Public universities with strong reputations in NYC and nationally?

<p>As mentioned on other threads, I'm considering going back to university. There's a decent chance that I'll continue on to get an MA. However, the immediate concern is undergraduate education.</p>

<p>After completing the degree, I'm interested in working in the New York City "Tri-State" area. Most of my family lives within three hours of there. And for overall opportunity, it's difficult to beat. It's not an absolute requirement, but is definitely something which I'd like to leave the door open to.</p>

<p>Several of the universities I've considered are state universities. The problem is that in NYC, many people - including employers and clients - have a bias against state universities. Fortunately, people are usually informed enough to make an exception for the very best state schools, e.g., Berkeley or Michigan.</p>

<p>So my question is: Exactly which state universities in North America have strong reputations in NYC? How far down the rankings can one safely go and still have a degree which opens doors in NYC?</p>

<p>FWIW, I don't even agree with this bias against state schools. But it is what it is, and I have to deal with it.</p>

<p>More generally, I'm interested in attending a university which has a strong reputation nationwide. Some state universities have a strong reputation in their own state. However, their reputation drops off dramatically in other parts of the country. Which state universities have truly national reputations?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance for your time.</p>

<p>If you are looking to major in business and you are living in NYC, I would suggest looking at Baruch College, which is part of the City University of NY. Every NYC employer knows the school, it has a strong reputation as a business school and it will open the most doors as far as public schools in the area.</p>

<p>Why don't you tell us which ones you're considering, and why?</p>

<p>We also need to know about what you plan to major in.</p>

<p>You mentioned the UCs and Michigan... Er, how about UNC - Chapel Hill and UVA?</p>

<p>OK, valid questions. The state universities I'm considering at this time include:</p>

<li>Wisconsin at Madison</li>
<li>SUNY at Binghamton</li>
<li>SUNY at Geneseo</li>

<p>FWIW, my stats are probably strong enough to be admitted to all of the above. My GPA for my first Bachelor's degree was 3.8, although admittedly this was at a university which is not particularly well-known. My SAT and ACT scores were very high.</p>

<p>McGill and Wisconsin are on my short list because:
* Both have strong academics in a variety of subject areas.
* Both allow second Bachelor's degrees. Public universities frequently don't.
* Both are tolerant of all kinds of people.
* Both are in locations which work for me. Culture and quality of life are important to me. Weather isn't. (I actually attended McGill for two semesters and am quite familiar with Madison.)</p>

<p>The SUNY's are financial safeties more than anything. They are relatively cheap, especially if I can hang on to New York State residency until starting a degree program.</p>

<p>These are the state universities I've identified at this time that meet my criteria. I'm open to other suggestions as well.</p>

<p>I'm also interested in Columbia's School of General Studies. However, it's probably a reach. It would also be quite a stretch financially. Hence my interest in state universities, even at out-of-state tuition rates.</p>

<p>As for a major: I currently work in the computer field. This career has turned out not to have been a good choice. Long story short, I'm just not a techie. I'm more of a creative type. Also, the field seems to be down for the count in terms of being able to find work in it. Compounding the problem, computer work has few transferable skills towards non-technical careers. Similarly, the Computer Science courses I took have minimal overlap with non-technical coursework.</p>

<p>To resolve this situation, I plan to go back to university to change careers. My interests include writing and social issues. While I haven't selected an exact major yet, it will definitely be in a humanities or liberal arts direction.</p>

<p>Thanks for your time!</p>

<p>kwu: Your post hadn't appeared yet while I was composing my message.</p>

<p>I'm relatively unfamiliar with UNC - Chapel Hill and UVA. What are they like?</p>

<p>I'm sorry, I'm not too familiar with them myself. I know that they are particularly well-known institutions that are also very, very selective.</p>

<p>Thanks, kwu. Even a starting point is useful. I'll just have to do more research (-:</p>

<p>Any more suggestions?</p>

<p>More to the point, do the four universities I mentioned above have strong reputations nationally, and in particular in NYC?</p>

I'm also interested in Columbia's School of General Studies. However, it's probably a reach. It would also be quite a stretch financially. Hence my interest in state universities, even at out-of-state tuition rates.


