Hunter College

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Coordinates: 40°46′07″N73°57′53″W / 40.768538°N 73.964741°W / 40.768538; -73.964741


Hunter College
in the City of New York
Hunter College logo.svg
Other name
Hunter College
MottoMihi cura futuri
Motto in English
"The care of the future is mine"
Type Public
Established1870;151 years ago (1870)
Endowment $135.8 million source:
President Jennifer Raab
Provost Valeda Dent (interim)
Undergraduates 16,550
Postgraduates 6,368
Location, ,
United States
Colors Hunter Purple and
  Hunter Gold [1]
Athletics NCAA Division IIICUNYAC
Nickname Hawks
Affiliations CUNY

Hunter College is one of the constituent colleges of the City University of New York, a public university [2] in New York City. The college offers studies in more than one hundred undergraduate and postgraduate fields across five schools. It also administers Hunter College High School and Hunter College Elementary School. [3]

Hunter was founded in 1870 as a women's college; it first admitted male freshmen in 1946. [4] The main campus has been located on Park Avenue since 1873. In 1943, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated Franklin Delano Roosevelt's and her former townhouse to the college; the building was reopened in 2010 as the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. [5] The college has a 57% graduation rate within six years. [6]


New York Normal College seen from Park Avenue (1874); from a photo by George G. Rockwood Normal College of Women 801201.png
New York Normal College seen from Park Avenue (1874); from a photo by George G. Rockwood


Hunter College has its origins in the 19th-century movement for normal school training which swept across the United States. Hunter descends from the Female Normal and High School (later renamed the Normal College of the City of New York), established in New York City in 1870. Founded by Irish immigrant Thomas Hunter, who was president of the school during the first 37 years, it was originally a women's college for training teachers. The school, which was housed in an armory and saddle store at Broadway and East Fourth Street in Manhattan, was open to all qualified women, irrespective of race, religion or ethnic background. At the time most women's colleges had racial or ethno-religious admissions criteria.

Created by the New York State Legislature, Hunter was deemed the only approved institution for those seeking to teach in New York City. The school incorporated an elementary and high school for gifted children, where students practiced teaching. In 1887, a kindergarten was established as well. (Today, the elementary school and the high school still exist at a different location, and are now called the Hunter College Campus Schools.)

Student Helen Campbell studying radio science in a program started at Hunter College in 1917 by the National League for Women's Service to train female radio operators during World War I. Helen Campbell studying radio science at Hunter College LC-DIG-ggbain-24344.tif
Student Helen Campbell studying radio science in a program started at Hunter College in 1917 by the National League for Women's Service to train female radio operators during World War I.

During Thomas Hunter's tenure as president of the school, Hunter became known for its impartiality regarding race, religion, ethnicity, financial or political favoritism; its pursuit of higher education for women; its high entry requirements; and its rigorous academics. The first female professor at the school, Helen Gray Cone, was elected to the position in 1899. [7] The college's student population quickly expanded, and the college subsequently moved uptown, in 1873, into a new red brick Gothic structure facing Park Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets. [8] It was one of several public institutions built at the time on a Lenox Hill lot that had been set aside by the city for a park, before the creation of Central Park. [9]

In 1888 the school was incorporated as a college under the statutes of New York State, with the power to confer the degree of A.B. This led to the separation of the school into two "camps": the "Normals", who pursued a four-year course of study to become licensed teachers, and the "Academics", who sought non-teaching professions and the Bachelor of Arts degree. After 1902 when the "Normal" course of study was abolished, the "Academic" course became standard across the student body.


In 1913 the east end of the building, housing the elementary school, was replaced by Thomas Hunter Hall, a new limestone Tudor building facing Lexington Avenue and designed by C. B. J. Snyder. [10] The following year the Normal College became Hunter College in honor of its first president. At the same time, the college was experiencing a period of great expansion as increasing student enrollments necessitated more space. The college reacted by establishing branches in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. By 1920, Hunter College had the largest enrollment of women of any municipally financed college in the United States. In 1930, Hunter's Brooklyn campus merged with City College's Brooklyn campus, and the two were spun off to form Brooklyn College.

