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#81 Overall Influence #1450 Desirability Rank

Syracuse University

Private university in Syracuse, New York, United States
By James Barham, PhD

Syracuse University traces its roots to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, which was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1831 in Lima, a small town south of Rochester, in the western part of New York state.

In 1850, the scope of the seminary’s mission was enlarged, and the institution was renamed Genesee College.

In 1869, a dispute broke out between two factions among the Methodist ministers who comprised the school’s administration. One group wanted to relocate the college to Syracuse, about 86 miles to the east, to take advantage of new railway connections, while the other group wanted to remain in Lima.

The New York state legislature approved the petition of the faction wishing to move to Syracuse. However, the losing side filed a lawsuit to block the impending relocation of the college.

The group wishing to move went ahead with its plans anyway, which it was able to do legally by changing the school’s name to Syracuse University. In 1870, most of the professors and students then moved from Lima to Syracuse.

The split was a severe blow for the remnant of Genesee College still based in Lima; a few years later, the original college closed its doors.

After World War II, Syracuse began its transformation into a modern, secular, private research university. Today, Syracuse is organized into 13 schools and colleges, with a total student enrollment approaching 23,000. It is especially known for its programs in information studies and library science, communications, business administration, engineering, and several other fields.

Among many prominent Syracuse-connected individuals, we may mention the following:

  • Poet and short fiction writer, Stephen Crane
  • New York Times founder, Henry Jarvis Raymond
  • Journalist and radio broadcaster, Dorothy Thompson
  • Novelists, Joyce Carol Oates, George Saunders & Alice Sebold
  • TV journalists, Ted Koppel & Megyn Kelly
  • Radio and TV personality, Dick Clark
  • Singer and actor, Vanessa Williams
  • Actors, Peter Falk, Vera Farmiga, Neal McDonough, Riki Lindhome & Jessie Mueller
  • Playwright and screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin
  • Comedians, Jerry Stiller & Lisa Lampanelli
  • Artist, Sol LeWitt
  • Poet, singer, and songwriter, Lou Reed
  • Mathematician and physicist, Joel Lebowitz
  • Astronomers, Rainer Sachs & Martin Pomerantz
  • Astrophysicist, Joan Feynman
  • Physicists, Pierre Ramond, Ezra Newman, Albert Baez, Joshua Goldberg & Christina Marchetti
  • Chemist, Jean M.J. Fréchet
  • Nanotechnology pioneer, James Tour
  • Geologist, Alexander Winchell
  • Molecular biologist, Nina Fedoroff
  • Taxonomist, George E. Fox
  • Botanist, William Ralph Maxon
  • Current US Representative, Donna Shalala
  • Former US Vice President and 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

From Wikipedia

Syracuse University is a private research university in Syracuse, New York. The institution's roots can be traced to the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded in 1831 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lima, New York. After several years of debate over relocating the college to Syracuse, the university was established in 1870, independent of the college. Since 1920, the university has identified itself as nonsectarian, although it maintains a relationship with The United Methodist Church.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$17,164
30K - 48K$21,360
48K - 75K$24,698
75K - 110K$27,922

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


900 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse NY 13244

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

32 per 100K

Violent Crime

7 per 100K

What is Syracuse University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#58 World Rank
#41 World Rank
#36 World Rank
Political Science
#21 World Rank
#97 World Rank
#99 World Rank
#55 World Rank
#108 World Rank
#79 World Rank
#79 World Rank
#150 World Rank
#120 World Rank
#102 World Rank
Computer Science
#76 World Rank
#239 World Rank
#102 World Rank
#117 World Rank
Religious Studies
#253 World Rank
#63 World Rank
#69 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#93 World Rank
#79 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#56 World Rank
Social Work

Other areas of influence

#82 World Rank

Influential People

Who are Syracuse University's Most influential alumni?

Syracuse University 's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Communications, Political Science, and Business

George Lois

American art director, designer and author

Donovan McNabb

Donovan McNabb

American football player, quarterback

Jean Fréchet

French chemist

Harry Oakes

British philanthropist

Sean McDonough

American sportscaster

Dick Clark

Dick Clark

American radio and television personality

Joseph Bruchac

American children's writer

Ian Eagle

American sports announcer

Scott Cutlip

American academic

Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson

American fashion designer

Peter Dreier

American urban policy analyst

Mary Schmidt Campbell

Lecturer and author