Best Colleges in Albany

Albany is New York's state capitol and is home to colleges that offer standout undergraduate and graduate degrees. See which schools come out on top.

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by James Mielke

Published on May 19, 2022 · Updated on May 26, 2022

Edited by Taylor Gadsden
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Albany, New York — the state's capital — is located in the center of Tech Valley. This region is known for its technology companies and educational facilities focused on nanotechnology, biotech, and life sciences. Within the region lies one of the oldest technological research universities in the U.S. and multiple technology parks home to global companies.

Students can attend one of the seven, four-year universities and colleges in Albany. Excelsior College, a top online institution, enrolls about 16,370 students. These higher learning institutions include a law school and medical school, as well as colleges offering programs in healthcare, business, education, liberal arts, and technology.

The largest institution, the University at Albany, is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school offers over 50 undergraduate majors and over 150 graduate programs. Learn more about the best colleges in New York and the best online colleges by state.

Top Online Degree Programs in Albany

Best Online Psychology Programs Best Online Sociology Programs Best Online Finance Programs Best Online Political Science Programs Best Online Education Programs Best Online Accounting Programs Best Online Biology Programs Best Online Economics Degree Programs

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Albany Employment Outlook

Career Outlook

According to the New York State Department of Labor, in March 2022, the unemployment rate in Albany fell to 3.3%. Industries with some of the top employment gains include transportation and utilities, education and healthcare, and leisure and hospitality. A 2021 report by the New York State Department of Labor projects that 12 significant industries will see above-average job growth from 2018-2028 in the Capital Region.

Industries with the greatest projected employment growth include warehousing and storage, ambulatory healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities, and professional and technical services. Many jobs in these industries also report above-average earnings. The following represent a few of the in-demand positions within these fields.

5 In-Demand Albany Jobs

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts research an organization's computer systems and help them identify better systems or improve upon existing ones. They commonly perform cost-benefit analyses and data modeling, research different technologies, and prepare diagrams for engineers and programmers. This position typically requires a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology or a related field.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $101,160
Job Outlook: Projected 12.3% job growth from 2018-2028

Chemists

Chemists study substances at the molecular or atomic level and may create compounds used in various applications. They typically specialize in certain fields or industries, such as pharmaceuticals, forensic science, or neurochemistry. Nuclear chemistry or biochemistry are other specialization options. Chemists usually need a bachelor's degree in chemistry, although some research jobs may require a graduate degree.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $78,820
Job Outlook: Projected 13.7% job growth from 2018-2028

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists work in dental offices, cleaning teeth and examining patients for oral diseases. They may also take X-rays and provide patient education regarding maintaining the health of their teeth and gums. Dental hygienists in New York must complete an accredited dental hygiene program and pass a written and clinical exam to gain licensure.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $ $71,780
Job Outlook: Projected 25.6% job growth from 2018-2028

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) typically work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, outpatient clinics, and doctors' offices. They may provide patient care and educate patients on managing their injury or illness. RNs must complete a state-approved nursing education program, infection control and child abuse reporting coursework, and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to achieve state licensure.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $77,660
Job Outlook: Projected 23.8% job growth from 2018-2028

School Counselors

School counselors in elementary and secondary schools may help students overcome challenges and help them plan for after graduation. College advisors typically specialize in one area, such as admissions or financial aid. New York offers three pathways to obtain certification, including earning a master's degree in school counseling from a state-approved program.

Median Annual Salary (2021): $60,480
Job Outlook: Projected 22.5% job growth from 2018-2028

Popular Career Paths in Albany

Nursing Finance Engineering Accounting Computer Science Psychology Education Law

Best Accredited Online Colleges in Albany

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Online College in New York

Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $510
Undergrad, out of state | $510
Graduate, in state | $695
Graduate, out of state | $695

Excelsior College is an Albany-based, private online institution that offers various undergraduate and graduate degrees. A popular option for nontraditional learners, Excelsior has an enrollment of over 16,000 students. Most learners pursue undergraduate degrees. Students can choose online programs in business, health sciences, nursing, and technology.

Admission requirements can vary between programs, but undergraduate applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma. 

#2 Online College in New York

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 70%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $1,230
Undergrad, out of state | $1,230
Graduate, in state | $1,420
Graduate, out of state | $1,420

Established in 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) is a private institution that offers many bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. With about 1,400 students, ACPHS offers bachelor's degrees in diverse medical and science fields. Examples include biomedical technology, microbiology, pharmaceutical sciences, and pre-med.

Prospective students must apply with high school transcripts and one letter of recommendation. While not required, students are encouraged to submit ACT or SAT scores to supplement their application.

