The Graduate School of Arts and Science was founded in 1886 by Henry Mitchell MacCracken, a professor of philosophy and logic and vice chancellor at New York University. MacCracken believed that universities should respond to the needs of modernity by giving unprecedented priority to advanced research and professional training. Guided by his vision, New York University became the second university in the United States to award a PhD on the basis of academic performance and examination.
MacCracken’s new vision of graduate training attracted ever-growing numbers of young women and men to doctoral and master’s programs. The first female students entered the University in 1888. Today, women constitute over half of the 2,990 master’s and 2,172 doctoral students enrolled in over 50 degree-administering units
Mirroring the cultural diversity of New York City, the Graduate School of Arts and Science is an urban, diverse, and cosmopolitan major research center, with students from more than 123 countries. The Graduate School still honors the ideal expressed by Albert Gallatin, the University’s first president, who articulated the institution’s primary goal: “A private university in the public service.”