Buffalo State University

Coordinates: 42°56′05″N 78°53′02″W / 42.9347°N 78.8839°W / 42.9347; -78.8839
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Buffalo State University
Former names
  • Buffalo Normal School (1871–1888)
  • State Normal and Training School (1888–1927)
  • State Teachers College at Buffalo (1928–1946)
  • New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo (1946–1950)
  • SUNY, New York State College for Teachers (1950–1951)
  • State University College for Teachers at Buffalo (1951–1959)
  • State University College of Education at Buffalo (1960–1961)
  • State University College at Buffalo (1961–2023)
MottoDedicated to Excellence
TypePublic university
EstablishedSeptember 13, 1871; 152 years ago (1871-09-13)
Parent institution
State University of New York
Academic affiliation
Endowment$52.9 million (2019)[1]
ChancellorJohn B. King Jr.
PresidentKatherine Conway-Turner
ProvostJames Mayrose
Academic staff
  • Fall 2021:[2]
  • Full-time: 340
  • Part-time: 337
  • Grad. asst.: 35
Students7,173 (Fall 2021)[2]
Undergraduates6,147 (Fall 2021)[2]
Postgraduates1,026 (Fall 2021)[2]
CampusUrban, 125 acres (51 ha)
  • Burnt orange, purple, warm gray, and cool gray[3]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III
MascotBenji the Bengal
Sign at Grant St. and Rockwell Rd.

The State University of New York Buffalo State University[4][5] (colloquially referred to as Buffalo State University, SUNY Buffalo State, Buffalo State, or simply Buff State)[6][7] is a public university in Buffalo, New York. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Buffalo State University was founded in 1871 as the Buffalo Normal School to train teachers. It offers 79 undergraduate majors with 11 honors options, 11 post baccalaureate teacher certification programs, and 64 graduate programs.[8]

42°56′05″N 78°53′02″W / 42.9347°N 78.8839°W / 42.9347; -78.8839


Buffalo State was founded in 1871 as the Buffalo Normal School before becoming the State Normal and Training School (1888–1927), the State Teachers College at Buffalo (1928–1946), the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo (1946–1950), SUNY, New York State College for Teachers (1950–1951), the State University College for Teachers at Buffalo (1951–1959), the State University College of Education at Buffalo (1960–1961), State University College at Buffalo (1961), and SUNY Buffalo State University in 2023.[6][5]

Eighty-six students attended the Buffalo Normal School on the first day of classes on September 13, 1871. The school's purpose was to provide a uniform training program for teachers to serve Buffalo's fast-growing public school population. Today, Buffalo State remains one of only 136 colleges in the nation to host a teacher-preparation program[citation needed], but its curricular offerings now include more than 250 undergraduate and graduate programs.

The WWII years were another time of growth for the college; in 1944, the now renowned Special Education program was founded and in 1948, the first dormitory building was erected where the present-day Moot Hall is located. In 1961, Buffalo State was the first institution in the SUNY system to offer a study-abroad program, a semester-long immersion program in Siena, Italy. International study programs now include international exchange and study-abroad programs in Australia, Canada, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

In 1964, the Buffalo State University Planetarium opened its doors with a 24-foot dome, and Dr. James Orgren became the facility's director in 1966. On November 17, 1978, a fire destroyed the facility, but the community's generosity allowed it to reopen on April 18, 1980. In April 1982, it was renamed the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium in honor of its greatest benefactor. In 1984, Dr. Orgren hired Mr. Arthur Gielow as his successor. Mr. Gielow died in 2010, and after a brief remodeling, the planetarium reopened in 2011 under the direction of Dr. Kevin Williams. In January 2013, the planetarium hosted a closing ceremony that highlighted its 48-year history. Through 2010–2012, staff members Tim Collins, Stephen Dubois and Terry Farrell created several programs. In 2015, a generous donation allowed the planetarium to reopen with a temporary 20-foot inflatable fulldome system. The new 35-foot dome facility is now open in the Science And Math Complex building.


Buffalo state has 29 buildings including student centers, academic buildings, athletics buildings, office buildings, and residence halls. Buffalo State is undergoing a $350 million campus-wide improvement project. In 2011, a $45 million Student Apartment Complex opened on the west side of campus. It is Buffalo State's largest addition to campus student housing since the early 1970s.[9]

A new $38 million Technology Building is expected to achieve LEED gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. A $103.4 million renovation and expansion of the Science and Mathematics Complex is under way and is scheduled for completion in 2017. Other campus projects include a $9.5 million renovation on the third floor of Rockwell Hall, $5.6 million renovation to the Campbell Student Union, $28 million rehabilitation of the Houston Gymnasium, $9 million in rehabilitation to the Tower 4 residence hall, and $11.2 million in underground utility replacements in the Rockwell Quadrangle and nearby vicinity.


