H Railroad Company headquarters. It is nicknamed “the castle.”
  2. There are more than 3 million SUNY alumni around the globe.
  3. SUNY offers more than 7,000 degree and certificate programs.
  4. As of January 2022, SUNY campuses enrolled 370,114 students and 1.6 million learners in non-credit instructional programs in the 20-21 academic school year.
  5. SUNY colleges awarded nearly 100K degrees in 20-21 academic year.
  6. SUNY’s annual research and development expenditures measure 1.7 billion.
  7. SUNY campuses hold a combined 1,760 patents.
  8. 25% of active research in New York State is conducted at SUNY schools.
  9. There are more than 1,800 academic buildings covering nearly 60 million square feet across our 64 colleges and universities.
  10. SUNY has more than 750+ online programs and degrees.
  11. Learning by doing is key to success. SUNY offers more than 9,000 internship opportunities for all students.
  12. Competition lives at SUNY. Our schools are members of NCAA Div I, NCAA Div III, USCAA, ACHA, and NJCAA athletics, providing more than 750 championship caliber opportunities to student athletes.
  13. We help power NY’s workforce. There are more than 90,000 employees at SUNY campuses across New York State.
  14. SUNY schools are currently letting standardized test scores be optional for application. Applications are holistically evaluated without considering SAT, ACT, or other standardized test scores through the summer 2024 academic term.
  15. The average cost for community college tuition is $5,890 per year for NY residents.
  16. The average cost for a 4-year degree at SUNY is $9,420 per year.
  17. Three out of four SUNY students receive financial aid.
  18. Education is affordable to all at SUNY. 47.5% of our graduates have no federal student debt.
  19. We keep New York healthy with 4 medical schools across the state – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Stony Brook Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
  20. In addition to the medical schools, SUNY also has an optometry school that offers M.S., Ph.D., and Doctor of Optometry degrees. SUNY’s College of Optometry was founded in 1971 and is located in New York City.
  21. You’re always close and never too far away. 93% of SUNY students live within 15 miles of a SUNY campus, and 100% of New Yorkers live within 30 miles of a SUNY campus.
  22. The SUNY Welcome Center is located in NYC. Prospective students, family members, and counselors in New York City and surrounding communities can visit the Welcome Center in-person at 116 East 55th Street for a personalized experience that can teach them all they need to know about SUNY opportunity.
  23. Educational offerings are always expanding at SUNY. There are now more than 400 microcredentials in 60+ discipline areas in high-demand fields available at schools across our system.
  24. Educational experience isn’t limited to New York. Students at SUNY can choose to study abroad in dozens of countries.
  25. SUNY’s Equal Opportunity Program (EOP), provides access, academic support and financial aid to students who show promise for succeeding in college but who may not have otherwise been admitted to colleges.
  26. The oldest school at SUNY is SUNY Potsdam, which was founded in 1816. This campus is more than 200 years old!
  27. The newest SUNY school to be formed is SUNY Polytechnic Institute. In 2014, the school merged the old SUNYIT in Utica and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany to become a national leader in scientific research and development.
  28. The SUNY Apprenticeship Program lets you earn while you learn with educational opportunities in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.
  29. Many of our campuses host their own farmers’ markets or provide access to deliciously fresh produce so you can fuel your body with healthy and nutritious foods!
  30. Fido doesn’t have to stay at home when you study. Two SUNY colleges, Alfred State College and SUNY Canton, have pet-friendly residences for college students who just can’t leave home without them.
  31. Farmingdale State College has a professional pilots bachelor’s degree program that is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International through February 2023. SUNY students can also find programs for aerospace engineering, traffic control, and aircraft maintenance. Mohawk Valley Community College even has an associate degree in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.
  32. There are 17 automotive programs at SUNY. With degrees in management, autonomous vehicles, body and paint technician, service technician, and motor sports, SUNY has a trade for anyone who likes to drive, ride, and fix their own machines. Monroe Community College offers two apprenticeship programs for Toyota and GM.
  33. In 2023, SUNY Maritime will welcome a new training ship – a National Security Multi-mission Vessel (NSMV). “The new class of training ships is designed to serve a dual purpose: supporting merchant mariner education and assisting with humanitarian/disaster relief,” according to the college.
