SUNY Empire State University Reviews

  • 31 Reviews
  • Saratoga Springs (NY)
  • Annual Tuition: $17,515
79% of 31 students said this degree improved their career prospects
65% of 31 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

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 History, a topic I used to love. Also, be prepared for 4 credit courses only. There’s absolutely no reason for 4 credit courses. They claim they’re “adult student friendly” but they’re not. What should be a 2 credit course, is a 4 credit degree planning class that you have to take. I’d be fine with 2 but 4 is obscene. I’m back in school for an AA, General Studies degree. 4 credits to pick out classes for 4 semesters is ridiculous. I feel completely abandoned by my mentor, I feel like I wasted my time despite getting nearly a 4.0, and I would never recommend someone to Empire unless they want to do the work Harvard expects but with a hardly known college and no benefits. The only reason I gave a 3 star is the professors. 90% are wonderful but the other 10% make it hard."
  • 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 a middle ground. I ultimately decided to leave the university due to the negative affect it had on my mental health. Most of the professors are great and understanding. The issue really is with the Student Affairs Division as a whole. From Student Accounts, to the Office of Disability Services, to Student Success. All the individuals I "worked" with did not provide me with any assistance based on my clear and thorough evaluations and diagnosis. I wish that no student experiences the treatment I did at SUNY Empire State College."
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 Studies" or some other generic subject. With my veteran's tuition discount, ESC was cheaper than in-state tuition at my local state university, and their generous and flexible credit acceptance policy meant that credits from previous college courses, the military, and even work/life experience would help me graduate sooner at ESC than anywhere else, and I was able to go from having an AA to a bachelor's in just 4 semesters of part-time study. I graduated summa cum laude with my bachelor's in 2021 and had several job offers before my last semester was over. I now have an exciting and fulfilling new career with a great salary and benefits. I have been accepted to some of the most prestigious graduate programs in my field of study and will be starting my master's degree in Spring 2022. ESC is for adult learners who know how to manage their time and meet deadlines. Having a great mentor is key, and I appreciate mine for all the time and effort she put into my education. You will get out of ESC what you put into it."
  • 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 this as someone getting a Masters of Teaching at a different institution now: If you want to have anything resembling a healthy learning environment, go elsewhere. You will pay the same rate for UAlbany brick and mortar classes but the only thing you can count on is the book and yourself, and sometimes the book is bad. I had one of my tutors, provided by Empire State Tutoring services no less, risk punishment to herself in order to recommend to me a better text than the one we were expected to learn from because she felt it was absurd, as the book was not meant for the level it was being used. I had one class where the ONLY interaction I received from the instructor the entire class was 1 paragraph of feedback on my final project and the final grade since nothing was graded until the end of the semester. Much of my learning was done by patching together resources I found for free, provided by other schools, and even watching random youtube videos. That said, I did get my piece of paper and I am progressing in my career. I give none of the credit to the school or my instructors - none."
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 life and going to school and Empire absolutely nails that. I truly struggled with finding school that works like Empire because it was amazing. Therefore, I ended up going back to Empire for my Master's degree. What I hate, they have VERY LIMITED Master's program. It's ridiculous! I would get a double Master's and Doctorate if they would provide! Also their Master's does not really match their Bachelor's program, which they have a large and great selection from on that part. I've only had maybe 3 teacher's that were horrible from the time there. My advisor was great also but when she left, her replacement was terrible, no contact from her. Luckily this was towards the last 3 months before I graduated. Also great curriculum!!"
  • 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."
Sen-Pei Hsia
  • Reviewed: 5/10/2019
  • Degree: Management
"Excellent school for adult learners. This school is meant for those non traditional adult learners who have either had a break in their education, a career, a family that they had to take care of, or any other reason why they couldn't pursue linear academic success earlier in their lives. I think that SUNY Empire State College is one of the best schools that I have attended simply because of their mentorship program, which is when they pair you with a mentor who guides you throughout your academic career there. I personally had a low GPA when I entered the college, and by the end of it, I ended up with a 3.62 GPA. Most of the teachers allow you to take their classes online, via email, or will work with you independently. My only issues are that the school does not have an on campus library and post college career resource center that is tangible/ with a physical location. If they can help their students and alumni more with these issues, I would say that they can compete more with other colleges and have a higher retention rate."
