I would like to ask if anyone here has gone to either school and how your experience was. I am particularly interested in what research opportunities you had, professor accessibility, and class size.
thanks in advance
I go to neither school, but since not one person has responded to this yet I feel the little information I do have may be useful. I am from Brooklyn, New York. I have a quite a few highschool friends who go to City University schools. I myself am a physics major at the University of Rochester. The important thing to note that what I expirienced upon visitng CUNY schools is limited, but perhaps they can be a little useful.
The physics/engineering students at these school are dedicated and hardworking. The difficulty they have, especially prevalent in undergraduate programs in CUNY schools is the ability to get an early start in the field. With hard work, patience, and good networking there is a possibility, but in some undergraduate programs at private university's that emphasize on research as early as your freshman year. With the right background you can already begin research with a Professor. In my school it was relatively easy to either speak to a professor or our undergraduate advisor and be paired up with a Professor who perhaps conducts research in a possible field you are interested in - but then again private university's generally have a lot more funding then CUNY schools do.
The class sizes are quite large, but that could be found just by looking at the schools numbers on the amount of students. As with any school, the beginning classes will have a larger amount of students then the more advanced specialized classes. This "larger" amount depends on the amount of students who are attending the school. My schools honor beginning calculus class had about 60-80 students. Though my school has a little under 4000 students total, the CUNY schools average around 10,000 and more. My friends complained about the size of these beginning classes, that are filled to over a hundred at times.
Professor accessibility varies from Professor to Professor.
If your choice is between CUNY and a private school with a wide berth of research opportunities, then of course the latter. Is it impossible to get into a PhD program from a CUNY school absolutely not: friends of our family who graduated from CUNY school's have been admitted and graduated notable schools for various scientific fields. Though one thing they have stated, and the friends I know who are currently attending is that it is a lot more difficult to do so. You are more on your own so to speak. If your decision is between which CUNY school, I would suggest City University - from what I hear it is overall more effective at helping their science majors get more involved in the field. Plus ever since Michio Kaku became a poster boy for the school, it has picked up interest in students who plan on attending a CUNY school, and also plan on majoring in physics.
Again, this is just my limited experience of friends and family friends. Everyone's college experience is different, and in the end its all about what you do with your education.
Thank for the reply. I am also from Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn College which is also a CUNY school. I have to say I had a great experience at Brooklyn all of my professors were from really good schools like Harvard, Stamford and MIT and the class sizes were really small.
From what I understand no matter which school I pick I will be taking classes at the CUNY graduate center so I guess that leaves my decision to where I might have more research opportunities. I have emailed both department regarding research and I'm now waiting to hear back.