Founded in 1841, Fordham University is a private four-year Jesuit university with 10 schools on three campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan, and nearby Westchester County. Originally founded as St. John’s College, it has the distinction of being the first Catholic institute of higher learning in the Northeast. In 1907, the school adopted its current name and today awards bachelor’s, master’s, the Juris Doctor, plus Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Ministry degrees. Certificates and professional diplomas can also be earned here.
The main campus at Rose Hill consists of 93-acres in an urban setting and is within walking distance to Little Italy, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Gardens. The school is proud of its student to teacher ratio of 13:1, and there are few large lecture hall classrooms here – almost half of the classes have fewer than 20 students making this an ideal setting for students who desire a more one-on-one approach in their education.
Undergraduate Core Studies
For undergraduates, students can enroll in the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Fordham College at Rose Hill, or the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. There are many programs to choose from in these separate colleges but a common theme of Jesuit scholarship and personal development are evident and the courses are rigorous. The colleges at Lincoln Center and Rose Hill require students to complete a core curriculum in conjunction with their studies in a separate major and minor program, which are based on solid liberal arts classes in order to help students achieve a high level of critical thinking and a chance to become familiar with subjects that they may not normally pursue. Students electing to enroll in the business school must also complete a liberal arts-based core, plus an integrated business core of 12 courses. Those who attend the professional and continuing studies program must also complete their core, in order to obtain a high level of critical thinking and communication skills before moving on to further studies.
Graduate Studies and Research
There are six graduate programs located on campus: arts and sciences, education, law, business administration, religion and religious education, and social service. Students are expected to be fully engaged and spend time teaching undergraduate classes, attend professional conferences, and make presentation based on their research. They will also be expected to apply learned knowledge to help promote their field of interest and pursue academic excellence.
The school has been classified as one out of only 297 universities as a designated research university. Students, and even some undergrads, have many opportunities to be involved in research studies. The university is partners with the Bronx Science Consortium, the New York Botanical Gardens, the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Montefiore Medical Center. Plus, students can work in conjunction with a diverse set of centers and institutions housed on the campus. The school helps students and faculty receive funding for their projects.
Students have a menu of international study options, including at the university’s centers abroad in London, Beijing and Granada. The exchange programs provide year-long and semester-long studies in Japan, the Phillipines, China, Ireland, England, Italy, Spain, India and a number of countries.
Most Popular Fields of Study
This is considered a selective university, with an overall acceptance rate of 49 percent and an early acceptance rate of 55.3 percent. Regular applications need to be submitted in January, and early acceptance deadline is usually in November. Scores for both the SAT and the ACT are required, and those are usually due in February.
Both the Rose Hill campus and the Lincoln Center campus offer dozens of campus tours to prospective students, and the website has a virtual tour available. Summer orientations are held for incoming students, and a three-day mandatory fall orientation is held every year to welcome new students. Commuting students are also treated to a Commuters Barbeque, and Family Weekend is held each September.
Tuition here is relatively high, so if you’re hoping for financial aid, the university offers incoming freshmen merit scholarships in three categories: Presidential, Deans, and National Semifinalist. Recipients of Deans scholarships, which start at $10,000 a year, typically have an A or A- average, a minimum combined SAT score of 1350, a rank in the top 10% of his graduating class, and strong background of extracurricular activities.
The more competitive Presidential scholarships are awarded to students who rank in the top 1 to 2 percent of their class, score above a 1450 on the SAT, and showed strong leadership skills in high school. Presidential scholarships are usually awarded for all four years. Students who were National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic semifinalists and finalists might also qualify for scholarships.
They also have an extensive work study program for students who need the income while in school. Jobs are available in computer technology, the libraries, the Lombardi Center sports facility and pool, theater and visual arts, and transportation services.
Student Financial Aid Details
A total of 6,678 undergraduates and graduate students attend classes on the 85-acre Rose Hill campus in the north Bronx. Of those students, almost half live in campus housing. At the Lincoln Center campus, located on eight acres next door to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, approximately 7,600 professional and undergraduate students attend classes, with 910 living in university housing. Although freshmen do not have to live on campus, the university is one of few in the U.S. that guarantees its students four years of campus housing. At Rose Hill, there are four on-campus residence halls for freshmen, six on-campus residence halls for upperclassmen, and furnished off-campus apartments at four locations close to the campus.
Because the school is in an urban area, it offers students transportation via the popular Ram Van, a shuttle bus that runs every 30 minutes and transports students between the Rose Hill, Lincoln Center and Westchester campuses. For that reason, students are able to easily enjoy everything that nearby Manhattan has to offer them. There is also a Metro North railroad station just outside the campus and the trip from Fordham to Grand Central station is a mere 15-minute ride.
McGinley Center on the Rose Hill campus provides students with food, offices, a post office, and a bookstore. The Lombardi Center (named after Vince Lombardi) is the school’s gymnasium, where basketball and volleyball are played. Football, lacrosse and rugby are played at the outdoor sports facility, Murphy Field. The campus is close to the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, Yankee Stadium and the Belmont section of the Bronx, also known as that borough’s Little Italy. Various services provided to students include a free writing center, health services, free counseling and psychotherapy, cultural clubs, LBGT resources and support, and support for disabled students.
The Rose Hill campus has six on-campus eateries, including the main dining hall, Campbell Hall Café, a coffee shop, student deli, a sit-down restaurant with table service, and a late-night grill that stays open until 1 a.m. The school has its own student newspaper, the Fordham Observer, and radio station, WFUV, which is widely listened to in the New York City metropolitan region. The student-produced TV program, Fordham Nightly News, or FNN, airs nightly on campus. The university offers dozens of student clubs and organizations ranging from academic clubs to theater and arts clubs, to service clubs like Amnesty International and Students for Fair Trade. However, there are no Greek sororities or fraternities.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Rams have 23 intercollegiate teams to root for, including mens and womens basketball, football, track and field, volleyball, soccer, golf, outdoor track, rowing, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, water polo and rowing. The Rams are part of the NCAA Division I and compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference, and the football team is part of the Division I Patriot League. The men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the university football team, have a loyal following among students and alumni.
The school also offers a wide selection of intramural teams for students, and club sports ranging from crew to ultimate Frisbee. The ultimate Frisbee team, founded in 1993, is called the Fordham Ultimate Flying Jesuits.
While academics are important, community service and service to the world are equally critical to a well-rounded education. In fact, the school’s website states, “True to its time-honored Jesuit traditions, Fordham endeavors to make excellence the focus of life, and the world the ‘home of the heart’ of every student.” To that end, the university offers numerous opportunities to students who would like to make a difference in the lives of others.
Global Outreach! is a student led organization that provides students with the chance to participate in domestic and global service projects in places ranging from South Africa to New Orleans. The university is also proud of its Consortium for Social Justice, which takes the lead on events that examine social justice concerns, and sponsors programs that help the disadvantaged. For example, the consortium’s 2010 Service Initiative focused on creating mentor programs for young people aging out of foster care in the Bronx. Eight student service clubs on the campus allow students to give back to society, from Haiti earthquake victims to AIDs victims.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.