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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Write the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Essay 2018-2019

Originally established in 1911 within Syracuse University, The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), is considered to be the pioneer college in America devoted to the study of fields related to natural resources and the environment.


The college takes pride in its dedication to improving the world through understanding of the environment and has produced countless alumni who have significantly shaped the field of environmental sciences. Students of SUNY ESF, affectionately referred to as Stumpies, are encouraged to integrate real hands-on work along with their academic studies through the college’s research centers and many affiliated natural parks.


Though the school is focused on environmental discovery, they are closely affiliated with nearby Syracuse University, so students can choose from 21 Bachelor of Science degrees and 27 minors while also broadening their experience through taking classes or getting a joint degree at the sister school.


With an acceptance rate of 52%, admission to SUNY ESF is somewhat selective. However, CollegeVine is here to give you some tips on how to stand out from other applicants with a great application essay. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the prompts for this application cycle!


See essay prompts for hundreds of schools using our Essay Prompt Database.


SUNY ESF Application Essay Prompts

Prompt #1

If you wish to submit additional documents you feel would help the Admissions Committee better understand your interest in and ‘fit’ with ESF, please upload them here.

Though this first option is not really a question in the traditional sense of the word, we would highly recommend that you consider it before deciding to skip over it. The broadness offers you a chance to really showcase a side of your personality that may not come out in the other aspects of your application. After all, if you are applying to a college with a mission as focused as that of SUNY ESF, you should ideally have some kind of previous exposure or event in your life that triggered your interest.


Whatever sparked your initial interest in the environment and learning how to work with it, you can share that here in the form of a story, picture, painting, etc. There is no specific way you should approach this option, but you should make sure that whatever you submit is highly personal. The more you can reveal about your connection with this subject, the better. Remember that this prompt isn’t asking for you to explain why you want to come to SUNY ESF — that’s what the next question is for — so you have the freedom to really express your own passions and goals here.


Of course, you also shouldn’t try to force a narrative if you really can’t think of something to talk about. Doing so will only make you sound disingenuous, and may even end up hurting your application. Like we mentioned above, as long as you’ve given this first question a lot of thought, it’s okay to move on to the next question.

Prompt #2

The ESF Admissions Committee would like to understand your interest in the college and our programs of study. Please explain why you have chosen the SUNY-ESF majors you selected in the Academic section of this screen and how each would fulfill your educational and career goals. If you selected ‘Undeclared’ as one of your choices, please tell us which majors you are considering and how they will fulfill your educational and career goals.

The trick with this question is to recognize that there are two questions being asked here. First is why you want to go to SUNY ESF in particular, and the second is why you want to study the specific major that you chose. To have the strongest possible answer, you must respond to both in your essay.


This prompt is the standard “Why this school?” essay, so prior to answering this you should do some research on the school and pinpoint specific programs or resources that stand out to you. Make sure that anything you end up mentioning can be backed up by the other parts of your application.


For example, if you enjoy working with local volunteer organizations, then you could mention how SUNY ESF’s emphasis on integrating students’ studies with real-life experiences is great because almost all the student organizations on campus dedicate part of their mission to giving back to the community.


If having a personalized undergraduate research opportunity is important to you, then you can also write about how the Upper Division Honors Program will aid you in conducting intensive research under the guidance of an esteemed faculty member. In this program, the topic of the research is intentionally left open so that the students themselves can do something that they are passionate about.


The same idea goes for when you are answering why you are interested in a specific major. As a result of SUNY ESF having such specified programs of study, it’s a great idea to look into the course requirements for each degree and see which faculty are teaching said classes.


This will not only help you solidify your own reasons for the major, but can also provide examples for why you think your selection is a good fit. Remember to be specific in your response; don’t simply state that you enjoy conservation biology or environmental biology. Try to be as detailed as possible and avoid including generic answers that could apply to any other university.


This is also the place to include what your vision for post-graduation looks like. Have you always envisioned yourself designing a new form of green energy? Maybe you’re more interested in the policy side and hope to establish new environmental protection laws. If so, mention it; after all, the prompt also wants you to talk about how your education will play into your future goals.


While you may not have a specific career in mind, you can still talk about the increasing importance of understanding the environment and how the relationship between humans and the rest of the Earth is deeply intertwined. It’s okay to be more general here, as the admissions team understands that four years is a long time away and that your interests can and will change throughout college.


We hope that this guide has been helpful for you, and we wish you the best of luck in your writing process!


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