What are your chances of acceptance?

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Write the SUNY ESF Supplemental Essay 2020-2021

Originally part of Syracuse University, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), is considered 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, it is closely affiliated with nearby Syracuse University, so students can also broaden their experience by taking classes or getting a joint degree at the sister school.


With an acceptance rate of 61%, SUNY ESF is somewhat selective. Students can apply either via the SUNY-specific portal, or through the Common Application, but all applicants must submit the SUNY ESF supplement via the school website. You’ll be invited to do so once your main application is complete.


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! Want to know your chances at SUNY ESF? Calculate your chances for free right now.


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 are a freshman applicant who has 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. (250-500 words)

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 college?” 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 mention 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 want to study conservation biology or environmental biology. Instead, mention the specific courses that stand out to you, such as “Ecology of Adirondack Fishes” (maybe you’re interested an avid fisher and passionate about ecology!). 


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!


Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

Short Bio
Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.