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School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1841
    • Size:
    • Large (>15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Religiously affliated
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • 441 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, New York, United States, 10458
    • Phone:
    • +12126366000
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Fordham University

Fordham University is a private research university in New York City. Founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841, it is the oldest Catholic university in the northeastern United States, the third-oldest university in New York, and the only Jesuit university in New York City.

Established as St. John's College by John Hughes, then a coadjutor bishop of New York, it was placed in the care of the Society of Jesus shortly thereafter, and has since become a Jesuit-affiliated independent school under a lay board of trustees. The college's first president, John McCloskey, was the first Catholic cardinal in the United States. While governed independently of the Church since 1969, every president of Fordham University since 1846 has been a Jesuit priest, and the curriculum remains influenced by Jesuit educational principles.

We’re a Jesuit, Catholic university. Our spirit comes from the nearly 500-year history of the Jesuits. It’s the spirit of full-hearted engagement—with profound ideas, with communities around the world, with injustice, with beauty, with the entirety of the human experience.

This is what makes us Fordham: We’re a tight community in New York City, and we value and educate the whole person. Much of our Jesuit history and mission comes down to three ideas, which, translated from the Latin, mean roughly this:

  • Strive for excellence in everything you do.
  • Care for others.
  • Fight for justice.
  • It adds up to an education that works.

Wisdom, experience, morality, critical thinking, creative problem-solving. This is what Fordham students take into the world.

Academic Highlights

Fordham University is composed of four undergraduate and six graduate schools,and its academic ethos is heavily drawn from its Jesuit origins.

Life in Fordham University

The Fordham College at Rose Hill has a long history of college theater, as well as non-major theater groups at both Lincoln Center and Rose Hill (the Mimes and Mummers, Fordham Experimental Theater, the Theatrical Outreach Group, Splinter Group).

In 1905, with the construction of Collins Hall, Fordham University became the first place on the East Coast of the United States to have a theater in the round. The Penthouse Theatre, on the fourth floor of Collins Hall, served both for debuts of professional shows and home for theater groups like the Mimes and Mummers. The Penthouse Theatre was turned into office space in 1966.

School Ranking

The Fordham University's ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #74. Its tuition and fees are $54,093. At Fordham University, "New York is [your] campus" as the school's website says.


In 2016, the university accepted approximately 43% of all applicants across both its undergraduate and graduate programs

Notable Alumni

  • President Donald Trump 
  • Alan Alda, Emmy 
  • Lana Del Rey - Singer 
  • John La Farge - visual artis
  • Andrew Cuomo 
  • Martin H. Glynn

Acceptance Rate

Fordham University acceptance rate 46.4%

Other Campuses
    • 113 W. 60th Street, New York City, New York, United States
    • 150 W. 62nd Street, New York City, New York, United States
    • 33 W. 60th Street, New York City, New York, United States



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