SUNY Buffalo State - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
SUNY Buffalo State
SUNY Buffalo State offers the perfect academic blend: a small college learning environment coupled...

SUNY Buffalo State

Buffalo, New York

Founded in 1871, SUNY Buffalo State has a long-standing tradition of educating students and holding them to a high standard of excellence. Buffalo State strives to inspire a lifelong passion for learning and to empower a diverse population of students to succeed as citizens of a challenging world. As the largest comprehensive college in the SUNY system, SUNY Buffalo State offers 169 undergraduate programs with 11 honors options, 19 postbaccalaureate teacher certification programs, and 65 opportunities for graduate study.


SUNY Buffalo State is among the most diverse colleges in the SUNY system, a characteristic that’s reflected in the myriad people, ideas, experiences, and program offerings found on campus. Located in the second largest city in New York state, SUNY Buffalo State offers extensive undergraduate research opportunities, internships, service-learning programs, and career development services that benefit students and the community. SUNY Buffalo State also is one of the most affordable universities in New York and beyond.


SUNY Buffalo State is located on a 125-acre parcel in Buffalo’s museum district, adjacent to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the gorgeous Delaware Park. The Elmwood Village neighborhood is lined with a vibrant mix of trendy cafes, restaurants, shops, and Victorian-style housing. On campus, the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Warren Enters Theatre, Czurles-Nelson Gallery, and Bacon Student Art Gallery place the arts and creativity at students’ fingertips.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
9,187 undergraduate students
89% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
1% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
383 full-time faculty
463 part-time faculty
16 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Approximately 21% of students live on campus, and that percentage is growing with the opening of a new state-of-the -art apartment complex on campus in 2011 and another planned for the future. SUNY Buffalo State provides a variety of options for residential students. Some residence halls house first-year students exclusively; some house a mixture of students; and some are reserved for upper-division students. Additionally, there is a mix of specialty housing for specific groups and interests. Each student has either a first-year mentor (FYM), resident assistant (RA), or apartment assistant (AA) assigned to their community. These are students trained to help residential students make the transition to college, build community, help manage conflicts, and respond to emergency situations.

School Location

Buffalo, New York

Retention Fall 2015

71% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

49% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 12%
Black or African American 28%
White 52%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


NCAA Division III, with 16 varsity sports
6 men’s: football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field
10 women’s: basketball, cheerleading, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, volleyball.

Mascot: Bengal
Colors: Orange and black

Other Information

Founded in 1871, SUNY Buffalo State is a comprehensive liberal arts college in the State University of New York system that offers 169 undergraduate programs, with 11 honors options, and 65 graduate programs, including 19 postbacculaureate teacher certification programs.

Academic Programs

Five schools make up Buffalo State: the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Education; School of Natural and Social Sciences: School of the Professions; and the Graduate School.

Programs available at SUNY Buffalo State that are not offered at any other SUNY institution include: Adult Education, Applied Economics, Art Conservation; Communication Design; Creative Studies; Fashion and Textile Technology; Fiber Design; Forensic Chemistry; Forensic Science; Metal/Jewelry Design; Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration; Urban and Regional Analysis and Planning; Wood/Furniture Design.

More Distinctions

  • For first-year and undeclared students, University College is an "academic home." By removing obstacles to student success, reaching across disciplines, and engaging students, University College helps students feel connected to the campus community. It provides support programs and opportunities including professional tutoring, the Writing Help Center, study abroad, and learning communities - all designed to foster student success.

SUNY Buffalo State has high expectations for its students—and with all of the resources available to undergraduate students—they expect the same of themselves. Whether it’s a desire to study at a sister institution, get involved in research with a professor or just explore different career options, Buffalo students have the drive to take their education into their own hands and run with it. Opportunities for students to excel include:

The Intellectual Foundations Program

Designed to provide the intellectual and creative foundations for all educated persons, regardless of their desired profession, this core curriculum reflects the college’s commitment to liberal arts education and empowering students to succeed as citizens of a challenging world.

International and Exchange Programs

This program is dedicated to promoting the “internationalization” of the SUNY Buffalo State campus and provides integration of the college’s international and national off-campus study opportunities. This program helps students prepare for careers in the fast-paced, cross-cultural global economy.

Undergraduate Research

This is one of the college’s most popular programs to encourage student achievement and progression. Each year, hundreds of undergraduate students gain hands-on experience in their fields by partnering with faculty members on research projects. Activities include an annual student research symposium, a summer research fellowship program, a small grants program to support academic-year research, travel support for students presenting/performing at professional meetings and conferences, and faculty development opportunities related to undergraduate research.

