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CUNY City College of New York (City College or CCNY) is a public four-year higher education school located in New York City, New York. Founded in 1847, CUNY City College was the first free public institution in the United States. As the oldest of the CUNY schools of higher learning, it is now considered the flagship college of the system. The institution is also known for many firsts, including being the first college explicitly founded on the ideal of educating the “whole people”. It’s also home to the first documentary film program in the United States, as well as the first student government in the nation.

Since its beginnings, City College has provided high quality and affordable education to New York students pursuing degrees in a wide variety of disciplines. The Center for World University Rankings places the institution in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide for academic excellence. Additionally, The Chronicle of Higher Education also ranked CCNY number one on the overall mobility index. This ranking reflects the likelihood that students will move up two or more income quintiles.

Overview of CUNY City College

CUNY City College is also home to a lively campus experience. With 16 varsity teams in the NCAA Division III, over 100 student clubs, and a well-equipped fitness center, students have numerous opportunities to socialize and engage.

The school employs approximately 556 faculty full-time and 717 faculty part-time, with the majority focusing on instruction. This makes the student-faculty ratio 15:1, which means it is relatively easy for students to receive one-on-one attention from instructors. Students also have numerous opportunities to conduct research, publish, and present with their professors. The majority of full-time faculty members have PhDs and maintain professional practices such as holding art exhibits, making films, and performing around the country. More than 300 undergraduate students work alongside their professors on funded research projects.

Students enrolled at CUNY City College are part of an institution that is as diverse, dynamic, and boldly visionary as the city of New York itself. The school strives to produce citizens who are capable of making a positive impact on the cultural, social, and economic vitality of the city, nation, and world.

Students can receive certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s, and doctoral degrees in many different majors. Students have the option of living on or off-campus. NYC is perfect for those students who want to enjoy everything the quintessential big city has to offer. This includes plays and musicals on and off Broadway, shopping, museums, and diverse cultures.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 14:1
Graduation Rate 56%
Year Founded 1847

Student Enrollment

Total Students15,816


Undergraduate Student

Male 6,254
Female 6,776

Graduate Student

Male 1,337
Female 1,449

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CUNY City College Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 14,316
Female 15,697


Male 5,297
Female 8,633

Acceptance Rate46%

Male 37%
Female 55%

Enrollment 2,071

Male 978
Female 1,093
Application Fee $65
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline NA
Common Application Accepted NA

CUNY City College Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The overall cost of attending CUNY City College varies. Impacting factors include degree type, residency, and housing plans. The school also charges various materials fees for access to certain facilities and supplies. Students should also plan to pay for any books needed each semester.

The average charge for tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students is $3,465 per academic semester. Out-of-state students, however, are charged at a rate of $620 per credit hour. Notably, these amounts do not include the cost of room and board, which is offered by The Towers at The City College of New York. Housing options at The Towers range from $12,840 per person, per year to $18,676 per person, per year. Graduate and doctoral students pay varying tuition rates depending on their areas of study.

CUNY City College offers a number of financial aid options to help pay for education including federal and state funds, special program funds, and scholarships from the institution itself. Most financial awards are based on need and require recipients to maintain good academic standing. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA and residents should also complete TAP applications. Approximately 96% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. The majority of student aid utilized comes from grants and scholarships, with only 5% of students relying on student loans.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $3,397
Average Total Aid $10,059
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Room & Board $16,164

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,340
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $15,290
  • Books and Supplies - $1,364
  • Room & Board - $16,164
  • Other - $5,504


CUNY City College believes in fostering student understanding, critical thinking, research, creativity, and innovation. Academic programs are designed to integrate knowledge with experience to nurture the scholars, professionals, and leaders of the future. The most successful students will have a tenacious desire to learn, lead, and contribute to the greater good of society.

Students can choose from a wide variety of areas of study including advertising and publish relations, biomedical engineering, childhood education, digital and interdisciplinary art practice, electrical engineering, and journalism.

The institution offers programs in the following schools and divisions:

  • The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture
  • CUNY School of Medicine
  • Colin Powell School of Civil and Global Leadership
  • School of Education
  • The Grove School of Engineering
  • Division of Humanities and the Arts
  • Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at Center for Worker Education (CWE)
  • Division of Science

There are various undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree options available, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate certificates. Opportunities vary based on the program selected, with some disciplines offering more graduate and doctoral-level courses than others.

The total student population as of fall 2020 was 15,227, including full-time and part-time students. Approximately 12,587 are enrolled in undergraduate programs. Of those, 78% attended classes full-time. There were also 2,640 graduate students, 65% of whom attended classes part-time.

The retention rate at CUNY City College for first-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees in fall 2020 was 80% for full-time students and 71% for part-time students. Retention rate statistics are important because they measure how many freshmen students choose to return to an institution to continue their studies for a second year. The national average retention rate is 68%, which indicates that the majority of students enrolled at CUNY City College are satisfied with their overall experience at the institution.

Prospective students should also become familiar with overall graduation rates and transfer out rates. Graduation rates indicate the percentage of first-time students who earn their degree or certificate within 150% of the standard completion time. In 2020, the overall graduation rate for CUNY City College was 60%, with 23% of tracked students transferring out before their final academic year.

CUNY City College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, as well as the New York State Department of Education. The Grove School of Engineering is also an institutional member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Association of Engineering Colleges of New York State. As a whole, the institution is capable of awarding a wide variety of baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, in addition to undergraduate and graduate certificates.

Student Population Total

Student Population 15,816

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 430 Total Graduates / 17%
Mechanical Engineering 125 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 93 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 68 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 46 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 372 Total Graduates / 15%
Psychology, General 372 Graduates
All Social Science Majors 283 Total Graduates / 11%
Economics, General 78 Graduates
International Relations and Affairs 70 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 64 Graduates
Sociology, General 59 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 274 Total Graduates / 11%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 158 Graduates
Biomedical Sciences, General 84 Graduates
Biochemistry 26 Graduates
Biotechnology 6 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 250 Total Graduates / 10%
Fine/Studio Arts, General 134 Graduates
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 43 Graduates
Jazz/Jazz Studies 15 Graduates
Music, General 14 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 35%

Outcome & Salary

In general, most on-campus students enrolled at CUNY City College can expect to graduate, with 59% earning their degrees. Very few students, however, are able to complete program requirements within four years. The majority of those enrolled do not graduate until after six to eight years of coursework.

The top employers associated with CUNY City College include:

  • Bloomingdales
  • Cohn & Wolfe
  • Futurebrand
  • Johnson & Johnson Global Content Lab
  • Samsung
  • University Music Group
  • Vayner Media
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $57,700
College Grads Average Salary $74,832
College Grads Mid Career Salary $102,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $748,320
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,772,320
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $13,588
10 Year Projected ROI $734,732
20 Year Projected ROI $1,758,732
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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