Universities in New York

Universitites in New York
Updated 2021-08-04 08:12

The city of New York harbours hundreds of secondary institutions and some of the best universities in the country. Some are private, very expensive and prestigious, while others are public and more affordable. Here's a brief introduction to some of the most popular universities and colleges in New York.

Why study in New York?

There are many reasons why you may choose New York as your education destination.

First, home to over 400 universities and colleges, including the top-rated Columbia and Cornell universities, New York is a great city to get your career started. With lots of big universities and smaller establishments, you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for in this city.

Second, New York boasts remarkable career opportunities. The city is home to over 50 of the Fortune 500 companies, has a vibrant startup climate and offers lots of internship and post-graduate employment opportunities to young professionals. True, the competition may be tough — but having a degree from one of the city's universities is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door.

Third, New York is a student hub. New York State ranks second in the US when it comes to the number of international students. This makes it a great place to mingle, meet like-minded people and expand your social circle with acquaintances from all over the world.

Fourth, you will never get bored in New York. Whatever it is that helps you unwind after a busy day of studies, this city has it all. From world-famous museums, theatres and art centres to some of the best restaurants and clubs in the world, New York is sure to keep you entertained.

Finally, studying in a city like New York is simply an experience like no other. An exciting blend of cultures, languages, religions, people and opportunities, it is a one-of-a-kind environment for setting off into adult life.

The best private universities in New York

New York is home to some of the best universities in the world. The city's top-rates institutions are private universities and colleges — and this means that tuition rates can get very high. With that, most colleges have financial aid programs and specialized scholarships for students with outstanding academic achievements.

Here are some of the best private universities and colleges in New York:

Columbia University

Founded in 1754, before the independence of the United States, Columbia ranked as the 19th best university in the world in 2021. It is part of the Ivy League which constitutes the eight most prestigious and oldest universities of the United States. It is incredibly hard to get accepted, with an admission rate of 5.4%. Its campus is located in the northern part of Manhattan with an attendance of 32 000 students. The cost of tuition at Columbia University is $61,788.

Barnard College

Barnard College is a private all-women liberal arts college closely affiliated with Columbia University. Students at Barnard College can generally use Columbia University's facilities — and vice versa. If you graduate from Barnard College, your diploma will say “Columbia University, Barnard College”. Some of the college's most popular majors include Social Sciences, Biology, English Language and Literature, Visual and Performing Arts and Psychology. The admission rate at Barnard College is 11.8%.

New York University

New York University is located in the south of Manhattan in the famous Greenwich Village. It was founded in 1831 and now has many branches worldwide, from Paris to Tel Aviv and Buenos Aires. It is less exclusive than Columbia, with an admission rate of 16.2%. The university has over 50,000 students and ranks as the 35th best university in the world. To study here, you will need to pay tuition fees of $53,308.

Fordham University

Fordham is a Jesuit research university dating all the way back to 1841. It was actually named after the Fordham neighborhood in the Bronx where the university's original campus was located. Fordham's alumni include US Senators, governors and ambassadors, royalty, Academy Award-winning actors and even a former US President Donald Trump. Fordham ranks among the top 1,000 best universities in the world and has an acceptance rate of 45.9%. Fordham University tuition is currently at $54,730.

The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School is a private conservatory for performing arts and is regarded as one of the best schools in the word for drama, music and dance. It was established in 1905 and now counts over 850 undergraduate students. Juilliard is one of the hardest performing arts schools to get into with an acceptance rate of 6.9%. The cost of tuition is $47,370.

Manhattan College

Manhattan College is based in the Bronx and offers programs in business, arts, engineering, science and education. Established in 1853, the college has a generous acceptance rate of 73.6% with the cost of tuition standing at $44,560.

The New School

The New School is another private university located in Greenwich Village, The New School was founded a century ago and is mostly centred on the arts, music, theatre, design, etc. Its admission rate is 57.3%. The Parson School of Design, its branch dedicated to applied arts, is considered to be the best in the country in its field. This university consists of approximately 10 000 students and the tuition costs $50,994.

Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College is a private university in Yonkers, New York specializing in liberal arts. The college is ranked #63 in National Liberal Arts Colleges and counts close to 1,500 students. The college's campus is set in a suburban area and over 80% of its undergraduate students live on campus. The college focuses its educational approach on one-on-one student-faculty tutorials (after the Oxford/Cambridge model) and has an acceptance rate of 53%.