Buffalo State University Graduation, 1997
Buffalo State University Student Affairs Vice President and Dean of Students Phillip Santa Maria[10][11] (1943–2005) speaking at MOOG Leadership Weekend, East Aurora, New York, 2000

Buffalo State has 79 undergraduate majors with 11 honors options and 64 opportunities for graduate study, including 11 teacher certification programs. Fifty-one faculty members have been awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and seven have been honored as SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professors.[12]

More than 80 percent of all classes at Buffalo State have fewer than 40 students. Classes for undergraduate majors usually have between 12 and 15 students.[13] As of 2016, 49 Buffalo State faculty members have been awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.[14]


Buffalo State is composed of three schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of the Professions.

Programs and centers[edit]

Programs available at Buffalo State that are not offered at any other SUNY institution include adult education, applied economics, art conservation, communication design, creativity, fashion and textile technology, fiber design, forensic chemistry, metal/jewelry design, higher education administration, urban and regional planning, and wood/furniture design. Buffalo State was the first school in the world to grant a master of science in creativity.[citation needed] The university also now offers an undergraduate minor in Creative Studies.[15] Both programs are offered through the International Center for Studies in Creativity, which is housed on campus. Buffalo State has 12 centers promoting growth and excellence.

Others include:

  • Center for Development of Human Services (CDHS). Strengthening human services through training, organizational, and technical assistance; technology; and evaluation, this center offers a comprehensive menu of management, supervisory, and worker-training programs that enable students to learn to more effectively serve their future clients.
  • Center for Health and Social Research. Working as an integral component of Buffalo State to provide collaboration between students, faculty, and staff in intellectual development, this center works to investigate basic and applied research topics that are among the most pressing in today's society.
  • Great Lakes Center. This center actively conducts collaborative research with other institutions and agencies in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The research focuses primarily on lakes Erie and Ontario and their tributaries, although national and international projects are also a priority. Research topics include aquatic invasive species, biodiversity and conservation of freshwater mollusks, nutrient stoichiometry and lake budgets,[16] population ecology, water quality, and wetland chemistry and hydrology.
Rockwell Hall – SUNY Buffalo State


Through the Research Foundation for the State University of New York, Buffalo State receives more grants and research support than all SUNY colleges and universities combined.[citation needed]

Activities include an annual student research symposium, a summer research fellowship program, a small grants program to support academic-year research, travel support for students presenting or performing at professional meetings and conferences, and faculty development opportunities related to undergraduate research.[citation needed]


Buffalo State was ranked 31 in the category Top Public Schools Regional Universities (North) by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges 2012." When all public and private institutions are included, Buffalo State is ranked 110 in the Top Regional Universities (North) Tier 1, as of 2016.[17] In the same report in 2012, it ranked 73rd nationally for graduate schools in speech-language pathology.[18] Ranking Web of Universities ranks Buffalo State 4 out of 100 top universities in the Northern Region of the United States and 1,000 out of the top 12,000 in the world.[19] International Colleges & Universities ranks Buffalo State as the 17th best university in New York State out of 145.[20]

Student life[edit]


There are 8,082 undergraduates and 1,036 graduate students enrolled.[21] The undergraduate population (Fall 2018) was 43 percent male and 57 percent female. The overall admission rate of new students (2016) was 62 percent.[22] Students both in and out of state, as well as from other countries, are a foundation of the student body; many students hail from the New York City metropolitan area.

Roughly one-quarter of Buffalo State's students live on campus. The university provides a variety of options for its resident students. Some residence halls house first-year students exclusively; some house a mixture of students, and some are reserved for upper-division students. Additionally, there is a mix of specialty housing for specific groups and interests.

Student Apartment Complex (2011)

Through the International and Exchange Programs Office, Buffalo State students can study at another campus in the United States, Canada, or around the world. Students have the opportunity to join more than 81 campus organizations, including 22 fraternities and sororities and an International Students Organization (ISO).[citation needed]

United Students Government[edit]

United Students Government (USG) represents the student body in campus governance and helps administrate student activities and organizations. USG provides activities, services, and student representation at Buffalo State. USG is headed by an executive branch of students elected each year along with a judicial branch and senate elected at the same time. USG manages and disperses money provided by the mandatory student activity fee to the many organizations and clubs on campus.


Buffalo State's sports teams are known as the Bengals. Buffalo State competes in 16 varsity sports within NCAA Division III.

The Bengals men's basketball team won a State University of New York's Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2011. In fall 2012, the Bengals football team prevailed in a dramatic upset over the No. 1-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, breaking into the national rankings for the first time since 2000.[citation needed]

The men's and women's ice hockey teams play in the 1,800-seat Ice Arena within the Buffalo State Sports Arena on campus. The Ice Arena serves as a practice facility for the Buffalo Sabres, has hosted the NJCAA championships, and is also a host site for the Western New York Federation High School Hockey regular season and championship playoffs.

