CUNY Announces New and Innovative Academic Programs for Fall 2013

New degrees ranging from urban studies and classical music performance to biotechnology and photonics highlight an exciting array of innovative academic programs and initiatives launched by The City University of New York this fall.

The new undergraduate and graduate offerings, spanning disciplines and campuses across the University, reflect CUNY’s mission to meet the educational needs of New Yorkers amid continuing high enrollments at its four-year and community colleges.

Interim Chancellor William Kelly said: “The City University of New York is continuing to build upon its historic mission of providing high-quality academic opportunities for New Yorkers. These new programs represent excellent examples of how, with the help of a world-class faculty and staff, we are maintaining our momentum to provide the best possible education at an affordable cost.”

Highlights include a B.A. In Urban and Community Studies at the Murphy Institute of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, the first classroom-based undergraduate program to be offered by online-oriented CUNY SPS; the opening of the Queensborough Academies at Queensborough Community College, a multi-faceted academic approach involving intensive advisement, and a Masters in Music in Classical Performance at Queens College, offering private instruction in the major instrument or voice, ensembles, studies in historical performance practice, and other courses geared to the needs of classical performers.

CUNY’s new academic initiatives also include:


Masters in Branding + Integrated Communications

Branding + Integrated Communications is a 36-credit, portfolio-driven master’s degree program that combines theory and practice in an interdisciplinary, multi-tracked curriculum. It is designed to prepare marketing communications professional to address the new cross-disciplinary challenges of creating and managing brand identity at a time of rapidly evolving global and digital communications.

CUNY Reserve Officer Training Corps

CUNY Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), based at City College, provides a military science curriculum of elective courses that provides leadership training for students to become officers in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. Scholarships and other support are also available to qualified students. ROTC is also offered at York College and Medgar Evers College.


Bronx Community College currently offers 13 transfer A.A. and A.S. programs, 20 career AAS programs, seven specialized certificate programs and 29 options or minors. Fall offerings include:

Biotechnology A.S. This new Joint Associate in Science degree program provides students a seamless transition to the Bachelor in Science program at the City College of New York. Graduates of the A.S. program in this rapidly expanding field will be trained in the fundamental techniques of molecular biology that form the basis of research used in the field of biotechnology. This will allow them, under the appropriate supervision, to study and manipulate the fundamental molecular aspects of life to be used in drug research and design, molecular diagnostics, and in cancer research and diagnostics.

Media and Digital Film Production A.S. This longstanding program offering students a chance to present their video productions at an annual festival held at the Chelsea Cinema in Manhattan, was just converted from an A.A.S. to an A.S. transfer program. The program prepares students for transfer to baccalaureate programs and ultimately to work in studio video production, field production, camera operation, lighting, audio recording, digital graphics, photography and operation and maintenance of video and other media equipment. It articulates with Brooklyn College’s B.A. program in Television and Radio.


The B.A. in Urban and Community Studies, launched by the Murphy Institute at CUNY School of Professional Studies, is the first non-online undergraduate program offered by CUNY SPS. Classes, scheduled during evenings and weekends to accommodate working individuals, are geared towards students interested in urban problems, public policy, and delivery of human services to diverse urban populations. The program examines the dynamics of urban institutions, labor unions, non-profits and community groups, giving students an understanding of the complex relationships that contribute to the problems and opportunities of city living.


Queens College is inaugurating several new graduate programs. A new Accelerated Master’s Program will allow students to apply for graduate school in participating programs during junior year. Accepted students will be assigned a graduate advisor during senior year, when they may begin taking up to 12 credits of graduate coursework. This coursework, above the credit requirements for the undergraduate degree, will convert to graduate credits upon completion of all undergraduate degree requirements. The program is described at

A new two-year Master of Science in Photonics degree program has been certified by the Council of Graduate Studies as a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program. Developed with the assistance of an industrial advisory board, this PSM program will provide a rigorous theoretical foundation accompanied by extensive laboratory work, industrial internships, and team projects. The program is described at

In the Division of Education, three new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs will be available soon. These new MAT programs (39-42 credits) in adolescent English education, adolescent mathematics education, and art education (K-12) are designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a content area. Upon completion of 24 credits in Education, candidates are eligible for initial certification.

There are two new Master’s in Music programs. The MM in Classical Performance includes private instruction in the major instrument or voice, ensembles, studies in historical performance practice, and other courses geared to the needs of classical performers. A student may major in a standard orchestral, keyboard, or early-music instrument, in classical guitar, voice, or conducting (orchestral or choral). The MM in Jazz Studies includes private instruction, jazz ensembles, studies in jazz harmony, improvisation, arranging, recording techniques, and other courses suited to the needs of today’s jazz musician. Students may major in either jazz performance or jazz composition.

A new Queens College BA/MA in Urban Affairs will allow undergraduate Urban Studies or other majors with a 3.0 GPA to obtain a BA and MA in five years. Students apply in their sophomore or junior year. After acceptance, they may take up to four graduate-level Urban Studies elective courses while undergraduates. These electives, which can include courses in urban planning, environment, immigration, health services, housing, count toward both the BA and MA. In their fifth year, students can take the remaining six graduate courses, including three required courses, and receive both degrees at the end of that year.


Queensborough Community College is launching a major academic initiative, the Queensborough Academies, beginning in the fall of 2013. Building on the success of the Freshman Academies, launched in 2009 for all full-time, first-time freshmen, the program has been restructured to include all full-time Queensborough students. Every student will become part of one of Queensborough’s five Academies: Business; Liberal Arts (including Education and Criminal Justice); Health Related Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA); and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). All students will be assigned an Academy Adviser as a personal guide throughout their Queensborough years. The proactive advisement and greater social and academic integration combined with a broadened scope of nationally recognized best practices in higher education, are designed to give students an “edge for success.”


The Stella and Charles Guttman Community College welcomed its second entering class of approximately 324 students as part of the Summer Bridge Program, a required 12-day session that provides first-year students a smooth transition between high school and the innovative new community college by preparing them for college-level coursework. Guttman’s inaugural class, now entering its second year, will major in one of five associate degree programs: Business Administration, Human Services, Information Technology, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Urban Studies. Students entering the College this fall also have the opportunity to major in Health Information Technology.

About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University is comprised of 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 269,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via, the University’s website.