Now, the private institutions we have mentioned above are located in New York City. However, there are also several notable institutions within driving distance to New York that are more than worth your consideration.

Cornell University is located in Ithaca, New York and is one of the best institutions in the country. Cornell ranked as the 18th best university in the world in the QS University Rankings of 2021 and has an acceptance rate of 10.9%. The university's best graduate schools are the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Law School, College of Engineering and Weill Cornell Medical College. Its College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the top-ranked in the country and the School of Hotel Administration is also highly rated. Cornell is located within a 4-hour drive from New York City with regular buses departing from New York to Cornell twice a day.

Colgate University is a top-rated private university located in Hamilton, New York. It is a rather small institution with about 2,900 undergraduate students. Some of the university's most in-demand majors include Economics, Political Science and Government and Research and Psychology and the acceptance rate is quite competitive at 23.3%.

Hamilton College is a private liberal arts college founded back in 1793. The college's campus is located in Clinton and is actually considered to be one of the most beautiful college campuses in New York State: it is set on a hilltop overlooking a picturesque village. But it's not only about the views: Hamilton College is ranked as 15th Best National Liberal Arts College according to the US News and World Report.

Secondary institutions in New York


The City University of New York is a public university system of the city. With 275 000 students, it is the most significant urban university in the country. It consists of 25 institutions, including six community colleges, which are usually easier to get into than private universities and journalism or law schools.

Some branches of the SUNY, the State University of New York, also located in Manhattan, namely those dedicated to marine studies and optometry. The CUNY and the SUNY are two independent institutions, although they are funded by the State of New York.

Specialised institutions

Regardless of your dream job or the field you like, you will find a school in New York that teaches that! The city has dozens of private institutions that specialise in different fields.

For example, the New York Academy of Art, the Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology, the New York School of Interior Design and the Manhattan School of Music. Altogether, nearly 600,000 individuals study in the many universities and secondary institutions in New York.

Applying for a student visa to study in New York

To study in the United States, you will require a student visa. Students studying full-time in an American university or a higher education institution will generally apply for an F-1 visa. Keep in mind that in order to maintain an F-1 visa, you need to be enrolled as a full-time student and maintain good grades. Students on an F-1 visa may work for up to 20 hours per week, but only in an on-campus job. In order to work off-campus, you will need to file an application with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

The two other types of student visas are J-1 visa and M-1 visa.

J-1 visa is intended for those doing an internship, research or similar activities in the US and are only valid for the length of the program. M-1 visas are designed for students enrolling in technical or specialized study programs that are not held at academic institutions. M-1 visa holders aren't allowed to work while in the US.

To apply for a student visa in the US you will first need to be accepted into your chosen program. You will also need to present evidence of sufficient funds to pay your tuition and support yourself financially for the length of your study program.

For more information on student visas to the US, refer to this article: Study in the USA.

General requirements for entry to a university or college in New York

Different colleges and universities in New York have different entry requirements and acceptance rates. Famous private universities are typically quite difficult to get into while community colleges offer more lenient conditions. In general, however, you will need the following to apply to a university in New York:

You will need good grades in your previous academic study — whether it is a high school diploma or an undergraduate degree. These should be equivalent to the GPA (Grade Point Average) requirement at your university of choice. If your GPA doesn't allow you to apply for a bachelor's degree program directly, you may enter a pathway program. Pathway programs are special preparatory courses designed for international students to help them catch up on the curriculum of American schools and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to apply for a bachelor's or master's program.

No matter what university you are applying to, you will need to have a good command of the English language — and most universities will require proof of your English language proficiency if you don't come from an English speaking country. Typically, you will need to take a TOEFL or IELTS test prior to applying. If your English skills are not quite up to par, you can enroll in a preparatory language course in your home country or in New York.

As we've mentioned at the beginning of this article, studying in New York can be an extraordinary experience. However, in order to make it the nest it can be, make sure you are prepared. Take the time to do your research on the university or college you are applying to, related expenses, life in New York and more. It may also be a good idea to follow international student forums in New York to get an idea of what student life in the city is like. Plus, a lot of universities will also connect you with an admissions counselor to guide you through the process and help you settle once you arrive.

Useful links :

Top universities of New York
Study guide for New York
Student Visa for the USA

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.