Opening of the Navy recruit camp for WAVES at Bronx Campus, February 8, 1943 Hunter College NY WAVES camp opening 1943.JPG
Opening of the Navy recruit camp for WAVES at Bronx Campus, February 8, 1943

In 1936 fire destroyed the 1873 Gothic building facing Park Avenue, and by 1940 the Public Works Administration replaced it with the Modernist north building, designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon along with Harrison & Fouilhoux. [8] [11]

The late 1930s saw the construction of Hunter College in the Bronx (later known as the Bronx Campus). During the Second World War, Hunter leased the Bronx Campus buildings to the United States Navy who used the facilities to train 95,000 women volunteers for military service as WAVES and SPARS. [12] When the Navy vacated the campus, the site was briefly occupied by the nascent United Nations, which held its first Security Council sessions at the Bronx Campus in 1946, giving the school an international profile. [13]

In 1943, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated a town house at 47–49 East 65th Street in Manhattan to the college. The house had been a home for the future President and First Lady. Today it is known as The Roosevelt House of Public Policy and opened in fall 2010 as an academic center hosting prominent speakers.

The West (seen here in the background) and East Buildings were constructed in 1981-86 - held up by the 1975 New York City fiscal crisis - and were designed in the Modernist style by Ulrich Franzen & Associates; skyways connect all the buildings West Building Hunter College CUNY.jpg
The West (seen here in the background) and East Buildings were constructed in 1981–86 – held up by the 1975 New York City fiscal crisis – and were designed in the Modernist style by Ulrich Franzen & Associates; skyways connect all the buildings

CUNY era

Hunter became the women's college of the municipal system, and in the 1950s, when City College became coeducational, Hunter started admitting men to its Bronx campus. In 1964, the Manhattan campus began admitting men also. The Bronx campus subsequently became Lehman College in 1968.

In 1968–1969, Black and Puerto Rican students struggled to get a department that would teach about their history and experience. These and supportive students and faculty expressed this demand through building take-overs, rallies, etc. In Spring 1969, Hunter College established Black and Puerto Rican Studies (now called Africana/Puerto Rican and Latino Studies). An "open admissions" policy initiated in 1970 by the City University of New York opened the school's doors to historically underrepresented groups by guaranteeing a college education to any and all who graduated from NYC high schools. Many African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Puerto Ricans, and students from the developing world made their presence felt at Hunter, and even after the end of "open admissions" still comprise a large part of the school's student body. As a result of this increase in enrollment, Hunter opened new buildings on Lexington Avenue during the early 1980s. In further advancing Puerto Rican studies, Hunter became home to the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños ("Center for Puerto Rican Studies" or simply "Centro") in 1982.

Today, Hunter College is a comprehensive teaching and research institution. Of the more than 20,000 students enrolled at Hunter, nearly 5,000 are enrolled in a graduate program, the most popular of which are education and social work. Although less than 28% of students are the first in their families to attend college, the college maintains its tradition of concern for women's education, with nearly three out of four students being female. In 2006, Hunter became home to the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, which will run training programs for young women to build their leadership, public speaking, business and advocacy skills.

In recent years, the college has integrated its undergraduate and graduate programs to successfully make advanced programs in fields such as (Psychology and Biology) – "PhD Program", (Education) – "Master's Program", (Mathematics) – "Master's Program", -"PhD Program" (Biology & Chemistry) – "Biochemistry", (Accounting) – "Master's Program" along with the highly competitive (Economics) – "Master's Program" to which only a select few students may enter based on excellent scholarship and performance, and less than half will earn a master's degree by maintaining a nearly perfect academic record and performing thesis research.

Although far from the polar regions, Hunter is a member institution of the University of the Arctic, a network of schools providing education accessible to northern students. [14]


North Building at Park Avenue (2010) Hunter College.jpg
North Building at Park Avenue (2010)
View of the bridges between the East and West Buildings, the subway entrance, and Tony Smith's Tau Hunter College bridge.jpg
View of the bridges between the East and West Buildings, the subway entrance, and Tony Smith's Tau

Main campus

Hunter College is anchored by its main campus at East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, a modern complex of three towers – the East, West, and North Buildings – and Thomas Hunter Hall, all interconnected by skywalks. The college's official street address is 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065. (Formerly bearing the ZIP code of 10021, the code changed on July 1, 2007 in accordance with the United States Postal Service's plan to split the 10021 ZIP code.) [15] The address is based on the North Building, which stretches from 68th to 69th Streets along Park Avenue.