  34. We’re building a more Sustainable SUNY which makes a more sustainable world with a wide variety of degrees, trades, and certificates in sustainability and green energy programs. At FIT, students can earn a minor in Ethics and Sustainability or earn a Sustainable Design Entrepreneur Certificate. Additional sustainability programs at SUNY schools include:
    • Environmental, Climate and Conservation Science
    • Renewable Energy
    • Construction and Building Trades
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Sustainable Leadership, Management, and Policy
  35. Some colleges are working to meet the demand for cannabis workers and experts because of the legalization of cannabis in New York. SUNY’s Farmingdale State College has an online Cannabis Production and Management certificate. SUNY Morrisville has a certificate in Specialty Crops and Cannabis Production.
  36. At Stony Brook University, a new genetic analysis study of ancient Africans uncovered a clearer picture of life 50,000 years ago.
  37. Research on weather, atmospheric science, climate change, and climate impacts on New York happen all across SUNY. The NYS Mesonet system, a world-class network of 126 weather stations across the state, was designed and installed by UAlbany and is now maintained and managed by scientists at the school.
  38. Research at SUNY produced the number 1 ranked saliva test in the United States and the sixth most sensitive worldwide in detecting the COVID-19 virus.
  39. The SUNY GREAT (Graduate Research Empowering and Accelerating Talent) Award program provides $5,000 in flexible funding to incentivize SUNY students (both graduate and undergraduate) to submit competitive applications for prestigious, highly competitive graduate fellowships and enroll in SUNY’s graduate programs.
  40. SUNY Sullivan is a 405-acre campus located in Catskill Mountains. Sullivan has bee hives and an organic farm – The Hope Farm. The campus is less than two hours from New York City and Albany.
  41. SUNY is gaining attention for its gaming and e-sports community. Not only is the SUNY Esports League growing every semester, but many SUNY schools offer game programming and/or design degrees and certificates. SUNY Canton, a leader in the esprts world, has a bachelor’s degree in Esports Management.
  42. SUNY has a campus in Korea. SUNY Korea was established in 2012 as the first American university in Songdo. Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, and the Fashion Institute of Technology all offer programs at the college.
  43. SUNY’s Online Training Center (OTC), Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), and ATTAIN Labs offer free classes and programs to help students sharpen their English skills, obtain a high school diploma, enroll in college, or learn work-related skills. Free training courses include Advanced or Information Technology Short Courses, Allied Health Certification, Business & Industry Certification, College Preparation Certification, Direct Care Immersion Course, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Google IT Certification, High School Equivalency (HSE), Microsoft Certification, Small Business, and Virtual Entrepreneurship. Graduates from these programs are eligible for automatic enrollment into any of SUNY’s 30 community colleges, SUNY Empire State College, and SUNY Canton.
  44. SUNY Online Signature Pathways are built for adult learners who want to make a career change or finish a degree. The pathways allow students to start with an associate degree, complete a bachelor’s degree, or earn a graduate degree in a high-demand field. SUNY Online signature programs are fully online. Students receive one-on-one support from the moment of inquiry and throughout their program from their very own success coach. SUNY’s Signature Pathways online include general studies, education, engineering, healthcare, accounting, business, computer science, criminal justice, and homeland security.
  45. In its history, SUNY has had 20 leaders – 17 men and 3 women. Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor Emeritus was the 12th Chancellor or the SUNY System and the first woman to lead the System.
  46. Sixteen Nobel Prize award winners have been faculty members at SUNY, the most recent being M. Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University in 2019.
  47. In the Movie, “Ghostbuster’s Afterlife,” Peter Venkman, (Bill Murray’s character) went on to teach at SUNY Cortland.
  48. Simonne Imaani, a SUNY Plattsburgh and FIT graduate and NY fashion designer, broke the 2020 Guinness Book of World Records for the largest afro. Simonne Imaani is a designer who has been featured on CNN, Access Hollywood, Tangle Teezer, The Root, and more.
  49. “Private Romeo,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and “The Departed” all filmed at SUNY Maritime.
  50. The series’ “Fosse/Verdon” filmed some scenes at The Performing Arts Center at SUNY’ Purchase College. Movies filmed at Purchase College include “Black Swan,” “All That Jazz,” “Need Rifle,” “The Post,” and “Marry Me.”

 

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Written by Jamie Frankenfield

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