SUNY Graduate
  • Reviewed: 4/17/2019
  • Degree: Business Administration
"My experience at SUNY Empire State College was wonderful. The curriculum was challenging, the professors were amazing and the entire staff were extremely professional. As in every college or university, you will get good and bad reviews but my experience, as a previous student and a current professional those who complain about schools are usually the ones who are unable to keep up with the challenge. Empire State College is part of the SUNY and as such, it upholds the reputation, quality of education and beyond."
  • 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 ended up with a bill that has doubled in size. I am a disabled person who does not have the funds to pay for classes that I did not take, especially classes that are in violation of the schools own disability services policy, so now in order to finish a degree I will essentially be paying for the same class three times."
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 was the longest I had ever experienced. I got good grades, but if I had to do it again, I would not! Grading is uneven. Instructors grade when they feel like it. Instructors may not respond to your email. Some fees go up each term."
  • Reviewed: 11/19/2018
  • Degree: Military Science
"Slow to post grades. Professors often do not communicate with students, and seem to work/post on their own time schedule. Throughout my six year academic career, I have NEVER experienced this before. Usually grades have been posted precisely when due, and there is high instructor feedback."
  • Reviewed: 10/28/2018
  • Degree: Sociology
"Good Overall. The school is great. But some professors are unprofessional. A L. is also professor at Skidmore College, and former students have negatively reviewed her there. She is an effective teacher, but does not grade in a timely fashion."
Current Student
  • Reviewed: 8/24/2018
  • Degree: Sociology
"Helpful in some ways, horrific in others. I found many of the staff members rude, and unprofessional when I called. I worked hard and earned a 3.7 GPA and am on track for the same this term. Despite this the school passed me up for scholarships. I am earning both an associates, and bachelors this final term."
  • Reviewed: 8/2/2018
  • Degree: Fire Science
"My degree was entirely online. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the mentors and faculty. they were all very knowledgeable and easy to learn from. their one -on-one help made completing assignments a breeze. The virtual classroom layouts were easy to navigate and well structured. the only issue i ran into was that at the end of my course work to graduate, the review board assumed that one legal class was the only deciding factor to my graduation despite having taken two other courses that covered the legal aspect needed."
Gregory McCarty
  • Reviewed: 7/28/2018
  • Degree: Information Technology
"Empire State College overall is a great school to attend. I was able to do all of my classes online, even though I live 45 minutes from their main campus, and that made it very convenient so I could continue to work full time and do my studies. My initial impression of the college was confusion. The students design their own degree program with the assistance of their mentor and chose what classes that they want to take. My mentor wasn't the best at explaining all of this to me. Once you put a degree plan together you have to write an essay explaining what you took and why you want to take it and get all of that approved as well by a panel. I didn't get my degree plan approved until right before I graduated because I was frustrated with it and decided to just move on and do it later. My mentor at first was good, she was responsive when I needed her and answered my questions for the most part, except for the degree planning stuff. About a year in though I wasn't happy with how long it started taking to get responses from her. I ended up having to ask for another mentor. In fact, I went through 3 while I was at this college. The last one was the best. If I had gotten her in the beginning I would have never needed another. I guess the first 2 were not just mentors but also teachers and I can only assume they got caught up in their course work that they didn't have time for me anymore. The teachers at the school were pretty good. I only ran into 2 or 3 who didn't like to respond to e-mails or questions and just let the class do what they wanted. They also didn't seem to pay much attention to the course work being done because I was getting all A's for discussion work that I know I fell short on but just ran out of time. The college also has all of their admin building in Saratoga Springs where I live but does not offer many classes there. If they had, I would have enjoyed going to a campus for at least some of my classes. I also would have liked to have seen more Information Technology classes offered. I was able to take 2 courses in Java and PHP but I would have liked to have seen one that focused on the UNIX language and BASH or shell scripting as well. Those are all very relevant to the IT world and highly used."
