Are you considering your options for higher education in New York, and don’t know where to begin? We provide information that caters to all students, whether you are interested in private education, trade schools, art institutions, public universities, or community colleges.
On these pages, you will find a hand-picked list of the top 10 institutions in each category. Information provided includes class size, number of students, areas of specialty, famous alumni, and what makes the school stand out from the pack. We hope this guide will serve as your springboard, propelling you into a successful experience at one of the best schools in New York.
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Top Private Schools in New York:
One of the many reasons this university is well known is the fact that they graduated our current president, Barack Obama, in 1983. Columbia also places great emphasis on international outreach, with branches in Jordan and China. They also work with a number of schools in France, Singapore, and London to offer dual degrees.
Founded in 1865, Cornell was a trend setter in enrolling students regardless of their race, class, religion, or gender. The current enrollment sits at about 20,000 students, and was among the nation’s first schools teaching veterinary medicine, industrial and labor relations, and hotel administration.
Fordham is a Jesuit university founded in 1841. There are three campuses with an average student-to-teach ratio of 13 to 1.
Hofstra University: Hofstra is New York’s largest private university, with over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to choose from and an average class size of 22 students.
New York Institute of Technology:
NYIT has 15,000 students and several international campuses. There are seven mains schools: architecture and design, education, engineering and computing sciences, health professions, management, arts and sciences, and osteopathic medicine.
New York University:
With 40,000 students, NYU is one of the largest private institutions in the nation. There are 25 degrees offered in 18 schools, including campuses found in Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Czech Republic, China, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, and Spain.
Syracuse University was founded in 1870 and has a current student population of over 19,000 students. Their prestigious alumni include the fourth African American female physician, Joe Biden, vice president of the US, the first female astronaut to command a NASA space mission, and Vanessa Williams, famous actress and the first African American crowned Miss America.
The New School:
The New School is dedicated to empowering students with the power to impact a positive change on the world. They currently have over 10,000 students attending with 81 degree and certificate programs offered.
The Rockefeller University: The Rockefeller University is a major player in bioinformatics, biomedical sciences, chemistry, and physics, boasting 69 laboratories school-wide. The university’s hospital was the first to be founded solely for biomedical study. Impressive discoveries have been found here, including the AIDS cocktail drug therapy, meningitis vaccines, and methadone therapy for heroin addiction.
University of Rochester:
The University of Rochester is a leading research university with only 9 students per teacher on average. It is home to the first solely optical program, an impressive art collection, a dignified music program, and has graduated several Nobel Prize winners.
Top State Schools in New York:
Binghamton’s 15,000 students have six schools to choose from: arts and sciences, community and public affairs, education, nursing, engineering and applied sciences and management. They were named the Premier Public University in the Northeast and boast an above-average graduate rate and graduate school acceptance rate.
New Paltz – State University of New York:
New Paltz is one of the 100 oldest universities in the US. There are 150 degrees offered in New Paltz’s education, fine and performing arts, business, science and engineering, and liberal arts and sciences schools.
State University of New York at Geneseo: This liberal arts college, hosting more than 5,000 students, became a SUNY campus location just over 60 years ago. They have a student-teacher ratio of 19 to 1, and offer 42 undergraduate degree programs. Their master’s programs top the charts regularly in the US News & World Report.
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry:
ESF is the single school in the US in which every class is related to the environment and its resources. ESF is known for its below-average acceptance rate, small student population at about 2,500, and high rankings in the US News & World Report in two categories.
Stony Brook University:
Stony Brook has been ranked in the top 50 public universities and top 200 global universities. Their staff is highly educated, with the vast majority holding doctorate degrees. They keep their standards high, with only about 39% of applicants accepted, and the average student possessing an average high school GPA of 3.6.
Cortland has a student body of over 7,000 students, and the school emphasizes the outcome of student education as well as students’ future achievements.
Fredonia offers its students several internship and study abroad options. Students can choose from 82 majors and 41 minors at this 180-year-old institution.
The College at Brockport – SUNY:
This liberal arts college has one of the highest ranking master’s degree programs in the country. Students have the opportunity to explore a huge study abroad program and utilize a highly educated, award-winning faculty.
University at Albany – SUNY:
UAlbany offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including nationally recognized criminal justice, public administration, social welfare, information technology, sociology, and nanoscale science and engineering.
University at Buffalo – SUNY:
UB is the largest branch of the SUNY family with over 28,000 students enrolled in 100 undergraduate degrees, 190 master’s degrees, 83 doctoral degrees, and four professional degrees. They focus heavily on the research aspect of education, with the number two spot in public research universities nationwide.
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Top Community Colleges in New York:
Borough of Manhattan Community College – CUNY:
BMCC has over 30,000 students enrolled in degree and continuing education programs, with the majority of their students later transferring to a four-year college. A variety of scholarships are available, the campus is highly active with student clubs, and students can pursue studies in one of 26 academic programs.
Bronx Community College:
BCC tries to infuse their education with nurturing and support, ensuring that no student falls through the cracks. Students can pursue an associate degree in 30 different course programs, certificate programs, and even a bachelor’s degree.
Hudson Valley Community College:
HVCC alumni are destined to succeed, with an amazing 94% of students either transferring to a four-year college or gaining employment in their field immediately. Their four main schools are business, liberal arts and sciences, health sciences, and engineering and industrial technologies.
