New York University
#16 Overall Influence#44 Desirability Rank

New York University

Private research university in New York City

By James Barham, PhD

As the cultural mecca of the US, New York City naturally contains many fine colleges and universities. One of the very best is New York University (NYU), located in Washington Square in Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. While NYU is a quintessentially urban school lacking a conventional, pastoral college campus setting, its site is immediately recognizable thanks to Washington Square Arch, which is a replica of the ancient Roman Arch of Titus and very similar in appearance to Paris’s celebrated Arc de Triomphe (though only half its size).

One of the principal founders of NYU was Albert Gallatin, president of the National Bank of New York, former US diplomat, and Secretary of the Treasury under Thomas Jefferson. At the center of Gallatin’s vision for NYU was that the school would accept students from a wider variety of social and family backgrounds, thus making a college education available to young men who showed outstanding academic or personal merit.

This was a novel idea at the time, but one that NYU continues to take seriously today. For example, its entering undergraduate class each year represents nearly 90 foreign countries, in addition to almost all of the American states. NYU also has 12 mini-campuses, or “global academic centers,” located in cities around the world:

  • Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
  • Accra (Ghana)
  • Berlin (Germany)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Florence (Italy)
  • London (United Kingdom)
  • Madrid (Spain)
  • Paris (France)
  • Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Shanghai (China)
  • Sydney (Australia)
  • Tel Aviv (Israel)

Through this extensive network, more NYU students participate in study-abroad programs than those of any other American university.

Some 37 winners of the Nobel Prize are connected to NYU, including, notably,:

  • Severo Ochoa—chemistry
  • Eric Kandel—physiology or medicine
  • Wassily Leontief—economics

In addition, NYU can boast eight Turing Award winners, including:

  • Martin Hellman
  • Judea Pearl
  • Michael Rabin
  • Robert Tarjan

as well as five Fields Medalists, including Akshay Venkatesh.

Finally, notable NYU alumni from other walks of life include:

  • Philosophers, Thomas Nagel, Peter Singer, & David Chalmers
  • Film directors, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, & Tom Ford
  • Singer, Neil Diamond
  • Actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, James Franco, & Timothée Chalamet
  • Former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani


What does this school look for?

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How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


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After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

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Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


70 Washington Sq South, New York NY 10012-1091

What is New York University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#7 World Rank #4 USA Rank
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#8 World Rank #7 USA Rank
#8 World Rank #7 USA Rank
Social Work
#13 World Rank #8 USA Rank
#12 World Rank #8 USA Rank
#14 World Rank #8 USA Rank
#24 World Rank #8 USA Rank
#11 World Rank #8 USA Rank
#10 World Rank #9 USA Rank
#12 World Rank #9 USA Rank
#11 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Computer Science
#10 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Political Science
#22 World Rank #11 USA Rank
#16 World Rank #11 USA Rank
#30 World Rank #14 USA Rank
#23 World Rank #16 USA Rank
#53 World Rank #16 USA Rank
#27 World Rank #16 USA Rank
#51 World Rank #18 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#49 World Rank #21 USA Rank
#35 World Rank #28 USA Rank
#66 World Rank #29 USA Rank
Religious Studies

Other areas of influence

#9 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Criminal Justice

Influential People

Who are New York University's Most influential alumni?

New York University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Literature, Business, and Medical. New York University’s most academically influential people include Friedrich Hayek, Erich Fromm, and John Archibald Wheeler.

Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek

Austrian and British economist

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Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm

German sociologist and psychoanalyst

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John Archibald Wheeler
John Archibald Wheeler

American physicist

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Martha Nussbaum
Martha Nussbaum

American philosopher

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Jonas Salk
Jonas Salk

Inventor of polio vaccine

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Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose

American TV interviewer and journalist

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Israel Kirzner
Israel Kirzner

American economist

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Arthur Kornberg
Arthur Kornberg

American biochemist

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Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn

American historian, playwright, and socialist thinker

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Lewis Mumford
Lewis Mumford

American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology and literary critic

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John Clute
John Clute

Canadian literary critic

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Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg

American actress, comedian, author and television personality

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