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SUNY Empire State University

26 Reviews

Salary Score







73% of 26 students said this degree improved their career prospects
62% of 26 students said they would recommend this school to others



Located in Sarasota Springs, SUNY Empire State University — formerly known as SUNY Empire State College — is one of 64 State University of New York system campuses. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), it serves approximately 9,500 students. 

SUNY Empire's distance learners enroll throughout its 83 online degree programs, including 12 associate degrees, 26 bachelor's degrees, 16 combined bachelor's/master’s degrees, 28 master's degrees, and 1 doctoral degree. These programs are available in 12 fields of study, such as business, education, nursing, liberal arts, and technology.

Find an Online Degree:

Salary Score for Online Degrees at SUNY Empire State University

Associate's Degrees

Business/Commerce, General $20,396 $41,849 96

Bachelor's Degrees

Psychology, General $21,914 $36,299 95
History Not Reported $37,928 90
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $19,418 $78,762 90
Public Administration and Social Service Professions, Other Not Reported $49,562 86
Social Sciences, General Not Reported $38,352 81
Community Organization and Advocacy $24,614 $38,496 67
Business/Commerce, General $24,943 $46,983 65
Education, General $14,419 $33,185 41

Master's Degrees

Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods Not Reported $54,579 85
Curriculum and Instruction Not Reported $52,313 67
Education, Other Not Reported $55,755 58
Business Administration, Management and Operations Not Reported $71,395 52
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing Not Reported $97,614 47

FAQs About SUNY Empire State University

Is Empire State College a SUNY School?

Yes, Empire State University is a SUNY school and part of the largest comprehensive university system in the United States.  

What Are the 4 Types of SUNY Colleges?

The four types of SUNY colleges include university centers/doctoral-granting institutions, comprehensive colleges, technology colleges, and community colleges.

What Kind of School Is SUNY Empire?

SUNY Empire is now a university center/doctoral-granting institution. This means that it is a postsecondary institution accredited recognized by a U.S. Department of Education accrediting agency, and it awards research doctorates. 

Is SUNY Empire State College Online?

Yes, SUNY Empire is online. It offers 120 online degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. According to NCES data, 21% of undergraduates and 91% of graduate students participate in online-only education. Data from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard shows that 47% of SUNY Empire students graduate with degrees.

Examples of online bachelor's degrees include addiction studies, nursing, human resource management, and educational studies. Graduate students prepare for degrees in majors such as healthcare leadership, work and labor policy, and special education.

Are Online Degrees From SUNY Empire Legitimate?

Yes, SUNY Empire's online degrees are legitimate because an accredited school confers them. Employers also respect them.

To provide the most trustworthy results, OnlineU only includes accredited online institutions on its site. 

SUNY Empire is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accreditation agency. This accreditation status signifies that MSCHE finds SUNY Empire's financial practices sound and that its academic programming meets federal quality standards.

What Is SUNY Empire Known For?

SUNY Empire is known for offering affordable and convenient education suited for working adults and considers itself military-centered. It has served military-aligned students for over 50 years and participates in the Community College of the Air Force's (CCAF) General Education Mobile Program (GEM). SUNY Empire also offers low tuition rates and waives fees for most military students. It has a dedicated Office of Veteran and Military Education (OVME) outreach staff providing free evaluated education plans for military members, student veterans, and their families. 

SUNY Empire is also known for its high graduate earnings potential and has made several of our rankings lists. For example, we've ranked it #2 for best online colleges in New York and best online human services degrees and #3 for best online social science degrees.

Which Degrees at SUNY Empire Provide the Highest Earnings for Graduates?

According to College Scorecard, SUNY Empires bachelor's degrees in registered nursing, public administration, biological and physical science, and business provide the highest earnings. Graduates in these fields earn median annual salaries of approximately $103,700, $71,400, $68,400, and $60,000, accordingly. 

Additionally, OnlineU's proprietary Salary Score ranks colleges by how much their alumni earn compared to graduates with the same degree nationwide. SUNY Empire has a bachelor's salary score of 76 and 62 for its master's degrees. Its psychology, nursing, and history bachelor’s degree programs all score in the 90s.

Is It Hard To Get Into SUNY Empire?

Getting into SUNY Empire is easy because it accepts 100% of applicants due to its open admission policy. This practice can help level the playing field and encourage greater access to higher education. 

What Are the Admission Requirements for SUNY Empire?

