CUNY City College logo

CUNY City College

160 Convent Avenue, New York City, NY 10031-9198, USA

CUNY City College award
CUNY City College award
US ranking
position: 1082
Tuition & fees per year: $7,555
Acceptance rate: 64.00%
Median alumni salary: $40,263
Avg. SAT and ACT: N/A
Entrance difficulty: N/A

What is the history of CUNY City College?

CUNY City College has a storied past, with its origins dating back to 1847 when it was founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York. This institution was the first free public higher education establishment in the United States, created to provide access to higher education for students who could not afford private institutions. In 1866, the Free Academy was renamed the College of the City of New York, and in 1929, it became the City College of New York.

The founding mission of the college was to offer an excellent education to all, regardless of socioeconomic status, culture, religion, or race. This mission was a response to the limited educational opportunities available at the time and aimed to counter these historical barriers. As a result, CUNY City College became the country's first public institution of higher education with such a mission.

CUNY City College has always been committed to providing access to higher education for all students. It has served as a crucial avenue for upward mobility in the nation, offering world-class higher education to an increasingly diverse student body. The college is dedicated to excellence in its wide-ranging undergraduate and master's programs, including programs in the only public schools of engineering, architecture, and biomedical education in the city. Additionally, it offers 13 on-site CUNY doctoral programs, all designed to prepare students for successful careers and continuing graduate and post-graduate education.

The college's commitment to access is two-fold: offering an affordable education and recruiting and supporting a diverse student population that reflects both New York City and the global society. This commitment stems from the belief that every student prepared for a rigorous college education deserves access to and support for it, and that excellence itself requires the broad inclusion of all students.

CUNY City College's campus is situated on 35 acres in the heart of Manhattan, New York, extending along Convent Avenue between 130th and 141st Street. Many of the campus buildings are designated landmarks, most of them designed by the renowned George Browne Post when the college was first established. The Neo-Gothic style of the buildings gives the campus a unique and historic feel.

The college has a diverse student body, with over 11,000 undergraduate students, more than 2,000 postgraduate students, and over 500 full-time faculty members. The classrooms are equipped with technology for a truly interactive learning environment, and the libraries hold 1.5 million volumes and provide online access to the resources of the entire university.

CUNY City College offers outstanding programs in architecture, engineering, education, and the liberal arts and sciences, preparing students for the future and producing exceptional leaders in various fields. The college provides a variety of undergraduate majors and graduate degree programs, including 13 on-site doctoral programs and master's programs in architecture, engineering, biomedical education, and more.

What are the faculties and departments at CUNY City College?

CUNY City College boasts a wide array of faculties and departments designed to cater to the diverse academic interests of its students. Among these are eighteen multidisciplinary research centers and institutes, which offer advanced research opportunities and rigorous education at undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. These research entities play a crucial role in addressing research and education needs that fall outside the scope of traditional academic departments.

One notable department at CUNY City College is the Civil Engineering Department, which holds the distinction of being the only public institution in New York City to offer bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees in civil engineering. This department is dedicated to training students from various socioeconomic backgrounds to become future leaders in the city's agencies, firms, and professional organizations.

The English Department at CUNY City College features a diverse faculty comprised of professors, lecturers, and guest faculty. Course offerings within this department span a wide range of topics, including medieval and early modern literature, creative writing, rhetoric, composition, and LGBTQ+ studies, among others.

The Division of Humanities and the Arts is another significant department at CUNY City College, with over 150 full and part-time faculty members teaching courses in art, music, theater, dance, literature, and creative writing. This division also houses the administrative manager responsible for overseeing office staff, assisting department chairs, and managing budgets.

CUNY City College is also home to the Middle East and Middle-Eastern American Center and Biography/Memoir Program, which is led by Professor H. Aram Veeser. Additionally, the City University's Black Male Initiative Program features a branch called RAP-SI (Retention, Achievement, Professionalism Success Institute), which plays a role in organizing the Langston Hughes Festival.

Lastly, Michelle Y.

What is the location of CUNY City College?

CUNY City College is situated in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The college's main campus can be found at 160 Convent Avenue, spanning from 130th to 141st Streets. This 35-acre (14 ha) Collegiate Gothic campus is nestled in the vibrant and bustling city of New York, providing prospective students with a diverse and exciting environment to pursue their studies.

In addition to the main campus, CUNY City College also operates a satellite campus called City College Downtown, which is located in the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway.

What is the mission and vision of CUNY City College?

CUNY City College's primary objective is to offer an exceptional education to a diverse group of students, irrespective of their socioeconomic background, culture, religion, or race. Established in 1847, the college aimed to overcome historical barriers to education and became the first public higher education institution in the United States to provide quality education for all who possess the ability and motivation to meet stringent academic standards. The college's mission highlights the importance of access and excellence in both undergraduate and graduate education and research.

CUNY City College provides a wide array of baccalaureate degrees in various disciplines, such as arts and humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, architecture, education, engineering, and biomedical science. The undergraduate programs feature significant coursework in liberal arts and sciences. Additionally, the college offers esteemed graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels, reinforcing its dedication to excellence in undergraduate education. CUNY City College is committed to maintaining and enhancing its position as CUNY's flagship campus in the fields of sciences, engineering, and architecture, as well as its signature programs in creative arts and humanities.

As CUNY's leading institution in sponsored research, CUNY City College is also devoted to its world-renowned research centers. The college's commitment to public and community service programs, with a focus on urban issues, is a vital aspect of its mission. CUNY City College aims to provide an affordable education while recruiting and supporting a diverse student body that reflects both New York City and the global society in which we live. This commitment to access is rooted in the belief that every student prepared for a rigorous college education deserves the opportunity and support to pursue it.

What is the accreditation of CUNY City College?

CUNY City College is a public doctoral university that has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1921. This accreditation is recognized by both the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The institution offers two institutional and two specialized accredited programs in various fields, such as clinical psychology, teacher education, and medicine.

In 2018, CUNY City College faced a warning regarding its accreditation due to insufficient evidence of compliance with Standard VI. However, the college managed to reaffirm its accreditation in November of the same year. The next evaluation visit for CUNY City College is scheduled to take place during the 2026-2027 academic year.

CUNY City College Rankings

See where this school lands in our other Rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution's offerings.

36 Best Value Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

56 Most Popular Colleges in New York in 2023-2024

89 Best Colleges in New York in 2023-2024

133 Most Popular Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

259 Best Value Colleges in 2023-2024

268 Best Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

401 Best Public Colleges in 2023-2024

479 Most Popular Colleges in 2023-2024

1082 Best Colleges in 2023-2024


CUNY City College Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

CUNY City College

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type


Setting type

City: Large

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

10,000 - 19,999

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

CUNY City College Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconBachelor's degree
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconAssociate's degree
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for CUNY City College Degrees


Avg. salary

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies


Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services






English Language and Literature/Letters


Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Health Professions and Related Programs




Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities


Mathematics and Statistics


Physical Sciences




Social Sciences


Visual and Performing Arts