As School Year Opens New Majors, More Courses, New Med School

The new CUNY School of Medicine has opened with an inaugural class of 69 students, following final approval by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that now allows a CUNY institution to grant medical degrees for the first time in the University’s 170-year history.

The medical school, housed on the campus of City College, leads the University into a year of innovative degree programs being offered on campuses throughout the city. The wide array of new degrees include disciplines ranging from data analytics and international affairs, to dance education and filmmaking — the latest of some 200 new programs developed by CUNY faculty over the past four years to serve students at every academic level.

Gov. Cuomo’s action follows approvals by the New York State Board of Regents, the CUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor James B. Milliken of an amendment to the University’s Master Plan that will enable CUNY to expand its efforts to serve New York’s pressing health care needs.

The CUNY School of Medicine drew its first class of students from graduates of City College’s highly competitive Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, which was founded in 1973 as a five-year B.S.-M.D. program in conjunction with medical schools outside CUNY. The medical school will provide a unique pathway for aspiring physicians at Sophie Davis without requiring students to transfer to other medical schools. The school will partner with St. Barnabas Health System in the South Bronx and produce primary care physicians for underserved communities.

Among other advances in degree programs this year is Baruch College’s creation of three new majors in response to the explosive influence of big data in the worlds of business, technology and public affairs and the growing market of high-paying jobs. Baruch’s new degree programs include computer information systems, marketing and marketing analytics and information risk management and cyber security.

On the arts front, Brooklyn College’s new Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema has launched a three-year MFA program that offers specialized tracks in all aspects of filmmaking, from screenwriting to digital animation. The Feirstein school, which opened a year ago at Steiner Studios, is the first public film school in New York and the only one in the country located on a working film lot.

Colleges throughout the University are offering degree programs that are not only new to CUNY but, in many cases, unique in higher education in the New York City area. City College’s Grove School of Engineering has created a master’s program in translational medicine, a discipline focused on the development of biomedical tools and treatments. York College now offers a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical science. CUNY has also introduced new master’s and doctoral degrees in health care fields such as physical therapy to adapt to increased licensure standards and to respond to the employment needs of the city and state.
Other new programs include a bachelor’s degree in technology in applied chemistry at New York City College of Technology; a Master in Arts Administration at Baruch College; a Master in Disability Services in Higher Education at the School of Professional Studies; and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership at Hunter College.

Another notable development is the creation of professional science master’s programs (PSM) in the STEM disciplines as well as in other applied fields, consistent with the growing nationwide interest in preparing students for advanced practice in a variety of fields for which a research doctorate is not required.

Here are highlights of new programs on individual CUNY campuses:

Bronx Community College

A.A. in English: This is an interdisciplinary program designed for students who wish to major or minor in English at four-year colleges and seek career opportunities in diverse fields — such
as creative, professional and/or institutional writing — that require strong verbal and writing skills. The focus will be on reading literary texts from various periods and developing critical skills required to analyze and write about these texts.

A.S. in Exercise Science: Exercise science and kinesiology is based on the science of human movement and the relationship of physical activity with health maintenance, disease prevention, and therapy. This growing field offers opportunities for challenging and exciting placements in medical settings, community settings, governmental agencies, workplace, schools, and in the health and fitness industry. Exercise science specialists are skilled in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivating individuals to modify negative health habits. This program is designed to prepare students for personal trainer certification and entrance into four-year college programs in exercise science, kinesiology, and related fields.

A.S. in Public Health: In Public Health, the emphasis is on improving the health of entire populations, not just individuals. Professionals in this field perform many essential functions such as identifying and monitoring health issues that arise in the community, encouraging healthy behaviors through educational programs and media campaigns, as well as advocating to improve health equity for the most vulnerable members of society. Public Health workers also focus on the environmental and social factors that affect the health of the community. This is an exciting and rewarding career path for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others by creating a safer and healthier world. This program prepares students to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program at a 4-year university or college by providing them with introductory level coursework related to the content, concepts and skills essential to promoting and protecting health in diverse communities and populations.

Baruch College

Master of International Affairs, a two-year, 42-credit program through the School of Public and International Affairs for students committed to responsible leadership in government, global institutions, international nongovernmental organizations and business. The program can be taken either full time or part time.

Brooklyn College

MFA in sonic arts and master of arts in media scoring, offered through the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music in the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts: Sonic arts is an emerging field for music and sound composition using new technologies. In addition to music production, students learn techniques of composition and the theoretical and historical ideas that inform this approach. Media scoring is the study of the techniques and practice of placing music and sound to picture. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the creative, technical and analytical tools necessary to become an expert in the business of music for media.

Advanced certificate in early intervention and parenting: Offered through the School of Education, the certification is multidisciplinary and open to professionals specializing in children from birth to five including occupational and physical therapists, social workers, speech language pathologists, special educators, nutritionists and nurses. It emphasizes competencies endorsed by the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health. The New York City Department of Health supports the advanced certificate.

City College

A proposed dual-degree program in law and international relations from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership will combine CUNY Law School’s nationally renowned expertise in public interest law and the Colin Powell School’s internationally recognized scholarship in addressing critical topics of societal concern from multiple intellectual perspectives.

