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Apply to Geneseo as a First-Year Student

Founded in 1871, SUNY Geneseo is a premier public liberal arts college. Nationally recognized for excellence and value in the liberal arts, Geneseo is known for its exceptional faculty, its welcoming atmosphere, and its reputation for producing successful alumni. A short drive from Rochester and Buffalo, Geneseo offers a uniquely warm environment for learning and discovery.

The Admissions Process

Apply for admission

Step 1:

Complete the Common Application. Be sure to include the required academic/teacher letter of recommendation (while the Secondary School Report is required, a letter of recommendation from a school counselor is not required), co-curricular resume and personal essay. You may also submit the SUNY Application (which includes our Geneseo SUNY Supplement).

Step 2:

Send a copy of your official high school transcript to the Office of Admissions (electronic or paper transcripts are accepted).

Test-optional note: Students are NOT required to submit standardized test scores (SAT, ACT). Applicants are free to add test scores they believe indicate their aptitude for successful higher learning, but they will never be a singular factor of admission to the college. For more information please review our test-optional FAQ.

Step 3:

Ask your parent or guardian to complete our optional Parent Statement.

Application deadlines and decision dates

Application Deadlines

  • Early Decision: Nov. 15 for fall admission (N/A for spring)
  • First-Year: Preferred deadline February 1 for fall admission, Dec. 1 for spring
  • Transfer: Rolling deadline for fall and spring admission
  • Readmission: June 1 for fall admission, Dec. 1 for spring
  • International: June 1 for fall admission, Nov. 1 for spring

Application Decisions Rendered

  • Early Decision: Dec. 15 for fall admission (N/A for spring)
  • First-Year students: Early March for fall admission, rolling for spring
  • Transfer: Rolling decisions for fall and spring admission
  • Readmission: Rolling decisions for fall and spring admission
  • International: Rolling decisions for fall and spring admission

Admission selection criteria

First-Year Students Selection Criteria

Admission decisions are based primarily on your high school academic record and the results of college entrance examinations. Submitting the SAT and/or ACT is optional. If you choose to submit, please submit through the testing agency. Self-reported test scores listed on your Common Application or printed on your high transcript are also acceptable. Geneseo will accept both the new SAT and the old SAT. We will compare your scores using concordance tables to determine your highest scores on either the new SAT or the old SAT. Strong academic programs (especially those that include honors-level courses and AP or IB courses) are preferred.

We take a holistic approach to the review process. Therefore, we look very closely at your supplemental information as well, so be sure to submit your essay, co-curricular resume and letter(s) of recommendation. This combination of information — academic as well as information about who you are outside the classroom — enables us to most accurately determine who to make offers to out of a very competitive applicant pool.

SUNY Geneseo class profile

Special Admissions Programs

Early Decision

Early Decision

Early Decision admission reserves positions in the freshman class for candidates who have decided on Geneseo as their first-choice college. In return, students applying under the early decision program commit to enroll at Geneseo if admitted.

If you are not offered admission under Early Decision, your application is automatically deferred to regular admission review for re-evaluation. Transfer, EOP, and special talent students are not eligible for this program; application deadlines for Early Decision admission preclude these candidates from participating.

How to Apply for Early Decision

1. File the Common Application or (SUNY Application with Geneseo SUNY Supplement).

2. A letter of recommendation from a teacher is required. You may also submit a letter from other sources (i.e. school counselor, coach, employer) if you wish to do so.

3. Statement of Commitment; submit, in long hand, an exact copy of the Statement of Commitment (see below) on the Statement of Commitment form. Include your signature and your parent or guardian's signature. Please note that your application will not be complete without submission of this form.

Statement of Commitment

Geneseo is my first-choice college and I wish to have my application considered under the first choice Early Decision plan. I understand that I am committed to accepting an offer of admission if it is extended. I also agree to withdraw all previously filed college applications upon notification of an admission offer from Geneseo, and I will not initiate any new ones.

4. Your parent or guardian is welcome to submit our optional Parent Statement, which gives us a perspective that only those who know you intimately can provide.

Early Decision Timeline

Application deadline: Nov. 15
Notification of decision: Dec. 15
Payment of tuition deposit Jan. 15

Spring Admission and Guaranteed Admission

Spring Admission

Every year, we receive more applications than spots available in the class, which means that not every applicant is successful gaining admission to Geneseo. Our holistic review process ensures that every application is reviewed from A to Z. We are focused on evaluating the whole student, which means that individual experiences — both inside and outside the classroom — matter.

Our goal is to give every student the opportunity to attend Geneseo. For some, that means enrolling in the fall, while other students will have the opportunity to enroll in the spring or the following year — two additional options to support students’ goal to join the Geneseo family.

Our first option is spring admission. The spring admission program guarantees students a spot in the class and works closely with them to ensure that they graduate with their class. For more information, please visit our Spring Admission FAQs and Next Steps page.

Guaranteed Admission

Our second option is referred to as Guaranteed Admission. It offers students an opportunity to reapply to Geneseo after completing at least two semesters of college coursework elsewhere while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. We ask that you connect with us before enrolling in these courses. Our goal is to help you graduate on time, so we are here to help with course selection to ensure that you stay on track.

Please contact or 866-245-5211 with any questions.

Educational Opportunity Program

Educational Opportunity Program

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is available only to New York State residents. It is a state-funded initiative designed to provide an alternative means to gain access to college. Its goal is to assist you if your high school academic achievement was adversely affected by family financial hardship.

In addition to providing access to college, the EOP Program offers the following personal and academic support services: A personal advisor whose services are available throughout your undergraduate college career A free, comprehensive tutoring program A workshop series focused on skills needed to succeed in college.

In order to apply for this Program, simply answer “yes” to the Educational Opportunity Program question on the application.

Transitional Opportunity Program

Transitional Opportunity Program

The Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP) is unique to Geneseo, and has been designed by the College in an effort to enhance the diversity of our Community.

If you fall marginally below our prevailing academic standards, but will add to campus diversity, you may be considered for admission through this Program. We consider the following populations:

Applicants who are 25 years or older Recent immigrants who have lived in the United States less than 6 years Applicants from racial/ethnic groups that are underrepresented on campus Applicants that are first generation college students

Details about academic criteria for the TOP Program

In addition to providing access to College, the TOP Program offers the following personal and academic support services:

A personal advisor whose services are available throughout your undergraduate college career A free, comprehensive tutoring program A workshop series focused on skills needed to succeed in college.

There is no need to apply for the Program, as all applicants are considered as part of our review process. However, you must complete the application process by March 1 (all initial offers will be made prior to this date). Be certain to indicate on your application if you are a member of any of the four groups listed above for full and equal consideration.

Related Information

Financial assistance: what it looks like

To better understand how aid for first-year students is broken down and awarded at SUNY Geneseo, check out Financial Assistance: What it Looks Like.

Advanced Placement or college-level coursework transfer credit

AP/IB Transfer Credit

Geneseo awards up to 30 credit hours for examinations such as the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB). While each academic department determines the minimum test score required for academic credit in a particular subject, three hours of elective credit are guaranteed for general elective courses with scores of three or above for AP courses and four above for IB courses.

Official transcripts or reports of your scores must be sent to the Geneseo Admissions Office to receive credit. At your request, Geneseo will send you an estimate of transfer credit; an official evaluation will be available when you register for classes.

Complete listing of AP/IB course equivalents

Geneseo's transfer policy for Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate or college-level coursework.

Combined degree programs

SUNY Geneseo has combined degree programs offered through the Department of Biology.