Cornell University is currently is among the top 10 US universities. A member of the prestigious Ivy League group, it offers a range of both academic and more vocational courses. Laying claim to being the first US university to offer a degree in veterinary medicine, Cornell University also bears the title of the first US university to teach modern Far-Eastern languages.
Cornell University’s main campus is actually in Ithaca, around 200 miles to the north-west of New York City, but it also has a strong presence in NYC. Its medical campus can be found in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the Cornell Tech campus is in the Chelsea district, with an ambitious new campus currently under construction on Roosevelt Island – the island located in the middle of the river that separates Manhattan Island and the borough of Queens – set for opening in 2017. Cornell University’s schools of financial engineering and architecture are also based in Manhattan.
2. Columbia University
, Columbia University is currently 20th in the QS World University. Another member of the prestigious Ivy league, it boasts famous alumni including US President Barack Obama. A world-leading center of research, Columbia University has a strong offering across the full subject spectrum. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, Columbia appears in the rankings for an impressive 38 out of a possible 42 subjects, including the top 10 for English language and literature, earth and marine sciences, history, social policy and administration and law.
Columbia University has a central location in the Upper West Side of Manhattan – close to the northern tip of Central Park and just off Broadway, the boulevard which gives its name to New York’s famous theater scene. It boasts a highly diverse faculty (over 3,800 academic staff) and the third-largest international student population of any US university, with 32% of its 30,300 students coming from outside the US.
3. New York University (NYU)
New York University has a strong focus on internationalization, with a number of branch campuses around the world and an impressive study abroad program. As well as helping its own students spend time abroad, NYU also counts a large number of international students among its extensive student community.
While NYU has several New York locations, its main hub is the Washington Square campus, in Greenwich Village. Dubbed ‘the Village’, this area of Lower Manhattan is famed as one of New York City’s most creative and bohemian localities, offering a great atmosphere for NYU students. Over the years the school has attracted an eclectic mix of writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals to study in New York – and no doubt this is all part of the appeal for many creatively minded students.
4. Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University is another of the top research-focused universities in New York. It was founded over 100 years ago with the mission of combining Jewish traditions and culture with Western heritage, and the continuing influence of this cultural focus is seen in the Yeshiva University Museum, which explores Jewish life through art, architecture and history.
Relatively small compared to most of the other universities in New York listed here, Yeshiva University has around 7,500 students, of which just over 3,000 are undergraduates. With campuses and facilities spread across Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens boroughs (and some in Israel), Yeshiva University’s main campus is in the Washington Heights area of Upper Manhattan.
5. City University of New York (CUNY)
While all the other universities in New York listed here are private, the City University of New York (CUNY) is NYC’s public university system. Currently ranked 501-550 in the world, CUNY is the largest urban university system in the US, composed of 24 colleges spread across Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn (plus one on Staten Island), with more than 516,000 students enrolled in a huge variety of courses.
From vocational training to PhD research, full-time study to evening classes, the City University of New York almost certainly has a program to match. CUNY also prides itself on having strong connections with the city’s neighborhoods, running a network of internship and fellowship programs across the five boroughs to enrich study life.
6. The New School
The New School (previously named New School University) has more than 10,000 students, of which around 30% are international. Like NYU, The New School has its main campus in the Village. This famously creative neighborhood is an apt location, as The New School focuses largely on the arts, humanities and social sciences. Its seven academic divisions are: liberal arts, music, drama, jazz and contemporary music, public engagement, social research, and design. Among its famous alumni, The New School boasts forerunners in several artistic fields, including actor Bradley Cooper, fashion designer Tom Ford and composer Burt Bacharach.
7. Stevens Institute of Technology
Though actually located in the neighboring state of New Jersey, the Stevens Institute of Technology sneaks into our list of top universities in New York due to its proximal location across the river from Manhattan Island. It’s ranked in the 651-700 range in the 2016-2017 world rankings. Situated on a 55-acre campus on the west bank of the Hudson River, Stevens Institute of Technology provides a nearby escape from the city center, offering up some stunning views of NYC’s famous skyline.
As its name would imply, the Stevens Institute of Technology has a strong focus on engineering, science and technology subjects, marketing itself as “The Innovation University”. However, it also offers degrees in arts and humanities subjects – and in fact all undergraduates are required to take some humanities courses. Around 6,600 students are enrolled at the Stevens Institute of Technology, more than half at postgraduate level.
8. Fordham University
, Fordham University calls itself the “Jesuit University of New York” and specializes in liberal arts, sciences and business. Fordham University is composed of 10 colleges – four for undergraduates and six for postgraduates. These enroll around 15,300 students in total, with two main campuses in New York City – the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx and Lincoln Center in Manhattan – as well as a much smaller campus in West Harrison, about 25 miles north of Manhattan. Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus is close to the Little Italy area, historically associated with Italian migrants and still characterized by Italian restaurants and shops, while the Lincoln Center is close to the south-east corner of Central Park