Graduate Schools in New York City

Wanna take a bite out of the Big Apple? Consider going to Graduate School in New York City (NYC)! 

Home to the expression “a New York minute” (for its status as the fast-paced City That Never Sleeps), the United Nations, and world-class dining and nightlife, NYC could make a dynamic backdrop for graduate study.

written by Rana Waxman

Why Study in New York City?

Graduate Schools in New York City place you in the heart of an iconic metropolis where you can study anything from architecture and arts to business, finance, fashion and innovation. It also has a selection of universities located in and around the city, and is a magnet for U.S. and international graduate students.

The hyperactivity of NYC makes it hard to believe that Lower Manhattan was once a colonial outpost of Amsterdam. The New York City of today incorporates all of those diverse roots and cultures into its modern, lively personality, which blends into a vibrant melting pot of ethnicity and culture.

This melting pot of cultures brings with it a melting pot of cuisines. Enjoy classic fare like New York-style pizza, head to Chinatown for pho and congee, or grab a freshly-baked bagel from a Jewish deli before class. New York City's foodie culture includes an array of international cuisines influenced by the city's immigrant history, as well as modern NYC street food, and haute cuisine from internationally known chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Ann Burrell, and Mario Batali.

Want Indian Food? No problem; head down to the East Village to Little India and grab a curry or something from the Tandoori oven. Craving Korean bulgogi? Go to 32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue and sample the offerings in Koreatown. You can find pretty much any culinary style and flavor in this town.

Start your search by browsing some popular graduate programs from our partner NYC schools.


One survey shows that 24.3% of people over 25 who have higher level education in NYC report they have a Masters degree. i

NYC: Live and Learn in a Global Power Cityii

The sheer size of NYC could either overwhelm or excite prospective graduate students, so the first thing you may want to consider is where to live.

If you do want to live in New York City (and who would blame you?), you need to get to know the neighborhoods. NYC is made up of a collective of 5 boroughs, within which there are countless individual neighborhoods. These 5 boroughs are:

  1. Manhattan
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Queens
  4. Staten Island
  5. The Bronx

Manhattan (New York County) is geographically the smallest and is simultaneously the most densely populated of the five boroughs.

As home to Wall Street, the United Nations Headquarters, museums, Broadway and more, Manhattan is often thought of as the financial and cultural center of the world. Manhattan can be divided (loosely) into Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown.

  • Downtown Manhattan is basically anything from 14th Street down to the southernmost tip of the island. If you are "going Downtown," you could be on a venture to the World Trade Center site, Battery Park, City Hall, or the Financial District (Wall Street). Downtown also includes the Lower East Side, SoHo, the Meatpacking District, Little Italy, Chinatown, Chelsea, the Flatiron District, Union Square, and the East and West Village.
  • Midtown Manhattan is 59th Street down to 14th Street. It is home to iconic landmarks such as Times Square, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State building, the Theater District and tons of office buildings. It is also famous for the shops on Fifth Avenue such as Tiffany's, Prada, and Louis Vuitton, and renowned landmarks like St. Patrick's Cathedral.
  • Upper Manhattan is the northern part of this borough and home to the Upper East and West Sides, Washington Heights, Harlem and Inwood. These neighborhoods are, for the most part, less touristy and more residential. You might go for a jog through Riverside Park or access the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway which encircles Manhattan's riverfronts with car-free bike routes.

Brooklyn (Kings County) is the city’s most populous borough. It features beachfront that includes Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and the Rockaways, while its downtown commercial center is where you could find bookstores, bars, and hip tech start-ups—mostly in DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Other neighborhoods in Brooklyn include Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope (think historic brownstones) , Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, and Bay Ridge (of Saturday Night Fever fame), to name a few.

Queens (Queens County) is geographically the largest of the boroughs, and the most ethnically diverse. If you are a tennis fan, this is where you will head for the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Mets fans head to Citi Field. If you arrive in NYC by plane, you will land at John F. Kennedy Airport or LaGuardia Airport; both are in Queens.

Staten Island (Richmond County) is connected to Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and to Manhattan by the free Staten Island Ferry. Take a ride over and back on the Staten Island ferry to get great views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (cheaper than the Circle Line cruise!).