Kingsborough Community College: Located on Manhattan Beach, alumni include Senate members, radio DJs, and news Emmy winners. They offer various associate in arts, science, and applied science degrees, as well as certificate programs in entrepreneurial studies, personal training, and alcoholism and substance abuse counseling.
LaGuardia Community College:
LaGuardia is nicknamed the World Community College due to 160 countries being represented in its student body. It’s been cited for excellence by several different institutions, making it a top community college choice.
Monroe Community College: Founded in 1961, MCC is a branch of the SUNY network with almost 19,000 students and 80 degree and certificate programs to pursue.
Nassau Community College:
Another member of the SUNY family, this Long Island campus offers courses in business, engineering technologies, fine, graphic, and performing arts, health-related sciences, liberal arts and sciences, mathematics/computers, natural sciences, office technologies, and social sciences.
Niagara County Community College:
NCCC seeks to provide education at a lower cost so students can transfer to four-year colleges when they’re ready. 60 degree programs are available, with the option to study online for the duration.
Rockland Community College:
Students at Rockland can choose from a program in arts, business, health-related fields, humanities, social sciences, technologies, or mathematics and sciences. RCC reports a high student satisfaction rate and is currently celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Suffolk County Community College:
SCCC is accredited by several governing bodies and serves almost 25,000 students. The average class size is small, at 23 students, ensuring more individualized attention.
Top Art Schools in New York:
Juilliard is one of the most famous, highly sought after music, drama, and dance schools in the world with only a 7% to 8% acceptance rate. It was founded by Dr. Frank Damrosch in 1905.
Manhattan School of Music:
This esteemed music school with an 800-person student body offers degrees ranging from undergraduate to doctorate. Students have the option to major in the following music types: accompanying, conducting, composition, guitar, jazz, orchestral instruments, organ, piano, saxophone, and voice.
New York Academy of Art: This exclusively graduate school offers a two-year master’s degree program in fine arts, with a focus on sculpture, drawing, and painting. Students will have the opportunity to participate in global exhibitions as well.
New York Studio School:
The New York Studio School offers certificate programs as well as a Masters in Fine Arts. The school is extremely intensive, requiring students work on their art 40 hours a week for two years to attain the master’s.
Parsons offers 27 degree programs in five schools: fashion; constructed environments; art, media, and technology; design strategies; and art and design history and theory. Parsons was founded in 1896 by American impressionist William Merritt Chase.
The American Musical and Dramatic Academy:
AMDA offers bachelor’s of fine arts degrees in acting, dance theatre, musical theatre, and performing arts, as well as conservatory studies. They have campuses in New York and Los Angeles and are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
The Art Students League of New York:
This 135-year-old school offers more than 130 courses, and they keep their prices low so all can attend who have a desire to improve their artistic abilities. The mediums emphasized include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and assemblage.
The Cooper Union School of Art:
The curriculum that composes the fine arts bachelor degree focuses on all aspects of visual arts and how different subsets contrast.
The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute:
Founded in 1969, this school has seen a mountain of celebrities pass through, including Marilyn Monroe, Al Pacino, Drew Barrymore, Angelina Jolie, Adam Sandler, and Scarlett Johansson, just to name a few. They institute a technique called the “method” developed by Lee Strasberg.
Most Popular Careers in New York:
Accountants and Auditors:
To work as an accountant or auditor, one must obtain a Certified Public Accountant certificate or hold a degree in accounting or a related field. Professionals in these fields enjoy a median salary of almost $60,000. Accountants and auditors are in high demand, with a projected job growth rate of 22% between 2008 and 2018.
Elementary School Teachers:
New York is one of the top paying states for elementary school teachers, who receive an average salary of over $65,000 per year. Teachers generally need to complete a bachelor’s degree in education and obtain a teaching license to be eligible.
Financial managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or a related field. Those holding master’s degrees and special certifications have the highest likelihood of securing top wages and employment. The average annual wage for financial managers is just under $100,000.
General and Operations Managers:
General and operations managers will receive the second highest pay in the nation in New York for their position, with the average hourly wage at $65.15 and an average annual salary of $135,500. Educational requirements vary from bachelor’s degrees to master’s degrees, depending on the type of company.
Along with attending a law school after attaining a bachelor’s degree, lawyers also have to pass the bar exam to be licensed to practice. In New York, lawyers earn an average of about $73 per hour, or just over $150,000 per year.
Middle School Teachers:
Teachers who work in New York’s middle schools earn about $68,000 per year. Teachers will need a bachelor’s degree in education and a license, though bachelor’s degree holders in a non-related field can pursue a teaching license as well.
Physicians and Surgeons:
The average physician and surgeon in New York make over $150,000 on average. Professionals in this field require rigorous training, along with four years of medical school after a bachelor’s degree is attained. After formal education, physicians and surgeons must undergo a residency or internship that lasts for three to eight years.
The need for postsecondary teachers is increasing rapidly, with an expected 15% job growth rate between 2008 and 2018. The average salary for postsecondary teachers in 2008 was $58,830, with some teachers making more than $120,000. A doctorate degree is required for most positions, though sometimes exceptions are made for master’s degree holders or doctorate students.
Secondary School Teachers:
New York pays secondary school teachers the most in the country, with an average annual salary of about $60,000. As with other teaching positions, secondary school teachers generally need a bachelor’s degree in education and are required to be licensed by their state board of education.
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents:
Those employed in this field will be holders of bachelor’s degrees in accounting, economics, business, or finance, or have an MBA. Though the average sales agent earns roughly $69,000 per year, this number varies drastically as the majority of positions are commission based.