#3 Online College in New York

SUNY at Albany

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $390
Undergrad, out of state | $1,133
Graduate, in state | $589
Graduate, out of state | $1,081

SUNY at Albany is home to more than 17,000 students and is part of the State University System of New York. This public institution offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 150 graduate programs. In addition to holding institutional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the school also holds programmatic accreditation from elite organizations like the American Library Association (ALA) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

First-year applicants must submit their online application with official high school transcripts, a personal essay, and recommendation letters. SUNY at Albany is standardized test-optional through 2023.

#4 Online College in New York

Maria College of Albany

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 18%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $665
Undergrad, out of state | $665
Graduate, in state | $920
Graduate, out of state | $920

Maria College of Albany is a private Catholic institution that was founded in 1958. This small college has an enrollment of about 800 students and offers various associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Maria College primarily serves nontraditional learners, and more than 75% of students complete coursework part-time. Popular majors include nursing, licensed practical nurse training, and liberal arts.

Prospective first-year students must submit an online application with high school transcripts. While not required, the school encourages applicants to include ACT or SAT scores, recommendation letters, and a personal essay.

#5 Online College in New York

The College of Saint Rose

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 61%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $1,130
Undergrad, out of state | $1,130
Graduate, in state | $846
Graduate, out of state | $846

Established in 1920, the College of Saint Rose is an Albany-based, private Catholic institution. Serving about 4,000 students, Saint Rose offers a sizable list of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. In addition to its homegrown academics, Saint Rose also partners with local schools like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Albany College of Pharmacy, and the Albany School of Law.

Prospective students must complete an application. They also need to submit official high school transcripts and a recommendation letter from a high school teacher or counselor. In addition, Saint Rose recommends that students also submit an essay, ACT or SAT scores, or complete an admission interview.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Albany

How many colleges are there in Albany, NY? true

There are eight, four-year colleges and five, two-year (or less) technical colleges in Albany. The four-year institutions consist of the University at Albany, a state public university, and seven private colleges.

The private colleges in Albany include two Catholic-based colleges, one online institution, and a for-profit college that offers blended learning formats. The town is also home to the Albany Law School and Albany Medical College.

The technical colleges offer nursing and vocational training programs in paralegal studies, business, massage therapy, cosmetology, and medical assisting. They also provide courses in information technology and web design. These programs may lead to a certificate or associate degree.

What schools are in Albany, NY? true

The following colleges are located in Albany, NY:

  • Capital Region BOCES-Albany: Career and technical school for adults and high school students
  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: Private health science college
  • Albany Law School
  • Albany Medical College
  • Bryant Stratton College-Albany: Private, for-profit college
  • Excelsior College: Online institution
  • Maria College of Albany: Private, Catholic-based college
  • Mildred Elley School-Albany Campus: Vocational college
  • Orlo School of Hair Design and Cosmetology
  • St. Peter's Hospital College of Nursing: Associate degree in nursing program
  • The State University of New York at Albany: Public university
  • The College of Saint Rose: Private, Catholic-based college

The New School Center for Media: Technical school

Does Albany, NY, have good schools? true

Yes. The many different colleges in Albany, NY appeal to students with diverse career goals. The technical and vocational colleges are designed for students looking for skills in a particular field. These colleges typically award certifications, diplomas, or associate degrees.

University at Albany is a public research university offering undergraduate and graduate programs. Albany's private colleges may focus on healthcare programs or nationally recognized education, business, STEM, and arts and humanities schools. Excelsior College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees via online instruction.

What GPA do you need to transfer to Albany?

University at Albany's GPA requirements typically vary by the program. For example, students transferring into accounting, business administration, criminal justice, digital forensics, or financial market regulation require a minimum 3.25 GPA. A 3.0 GPA is required for human development or social welfare.

According to the College Board, SUNY University at Albany has an acceptance rate of 54%. Students' ACT scores range from 22-29, while SAT scores fall between 1090-1280. At least 33% of accepted applicants had a GPA of 3.75 or greater, and 20% had GPAs that ranged from 2.50-2.99.

Is SUNY Albany the same as University of Albany?

Yes. SUNY stands for the State University of New York system, of which the University at Albany, or SUNY Albany, is a part. This system comprises 64 institutions that include research universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and medical centers. The school offers over 50 undergraduate and 150 graduate programs.

Its location in the Capital Region offers access to many internships and public service opportunities. It is also close to the Catskill and Adirondack mountains and Saratoga Springs. Partnerships with the Albany Medical Center and Albany Law School provide early assurance opportunities.

Image Source: Walter Bibikow, Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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