Founded in 1847 as The Free Academy, The City College of New York (CCNY) is the oldest of The City University of New York’s (CUNY) 11 senior colleges. Since its founding, CCNY has provided a world-class higher education to an increasingly diverse student body, and has been one of the most important avenues to upward mobility in the United States. Access to excellence remains the College’s vision today.
CCNY consists of the College of Liberal Arts and Science, with Divisions of Humanities and the Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, Science and Social Science, plus four professional schools. The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture 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. The School of Education is a national leader in preparing teachers of mathematics.
City College is also one of seven campuses of the Macaulay Honors College. Macaulay Scholars are selected for the program based on their high school record, standardized test results, high school English average, an interview and recommendations. They receive free tuition, a research stipend and other benefits.
CCNY’s enrollment of more than 15,000 students includes recent high school graduates as well as working adults, immigrants as well as natives, poor as well as middle class. In Fall 2010, students hailed from 153 countries and spoke 99 languages besides English.
“US News and World Report” ranks City College number one in diversity among masters-level universities where Hispanics are the largest ethnic group. 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 graduates going on to earn doctorates.
Behind this success is a faculty committed to academic excellence and research. More than 95% of CCNY professors hold PhDs or terminal degrees in their fields. The faculty includes winners of Fulbright scholarships, Guggenheim fellowships, 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 research activities. 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. For 2009-2010 the College's faculty received more than $69 million in research funding.
Nine Nobel laureates claim CCNY as their Alma Mater, the most from any public college in the United States. The College’s distinguished alumni include: 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, former New York Mayor Edward I. Koch; best-selling mystery writer Walter Mosley; former Secretary of State Gen. Colin L. Powell (USA) ret.; artist and writer Faith Ringgold; 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 launching their careers at City College.
In 2009, the College moved the Spitzer School of Architecture into a new home designed by Rafael Viñoly. A two-building, billion-dollar research complex now under construction and scheduled to open by 2015, will propel City College toward greater prominence and a future as bright as its glorious past.
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