Online University’s engineering school with Polytechnic Institute
Polytechnic Institute at 99 Livingston
Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute
On May 17, 1853, a group of Brooklyn businessmen wrote a charter to establish a school for young men. Named Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, the school moved into its first home at 99 Livingston Street in Brooklyn. The first class, admitted in 1855, consisted of 265 young men ages nine to 17. The school conferred its first bachelor’s degrees in 1871. Graduate programs began in 1901 and the school awarded its first doctoral degree in 1921. From 1889 to 1973 the school became known as Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. In 1917, the preparatory program separated from the Institute and became the Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School. Poly Prep is now located in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn. Polytechnic Institute moved to its present location in 1957, the former site of the American Safety Razor Company factory, where it became a co-educational institution.
School of Civil Engineering and Architecture
In 1854, the University of the City of New York, now New York University, founded the School of Civil Engineering and Architecture at a time when specialized schools of engineering were uncommon in America. Classes began in 1855 and the school awarded its first undergraduate degree in 1857. As the industrial revolution took shape, the school formalized its engineering curriculum and the school’s first dean, Charles H. Snow, changed the name of the school to the School of Applied Science. During this time the engineering school officially separated from the university’s arts and science school then called University College. In 1894 the University of the City of New York moved its engineering school to a new campus in the Bronx. The new campus gave the university space to build larger science laboratories that could not be constructed at its Washington Square site. With the addition of the new campus, under the leadership of Chancellor Henry Mitchell MacCracken, the University of the City of New York renamed itself New York University. The neighborhood surrounding the Bronx campus eventually became known as University Heights. By 1920 separate electrical and chemical engineering departments were created and the school changed its name to the College of Engineering.
Expansion, financial difficulties and acquisition
Enrollment at New York University expanded considerably from the early 1900s into the postwar decades. However, by the early 1970s this growth ceased due to rising crime and financial troubles in New York City. New York University faced financial hardships leading it to sell its University Heights campus that housed its engineering school to City University of New York, which in turn renamed the campus Bronx Community College. Also during that period from 1969 to 1975, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn was forced to rely on subsidies provided by New York state to keep the school afloat. The state supported Polytechnic on the basis that closing the school would create economic hardship locally. With both Polytechnic Institute and New York University facing financial difficulties, the state brokered a merger of New York University’s engineering school with Polytechnic Institute. Polytechnic Institute acquired the faculty, programs and students of New York University’s engineering school to form Polytechnic Institute of New York. Polytechnic Institute of New York gained university status in 1985 and changed its name to Polytechnic University.
Wunsch Hall, the oldest building on campus, stands in contrast to the more modern buildings of MetroTech Center, including the adjacent Dibner Library
Distinction through technology
By 1986 Polytechnic University in Brooklyn was the largest technological university in the New York metropolitan area and the second-largest in graduate enrollment in the nation after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Of the 300 engineering schools in the United States, Polytechnic had the second-largest graduate enrollment and was among the most successful institutions in the country as a producer of science and engineering graduates who went on to doctoral studies. An average of 7.2 percent of Polytechnic graduates went on to achieve a Ph.D., compared with two other schools with large engineering programs: Carnegie Mellon, with an average of 6 percent, and Princeton, with 4.5 percent. Polytechnic University became well known for its research centers in electrophysics and polymer blends.
1986: 5,100 students 2015: 5,212 students Discussions about a merger with Polytechnic University and New York University began in 2004. Four years later Polytechnic University and New York University agreed to take steps towards a merger beginning with a formal affiliation between the two schools. This affiliation resulted in the school changing its name to Polytechnic Institute of New York University. The schools officially merged in 2014 when the New York State Regents approved the change of charter making NYU the sole member of Polytechnic University. Since the merger applications to the school and incoming SAT scores have increased substantially. The school has also experienced an influx of students coming from outside of New York state. Fundraising and faculty research awards have increased since the merger as well.
In 2015, a gift of $100 million from Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon resulted in the school changing its name to the Tandon School of Engineering. The school also opened a bioengineering facility in partnership with the medical and dental schools.