NYC skyline

As the largest city in the United States, New York City boasts a population of over 8 million individuals. The city is one of the biggest educational hubs in the world and offers a variety of educational options for every student. 

New York City is one of the most diverse places in the U.S and as such, the city has a highly diverse educational system to reflect their population. Whatever you’re interested in, you can be sure that there will be a program in the Big Apple to cover it! 

The History of Education in NYC

NYU graduate

A proud NYU graduate.

Before we take a look at the top universities in the New York City area, we should take focus on the city’s excellent education system as a whole. Just how well is the city of New York doing? Let’s take a look at some of the critical facts that are attributed to the Big Apple’s academic success.

The city of New York actually received the 2nd highest amount of yearly funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S cities. There are over 110 colleges and universities in the NYC area, which educate an estimated 600,000+ students. Statistics show that New York is the highest importer of college students from other states, even beating out major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

NYC has a rich history of academic excellence on an ivy league level as well, with Columbia University being founded back in 1754; this is the fifth oldest higher learning institution in the United States. New York University, founded in 1831, is another major cornerstone of the city. 

Is New York City a Good Place to Study?

Blocks that spell out the word “study”.

Would you consider studying in the Big Apple?

Whether you’ve visited the city or not, you probably have an idea in your mind of what the city of New York may be like. You may still be wondering if the Big Apple could make an excellent place to study. To figure that out, you’ve first got to consider a few questions. 

1. What do you want to learn?

The age-old question that has plagued almost every student throughout their academic careers, “What do you want to study?” The answer to this question may change a thousand times throughout your life as your needs and wants to evolve with your career. One of the biggest perks of NYC is that regardless of what you want to study, you’d be hard-pressed to find somewhere in the city that didn’t offer what you needed. 

2. What kind of job do you want?

Have you ever heard the phrase “dress for the job you want”? While this situation isn’t the same, the principle of the phrase remains. If you want a certain kind of job that is prominent in NYC, such as finance or tech, the city will make a great starting place to live after graduating from university. If you have a dream company that you want to work for after graduation, they may also have an office in New York City!

3. What are your networking goals?

The city of New York is a highly active place with bustling social life. If you’re looking for a place where you can make real, lasting connections and work with like-minded peers, there’s no better place than the Big Apple. If you’re interested in networking in the tech scene, NYC offers a variety of meetups and professional organizations where tech professionals can collaborate and find mentors. 

Top Universities Near New York City


Check out these top universities in NYC! 

1. Columbia University

As one of the primary Ivy League schools in the United States, Columbia boasts famous alumni including singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, business tycoon David Rockefeller, and of course, former U.S President Barack Obama. Columbia University boasts a highly diverse faculty and staff and even has the third-largest population of international students at a university in the U.S. 

2. Cornell University

Cornell University ranks as the 14th best university in the world. While Cornell’s main campus is in Ithaca, NY (around 200 miles from NYC), Cornell is also highly active in the New York City education scene. Cornell has both an engineering campus and a medical campus in the NYC area. 

3. New York University (NYU)

NYU dedicates itself to diversity with a variety of campus branches housed throughout the globe. The university attracts a variety of talent, including Angelena Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, John F. Kennedy Jr., and many more. With locations throughout New York, NYU offers a dedicated learning atmosphere with something for everyone. 

4. Pratt Institute 

The Pratt Institute is recognized as one of the best art and design schools in the world. However, the school offers degrees in a variety of subjects, including architecture, engineering, and fine arts. Located in Brooklyn, the school has a rich history of creativity dating back to its founding in 1887. 

5. St. John’s University

St. John’s University is a private Roman Catholic University founded in New York City in 1870. The university offers more than 100 bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. The university has campuses throughout New York and abroad in Rome, Italy. Some of its most notable alumni include Bruce R. Bent, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and rapper J. Cole.

6. Yeshiva University

Yeshiva is another major research-based university in New York City. Since its inception over a century ago, the mission of Yeshiva University is to combine Jewish traditions and culture with Western heritage to influence students to explore Jewish life through history, architecture, and art. With campuses in both New York and Israel, Yeshiva University committed itself to tradition and the embodiment of Jewish roots. 

7. The New School

The New School is a private research university founded in 1919. The mission of the school is to be dedicated to academic and intellectual freedom as well as be a home for progressive and innovative thinkers. The school is hailed as one of the most prestigious art universities in the United States. The seven academic divisions of the university include music, drama, liberal arts, jazz, and contemporary music, social research, public engagement, and design. The school’s alumni hail from a variety of accomplishments and backgrounds, including the former first lady and activist Elenor Roosevelt, actor Bradley Cooper, fashion designer Marc Jacobs, and songwriter and poet Ani DiFranco. 

8. City University of New York (CUNY)

The City University of New York is part of NYC’s public university system. CUNY is currently the most extensive urban university system in the United States, which includes 24 campuses spread across Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Over 275,000 students are currently enrolled in a variety of courses at CUNY.

From vocational training to Ph.D. research, with full time and evening classes, there truly is something for everyone at the City University of New York. 

What’s the Takeaway?

Woman hiking.

Ready to being your educational journey in the Big Apple?

The city of New York has long been a pillar of the educational community in the United States. The city immerses itself in innovation and collaboration across all sectors of the tech world. From medical school to fine arts programs, there is something for everyone looking to study in the Big Apple.

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re considering making a move to NYC, keeping up to date on the latest happenings in the education world is a good idea. As always, when looking to attend a university, it’s smart to shop around.

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