In 2019, the cheerleading team placed 5th at the NCA collegiate national championship in the intermediate DIII division.

Club sports[edit]

Buffalo State also has four club sports funded by the United Students Government (USG): men's club hockey, co-ed rowing, men's rugby, and women's rugby.[23]

Greek life[edit]

Cock-a-doodle-doo (1981) sculpture by Billie Lawless in front of Upton Hall

Buffalo State has an Inter-Greek Association to support the operation of fraternities and sororities on campus. There are 11 fraternities and sororities recognized at Buffalo State.[24]


  • BSC-TV Channel 3
  • WBNY-FM 91.3 (MHz), student-run radio station
  • The Record, the student-run newspaper, was published every Wednesday. It ceased being a print publication in 2016 and became online only starting in 2017.
  • The Lens, an art, culture, and literary magazine
  • 1300 Elmwood, magazine for alumni and friends, published biannually
    Burchfield-Penney Art Center


The campus's Burchfield Penney Art Center, founded in 1966, moved to its new $33 million facility in 2008. The Burchfield Penney features the work of Western New York artists and houses one of the world's largest collections of work by watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967). The historic Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which showcases modern and contemporary art, is located across the street from the campus. Students can purchase discount passes in the Student Union. There are also a number of other art galleries[25] nearby.

Notable people[edit]

Buffalo State has 100,000 alumni living in 119 countries throughout the world. Ninety-seven percent live in the United States, and 71 percent live in New York State. The five most popular majors among alumni were elementary education (15,538), art education (4,249), exceptional education (4,180), business studies (3,979), and criminal justice (3,911).



  1. ^ "SUNY Buffalo State – Profile, Rankings and Data". US News Best Colleges. U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on May 26, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ a b c d "College Navigator – SUNY Buffalo State". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Archived from the original on January 14, 2023. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  3. ^ "Buffalo State – Visual Identity Program". buffalostate.edu. 2013. Archived from the original on November 20, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "About Us | Art Conservation Department | SUNY Buffalo State College". artconservation.buffalostate.edu. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Buffalo State Formally Recognized as a University". SUNY Buffalo State College. 2023-01-10. Archived from the original on 2023-01-10. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  6. ^ a b buffalostate.edu (2009). "Buffalo State College Guidelines" (PDF). Buffalo State College. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  7. ^ State, Buffalo. "Buffalo State-Specific Editorial Style – College Relations – Buffalo State College". collegerelations.buffalostate.edu. Archived from the original on December 7, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  8. ^ "Academics | SUNY Buffalo State College". suny.buffalostate.edu. Archived from the original on 2019-04-16. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  9. ^ Kline, Allissa (September 27, 2010). "Growth spurt at Buffalo State". Buffalo Law Journal. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  10. ^ Phillip Santa Maria Memorial Award Archived March 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY: Buffalo State College, 2011, Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  11. ^ Phil Santa Maria Award for Student Leadership in Equity and Campus Diversity Archived March 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY: Buffalo State College, 2011, Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "About | SUNY Buffalo State College". suny.buffalostate.edu. Archived from the original on 2020-04-27. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  13. ^ "State University of New York College at Buffalo Facility Profile" (PDF). SUNY.edu. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 20, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Buffalo State Academic Affairs Faculty Recognition". buffalostate.edu. 2016. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "Undergraduate Programs – SUNY Buffalo State". suny.buffalostate.edu. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  16. ^ "nutrient stoichiometry and lake budgets". Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  17. ^ "Ranking". www.usnews.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings: Buffalo State College—SUNY". U.S. News & World Report. 2011. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  19. ^ Ranking Web of World Universities (2011). "Top Universities Regional North". Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  20. ^ International Colleges & Universities (2011). "Universities in New York by 2011 University Web Ranking". 4icu.org. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  21. ^ Buffalo State College at a Glance. "Buffalo State at a Glance". Archived from the original on 2023-07-06. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  22. ^ collegesofdistinction.com (2015). "Colleges of Distinction Profile: Buffalo State College". Colleges of Distinction. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  23. ^ "Club Sports". Buffalo State USG. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  24. ^ "List of Recognized Fraternities and Sororities". Buffalo State. Archived from the original on October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "Buffalo Niagara Art Itinerary, Albright Knox Gallery & More". Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  26. ^ About us: President's bio: Muriel A. Howard, Ph.D. Archived 2014-02-26 at the Wayback Machine, AASCU – American Association of Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC, 2013, Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  27. ^ Vice president at UB will head Buffalo State Archived 2016-08-18 at the Wayback Machine, Buffalo News, Buffalo, NY: Berkshire Hathaway, December 12, 1995, Brady, K., Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  28. ^ Muriel A. Howard – working for a better community Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Living Prime Time, December 2000, Binder, J., Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  29. ^ Kaiser, Laurie (March 21, 2012). "Alumni Profile: Sylvia Hyman". Buffalo State College. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2013.

External links[edit]