  • Reviewed: 6/29/2018
  • Degree: Human Services
"SUNY Empire State College is an excellent school. I highly recommend attending this institution for a number of reasons. I returned to finish my college degree and obtain my bachelor's in psychology. I found the enrollment process is easy as well as the application requirements were simple. I received an acceptance letter within the month of applying, which I did not have the anxiety of waiting months for a response. The school offers great support for new or returning students. For instance, SUNY provides a tutorial on how to use their platform and database, and for those students that will need a refresher, the tutorial is always available. For any changes to the platform, tutorials or FAQ's are available for guidance. The school's platform is also easy to use for everyone, including those that find technology challenging. I highly recommend the long distance option for busy adults that do not have time to sit in a classroom. Each course is flexible and does not require a specific login time. In addition, an academic advisor is provided for all students to assist in the transition to your new academic career. This is enforced with monthly meetings via phone, email, or Skype. This individual can assist with any obstacles with course selection and degree requirements for graduation. Moreover, the school offers academic coaches and tutors for students that need additional assistance. The professors are friendly and available for questions. My professors wrote my reference letters for graduate school and offered graduate school advice! Students are able to learn from the platform and benefit from the support despite the long distance program option."
LaToya Flood
  • Reviewed: 6/7/2018
  • Degree: Business
"I have been attending Empire since 2014 but this past fall semester was the worst semester I have ever experience in this institution. I dealt with VERY unprofessional professors that cared more about money than their students. What was the worst part about this experiences was that the administrative office supports these professors? To future and present students of Empire State College. PAY ATTENTION!!!!! I will be reporting this institution to Higher Education."
  • Reviewed: 9/12/2017
  • Degree: Human Services
"If you are new to online learning than it will take some time to adjust. I have had an overall, very good experience through Empire, and I would recommend it with some caveats. If you are expecting to be taught by instructors, you will be by enlarge disappointed. Although, some are engaged in the course work and require regular contact through out the semester to go over your papers, they are the exception rather than the rule. Furthermore, there are different platforms of learning for the same classes, e.g. independent study, and Module classrooms. The CDL, or module courses are more challenging with more stringent deadlines. Therefore, depending on your goals, I would recommend taking and independent study courses, same text, same material, same credit, less challenging.. The take away is this, if you have some discipline, are mature, responsible, and can learn without instruction you will do well. However, if you need constant feedback, and need to be told what to do, then online learning is not for you. If you stay in contact with your mentor, professors, and do the work, they are very accommodating and fair. My experience can be summarized along this format, you get the course syllabus online, you have the instructors telephone number and email, you purchase the assigned texts, read the chapters, do the projects or assignments, and submit the papers. THAT'S IT! No multiple choice exams, just reading, writing and meeting with your professor via telephone or email, 3 or 4 times a semester.. It's challenging, but very doable.. Again, I highly recommend it. I have become a much better writer and communicator as a result. In addition, if your a NYS resident, and have prior learning credits, you won't find a less expensive way to get a quality accredited degree from a State University .. PS. Purchase your books on Amazon, for a fraction of the price, don't fall for the bookstore inflated price rip off!!!"
  • Reviewed: 8/26/2017
  • Degree: MBA
"I feel that SUNY Empire State provides a thorough education, and really makes students work hard to earn credits, certificates, and degrees. You really must have (or develop) very good writing skills for anything at ESC. Even being online, the amount of collaboration and teamwork required (especially for the later courses) was excellent and meaningful. There were several on-site residencies which further enhanced interpersonal communications and teamwork. After graduating from both an Ivy-league college and professional (doctorate) school, I feel that I definitely received a quality education from ESC, and it really contributed to my professional development. I've also been able to lifelong connections with fellow students and professors which will be invaluable in my future."