<p>Take a look at Harvard Extension and Penn's College of General Studies. They are MUCH cheaper than either Columbia or non-res. tuition at a state school. Plus their whole system is more geared toward returning students than the "regular" major research universities.</p>

<p>Count_MonteFisto: Good point. I'm trying to learn more about Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (formerly the College of General Studies) as well.</p>

<p>However, it's only cheaper compared to Columbia. Tuition and fees for a year at Penn LPS, taking 12 hours per semester, costs $21,002. See Tuition</a> | College of Liberal and Professional Studies at The University of Pennsylvania The other options I'm considering cost:</p>

<p>Wisconsin: $21,818 per year for 12-18 hours per semester (see UW-Madison</a> Office of Student Financial Aid : Undergraduate 2008-2009 Cost of Attendance)
McGill: About US$12,200 per year for full-time study at current exchange rates
SUNY: About $11,740 per year, depending on the campus (see SUNY:</a> Tuition and Fees)</p>

<p>An important caveat: Penn LPS is only cheap to the extent to which you can take classes at night. If the classes you need are during the day, you have to pay full price.</p>

<p>I also looked at the Harvard Extension School. However, the extension program is more separated from the non-extension courses than I would like.</p>

<p>It's worth mentioning that I'm planning to study full-time and put getting a degree first. If I'm able to work part-time, that comes second. I'm planning on such a radical career change that continuing my current career isn't important for its own sake. Also, demand for my main job skill is so minimal right now that it's probably not viable for finding full-time work even if I wanted it. At best, it's useful for finding part-time work which could be done on evenings or weekends.</p>

<p>More generally, the extent to which the program is geared towards "returning" or "non-traditional" students is of minimal concern. My strongest concerns are, in this order:
1. Academic strength
2. Ability to open doors nationwide, particularly in NYC</p>

<p>sybbie719: Thanks for the tip. However, I'm probably not going to study business.</p>

<p>I believe Penn State has one of the strongest and wide-reaching alumni networks in the country. My girlfriend visited there to see if she wanted to attend for grad school, and in the following weeks while living in Los Angeles met a ton of people that had attended PSU (and urged her to go there). I'm sure you'd find tons of Penn State people living and working in NYC.</p>

<p>Wisconsin has a large alumni base in the NY tri-state area. It is especially popular with Jewish families in the region.</p>

<p>RacinReaver: Thanks for the tip. Penn State definitely sounds worthy of further investigation. Most of my family lives in Pennsylvania, and many have attended Penn State.</p>

<p>barrons: Thanks for the info. This is definitely a good sign. Wisconsin alums aren't staying in the NY tri-state area if they can't find work (-:</p>

<p>What about the SUNY's? Do they have strong reputations in NYC?</p>

<p>I spent two years in the SUNY system and it sucked. I made a lot of friends and had fun, but the academics were quite bad. I've heard the same from a lot of other SUNY people.</p>

<p>There are exceptions. Geneseo has a good LAC feel and seems to have decent faculty, though if you have interests beyond general stuff you likely will not find a mentor there due to the dearth of professors. Buffalo and Stony Brook are often touted as SUNY's "big research universities" but they are overrated IMO.</p>

<p>If you want to stay in/near the tri-state area, I would consider paying up to go to the surrounding state schools that are of a high quality (Penn State and Ohio State come to mind).</p>

<p>MP2588: Thanks for the feedback. Bad academics are an even bigger deal-breaker than an inadequate reputation. And yes, I'm willing to pay for quality.</p>

<p>William & Mary has best public reputation, esp on East Coast.</p>

<p>I live in NYC, and I wouldn't say that NYC employers are biased agains graduates of public institutions. A lot of the SUNY and CUNY graduates are working in NYC, especially CUNY grads from Hunter, Lehman, Baruch, Queens, and Brooklyn Colleges.</p>

<p>Public universities that I'd say have truly national reputations are UC-Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, UNC-Chapel Hill, and possibly UVA...some others have large regional reputations, like Penn State (this would be an excellent public university to consider in the tri-state area), University of Connecticut, and some of the SUNY and CUNY campuses in the tri-state area; UGA, University of Florida, and U-Texas Austin in the South, and some of the other UCs in the West. UT-Austin and Penn State I'd say straddle the fence between huge regional consideration and national reputation.</p>

<p>Wisconsin-Madison has an excellent graduate reputation in many fields, but I'm not sure about it's undergrad. SUNY-Binghamton and SUNY-Geneseo are good schools, McGill is a great school with a great reputation in the Northeast. And of course, the School of General Studies is an excellent choice.</p>

<p>As a side note, I am almost certain that you do NOT need to go back for a second bachelor's to switch careers, especially for the direction of your switch. If you were attempting to go from writing/social justice to computer science, then perhaps, but to go from computer science to liberal arts/social issues? You don't need a second bachelor's. It would be more practical for you to either take a few classes that you need to take at an inexpensive, nearby public university or college OR to apply for an MA program in a liberal arts program. An MA will take you further than a second bachelor's, and you'd be surprised if you looked and realized that you are probably qualified for many of them, especially at some of the schools at which you are looking.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>There are a number of public universities on this list. Take a look.</p>

<p>^ [url=<a href=""&gt;]ARWU2008[/url&lt;/a&gt;]&lt;/p>

<p>2008 version ;)</p>