New York

New York

QS Staff Writer

Updated July 12, 2021 Updated July 12

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

Columbia UniversityNew York University (NYU)Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New BrunswickYeshiva UniversityUniversity of DelawareCity University of New York; New School UniversityStevens Institute of TechnologyRutgers - The State University of New Jersey, NewarkFordham University

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.


This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in January 2020

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