Undergraduate Application Requirements

Note: SUNY Empire State College does not offer a bachelor's degree program approved by the New York State Education Department for the fulfillment of teacher certification or professional licensure requirements. Applicants are advised to communicate with the State Education Department in their state for fulfillment of teacher certification or professional licensure.

Core Requirements

(On this page, scroll or link for details.)

Additional requirements for:

Related content:

Orientation Fee

Orientation Fee of $50 (non-refundable) paid at the time of online application submission. If you possess a valid fee waiver code, you will enter that code in the payment screen within the online application.

Application Essay

The quality of your essay will determine your admission to the college.

Your essay will be evaluated on the following areas:

  • how well you answer the essay prompt below
  • how well you organize and develop your ideas
  • grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

Remember to proofread your essay before you submit it.

Essay Prompt

In a typed essay of at least 300 words, please describe:

  • why you are applying to SUNY Empire State College
  • What you hope to study, and how earning a degree in that field of study will help you achieve your personal and professional goals, and
  • what strengths and experiences (educational, employment, community and personal background) you possess that will help make you a successful student at SUNY Empire State College.

RN to BSN Essay Prompt

In an essay of no fewer than 300 words, please describe:

  1. how earning a higher degree in nursing will help you achieve your personal and professional goals,
  2. ways you would like to personalize your learning while engaging in the degree requirements to achieve your goals,
  3. your strengths and experiences (educational, employment, community and personal background) that will make you a successful student in our learning environment.
(Back to top)

Proof of High School Completion

Proof of high school completion is required for admission into the college; this may be in the form of ONE of the following:

  • official high school transcript from a state approved high school
  • copy of a United States High School Diploma from a state approved high school
  • High School Equivalency Transcript (GED/TASC Test Scores)
  • official transcript from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university showing conferral of an associate degree, see How to Submit Official Transcripts section below.

High School Credentials from Home-schools or Other Private Schools

Students who have completed their secondary education at a non-public school or home-school that:

  • is not registered with the State Education Department;
  • is not recognized, authorized or approved by the state educational entity in which the school is located to issue high school degrees;
  • is not located in the state which the student resides,


  • A High School Equivalency Transcript (GED/TASC Test Scores),or
  • a letter from the superintendent of the school district in which they studied attesting that such a program is substantially equivalent to a four-year high school program pursuant to the requirements of section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


The Board of Regents does not approve correspondence study, including on-line, as equivalent to a high school diploma for New York State residents. Therefore, correspondence study and on-line diplomas are not valid for individuals who were New York State residents at the time they received the on-line diploma. The individual would have to have been a resident of the state issuing the on-line diploma at the time they earned the diploma, where such on-line high school is recognized by that state.

(Back to top)

Official College Transcripts

An official transcript will be needed for each institution attended, even if transfer credit from a previous institution is listed on another college transcript.

Students must contact their previous college/university to request that an official transcript be sent directly to Empire State College. Empire State College partners with several electronic transcript providers to receive electronic academic transcripts. If your institution provides electronic transcripts, you may request to have your official transcripts sent electronically from your institution directly to SUNY Empire State College.

How to Submit Official Transcripts

Official High School Transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution by:

  • Mail: Admissions Office, SUNY Empire State College, 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
  • Fax: 518-587-9759
  • Email: admissions@esc.edu
  • A copy of a high school diploma may be submitted by the student; however, not all submissions will meet the requirement and additional proof may be requested.

Official College/University Transcripts must be transmitted electronically through an electronic transcript provider or mailed directly from the issuing institution to:

Admissions Office
SUNY Empire State College
2 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

(Back to top)

High School or College/University Transcripts from Non-U.S. Institutions

If you have completed high school or college credit at a non-U.S. institution, you must have those credentials evaluated by one of the following approved evaluation services:

Evaluation reports must be submitted directly from an approved evaluation service to the college. Copies of evaluations sent by the student will not be accepted.

Canadian Applicants

  • Canadian high school documents must show the approval of the ministry of education.
  • Canadian transcripts must be in English.
  • Empire State College accepts transcripts from Canadian institutions that are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) or the Canadian Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT).

All other educational documents must be evaluated by one of the approved evaluation services listed above.

(Back to top)

Undergraduate Nursing and Allied Health Applicants

In addition to the core requirements listed above-

Nursing Applicants must:

  • possess an active, unencumbered New York State RN license and submit that New York State RN License Number in the online application.

B.S. in Allied Health Applicants must:

  • have an associate degree or diploma in allied health or a related field from an accredited higher-education institution
  • have an active, current license/certification and submit that license/certification number (for professions requiring licensure or certification) in the online application
  • have completed of a minimum of 12 credits in the natural and social sciences (Anatomy and Physiology I and II are required)
(Back to top)

Military Training and Experience

If you are currently or have previously service in the US military, please send an official copy of your military transcript (Joint Service Transcript, Community College of the Air Force or DD-214) to the Admissions office. Upon receipt, an evaluation of your training credit will be completed. The transfer of these military credits will be discussed with your mentor during the degree planning process. Military transcripts are free and should be sent electronically from the websites below.

BranchPopulationOfficial TranscriptSource for Transcript
Army Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard and Veteran

ACE Registry Transcript

Joint Services Transcript

(Follow the instructions in your browser to continue to the website.)

Active Duty, Reserves and Veteran
Marine Corps

Active Duty, Reserves and Veteran

Coast Guard
Active Duty, Reserves and Veteran
Air Force
Active Duty, Reserves, Air National Guard  (service after 1972) Community College of the Air Force transcript CCAF Transcript
Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (service prior to 1976)
Air Force (service prior to 1972)
DD-214 National Archives

The Office of Veteran and Military Education is available to assist you throughout your studies at Empire State College. Please contact us at military.programs@esc.edu or 518-587-2100 ext. 2779 if you have any questions.

(Back to top)

Applicants from Outside the United States or Canada

Please note that Empire State College is authorized under federal law to issue Department of Homeland Security Form I-20 documents to nonimmigrant students. SUNY Empire State College limits its issuance of the I-20 document to Canadian nonimmigrant students who wish to study in the U.S. at one of our programs as border commuter students. Applicants who wish to travel to the U.S. to study should see other State University of New York or City University of New York options.