Although individual degree programs, such as nursing and education, may have additional requirements, SUNY Empire's admission requirements for first-year students generally include the following:

  • A free application 
  • A $50 orientation fee
  • Official high school transcripts or GED
  • Official college transcripts, if transferring credits
  • Official military transcripts, if applicable

If you're still exploring schools, we've identified some of the most popular online colleges to help with your search.

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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Reviewed: 9/18/2023

Degree: Liberal Arts

Go somewhere else. You aren't being taught anything, just reading and writing papers. If you are not the best with writing, save your money because that's all this school is. Very rarely do professors offer help or communicate. I've had a couple great ones, the rest just have the degree but no knowledge on teaching. The workloads are out of control and the discussion posts are a complete waste of time. There would be no discussion graded in a normal class, why are we forced to interact constantly.... Read More

Never again

Reviewed: 5/26/2023

Degree: Liberal Arts

Between unrealistic expectations in their history courses, having an “mentor” who hasn’t reached out to me in 5 months, being ignored by my student coordinator when I told her I was depressed and struggling with my mental health. All my professors were great, but some give a ridiculously large amount of work for an online SUNY. I don’t know if they are trying to prove something since they’re online and no one outside of the Saratoga Springs area knows what Empire is. But this college made me hate... Read More


Reviewed: 12/15/2022

Degree: Clinical Psychology

If you're transferring make sure your courses will be accepted. They'll accept C grades and up. They won't tell you unless you ask. Some professors give an unbelievable amount of work. Advisors are worthless. I would not recommend this college. Happy I graduated with excellent grades. But the experience was awful.

Christina Basso

Reviewed: 3/24/2022

Degree: Education

If you are looking for an university that is not student-centered, has no care of providing adequate resources with a student with disabilities, this is the university for you! The Student Affairs division is second to none. There is no meeting with the provost or dean of students within you major. You get stuck at the level of Director of Student Life. I will not name the individual, but she is hostile, passive aggressive, and screaming matches over MS Teams and phone have to occur in order to meet... Read More

Javier Martinez

Reviewed: 11/16/2021

Degree: Public Administration

I was in my mid-30's and wanted to make a career change, but needed to finish my bachelor's degree to do so. I did extensive research into online degree programs because I was going to have to work full time while taking classes and didn't have a schedule that allowed me to attend evening classes at a brick-and-mortar school. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the SUNY system not only offered online degrees, but also offered a degree specifically in my field of interest, not just in "General... Read More


Reviewed: 10/12/2020

Degree: Science & Math

I got a degree in Science, Mathematics and Technology with a concentration in Mathematics. In the 1.5 semesters of math classes I took from this school online, I can only remember 1 teacher providing a half dozen lectures - 1. Most often, the book was the only resource given. On top of that, written communication from the "instructors" was poor far too often. Responses are usually days later so you better hope there isn't any miscommunication because that deadline on your work isn't budging. I say... Read More

SUNY graduate

Reviewed: 9/15/2020

Degree: Emergency Management

SUNY Empire was my first complete online school, for half of my Bachelors and my Masters. I had a great experience while going here, to the point when I continue to look for online schools, I use Empire's standards. I was searching for online schools to get my Master's and almost all want Live classes. If I'm busy with working and family, and unable to attend school physically, obviously Live classes would be just as inconvenient. Online is SUPPOSED to be convenient and helpful with managing your... Read More


Reviewed: 2/20/2020

Degree: Business

This school will not prepare students for real professional challenges. The online courses are too dependent on expensive textbooks that do majority of the teaching. Also, the instructional designers are outdated and use copied template styles for all courses designs. I recommend attending a local school and utilizing their professional network connections, which Empire will not provide. This school is convenient, but its value is empty and not beneficial for long-term professional success.


Reviewed: 12/27/2018

Degree: Business

Like any school there are good and bad professors. I made the most of it and had some good learning experiences. I utilized the disability services office due to a cognitive ability impairing condition and was supposed to be allowed additional time to post assignments, I had one professor who did not follow these instructions and it was impacting my grade. I spoke with my very unsympathetic and rather mean "mentor" who said I could drop the class. I did, and apparently it did not go through and I... Read More

Empire State College Review

Reviewed: 12/11/2018

Degree: Human Services

Some instructors slow to post grades, and feedback. Constant outtages, and technology issues. I was going off to grad school, and was on a time constraint- was told by Empire administration to request grades early so that I would not be dropped, some of them refused saying they felt that they were doing me a favor. Meanwhile I was constantly bombarded by emails threatening to drop me from my graduate program. I experienced a number of personal/ professional setbacks while attending ESC, and the term... Read More

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