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City University of New York (CUNY) – New York City


City University of New York is a public research university located in NYC. In terms of number of colleges and student intake, it’s the largest and third largest public university in the United States respectively. But don’t be fooled, it isn’t THAT big – most of the students are those who’ve signed up for completely-online courses. Even though it isn’t too great academically, the one thing you can be assured of at CUNY is fantastic exposure, and excellent diversity of crowd. Chemical Engineers should bank on this university as they've a terrific program and is extremely popular for the same.



The college is located in the Harlem area of Manhattan, and this is perhaps the best part of studying at CUNY. NYC has so much to offer to everyone, and the saying that ‘the city never sleeps’ is perfectly true. Transportation is obviously not a problem, since the ‘best city in the world’ has fantastic connectivity via all modes of transport.


Infrastructure and Residing Options:

CUNY has a relatively small campus of 35 acres (Is that small?!) as compared to other universities in America. They’ve recently built a brand new engineering building, so that’s a huge reason for all Masters students to cheer. Although there’s no bar on campus, there are a couple of Starbucks coffee shops to keep you awake while you study in the magnificent four storey library. And of course, they have an excellent student centre (called the Hoffman Student Lounge) where you can find enough things to do, and enough people to do those things with. There’s also a state of the art gymnasium with a track right above it. The academic facilities, as you would expect, are perfect.

When it comes to living, it’s almost always off-campus. This is the difficult part about life at CUNY. The tuition fee isn’t much, but the rents you pay for housing are extraordinarily high. New York is expensive, and you’ll take a good while before you can find an apartment which suits both, your needs and your budget. The four boroughs surrounding Manhattan are all equally popular among students, and it’s best to start looking for a house as soon as you get your admit, because they fill up really fast. It’s always desirable to have a roommate or two, so that living becomes slightly (but not too much) more affordable.



In spite of New York’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the city does tend to have somewhat extreme (by Indian standards, at least) climate; summers are warm and winters are quite cold. Winter temperatures can fall as low as -10 degrees at night, while summer temperatures can go up to 32 degrees Celsius in the afternoons. Rainfall is common during Spring, though there’s not much the rest of the year. Although the weather may not sound too inviting, this is NYC and everyone loves it anyway!


Courses Offered:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer and Information Systems Management (MIS)
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Sustainability in the Urban Environment (MS in Sustainability)


Faculty and Pedagogy:

City (as CUNY is commonly called) is widely considered the poor man’s Columbia. This isn’t to say that the students here are poor (financially or academically), but it’s more to stress on the fact that CUNY is perhaps the best option for students who want to graduate from the Big Apple and get themselves a job in Manhattan but can’t manage to get into Columbia. You might think this reduces the quality of staff at the college, but you couldn’t be further away from the truth. CUNY has fantastic professors, who are not just highly qualified and experienced, but also very approachable. The atmosphere is quite chilled when compared to a number of other colleges, but getting respectable grades is still pretty important.


Tuition Fees:

This is what prompts a number of students to choose CUNY (or CCNY - City College of New York, as it’s now called) over its more celebrated neighbour Columbia. The tuition fee is about $22,000 (roughly $710 per credit) for the entire course, and you might even end up paying less…


Financial Aid:

In spite of the low tuition fee, CUNY is quite generous with its scholarships. If you manage to maintain a decent academic track record, obtaining a scholarship shouldn’t be a problem. And even if you miss out on it, there are a variety of on-campus jobs, TAs and RAs available.


Eventual Placements:

New York City has an undeniable advantage over any other city in the world, and that is the number of opportunities available. If you attend career fairs, and get in touch with the Career Centre soon enough, getting a good job shouldn’t really be a problem. Make sure you go over your resume with the professors-in-charge, and attend the workshops that teach you how to get through an interview, and you should be quite sorted.


Crowd and Campus Life:

One of the best parts of studying at CUNY is the diversity and versatility of the crowd. You’ll find people from all kinds of cultural, socio-economic, religious and even educational backgrounds, so there’s something to look forward to every single day at CUNY.

While the campus isn’t huge, you don’t really need to have a big college if you’re in NYC. The whole city is waiting to be roamed, explored and taken advantage of. There’s something (much more than something) for everyone. Bars, cafes, clubs, theatres, museums, arenas, everything you could possibly think of!



Though it doesn’t normally figure among the ‘must apply to’ list of most students, City Univeristy of New York is a good option for anyone who may not have the greatest profile but wants to study in a big city (what bigger city than NYC?!).



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