The Bronx (Hamilton County) is the northernmost borough. Home to the Bronx Zoo, it is also the location for Yankee Stadium.

Not everyone who attends graduate school in NYC decides to live within the five boroughs, and it's always good to have options. Hoboken, New Jersey—just across the Hudson River from New York City—offers great views of the skyline, and commuters can just hop on the PATH train or the ferry to get to Manhattan. Same goes for neighboring Jersey City.

Commuting gets a little less convenient, but prices decrease if you look at rents in nearby riverside towns like Weehawken, West New York, and Guttenberg, NJ.

Getting Around New York City

New York City grew from the 17th century onwards, which was obviously a few centuries before the car culture. Consequently, it gets great marks as a pedestrian friendly city.

But with a city of this size, public transportation is both comprehensive and extensive. Let’s start with the New York City subway system. Like NYC, it never sleeps, and it primarily serves Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. It also covers Staten Island through the MTA Staten Island Railway (SIR)—although SIR doesn't connect directly to the other boroughs (commuters can take the ferry or drive).

There are 22 numbered and lettered subway routes, and apps like HopStop to help you plan your commute.

The Daily Grind

In 2016, the average weekday subway ridership was 5.7 million, the highest since 1948. Annual ridership was 1.757 billion.iii 

There is also a complex bus system and commuter rail (Long Island Rail Road).

You could also get around by taxi or car although it may not be faster, and it is fairly expensive to park (and pay tolls on the tunnels and bridges—not to mention those pricy parking tickets!).

The PATH train (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) links Midtown and Lower Manhattan to northeastern New Jersey – Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark (including Newark International Airport). Therefore, some students might choose to live a bit further from the city if it is friendlier on their budget.

NYC Weather

New York City features a full four seasons. In winter, the city occasionally sees snowfall and temperatures can be chilly. The temperature in January, the area's coldest month, could fall to single digits °F. The Spring thaw usually comes somewhere from March to April, though it waits til May to truly warm up. Spring weather can be unpredictable—and you might need an umbrella or rain jacket.

Summers are typically warm in June to very hot and humid (July and August), and things start to cool down in the Fall months when you might want to reach for a sweater or light jacket.

Discover New York City on Any Budget

There are many ways to explore New York City on any budget. The high-end stuff is fairly easy to find. Here are 10 ideas that won’t break the bank.

Outdoor Activities

  1. Walkability. It’s free to walk in Central Park and take in attractions such as the Conservatory Garden, The Alice in Wonderland sculpture, and the Strawberry Fields memorial to the Beatles. Other strolls include Washington Park, the High Line, or the Brooklyn Bridge.
  2. Cycle Through It. Governors Island is a 172-acre island in New York Harbor. Close to Brooklyn and accessible by ferry, it offers 7 miles of car-free biking. Bring your own or rent a bike there.
  3. Get Cheaper Broadway tickets. The classic way to find deeply discounted tickets is to wait in line, on the day of the show, at Theatre Development Fund’s TKTS Booth under the red steps in Duffy Square (47th Street and Broadway).
  4. Honor History. Visit One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.
  5. Be Resourceful. A website like Time Out could be a great resource for various events – free concerts, for instance. Or wait in line for free tickets to see Shakespeare in the Park in the summertime.

Indoor Activities

  1. Take a Ride. The subway isn’t free but it is pretty cheap. Buy a MetroCard, choose a place to explore, walk, have a coffee, do an errand. For the price of a ride you can be at the beach or Brooklyn's Chinatown.
  2. Stay Cultured. Some museums have free-entry days or may offer discounts to students. Some of the well-known museums are MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim
  3. Audience Participation. There are ticket lotteries for shows that film in New York City, like Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. This means you can try to be a part of their studio audience for free—it's worth a try!
  4. Head to the Library. The main New York Public Library is on 42nd and Fifth Avenue next to Bryant Park. It houses artifacts like priceless medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls, contemporary novels and poetry, as well as baseball cards, dime novels and comic books. Take a selfie on the steps with Patience and Fortitude, the famous lions that adorn the entramec to the historic Beaux Arts Midtown landmark.
  5. Have a Laugh. Check out the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hell’s Kitchen. Founded by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh, it is basically innovative improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy. Some shows could cost as little as $5.

