Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College
Motto Nil sine magno labore ("Nothing without great effort")
Type Public
Established 1930
Endowment $77 million[1]
President Michelle Anderson
Administrative staff
519 full-time,
444 part-time
Students 16,463 (2014)
Undergraduates 13,276 (2014)
Postgraduates 3,187 (2014)
Location Brooklyn, New York, United States
40°37′52″N 73°57′9″W / 40.63111°N 73.95250°W / 40.63111; -73.95250Coordinates: 40°37′52″N 73°57′9″W / 40.63111°N 73.95250°W / 40.63111; -73.95250
Campus Urban
Athletics NCAA Division IIICUNYAC (South)
Sports 14 varsity teams
Nickname Bulldogs
Mascot Bulldog
Affiliations CUNY

Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City.

The origin of Brooklyn College occurred in 1910 with the establishment of an extension division of the City College for Teachers. The school then began offer evening classes for first-year male college students in 1917. In 1930 by the New York City Board of Higher Education, the College authorized the combination of the Downtown Brooklyn branches of Hunter College at that time a women's college and the City College of New York a men's college both of which had established been in 1926.[2] With the merger of these branches, Brooklyn College became the first public coeducational liberal arts college in New York City.

The college's 26-acre (110,000 m2) campus is known for its beauty, and is often regarded as "the poor man's Harvard" because of its low tuition and reputation for respectable academics. U S News & World Report has ranked the school tied for number 83 as a Regional college (North region).The school was ranked in the top ten for value, diversity, and location by Princeton Review in 2003 and in the top fifty for value in 2009.[3][4][5]

Campus history

The Library, part of the original campus laid out by Philip Randolph, now known as "East Quad"


In 1932, the architect Randolph Evans drafted a plan for the college's campus on a large plot of land his employer owned in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. He sketched out a Georgian-style campus facing a central quadrangle, and anchored by a library building with a tall tower. Evans presented the sketches to the president of the college at the time, Dr. William A. Boylan. Boylan was pleased with the plans, and the lot of land was purchased for $1.6 million. Construction of the new campus began in 1935, with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by then Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and Brooklyn Borough President Raymond Ingersoll. In 1936, then-President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt went to Brooklyn College to lay the cornerstone of the Brooklyn College Gymnasium. President Boylan, Borough President Ingersoll, and President Roosevelt all had buildings on Brooklyn College's campus named after them. The campus located in Midwood became the only Brooklyn College campus after the school's Downtown Brooklyn campus was shut down during the 1975 budget emergency.

Modern campus history

Brooklyn College's campus East Quad today looks much as it did when it was originally constructed. The campus also serves as home to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts complex and its four theaters, including the George Gershwin.

The demolition of Gershwin Hall, replaced by The Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, is the most recent construction on an evolving campus.[6] Other changes to the original design include the demolition of Plaza Building, due to its inefficient use of space, poor ventilation, and significant maintenance costs. To replace Plaza Building the college constructed West Quad Center, designed by the notable Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. The new building contains classroom space, offices, gymnasiums and a swimming pool. It houses the offices of Registration, Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science. The grounds contain a quadrangle with grassy areas and trees. New façades are being constructed on Roosevelt and James halls where they once connected with Plaza Building. The 2009–10 CUNYAC championship men's basketball team now plays its home games in the West Quad Center.

This follows a major library renovation that saw the library moved to a temporary home while construction took place. The Brooklyn College library is now located in its original location in a completely renovated and expanded LaGuardia Hall. Noted as one of the most beautiful in the United States,[7] the campus has been shown on numerous movies and television shows.

Part of the Brooklyn College campus, from left to right: James Hall, Boylan Hall, Library, Ingersoll Hall, Roosevelt Hall


Entry gate
West Quad Center
James Hall
Roosevelt Hall
Boylan Hall
Lily Pond

Brooklyn College is made up of five schools:


Undergraduate curriculum

Beginning in 1981, the college instituted a group of classes that all undergraduates were required to take, called "Core Studies". The classes were: Classical Origins of Western Culture, Introduction to Art, Introduction to Music, People, Power, and Politics, The Shaping of the Modern World, Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning and Computer Programming, Landmarks of Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geology, Studies in African, Asian, and Latin American Cultures, and Knowledge, Existence and Values.[8]

In 2006, the Core Curriculum was revamped, and the 13 required courses were replaced with 15 courses in 3 disciplines, from which students were required to take 11.[9] In fall 2013, Brooklyn College embarked on CUNY's new general education alternative, the Pathways curriculum, consisting of three components: Required Core (four courses), Flexible Core (six courses) and College Option (four courses)—totaling 42 credits.[10] Brooklyn College offers over a hundred majors varying from the visual arts to Women's Studies.[11]

Division of Graduate Studies

The Division of Graduate Studies at Brooklyn College was established in 1935 and offers more than seventy programs in the arts, education, humanities, sciences, and computer and social sciences.

Graduate programs are offered in Accounting, Africana Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Information Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Economics, Education, English, Film, Health and Nutrition Sciences, History, Judaic Studies, Mathematics, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music, Physical Education and Exercise Science, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Sociology, Speech Communication Arts and Sciences, Television and Radio, and Theater.

