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

Established in 1930 by the New York Citymarker Board of Higher Education, the College had its beginnings as the Downtown Brooklyn branches of Hunter Collegemarker (then a women's college) and the City College of New Yorkmarker (then a men's college). With the merger of these branches, Brooklyn College became the first public coeducational liberal arts college in New York City. The campus is known for its great beauty.

The College ranked in the top 10 nationally for the second consecutive year in Princeton Review’s 2006 guidebook, America’s Best Value Colleges.

Campus history

East Quad: Boylan Hall, Library and Ingersoll Hall
In 1932, an architect named 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 Statesmarker 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

BC in Winter
Brooklyn College's campus today still looks much as it did when it was originally constructed, but with extensions of Ingersoll Hall and Roosevelt Hall. The campus also serves as home to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts complex and its four theaters, including the George Gershwin. The most recent construction to take place on the campus was the demolition of the Plaza Building, due to its inefficient use of space, poor ventilation, and significant maintenance cost. To replace the Plaza Building, the college is currently constructing a new West Quad. To keep with the academic style of the campus, the new grounds will contain a newly landscaped quadrangle with grassy areas and trees. Also, new façades will be constructed on the Roosevelt and James Hall buildings where they once connected with the Plaza Building. In addition to these changes, a new building will be built that will house classroom space, offices, and the Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science. The building will also contain new gymnasiums, and a swimming pool. This follows a major library renovation that saw the library moved to a temporary home while construction took place.

Ninety percent of the Brooklyn College faculty hold the highest degree in their field. Among them are Fulbright and Guggenheim fellows, an American Book Award winner, a National Book Award finalist, an Obie Award-winning playwright, 3 Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, and award-winning scientists and musicians.

The College ranks 19th nationally in the number of its undergraduates who have gone on to receive Ph.D. degrees.


Brooklyn College is made up of three academic divisions: Also, the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College offers undergraduate and graduate work in performance, musicology, composition, and music education.

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.

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.

Division of Graduate Studies


The Division of Graduate Studies draws on this record of achievement. For almost 70 years, the division has enabled qualified students of diverse backgrounds to acquire an advanced education of superior quality at a comparatively modest tuition. Today students from almost every state and more than 30 countries are working toward their master's or doctoral degrees at Brooklyn College. The Division of Graduate Studies offers more than 60 master's degree and advanced certificate programs in the arts, education, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional studies. Each year hundreds of graduate students embark on professional careers with the assistance of the Center for Career Development and Internships. Fostering a strong sense of community are the Graduate Student Organization, a number of student clubs, a graduate student newsletter, a series of graduate student lectures, and lively social events.

Today, under the administration of its eighth president, Dr. Christoph M. Kimmich, Brooklyn College is building on traditions that have given it a place among the nation's most respected institutions of higher education.


Brooklyn College is a comprehensive, state-supported institution of higher learning in the borough of Brooklyn, a culturally and ethnically diverse community of two-and-one-half million people. As one of the 11 senior colleges of the City University of New York, it shares the mission of the university, whose commitment is to access and excellence.

The College seeks to extend its educational mission to graduate students through advanced programs offered by the Division of Graduate Studies. The academic goals of the division build on the College's tradition of academic excellence in the liberal arts and in teacher education programs. The division offers studies in specialized areas to serve the growing number of adults who seek to continue their intellectual pursuits and broaden their professional goals. In addition, in order to meet the changing needs of society, Brooklyn College continually develops new degree and advanced certificate programs as well as new concentrations of courses in existing programs. The College participates in a range of doctoral programs offered by the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, including campus-based programs in the sciences.

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 was established in 1960 with support from the Ford Foundation. It was the first honors program in the City University of New York, and one of the earliest at any American college or university. The program received national recognition, became a model for honors programs elsewhere, and was the foundation of the Brooklyn College Honors Academy, which now includes nine federated programs. Students in the program are distinguished by their strong writing ability. Applicants must score at least 680 on their SAT II Writing, and maintain a GPA over 3.50. Graduates of the Scholars Program enter such fields as medicine, law, speech therapy, public health, television, film producing and directing, and biochemistry. They are admitted to Ph.D.programs at such universities as Harvard, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Yale, Berkeley, and New York University. Many are elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and have received awards, including Brooklyn College’s Tow Travel Fellowship and Furman Travel Fellowship for undergraduate international study and research, and the nationally competitive Beinecke Fellowship and Mellon Humanities Fellowship for graduate study. Limited to 15-20 new students per year, the Program offers a community much like a small residential college.

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—Polytechnic University, 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.

Tanger Hillel

The Tanger Hillel @ Brooklyn College is part of the Hillel Foundation organization in the United Statesmarker.

Built in 1959, the Tanger building was designed by a leading architect of American synagogues named Percival Goodman. It is located at the junction of Campus Road and Hillel Place, across from the Whitman Auditorium of Brooklyn College, at the very center of Brooklynmarker.

Brooklyn College houses the largest Hillel facility among New York campuses and features:
  • 17 Jewish clubs
  • Kosher cafeteria
  • Auditorium
  • Recreation room with big screen TV
  • Conference room
  • Study lounge
  • Chapel/Synagogue

Notable alumni

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




Government, law, and public policy


Literature and the arts


Science and technology


Notable faculty


  1. Old Core Curriculum
  2. New Core Curriculum
  6. Martin, Douglas. "Alfred Gottschalk, 79, Scholar of Reform Judaism, Is Dead", The New York Times, September 15, 2009. Accessed September 16, 2009.

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