Guide to the CUNY Schools + Complete List

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What’s Covered:


“The education of free people is the hope of humanity.”


That’s the mission of the City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban public university in the United States. CUNY also holds the distinction of being the first free public institution of higher learning.


Today, the university consists of 25 colleges, including community colleges, four-year institutions, and graduate schools. It serves 275,000 students. 


What Are the CUNY Schools?


CUNY aims to be an “engine of social mobility,” serving a large number of students who are the first in their families to go to college. In the 2018–19 academic year, 44 percent of the undergraduate population consisted of first-generation students.


The system’s 25 schools offer more than 1,400 academic programs, with 200 majors leading to associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and 800 leading to graduate degrees. There are also a number of special programs housed across the CUNY campuses, including the Macaulay Honors College, one of the most prestigious public university honors colleges.


While many students who attend CUNY are from New York City or another city in New York State, some students come from other states. For New York State residents, full-time tuition is $6,930 per year (four-year colleges); for out-of-state residents, it’s $18,600 per year or $620 per credit. Tuition is lower for community colleges: $4,800 per year for NY residents and $9,600 per year/$320 per credit for out-of-staters.


There are also plenty of scholarships open to students, particularly New York State residents. For example, students from low-income households may be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship, which enables them to attend a CUNY school (in addition to some other institutions in the state) tuition-free.


While some of CUNY’s colleges offer on-campus housing, most are predominantly commuter schools. This allows students, many of whom are adults and/or part-time, to work and handle other responsibilities while attending school. CUNY also offers resources to help students manage their busy lives. Several of the colleges, for instance, have on-campus daycare.


How to Apply to the CUNY Schools


Students can use a single CUNY Application to apply to up to six colleges at once with a single application and fee. In addition to the application, you should submit your high school transcripts, essays (encouraged for colleges including Baruch College and required for Hunter College and Queens College), and additional supporting documents required for specific programs. Some colleges and programs also ask students to submit letters of recommendation.




The Fall deadline for application submission is February 1st, and the Spring deadline is September 15th. If you are applying for Macaulay Honors consideration, you should submit your Fall application by December 8th at 6pm and select two colleges.


Decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning mid-February to July 1 for the Fall semester and beginning mid-October to December 15 for the Spring semester.

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List of the CUNY Schools 


CUNYs with Baccalaureate Programs


School Name


Acceptance Rate


Baruch College




Brooklyn College




College of Staten Island

Staten Island



Hunter College




John Jay College of Criminal Justice




Lehman College




Medgar Evers College




New York City College of Technology




Queens College




The City College of New York




York College





Community Colleges


  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Bronx Community College
  • Guttman Community College
  • Hostos Community College
  • Kingsborough Community College
  • LaGuardia Community College
  • Queensborough Community College


Graduate Schools 


  • Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
  • CUNY Graduate Center
  • CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
  • CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • CUNY School of Professional Studies
  • CUNY School of Law

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


If you’re considering attending a CUNY school for a four-year program, it’s important to know where you stand. Some of the schools have relatively low acceptance rates! To find out your chances of admission, use CollegeVine’s free chancing engine. After you input your data, this free tool will estimate your odds of admission to more than 600 schools. Plus, you’ll receive free tips on how to improve your profile.


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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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