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New York

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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 19th

From architecture and arts to finance and innovation, New York City is one of the world’s leaders in almost every field imaginable – and this includes higher education. With a large selection of prestigious universities located in and around the city, it’s long been a magnet for international students seeking the finest education money can buy – not to mention the chance to live in such an iconic and dynamic metropolis.

Few other cities can rival the high concentration of world-class universities in the NYC area – New York is one of the highest scoring cities in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, with world famous Columbia University placing at an impressive joint 18th place, and  New York University (NYU) close behind it at 39th. The main factor preventing NYC from getting a higher overall position in the index is its low score for affordability; top-dollar tuition fees combine with relatively high overall living costs to make this one of the world’s more expensive study options.

But for those for whom it is financially viable, New York offers a virtually inexhaustible supply of things to see and do. Home to many of the most important movers and shakers in world culture, business, finance and the media, and pulsating with energy 24/7, the Big Apple will keep throwing up enough surprises and new experiences to keep you going for an entire lifetime, let alone the duration of your degree program.

In the student survey, the words “opportunity” and “diversity” recur in students’ descriptions of life in NYC. One respondent sums up the appeal: “There is such a richness of academic, cultural and industry diversity here. Something for everyone.”

Is NYC your dream study destination? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities In New York

More about New York

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Columbia University (joint 18th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Related categories:

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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Hi, Laura,am Emmanuel from Uganda. would love to study in the U.S.A for bachelor in social sciences.help me with the procedure on how to secure fully funded scholarship. Thank you.

Hi Emmanuel, I've replied to your comment here. :)

I would like to study in usa
But how could I do that and come to usa for studying ?

Hi, for more information about studying in the US, please see our US country guide.  We have guides to every US state, as well as practical information about studying in the US, including tuition fees and visa requirements. We also have a state-by-state list of top universities and an article on scholarships to study in the US. Hope this helps! Laura

Hello I want to study in New York City university with scholarship can you help me

Could u suggest me the total cost of studying business as undergrad in Columbia university and also give a list of scholarships for the same please.

Hi Aham. We have a list of scholarships to study in the US here, which may be of interest. To find out how much you would be charged to study at Columbia as an undergaduate, and whether you'd be eligible for financial aid, you can use the university's fees calculator, here.

Hope this helps!

i would like to study in usa

Hi Nashon. Sounds like you may be interested in our guide to studying in the US, including individual state guides: https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/north-america/united-states/guide