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Maria and SUNY Empire State College Partner in Graduate Programmatic Areas

Press Release

ALBANY, NY– In a first-of-its-kind agreement for both colleges, Maria College bachelor’s students now have an early admission pathway for transfer into all graduate-level programmatic areas of SUNY Empire State College’s School for Graduate Studies and its School of Nursing and Allied Health.

Maria College President Dr. Thomas Gamble stated, “Maria College is pleased to partner with SUNY Empire State College to support the advanced educational goals of our bachelor’s degree graduates.  This first of its kind agreement provides an early admission pathway into all SUNY Empire State College master’s degree programs in nursing, education, business management, liberal studies and policy studies.”

“Maria College students pursuing business, education, nursing, public policy and health related careers now have a clear path forward, through SUNY Empire’s graduate programs,” said SUNY Empire State College President Merodie A. Hancock. “When Maria College students complete their bachelor’s degree, they will face the challenges of a competitive employment market place, the desire to get a good job and begin a meaningful career and, at the same time, they will want to get on with their lives, buy a home and perhaps have a family. Many of their job and career goals, and their personal aspirations and dreams, will require a graduate-level education.  The flexibility of learning online, face to face or through a combination of both, offered by SUNY Empire graduate programs, is why this partnership was formed. As these students grow personally and professionally, their families, employers, the communities where they live and work and New York will benefit from this strengthened workforce.”

Maria Vice President for Academic Affairs, John Kowal, added that “Maria and Empire share a commitment to helping adult learners prepare for high demand careers in our region. This new agreement not only waives the SUNY Empire State College application fee, but it also provides excellent options for Maria students to continue their education at the Master’s degree level.”

“Maria College graduates now have a clear path to SUNY Empire’s master’s programs, as they make decisions about their future academic goals,” said SUNY Empire State College Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. David Bejou. “Students will be better able to make more informed and thoughtful decisions when there is now a unique opportunity to continue their education at SUNY Empire’s master’s programs.

The graduate programmatic areas are:

Business, Management and Leadership, including the MBA


Liberal Studies

Policy Studies


Under the early admission pathway, SUNY Empire will provide Maria College students with a single point of contact for all programmatic areas, waive its application fee and its recommendation requirement. In order to be eligible for the early admission pathway, Maria College students must have a 3.0, or greater, GPA, completed 75 credits of undergraduate work toward their bachelor’s and the prerequisite courses required by the SUNY Empire graduate program to which they are applying, at the time of application. Maria College students may begin the application process during their junior year.


About Maria College
Founded in 1958, Maria College is one of 17 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.  The private, co-educational, Catholic college in Albany serves approximately 800 students in a variety of degree and certificate programs including liberal arts, healthcare management, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, and health and occupational sciences. Maria College prepares students for meaningful careers in healthcare and service so they can make a difference in the lives of others.

More information about the college is available at


About SUNY Empire State College
Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system educates nearly 18,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 30 locations across the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40. 

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time. In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. 

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and coursework on site, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn. 

The college’s more than 80,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. 

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

More information about the college is available at

David Henahan
Director of Communications
(518) 861-2918