Since its founding in 1847 as the first municipally financed institution of higher education, the City College of New York (CCNY) has taken seriously its mission to educate “the children of the whole people, and to do so in an institution of the highest grade.” These words of our first president have served to guide the College in its subsequent development of high quality programs in sciences, arts, and professions. Today, City College is part of the City University of New York (CUNY), a system of nineteen senior and community colleges. City College, itself, consists of a College of Liberal Arts and Science and a complex of professional schools including Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, and Education. The Division of Science of the College of Liberal Arts and Science include the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics.
All departments operate Masters’ programs on campus, while Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Physics have Ph.D. programs. In addition, the City College School of Engineering conducts on-campus Ph.D. programs in Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and in Computer Science. Also, there is a large on-campus Ph.D. program in Psychology.The specific aims of our program continue to be the same. We propose to build the Center for the Study of the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Development (CSCMBD) at City College into a center of research excellence with a significantly higher level of national recognition, to enable CCNY faculty and graduates to become considerably more competitive in obtaining grants in biomedical research areas of the Public Health Service (PHS) mission, and to further enhance the biomedical research-training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students at CCNY.
The Current Institutional Status
City College draws its students from an area populated by the highest concentration of minority groups and low-income families in the nation. For thousands, CCNY has been the only available stepping stone from which to mount the ladder of social advancement and professional achievement. As in previous decades the faculty and administration stand firmly committed to the role that our institution has played in developing the potential of minority students and of students from low-income families. Through the years until the present day, City College has built a strong record of training its students for careers in science, engineering and the health professions. A recent study by the Commission on Human Resources of the National Research Council shows that CCNY, which has never ranked higher in size than forty-seventh, is the nation’s second largest source of undergraduates who go on to earn the Ph.D. degree. Specifically, it is the third largest producer of students who achieve doctorates in chemistry, and the second leading producer of minority engineers. Nearly 10% of minority students who enter American medical schools each year graduate from City College. Last year, 74 % of our applicants to medical and other health professional schools were admitted. Of these over half are members of minority groups. The City College is located on Convent Avenue between 133rd and 138th streets in West Harlem. City College has approximately 14,000 undergraduates, about 67% of who are Black or Hispanic. Most of these students are drawn from all over the Metropolitan area to our traditionally strong programs in math, science and engineering. Currently, of over 200 undergraduates majoring in the biomedical sciences, 64% are from minority groups.