What does it take to get into the University at Buffalo—SUNY?

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With an acceptance rate of 57%, the University at Buffalo is moderately selective. What does it take to get in?

 

The largest campus in the SUNY system, the University at Buffalo is comprised of eight schools, including the only schools of architecture and law among SUNY universities. While it is particularly well-known for its School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, UB students can take advantage of a wide range of stellar academic programs. UB also boasts notable alumni including Wolf Blitzer, Terry Gross, and Jeremy Jacobs.

Applying to the University at Buffalo: A Quick Review

Applicants may apply to UB using the Common Application, Coalition Application, or the SUNY Application. If you use the SUNY Application, you must also complete a supplement.

 

If you plan to apply using the Common Application, be aware that two SUNY Buffalo institutions are listed. You should select “University at Buffalo (SUNY).” On the SUNY Application, UB is listed as “Buffalo, University at.”

 

Along with your application, you will submit your SAT or ACT scores. UB does not require but does recommend submitting the writing or essay portions of the SAT or ACT. In order to increase your chances of admission, CollegeVine advises submitting this section of your choice exam. You will also need to submit your high school transcript and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor.

 

Applicants may apply by the nonbinding Early Action (EA) deadline of November 15 or by the Regular Decision deadline of February 1. While prospective students should aim to apply by one of these deadlines, UB notes that students may continue to apply for consideration until the university reaches full capacity for its freshman class. If you wish to be considered for scholarships, however, you must apply by December 15. Keep in mind that some scholarships require separate applications.

UB Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?

UB is moderately selective, with an acceptance rate of 57%. Its EA acceptance rate is considerably higher at 83.6%. While many EA applicants apply to UB as their first choice and are therefore more likely to be strong candidates, applying early can give any competitive applicant an advantage, and considering that the plan is nonbinding, it is helpful to apply under this plan if you are able to meet the early deadline regardless of whether or not UB is your first choice.

 

For the class of 2022, the middle 50% range for the combined critical reading and math sections on the SAT was 1190-1350 and 25-30 for the ACT. On a scale of 100, the middle 50% range for high school GPA was 91-96. To be a competitive applicant, you should aim to have scores and a GPA closer to the upper end of this range.

So, How Does One Get Into UB?

UB performs a holistic review of applicants, evaluating your academic record as well as other factors such as your personal essay, recommendations, activities and special talents, leadership, life circumstances, and more.

 

While UB does not require any specific coursework as prerequisites for admission, the university does suggest that prospective students complete the following by their high school graduation:

 

  • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of college-preparatory science
  • Three years of a second language
  • At least three years of college-preparatory mathematics

 

Students who have not completed this coursework may still be admitted but will likely need to take additional courses after matriculating. To be a strong candidate for admission, you should aim to complete this coursework during high school. 

Want to know your real chances of admission?

Estimating your chance of getting into a college is not easy in today’s competitive environment. Thankfully, with our state-of-the-art software and data, we can analyze your academic and extracurricular profile and estimate your chances. Our profile analysis tool can also help you identify the improvement you need to make to enter your dream school.

How to Make Your Application Stand Out

Emphasize your strengths and choose the most suitable program. UB does accept applicants who have not stated an anticipated major; however, you should still demonstrate strengths in certain areas to ensure that you are admitted into the correct school for you, as evidenced by your extracurricular participation and coursework. For example, if you are considering pursuing a major in the humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, even if you’re undeclared, you should demonstrate proficiency and interest by challenging yourself and performing well in your English, history, and foreign language courses and by participating in corresponding extracurricular activities, such as a foreign language club.

 

Keep in mind that some programs have additional requirements or are limited enrollment. For example, the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance require applicants to complete an audition as part of the admissions process. Additionally, engineering applicants will receive a more rigorous review to assess their “readiness” in key science and math disciplines. Some majors, including architecture, art, biological sciences, business administration, engineering, exercise science, and nuclear medicine technology, admit freshmen directly, while the others admit students in their sophomore year. Your coursework and extracurriculars should demonstrate a strong interest and aptitude in your specific discipline if you choose to apply to these programs directly.

 

Identify special programs. UB offers special programs to some qualifying students. These programs can help you gain admission, as well as give you opportunities you may not have had otherwise. For example, the Educational Opportunity Program offers a path for talented students who have not been able to reach their full academic potential due to educational, economical, or personal circumstances. If you qualify for this program you will receive benefits such as mentoring, scholarships, and more.

 

This means that even if you haven’t excelled due to circumstances beyond your control, you may still have the opportunity to attend UB. Learning about these programs and demonstrating your strengths in other ways can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.

 

Because UB thrives on its diversity and celebrates student from all backgrounds, it also offers guidance to international applicants. Check out the International Undergraduate Admission Office website for details on applying, including additional requirements and the steps for applying for a student visa.

 

Additional special programs include the Honors College. Among seminars and other courses, Honors students will complete a course on teamwork and service learning. To apply for the Honors College, you will select it as an option in the Academics section on your application. Keep in mind that is is much more selective than general university admissions, with a class size of 350 students. Successful applicants are generally within the top 10% of incoming freshman and have demonstrated civic engagement, intellectual curiosity, resilience, and other qualities.

What If You Get Rejected?

Being denied admission to any college, particularly one of your top choices, is disappointing. Still, it’s important to take a step back and regroup. If you get rejected from UB, here’s what you can do:

 

Take a gap year or transfer in. If you had your heart set on UB but received bad news, one option is to take a gap year and reapply next admissions cycle. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have a productive plan for the upcoming year. You might undertake a research project, volunteer, study to improve your SAT scores, or take classes at a local college. Do know, however, that this path is risky, as taking a gap year won’t ensure your acceptance the second time around.

You could also begin your studies at another institution with the hopes of transferring. Approximately 2,300 students transfer to UB annually. Note that there are certain minimum admission criteria for transfer students and some programs have additional transfer admission requirements; for example, Biochemistry requires a departmental application and a GPA of 3.0 in prerequisite courses, along with a 2.0 GPA overall.

 

Keep it in perspective. Even if UB was your top choice, chances are, you’ll find a way to make the best of your experience at another college. College really is what you make of it, and if you put effort into adjusting to another school by joining clubs, working hard in your classes, and cultivating a healthy social life, you’ll likely find that you can make a fulfilling college experience for yourself, even if you end up at your second or third choice college.

 

For more personalized expertise on getting into the University at Buffalo, consider CollegeVines’s College Application Guidance Program. When you sign up for our program, we carefully pair you with the perfect admissions specialist based on your current academic and extracurricular profile and the schools in which you’re interested. Your personal application specialist will help you with branding, essays, and interviews, and provide you with support and guidance in all other aspects of the application process.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.