St. John’s University on Staten Island is an intimate outpost of the larger St. John’s University, a private, coeducational, Catholic university with its flagship campus located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of eastern Queens. The Staten Island campus is located in the Silver Lake/Grymes Hill neighborhood, just over two miles from the St. George Ferry Terminal.
St. John’s University had its beginnings in 1865, when the first Catholic bishop of Brooklyn asked the Vincentians (formally known as the Congregation of the Mission), an order of Catholic priests and brothers dedicated to the evangelization of the poor, to help establish “a day college where the youth of the city might find advantages of a solid education.” The Vincentians soon purchased farmland in what is now Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and classes began with 47 students in 1870. St. John’s became a chartered university in 1906. The flagship campus moved to its present Queens location during the 1950s and 1960s, as new buildings were completed on the campus.
The Staten Island campus was once Notre Dame College, an undergraduate women’s institution. It includes buildings that were a part of the historic Herbert Gans family estate, as well as purpose-built university buildings. In the late 1960s, Notre Dame College consolidated with St. John’s University. Today, the 16.5-acre campus offers a wide range of undergraduate degrees, including Speech Language Pathology and Television and Film. Graduate degrees offered are primarily in the School of Education. Base tuition for undergraduate students is significantly lower on the Staten Island campus than the Queens campus: students pay $31,730 per year vs. $44,450. Graduate tuition is $1,345 per credit for most programs.
According to St. John’s student enrollment report, around 1,820 students take classes at the Staten Island Campus, split evenly between full-time study and part-time.
More than 190,000 people have graduated from St. John’s University. Notable alumni include professional golfer Keegan Bradley, who won the PGA title in 2011, and numerous NBA players such as Chris Mullin, Maurice “Moe” Harkless, Mark Jackson, and Metta World Peace, who later changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in 2020.
Many St. John’s alumni are counted among U.S. politicians, including Charles Joseph Hynes, former Kings County District Attorney, Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President, and New York State Senator Diane Savino.
There are 10 buildings at the Staten Island campus, and six are dedicated to academics. You can learn more about the buildings here.
While there is no on-campus housing at the Staten Island campus, there are over 40 clubs, including the Bulls and Bears Investment Club, Black Students Union, Circulo Garibaldi Club (which focuses on Italian culture), and the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. The campus also offers intramural sports and a fitness center, and an active Greek Life community of three fraternities and four sororities. Additionally, the school provides free shuttle bus services to points around Staten Island, including the ferry terminal.
While some students are local Staten Island residents, many are from Brooklyn, Queens, and other parts of New York City. Since St. John’s Univesity Staten Island doesn’t offer dorms, most students have to commute from other boroughs either by car or by ferry at the southern tip of Manhattan at Whitehall Terminal near Battery Park. Unfortunately, the subway alone isn’t an option at this moment to get to Staten Island.
For alumni who stay in the city, most are spread throughout all five boroughs.
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