The main campus is situated two blocks east of Central Park, as well as many of New York's most prestigious cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asia Society Museum, and the Frick Collection. The New York City Subway's 68th Street–Hunter College station ( 6 and <6> trains) on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line is directly underneath, and serves the entire campus. Adjacent to the staircase to the station, in front of the West Building, sat an iconic Hunter sculpture, "Tau", created by late Hunter professor and respected artist Tony Smith. The sculpture has been removed as of October 2018 due to restoration purposes.

The main campus is home to the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. It features numerous facilities that serve not only Hunter, but the surrounding community, and is particularly well known as a center for the arts. The Assembly Hall, which seats more than 2,000, is a major performance site; the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, a 675-seat proscenium theatre, has over 100,000 visitors annually and hosts over 200 performances each season; the Ida K. Lang Recital Hall is a fully equipped concert space with 148 seats; the Frederick Loewe Theatre, a 50 x 54-foot (16 m) black box performance space is the site of most department performances; and the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery hosts professionally organized art exhibits. [16]

Students have access to specialized learning facilities at the main campus, including the Dolciani Mathematics Learning Center, the Leona and Marcy Chanin Language Center, and the Physical Sciences Learning Center. A respected research institution, Hunter has numerous research laboratories in the natural and biomedical sciences. These labs accommodate post-docs, PhD students from the CUNY Graduate School, and undergraduate researchers. [17]

College sports and recreational programs are served by the Hunter Sportsplex, located below the West Building. [18]

Satellite campuses

Hunter has two satellite campuses: The Silberman School of Social Work Building, located on 3rd Avenue between East 118th and East 119th Streets, which houses the School of Social Work, the School of Urban Public Health, and the Brookdale Center on Aging; and the Brookdale Campus, located at East 25th Street and 1st Avenue, which houses the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, the Schools of the Health Professions, the Health Professions Library and several research centers and computer labs. [19]

Thomas Hunter Hall was originally built in 1911-13 as a high school connected to Normal College (later Hunter College High School), and was designed by C. B. J. Snyder. Thomas Hunter Hall Hunter College CUNY from north.jpg
Thomas Hunter Hall was originally built in 1911–13 as a high school connected to Normal College (later Hunter College High School), and was designed by C. B. J. Snyder.

The Brookdale Campus is the site of the Hunter dormitory, which is home to over 600 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a limited number of nurses employed at Bellevue Hospital. Prior to the opening of City College's new "Towers," the Brookdale complex was the City University's only dormitory facility.

Other facilities

Hunter College owns and operates property outside of its main campuses, including the MFA Building at 205 Hudson, Roosevelt House, Baker Theatre Building, Silberman School of Social Work, and the Hunter College Campus Schools. The MFA Studio Art program was formerly run out of a building on West 41st Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. It was a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) industrial space that students converted to studio space for the college's BFA and MFA program. The current building in Tribeca now houses the Studio Art and Integrated Media Arts MFA program, and Art History MA program. [20] Roosevelt House, located on East 65th Street, is the historic family home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Hunter's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute is now located there, honoring the public policy commitments of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. [21] Baker Theatre Building located on 149 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10065 is the home of Hunter's Department of Theatre thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Hunter trustee Patty Baker ’82 and her husband, Jay. [22] The Silberman School of Social Work is located between 118th and 119th street on 3rd Ave. The Hunter Campus Schools—Hunter College High School and Hunter College Elementary School—are publicly funded schools for the intellectually gifted. Located at East 94th Street, the Campus Schools are among the nation's oldest and largest elementary and secondary schools of their kind. [23]


Hunter library collections are housed in the Leon and Toby Cooperman Library (the main library), the Zabar Art Library at East 68th Street in the North Building, the Health Professions Library at the Brookdale Campus, and the Social Work Library at the Silberman School of Social Work building. There is a small library at the Roosevelt House building. Together, these libraries hold over 760,000 volumes, more than 2,100 current print periodical subscriptions and approximately 10,000 in electronic format, 1,168,000 microforms, 13,000 videos and music CDs, 250,000 art slides, and 40,000+ digital images. The CUNY+ online catalog of university-wide holdings and remote online databases are accessible at all Hunter libraries. [24]

