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)

What is Syracuse University Known for?

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Located in Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University was founded in 1870. In its more than one and a half centuries, Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates, Olympic medalists, Academy Award recipients, and high-level government officials have graduated from Syracuse. 


Joyce Carol Oates, Aaron Sorkin, and Vanessa Williams are all Syracuse University alumni. And another famous graduate? The current president of the United States, Joe Biden, earned his Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the university.


Want to learn more about Syracuse? Keep reading to find out all about the research university’s claims to fame.


Overview of Syracuse Admissions


Location: Syracuse, NY

Undergrad Enrollment: 15,200

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Average SAT: 1270

Average ACT: 28


Syracuse admissions is moderately selective. Students can apply via the Common App; all applicants will also need to write a “Why Syracuse?” essay, and those applying to the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement will have an additional essay. Since Syracuse is selective, you’ll need strong essays and extracurriculars in addition to solid academics. The “Why This College?” essay is especially important. Find a couple specific aspects of Syracuse that deeply resonate with you and your goals to explain why the school is a good fit.


Unique Aspects of Syracuse




Syracuse is the fifth-largest city in New York State and the snowiest metropolitan area in the U.S. The eponymous university sits atop a hill that overlooks the city itself. Syracuse houses numerous attractions, including the Landmark Theatre, the Everson Museum of Art, The Great New York State Fair, and many outdoor attractions and activities!


Students and residents flock to the many food, music, and cultural festivals. They also take advantage of the over 170 parks and ski, ice skate, hike, swim, and go apple picking in them! Students can also visit the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) and Salt Museum during their downtime. 




Syracuse has 13 schools within the larger university. Housing more than 200 majors and 100 minors, along with over 200 advanced degree programs, Syracuse has something to offer for every student!


The School of Architecture is the fourth-oldest architecture school in the U.S. Its prestigious five-year undergraduate program culminates in a Bachelor of Architecture degree. In addition, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University has unique offerings in exercise science, food studies, human development and family science, and more. Syracuse is also home to a top-ranked for public affairs program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Syracuse’s University College offers flexible options for students, including three part-time Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) degrees and certificate programs, an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts degree, and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. These programs can be completed online or on campus.


Other schools within Syracuse that offer bachelor’s degree programs include:


  • The College of Arts and Sciences
  • The College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • The School of Education
  • The School of Information Studies
  • Martin J. Whitman School of Management
  • The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)
  • The Newhouse School of Public Communications


Across its many schools and colleges, Syracuse offers a number of off-the-beaten-path courses. These classes range from Understanding Cognitive Science, in which students use robots to better understand methodologies of cognitive science, to American National Security Through Film, where students explore America’s experiences with war, terrorism, and other security threats and how the nation responded to them.


Syracuse students are supported through their studies. Resources like the Falcone Center, which aids entrepreneurial efforts, ensure that students are able to pursue out-of-classroom goals with help from the university. Meanwhile, almost half of Syracuse students study abroad across more than 100 programs in 60 countries.


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Syracuse is well known for the Orange. Its basketball team has won three National Championships, one NCAA tournament championship, and a record 51 consecutive winning seasons! Moreover, Greek life is an important aspect of extracurricular life at Syracuse. Around 30% of students participate across 40 organizations on campus.


But if athletics and fraternities or sororities aren’t for you, there are plenty of other activities available. Love music? Join one of several a cappella groups, such as The Mandarins. Want to become more active and physically fit? Check out CHAARG, an organization that partners with fitness studios to provide activities like salsa classes. Overall, there are many activities across a range of niches, ranging from writing to movie screenings.




Syracuse has amassed a number of traditions through the course of its long, illustrious history. For example, during Home to the Dome new students learn the school’s cheer songs and chants. This initiates students into Otto’s Army, which is the university’s cheering section and an official student organization.


Also, National Orange Day takes place on the anniversary of the founding day of Syracuse. The community celebrates with events, free food, and other goings-on. Another not-to-miss tradition is Orange Central, a combination of homecoming and reunion weekend. The event draws thousands of alumni, who flock to campus to join the festivities.


And don’t miss Mayfest! This is an annual end-of-year celebration that features a Block Party concert. There’s also the Winter Carnival, which has plenty of festivities. In 2005, attendees built the world’s largest snowball at the time.




All freshmen and sophomores live on campus in residence halls. One option for incoming first-year students is Theme Housing, offering Arts Theme, Wellness Theme, and Substance-Free Theme (also open to sophomores).


Upperclassmen, meanwhile, can choose among other options, such as living-learning communities. In these residences, students live among peers who share their interests, such as major or minor programs. These students will participate in events and activities and enjoy faculty support for their cohorts.


Living learning communities fall under these broad themes:


  • Arts and expression
  • Business and management
  • Cultural exploration and diversity
  • Education
  • Leadership and citizenship
  • Science, technology, engineering and math
  • Global connections


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Syracuse?


Syracuse is a moderately selective school, but your personal chances of admission depend on your unique profile. Using CollegeVine’s free chancing engine, you’ll be able to learn your real odds of getting into Syracuse based on your profile, which encompasses your GPA, SAT/ACT scores, extracurriculars, and other factors.


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.