Syracuse University

#139 / #49
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School

Private university in Syracuse, New York, United States

Syracuse University Featured Rankings

About Syracuse University

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.

According to 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.

Syracuse University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
32,005 69% 83% 1280 28

How Much Does Syracuse University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)
Price by Family Income
Income Average Net Cost
0 - 30K $17,164
30K - 48K $21,360
48K - 75K $24,698
75K - 110K $27,922
110K+ $46,898

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Do Syracuse University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Syracuse University, then you can expect to earn an average of $69,200 per year. You also have a 93% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Syracuse University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
22,985 18,084 4,901

Where is Syracuse University?

Syracuse University is located at 900 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse NY 13244

How Safe is Syracuse University?

Syracuse has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is Syracuse University Known For?

Syracuse University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Syracuse University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are Syracuse University's Most Influential Alumni?

Syracuse University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Communications, Business, and Political Science. Here are some of Syracuse University's most famous alumni:

William Safire
William Safire
An American journalist .
Ernest Becker
An American cultural anthropologist.
Clement Greenberg
Clement Greenberg
An American essayist and visual art critic .
Al Davis
A Former Owner of the Las Vegas/Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
An American author.
Bob Costas
An American sportscaster.
Donna Shalala
A 18th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Story Musgrave
Story Musgrave
An American physician and NASA astronaut.
George Saunders
George Saunders
An American short story writer.
Edward Soja
Edward Soja
An American urban planner.
Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson
A Novelist, short story writer.
Sol LeWitt
Sol LeWitt
An American artist .