The City College
Founded in 1847 as The Free Academy, The City College of New York (CCNY) was one of the great experiments of the young American democracy. At the urging of School Board President Townsend Harris, New York established a school to provide access to higher education for bright young men from working class and immigrant families who could not afford private college. Now over 160 years later, the experiment remains an overwhelming success.
The oldest of The City University of New York’s (CUNY) 11 senior colleges, CCNY is really a small university with four renowned professional schools and an outstanding College of Liberal Arts and Science. CCNY’s School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA) and the Grove School of Engineering at City College are the only programs of their kind at public institutions of higher learning in New York City. The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education’s unique seven-year B.S. / M.D. program has become a national model for medical education, and the School of Education has become a national leader in preparing teachers of mathematics.
Undergraduates at City College can choose from among more than 80 programs and specializations, from traditional to cutting edge. Students who love music, for example, can study composition with a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer or jazz with an American jazz master. For graduate students, CCNY offers more than 40 masters programs – as well as 13 CUNY doctoral programs in engineering, the sciences and psychology.
City College is also one of seven campuses for the CUNY Honors College. University Scholars are selected for the program based on their high school record, standardized test results, high school English average, an interview and recommendations and receive free tuition, a research stipend and other benefits.
CCNY’s enrollment of more than 14,000 students includes recent high school graduates as well as working adults, immigrants as well as natives, poor as well as middle class. In Fall 2007, 90 foreign languages were spoken on campus, which has been ranked by US News and World Report as one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation.
CCNY ranks among the leading schools granting bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans. It is also a leader nationally in graduating minority engineers and conferring graduate degrees on minority students.
In recent years, the College has been in the top three nationally in the number of its graduates going on to earn doctorates.
Behind this success is a faculty committed to academic excellence and research. More than 85% of CCNY professors have earned the highest degrees in their field. The faculty includes winners of Fulbright scholarships, Guggenheim fellowships, MacArthur “Genius” awards, Pulitzers, Emmys, GRAMMYs and National Book Awards.
Nine faculty members hold 12 memberships in the three national scientific academies: The National Academy of Science, The National Academy of Engineering and The Institute of Medicine. Sheldon Weinbaum, CCNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, is one of six living Americans elected to all three.
In addition to its long history as a great teaching institution, City College is internationally renowned for the research activities of its faculty. The school is a leader in such fields as molecular modeling, transportation infrastructure, nanotechnology, laser optics and AIDS. City has the largest undergraduate research program in the New York metropolitan area, and during 2006-2007 the College's faculty received research grant support totaling more than $42 million.
Nine Nobel laureates claim CCNY as their Alma Mater, the most from any public college in the United States; the most recent laureate, Robert J. Aumann, Class of 1950, won the 2005 prize in Economics for his contributions to game theory. The College’s distinguished alumni include: playwright Paddy Chayefsky; former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter; lyricist Ira Gershwin; Intel Corporation co-founder and Senior Advisor Dr. Andrew S. Grove; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos, best-selling mystery writer Walter Mosley; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; astronaut Mario Runco, Jr.; polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas E. Salk, and Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Schiff.
Countless others -- teachers, doctors, lawyers, architects, industrialists, scientists, engineers, artists and more -- have gone on to make an indelible mark on the city, the nation and the world after beginning their careers at City College.
The College has embarked upon a strategic plan aimed at, among other things, enhancing: its status as CUNY’s flagship campus in the sciences, engineering and architecture; its role as CUNY’s lead institution in sponsored research; its world-renowned research centers, and its dedication to public and community service programs with emphasis on urban areas.
Part of the strategic plan is an ambitious project to expand and modernize the campus including a new home for SAUDLA and a new science research complex. A national and international model of excellence in public higher education, CCNY’s future shines as brightly as its glorious past.
The Office of the Secretary