Most people think of theater, shopping and museums when they imagine New York City. But what many do not realize is that the Big Apple is also home to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. In a city that offers something for everyone, the institutes, colleges and universities of NYC promise to meet anyone’s educational needs.
Founded in 1754, Columbia University was not only the first college established in New York, but is also the fifth oldest university in the United States. Columbia’s founders named the institution King’s College and built the original campus on lower Broadway in Manhattan near the present-day Financial District. Renamed Columbia in 1784, the university moved to its current location near Harlem in 1897. Columbia’s world-renowned reputation is bolstered by the slew of Nobel Prize winners among its faculty through the years. The undergraduate college continues to boast some of the most competitive admission rates in the country. In 2007, less than ten percent of applicants to the Ivy League school were offered admission.
Nestled in the charming neighborhood of Greenwich Village, New York University in many ways stands as a contrast to its uptown rival. Though NYU too can boast an internationally-renowned reputation, particularly in the fields of theater and film, its undergraduate body has a more laid-back, freewheeling nature than the stodgier reputation of Columbia. In fact, the Princeton Review recently ranked NYU as the most “gay accepting” university in America and named it a top ten stoner school. But what both NYU and Columbia share are some of the highest ranked and most well-regarded business, law and medical schools.
Both schools also boast some of the finest journalism and Fine Arts programs in the nation.
While Columbia and NYU are likely the best known universities outside of New York, locals know that the City University system offers an excellent public education to thousands of students attending its twenty-three various institutions.
City College, the oldest of the CUNY schools, opened in 1847. Founded for the purpose of educating the children of immigrants and the poor, City College remains one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation—over half its students today were born outside the States.
Hunter College, located on the Upper East Side, is noted especially for its School of Social Work that trains many of the city’s best counselors and community workers. John Jay College of Criminal Justice provides one of the best educations in forensic science in the country, and the Graduate Center offers over thirty doctoral programs from Anthropology to Urban Education.
Other important schools in New York include Union Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University and Jewish Theology Seminary, for those who have heard the calling to work in churches or synagogues; future fashionistas flock to Parsons School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology; and aspiring chefs enroll at the Institute of Culinary Education or the French Culinary Institute.
No matter what you want to study, there’s a school in New York City perfectly suited for you.
New York City College and University addresses and web sites:
New York University
Multiple Manhattan locations
138th Street & Convent Avenue
365 Fifth Avenue
695 Park Ave
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Avenue
Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway at 121st Street
500 West 185th Street
Jewish Theology Seminary
Parsons School for Design
65 Fifth Avenue
Fashion Institute of Technology
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
Institute of Culinary Education
50 West 23rd Street
International Culinary Center