Ranked List of the Best CUNY Schools

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What’s Covered:

 

With 25 campuses and colleges across New York City, the City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest urban public university in the United States. CUNY prides itself on being a “transformative engine of social mobility,” serving diverse students with different backgrounds across all five boroughs.

 

Founded as the first free public institution of higher learning in the nation, CUNY offers undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs in a wide array of disciplines.

 

Each school has its own personality and strengths. Here, we’ve ranked the schools within CUNY that offer bachelor’s degrees, so you can get a clearer picture of which one is the best fit for you.

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

Our rankings are based on school quality, outcomes, and ROI. We examined data such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance, among many other factors.

 

Ranked List of CUNY Schools

 

1. Baruch College

 

Location: Manhattan

Acceptance rate: 41%

Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1350

Undergrad enrollment: 15,000

 

Divided into the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and Zicklin School of Business, Baruch offers top programs in areas like business, journalism, public affairs, and many others. The majority of students commute, although there is limited residential housing. Students also have plenty of opportunities to join the many different organizations catering to unique interests, such as writing and athletics.

 

Learn more about Baruch and see your chances of acceptance.

 

2. Hunter College

 

Location: Manhattan

Acceptance rate: 36%

Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1260

Undergrad enrollment: 17,200

 

Across six schools — Arts & Sciences, Education, Health Professionals, Urban Public Health, Nursing, and the Silberman School of Social Work — Hunter offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 100 disciplines, from nursing to Arabic to education. Originally founded as a women’s college, it became coed in 1946 and continues to welcome diverse populations. 

 

Learn more about Hunter and see your chances of acceptance.

 

3. City College of New York

 

Location: Manhattan

Acceptance rate: 51%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1050-1260/23-31

Undergrad enrollment: 13,100

 

CCNY is CUNY’s founding institution, originally established as The Free Academy in 1847. The college counts inventors, physicists, world-renowned musicians, Supreme Court justices, and other acclaimed professionals as alumni. Made up of eight schools and divisions, CCNY offers a wide variety of degree paths and programs. It boasts many firsts; for example, it was the first college with the mission of educating the “whole people.”

 

Learn more about CCNY and see your chances of acceptance.

 

4. Brooklyn College

 

Location: Brooklyn

Acceptance rate: 50%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1020-1180/22-29

Undergrad enrollment: 14,900

 

The first coed liberal arts college in New York City, Brooklyn College was the result of a merger between branches of Hunter College and CCNY. It was established in 1830. A producer of entrepreneurs, politicians, Olympians, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, and more, the college is known for renowned programs across disciplines. It has also ranked #1 Ethnically Diverse Campus for four years, according to US News.

 

Learn more about Brooklyn College and see your chances of acceptance.

 

5. Queens College

 

Location: Queens

Acceptance rate: 53%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1040-1190/22-27

Undergrad enrollment: 16,600

 

Consistently ranked as a “Best Value College” by The Princeton Review, Queens College is widely known as a vehicle of socioeconomic mobility. The college offers plenty of top undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as research opportunities and internship placements. Notably, Queens produces more education graduates who become principals, teachers, and counselors for NYC public schools than any other institution.

 

Learn more about Queens College and see your chances of acceptance.

 

6. John Jay College of Criminal Justice

 

Location: Manhattan

Acceptance rate: 37%

Middle 50% SAT: 1000-1150

Undergrad enrollment: 13,300

 

At one time, John Jay was the only liberal arts college in the US focusing on criminal justice. Named for the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, today, John Jay continues to be a leader in criminal justice and related disciplines, such as forensic psychology and criminology. But today, the college also offers additional programs that prepare students to “serve the public interest as ethical leaders and engaged citizens,” such as IT, economics, and political science.

 

Learn more about John Jay and see your chances of acceptance.

 

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7. Lehman College

 

Location: Bronx

Acceptance rate: 38%

Middle 50% SAT: 950-1110

Undergrad enrollment: 12,600

 

Originally founded in 1931 as the Bronx campus of Hunter, Lehman became its own institution in 1967. Offering nearly 100 programs across the School of Arts & Humanities, School of Education, School of Natural and Social Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing, and School of Continuing Education, Lehman aims to serve as the borough’s “intellectual, economic, and cultural center.”

 

Learn more about Lehman and see your chances of acceptance.

 

8. College of Staten Island

 

Location: Staten Island

Acceptance rate: 91%

Middle 50% SAT: 990-1160

Undergrad enrollment: 12,200

 

The result of a merger between Staten Island Community College and Richmond College, the College of Staten Island (CSI) offers degrees at all levels, from associate’s and bachelor’s to doctoral, across the School of Business, School of Education, and School of Health Sciences, along with The Verrazano School Honors Program, and the Teacher Education Honors Academy. It is particularly noted for programs like Nursing.

 

Learn more about CSI and see your chances of acceptance.

 

Currently Unranked Schools 

 

The CUNY system has several additional colleges that aren’t included in our rankings but could be a good fit for some students. They are:

 

 

There are also campuses that exclusively offer associate’s degrees or certificates, as well as graduate schools within the larger university.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Admission to CUNY depends on a number of factors, including the selectivity of the particular school within the university. But your unique profile plays one of the biggest roles in determining whether or not you’ll be accepted. Try CollegeVine’s free chancing engine to better understand your chances of admission—and receive tips on how to improve your profile to increase your odds of success.


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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