Under the guidance of the Presidential Task Force on the Library, created in the fall of 2006, the Leon and Toby Cooperman Library has undergone several improvements in the areas of facilities, holdings, and services. The library now features wireless capability, a redesigned student lounge and circulation desk, improved lighting, and expanded electronic resources. Additionally, the college has extended library hours, hired more library staff, and instituted a laptop loan program for students. More improvements are planned for the future, as part of an initiative to fully modernize the library. [25]


Hunter is organized into four schools: The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the School of the Health Professions, and the School of Social Work. The college is highly selective, with an admissions acceptance rate of 36% in Fall 2018. [26] Hunter offers 70 programs leading to a BA or BS degree; 10 BA-MA joint degree programs; and 75 graduate programs. They may study within the fields of fine arts, the humanities, the language arts, the sciences, the social sciences, and the applied arts and sciences, as well as in professional areas in accounting, education, health sciences, and nursing. Regardless of area of concentration, all Hunter students are encouraged to have broad exposure to the liberal arts; Hunter was one of the first colleges in the nation to pass a 12-credit curriculum requirement for pluralism and diversity courses. [18]

Hunter has 673 full-time [27] and 886 part-time faculty members, [28] and 20,844 students—15,718 undergraduates and 5,126 graduates. [29] Over 50% of Hunter's students belong to ethnic minority groups. [30] The class of 2011 represented 60 countries and speaks 59 different languages. Seventy-one percent of these students were born outside the United States or have at least one foreign-born parent. SAT and high school GPA scores for the entering Fall 2012 class of freshmen had an SAT score 25th–75th percentile range of 1090 to 1280 and high school GPA 25th–75th percentile range of 85% to 92%. [31]


Academic rankings
ARWU [32] 155 - 175
Forbes [33] 301
THE/WSJ [34] 276
ARWU [35] 601 - 700
U.S. News & World Report [36] 970
U.S. News & World Report [37] 17
Master's University class
Washington Monthly [38] 33

The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) places Hunter at 217 (National) and 958 (Global) for the 2020-2021 academic year. (Source: World University Rankings 2020-21 | CWUR) The most recent ranking from QS, another respected source for college rankings, placed Hunter between 201 and 250. However, no current data has been provided by QS for 2020 and 2021 due to a change in ranking methodology and increased selectivity from the ranker.

Academic rankings

According to the "Best Value Colleges for 2010," a ranking published by The Princeton Review and U.S.A. Today , Hunter is the nation's number 2 "Best Value" in public colleges (on the basis of the analysis of over 10 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance, and financial aid). [39] The Princeton Review's 2011 edition of the "Best 373 Colleges" includes Hunter as one of the best colleges or universities in the United States. [40] Hunter also was cited among the Best Northeastern Colleges, one of five regional guides published by the Princeton Review. [41] It is ranked 284th on Forbes' college rankings list. [42]

The 2011 edition of "America's Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report , places the college 8th among public universities in the north in the "Best Universities-Master's" category, [43] and among the 574 public and private institutions in this category, Hunter is in the first tier with a rank of 39. [44] Hunter is 3rd in the nation among master's institutions in the number of students awarded Fulbright grants, according to the October 2009 ranking compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education. [45]

Graduate Program in Fine Arts

In the most recent edition of U.S. News and World Report Ranking of Graduate Fine Arts Programs, Hunter has been ranked 23rd best in the United States. [46] Hunter's MFA Programs in Studio Art (Painting and Sculpture) and Studio Art (Painting and Drawing) have both been ranked 9th best in the nation. [46] In 2017, Artsy included Hunter's in the list of "Top 15 Art Schools in the United States." [47] The admission to Hunter's MFA Programs in Studio Art is highly competitive, with the average acceptance rate of 8% as of 2018. [48]

Honors programs

Hunter offers several honors programs, including the Macaulay Honors College and the Thomas Hunter Honors Program. The Macaulay Honors College, a CUNY-wide honors program, supports the undergraduate education of academically gifted students. University Scholars benefit from a full tuition scholarship (up to the value of in-state tuition only as of Fall 2013, effectively restricting it to NY state residents), personalized advising, early registration, access to internships, and study abroad opportunities. All scholars at Hunter are given the choice of either a free dormitory room at the Brookdale Campus for two years or a yearly stipend. [49]