B.A.-M.D. program

The Brooklyn College B.A.M.D. program is an 8-year program affiliated with SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The Program follows a rigorous selection process, with a maximum of 15 students selected every year. Each student selected to the program receives a Brooklyn College Presidential Scholarship. B.A.–M.D. students must engage in community service for three years, beginning in their lower sophomore semester. During one summer of their undergraduate studies, students are required to volunteer in a clinical setting where they are involved in direct patient care. B.A.-M.D. students are encouraged to major in the humanities or social sciences. A student who majors in a science must choose a minor in the humanities or social sciences. All students meet the pre-med science requirements by taking cell and molecular biology, botany, physiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general physics. B.A.–M.D. students must maintain at Brooklyn College an overall grade point average of 3.5, and a pre-med science GPA of 3.5.

The Scholars Program

The Scholars Program is home to a small number of students with strong writing ability and academic record. Being the oldest honors program in the CUNY system, The Scholars Program has served as a model for many other honors programs nationwide. It was established in 1960 and is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program. The program offers honors-level Core courses and seminars as well as small, personalized classes. Upon graduation from Brooklyn College, many Scholars continue their education in competitive programs at top-ranked universities like Princeton, Yale, and New York University. The program accepts incoming freshmen in addition to matriculated sophomores and transfer students (up to 48 credits). Once admitted, they receive a Brooklyn College Foundation Presidential Scholarship of up to $4,000 for every year of their undergraduate study at Brooklyn College and a laptop computer. [12]

Coordinated Engineering Program

The Coordinated Honors Engineering Program offers a course of study equivalent to the first two years at any engineering school. Students who maintain the required academic level are guaranteed transfer to one of the three coordinating schools—NYU-Poly, City College of New York School of Engineering, and the College of Staten Island Engineering Science Program—to complete their bachelor’s degree in engineering. Coordinating Engineering students have also transferred to SUNY Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, Cooper Union, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students admitted as incoming First-Year receive a Brooklyn College Foundation Presidential Scholarship that provides full tuition for their two years of full-time undergraduate study in the Coordinated Engineering Program. As members of the Honors Academy, Engineering Honors students take advantage of individual advising, faculty consultation, and early registration. In the Commons they find study facilities, computer access, academic, scholarship, internship, and career opportunities, and, above all, intellectual stimulation among other talented students like themselves. Students applying to the Engineering Honors Program will also be considered for the Scholars Program.[13]

Brooklyn College Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema

Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema is the first public graduate film school in the city of New York. It is the only film school in America to have its own classroom on a film lot with the collaboration of Steiner Studios, the largest soundstage on the East Coast. The program offers a M.A. in Cinema Studies and M.F.A in Cinema Arts with five disciplines of Cinematography, Directing, Post-production, Producing and Screenwriting. The school opened in Fall 2015. The discipline of Digital Arts will be available in Fall 2016.[14]


Brooklyn College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Bulldogs are a member of the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC). Men's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and volleyball.


In 2010 Brooklyn College adopted the Bulldog as its new mascot.[15] The athletic program was originally known as the Kingsmen. In 1994 the mascot was changed to the Bridges. However, after building new facilities and undergoing other changes the athletic director pushed for a new name to reflect the new program.[16]



Notable alumni of Brooklyn College include Senator Bernie Sanders (1959-1960),[17][18] Senator Barbara Boxer (B.A. 1962), Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (B.A., 1946), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt (M.A., 1967), Harvard Law School professor and author Alan M. Dershowitz, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt, Emmy Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits (B.A., 1980), and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Paul Mazursky (B.A., 1952).

In a National Research Council study of baccalaureate origins of Ph.D. recipients between 1920 and 1995, Brooklyn College ranked 19th in the nation.

Notable faculty


  1. "Brooklyn College | CUNY-Brooklyn College | Best College &#124". U. S. News & World Report. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  2. Berroll, Selma and Gargan, William M. "Brooklyn College" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010), The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2, p.176
  3. "College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. Freudenheim, Ellen and Wiener, Anna. Brooklyn: The Ultimate Guide to New York's Most Happening Borough. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  5. Valenti, John (August 7, 1986). "Brooklyn College Basketball Problems". Newsday. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  6. Calder, Rich (May 14, 2011). "New performing arts center for Brooklyn College". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  7. "Campus #1 in Beauty". Brooklyn College. August 20, 2002. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  8. "Old Core Curriculum". Brooklyn College. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  9. "New Core Curriculum". Brooklyn College. February 6, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  10. "Brooklyn College - Pathways". Brooklyn College. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. "Undergraduate Programs and Advisors" Brooklyn College
  12. ""Scholars Program"". Brooklyn College. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. Engineering Brooklyn College Archived September 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema - Admissions". Brooklyn College. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  15. "Newsletter Spring 2010" Brooklyn College
  16. Staff (October 25, 2009) "Brooklyn College To Choose New Athletics Team Name & Mascot" Brooklyn College Bulldogs
  17. Horowitz, Jason (July 24, 2015) "Bernie Sanders’s ‘100% Brooklyn’ Roots Are as Unshakable as His Accent" The New York Times
  18. Staff (July 13, 2016) "Bernie Sanders Fast Facts" CNN
  19. "Robert Beauchamp, American (1923–1995)". Ro Gallery. 2011. Retrieved Jun 30, 2011.
  20. "Hans L. Trefousse (1921-2010)". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  21. "Theresa Wolfson". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  22. "Wolfson, Theresa". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
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