Also, if you choose a University in New York City with an on-campus or hybrid program, your school may have guest speakers, lecturers, events and resources. These may also provide some cost-effective ways to tap into the abundant offerings of your location.

Explore Graduate Schools in New York City

There are many graduate schools in New York City to consider. Here is a list of five sponsored universities in NYC. Browse the directory for more options.

  1. New York Medical College
  2. Pratt  
  3. Manhattan College
  4. New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
  5. New York University

Popular Graduate Programs in New York City

Graduate Programs in New York City explore some of the city’s major industries and disciplines. Business, Finance, International Trade, Tourism, Real Estate, Media, Law, Accountancy, Fashion – you name it and you could study it at the graduate level.

Master Architecture in New York City

While the skyscrapers rule the distinctive skyline of Manhattan, New York City is also noted for its array of architectural styles from Classical to Gothic, Tudor Revival and Victorian. Why not study buildings in a city full of iconic ones?

Pratt, a partner school located in Brooklyn, is one university in New York City with a Master of Architecture (MArch) program. Students could learn about the very brownstones they live among as they study the different praxes that influence architectural design.

Compare this with a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning. Students could develop their grasp of community development, land use, and sustainability issues. NYC is a leader in the construction of energy-efficient green office buildings such as the Hearst Tower.iv

Want to sell, not build, real estate? Consider Pratt’s Master of Real Estate Practice (REP). Students in this program could learn to apply the core disciplines in real estate to develop, invest, and finance housing and urban development projects.

MBA Programs in NYC

MBA programs in NYC provide students with the opportunity to build strong business and management skills. New York City is one of the metropolitan areas with the highest employment levels in business and financial occupations.v

One of the graduate schools in New York City with a Master of Business Administration program is partner school, Manhattan College. Students could enroll on a full- or part-time basis, and might choose an on-campus or online MBA format. Aside from coursework in accounting, data analysis, and stock market valuation, students might look for guidance to secure an appropriate internship.

Compare with a one-year Masters in Finance at partner school, Hult University. Students complete their Masters degree through an immersion in up to three of the world’s most influential cities: Boston, London, and New York. Live and study in Downtown Manhattan where you could get an insider’s look at Wall Street.

MFA Programs in NYC

Earn a Master of Fine Arts in New York City? Whether you are a visual artist, performer or digital media maven, NYC could be a great place to earn an MFA degree. Just think about the backdrop - Broadway and off-Broadway theaters, Carnegie Hall, the Museum Mile, and more.

One MFA program in NYC to think about is offered at partner school, New York Institute of Technology. Their MFA in Computer Graphics teaches how to address complex problems and creative research in design. This includes content, print, web, interactive design, exhibition and interface design. Moreover, students could gain a solid grasp of professional workflow and technical implementation.

Prefer studio art? Compare with Pratt’s (a partner school) MFA. In this program, critical discussions are stacked with broad-based studio and technical electives, collaborative opportunities, and a chosen area of emphasis. Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture are some examples.

PhD Programs in NYC

PhD programs in NYC are offered in many health and medicine related disciplines, since much of the scientific research in the city is done in medicine and the life sciences. Major biomedical research institutions include Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of

One choice could be a MD/PhD at partner school, New York Medical College. Based on their own research experience, PhD students may take as many as three research rotations in the first year. PhD degrees are awarded in six disciplines.

  1. PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  2. PhD in Cell Biology
  3. PhD in Microbiology and Immunology
  4. PhD in Pathology
  5. PhD in Pharmacology
  6. PhD in Physiology

More of a clinician? Study to earn a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) at New York University, a partner school. Students could build both clinical and analytical skills and may learn to apply evidence to practice while they explore an area of interest. Build knowledge and credentials to define your OT practice in NYC

Choose a University in New York City

It is both fast and easy to find universities in NYC with graduate programs in your area of interest. Filter by degree level, program format and subject to yield sponsored graduate schools in New York City that correspond to your preferences. Then, apply!

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