The Thomas Hunter Honors Program offers topical interdisciplinary seminars and academic concentrations designed to meet students’ individual interests. The program is open to outstanding students pursuing a BA and is orchestrated under the supervision of an Honors Council. It can be combined with, or replace, a formal departmental major/minor. [50]

Hunter offers other honors programs, including Honors Research Training Programs and Departmental Honors opportunities, The Muse Scholar program, the Jenny Hunter program, the Athena program, and the Yalow program. [51]

In addition to these honors programs, several honors societies are based at Hunter, including Phi Beta Kappa (PBK). A small percentage of Hunter students are invited to join Hunter's Nu chapter of PBK, which has existed at the college since 1920. Less than 10% of the nation's liberal arts colleges qualify academically for a PBK chapter. [18]

Student life

Student governance

The Hunter College student body is governed by the Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), both of which offer a wide range of activities and services.


Hunter offers approximately 150 clubs that reflect the diverse interests of its student body. These organizations range from the academic to the athletic, and from the religious/spiritual to the visual and performing arts. There are even clubs based on specific interests, such as "Russian Club", which offers a look at Russian life and culture and "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship" an organization whose vision is to "transform students and faculty, renew the campus, and develop world changers." [52]

Fraternities and sororities

National – Social

National – Service

Local – Social

Local – Service


Student media

Hunter College has a campus radio station, "WHCS", which once broadcast at 590AM but is now solely online. [53] "The Envoy" is the main campus newspaper, published bi-weekly during the academic year. Its literary and art magazine The Olivetree Review offers opportunities for publishing student prose, poetry, drama, and art. [lower-alpha 1] Other publications include "Culture Magazine" (fashion and lifestyle), [lower-alpha 2] "Hunted Hero Comics" (comics and graphic stories), [lower-alpha 3] "The Photographer's Collective" (photography), [lower-alpha 4] "Nursing Student Press" (medical news and articles), Spoon University (culinary online publication), Psych News (psychology), [lower-alpha 5] "The Wistarion" (yearbook), "SABOR" (Spanish language and photography/now defunct), Revista De La Academia (Spanish language/now defunct), the Islamic Times (now defunct), Political Paradigm (political science/now defunct), Hakol (Jewish interest/now defunct), and Spoof (humor/now defunct). [54]

Past publications also include the WORD [55] (news) and Hunter Anonymous. [56]


Hunter is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes at the Division III level. [57] [58]

The mascot is the Hawks. Hunter plays in the City University of New York Athletic Conference.

The basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams play at the Hunter Sportsplex. [59]

Manhattan/Hunter College Science High School

As a partnership with the New York City Department of Education, the Manhattan/Hunter College High School for Sciences was opened in 2003 on the campus of the former Martin Luther King, Jr. High School on the Upper West Side. Unlike Hunter's campus schools, Hunter Science does not require an entrance exam for admission. [60]

Notable alumni


This list covers alumni in visual, musical, and performing arts.


Entertainment and sports

Government, politics, and social issues


Science and technology

Notable faculty

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Informational notes

  1. See: "The Olivetree Review: About". Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  2. See: "cult. magazine" . Retrieved August 18, 2015 via
  3. See archive of at Archived September 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  4. See
  5. See


  1. "Visual Identity Standards Reference Guide" (PDF). Hunter College, City University of New York. 2016. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 16, 2017. Hunter College has two official colors: purple (Hunter [P]urple) PMS 267 [#5f259f] and yellow (Hunter Gold) PMS 123 [#ffc72a].
  2. Hunter College 2007–2010 Undergraduate Catalog, p. 3
  3. "Office of the President – Hunter College". Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  4. Gray, Christopher (April 20, 2008). "The Vestige of What Might Have Been". The New York Times.
  5. "Mission". Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  6. "City University of New York: Hunter College | The College Board". Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  7. "Young Women Graduated". The New York Times. June 23, 1899.
  8. 1 2 Christopher Gray, "Streetscapes/Hunter College on 68th Street and Park Avenue; Industrial-Style Main Building Raised Storm in 1940", The New York Times, February 29, 2004
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