All College Honors Program

Available only by special admission, the All College Honors Program offers selected students identified honors classes, as well as honors credit through a variety of disciplines. Special honors suites and lounges are available, as well as the luxury of priority registration.

SUNY Buffalo State is composed of faculty members dedicated to their students’ success. These highly qualified educators are available to provide students with options and answers that will open opportunities to deepen learning, expand horizons, and improve academic performance. Forty-seven faculty members have been awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and seven have been honored as SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professors. Classes for undergraduate majors usually have between 12 and 15 students. To aid in bridging relationships between educators and students, Buffalo State has 12 strong “centers” promoting growth and education. These 12 centers create excellent resources for students. 

Center for the Development of Human Services (CDHS)

This center offers a comprehensive menu of management, supervisory, and worker training programs that enable students to learn to more effectively serve their future clients.

Center for Health and Social Research

Working as an integral component of Buffalo State to provide collaboration between students, faculty, and staff in intellectual development, this center works to investigate basic and applied research topics that are among the most pressing in today’s society.

International Center for Studies in Creativity

This center offers a diverse menu of programs that cultivate skills in creative thinking, innovative leadership practices, and problem-solving techniques.

For a full list and description of SUNY Buffalo State academic centers, click here.

SUNY Buffalo State serves the community through many outlets: student service organizations, adult education and training, and family/youth programs.

The SUNY Buffalo State Community Academic Center (CAC) leads the college outreach in the Buffalo community by coordinating and providing “cradle-to-career” educational support programming for youth and families. Since opening in November 2011, the CAC has worked in partnership with Journey’s End Refugee Services, Jericho Road Ministries, as well as with PUSH’s Grant Street Neighborhood Center, Buffalo Public Schools, and the YWCA to provide programming and support to students whose first language is not English, refugees and immigrants living on the West Side. The center supports the Buffalo English Language Learners (BELL) Network and has collaborated in sponsoring programs with them. Additionally, the CAC offers:

Career Counseling

Students lead five-week sessions triggered at setting goals and bonding with neighborhood youth, discussing school and career choices and preparations.

Word Swag

This is no ordinary writing workshop. Rather, it is a youth-driven space where people gather to explore the written word and express themselves through various activities centered in writing.

Buffalo Beginnings

This program brings together recently resettled refugee youth who have yet to begin school and learn about their new environment. The program introduces students of all ages and their parents to the American educational system, their new community, and American culture.

Monthly Service Corps

This initiative brings together Buffalo student volunteers with local youth who are interested in community service. Participants design and perform a monthly service project at local organizations.

It’s not how many A’s and B’s Buffalo students earn that makes them successful after graduation;  it’s the vast knowledge and experience carried along with them. Whether it’s gaining leadership skills, subject mastery, or volunteer work, students leave with the confidence and ability to take on the world.

No amount of classroom preparation can make up for exceptional real-world experience. At Buffalo, the most influential and popular way to gain such experience is through internships. The internship connections made available to students build experience and often create future job outlets. While not all academic departments at Buffalo require their students to participate in an internship, all students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to get more out of their education.

Career Exploration Opportunities

The chance to explore interests, skills, personality, and values in alignment within a particular career field or work environment.

Skill Development

Enhancement of needed skills, increased self-confidence, and a better understanding of a particular position.

Related Work Experience

The ability to show employers gained experience in a field related to their major.


Establishment of relationships with people who work in the field of interest who can later aid in employment.


Supervisors and professionals who provide students with verbal and written recommendations.


Admissions Fall 2015

13,679 Total Applicants 
8,524 Total Admissions 
1,859 Total Freshman Enrollment

62.31% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 400 500
SAT Math 400 500
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 16 22
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $6,470 $16,320
Fees $1,199 $1,199
Total $7,669 $17,519
Room and Board (on campus) $12,332 $12,332
Room Only $7,342 $7,342
Board Only $4,990 $4,990
Estimated Total On Campus $20,001 $29,851 


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

95% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
70% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$7,576 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$6,409 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


During the 2011-2012 academic years, students received 233 internal and 476 external scholarships totaling approximately $2.3 million.

SUNY Buffalo State offers a number of merit-based scholarships to students with outstanding academic achievement, such as the Presidential Scholarship for $1,500 per academic year that is awarded to high school seniors who have at least a 90 grade point average (GPA), SAT score of 1200 or higher/ACT score of 26 or higher. There are a number of other scholarships available to students. Some scholarships are based on personal characteristics, such as the high school a student graduated from or the major  he is interested in. The Financial Aid staff can help you map out your options.

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