A new study abroad program in India, in collaboration with the School of Education, will provide an interdisciplinary education within the context of urban India and examine the impact of globalization and education that inform national policy.

College of Staten Island

Bachelor’s degrees in earth and environmental science and earth science/adolescence education grades 7-12: Earth and environmental science represent employment growth areas both locally and nationally, and there is a shortage of earth science teachers, particularly in New York City. The programs will provide undergraduate students with the skills and expertise for jobs as geologists, geoscientists, environmental technicians and engineers, with many openings at the entry level for recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree.

Hunter College

Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership: The first such program at CUNY, the new School of Education program prepares experienced educators to become effective practitioner leaders, able to translate current research into practice, driving better educational outcomes across larger K-12 systems.

Master’s in theatre education and visual arts: A collaboration with Lincoln Center and the School of Education will increase the number of creative arts educators in public schools and creates alternative certification tracks in the music and dance education masters programs.

Hunter’s new Department of Dance is the first freestanding dance department within CUNY. The Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program allows students getting a master’s in education to concentrate in dance and dancers changing careers to earn a master’s in education.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science in Toxicology: A new bachelor’s degree program includes interdisciplinary studies to understand the effects of exposure to harmful substances found in food, the environment, licit and illicit drugs and other sources as well as that of publicizing information of relevance to the public. John Jay’s program is one of only a handful of toxicology bachelor’s degrees in the country.

Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Master of Public Administration: Offered online for the first time, these programs will bring to five the number of John Jay online graduate programs for students, many of them working professionals who are unable to attend classes on campus. The Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice is taught by faculty who are leading authorities in criminal justice, law enforcement and terrorism studies. The program is designed for students interested in careers in the criminal justice system at all levels, conducting research on criminal law, crime mapping, cyber-crime, information security and technology, as well as drug abuse and terrorism.

The Online Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration is designed to prepare students for positions in government and nonprofit organizations committed to public service and social change. It offers specializations in management and operations, human resources management, law and public management, criminal justice policy and administration, emergency management, court administration, and urban affairs.

New York City College of Technology

Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry: Designed to provide strong grounding in higher level laboratory skills to prepare students for college-to-career employment, as well as post-baccalaureate study and the health professions, the program also includes advanced technical writing and public speaking. Two semesters of internship courses will provide work experience that is essential when seeking employment.

Queens College

Professional Science Master’s in Physics and Photonics: A new, accelerated Physics Department program leads to a B.S. degree in physics and an M.S. degree in photonics, reducing the time and cost required to earn both degrees.

Global Studies Minor: A new 18-credit minor offers a unique interdisciplinary program designed to develop global competency and integrates global courses, language acquisition, an intercultural experience and research into the traditional academic curriculum of the student’s degree program. It also includes experiential learning and a senior thesis.

Elementary and Early Childhood Education Certificate: Revised and shortened programs for MAT students to be certified for grades 1-6 and B-2 will allow them to obtain two initial certifications in four semesters, making them eligible for employment the following fall.

York College

Master of Pharmaceutical Science and Business: This program prepares students for responsible positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry management as well as government and international agencies. These include drug discovery, biotherapeutics, design of clinical trials, national and international regulatory affairs, quality control and many other career possibilities.

Physician Assistant Master of Science: This program seeks to recruit students from the diverse surrounding communities to become highly competent, compassionate and culturally aware providers of excellent medical care to underserved urban areas. A goal is to increase access to medical professional education for racial and ethnic minorities, financially disadvantaged students and first-generation college graduates.

The CUNY Graduate Center

Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies: An interdisciplinary program that combines theory and practice, looking at gender and sexuality issues from an academic perspective and gives students a grounding in real world issues and problems. Students will be prepared to enter a wide range of government or private organizations, including social policy organizations and to go on to further study at the Ph.D. level.

Hostos Community College

Associate Degree in Food Studies: This new interdisciplinary program includes political science (food policy), urban studies (social issues), health and nutrition, and environmental studies (environment and sustainability). It is designed to prepare students to transfer into related four-year degree programs.

Associate Degree in Police Science: Preparing students interested in professions in law enforcement and protective services in a technological, global and diverse society, this degree also provides the academic foundation for transferring into a four-year program in the discipline.

LaGuardia Community College

Associate degrees in early childhood education, health care management, liberal arts-music, paramedical education and therapeutic recreation: The college, which offers 52 majors in a wide variety of fields, is adding these five degree offerings this fall as well as five new concentrations for new media technology majors; digital media, game design, mobile app development, e-business and digital journalism. The college partners with area employers to develop job-specific training programs for companies eagerly seeking qualified candidates to fill job openings. Through a partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine, for example, LaGuardia’s Division of Adult and Continuing Education offers a free six-month medical billing certificate program designed to establish a pipeline of candidates for positions at the academic medical center.

Queensborough Community College

Associate in Public Health: A challenging program that offers courses in biology, statistics, epidemiology, nutrition, education and public health education and prepares students to pursue baccalaureate programs in public health fields or to be entry-level professionals in a variety of workplaces. The program has a transfer agreement with Hunter College’s B.S. degree program in community health. Students may also apply to Hunter’s other health-related degree programs for further studies.

CUNY School of Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Youth Studies: The first stand-alone program of its kind in New York trains students to design, run, research, and work in youth settings. It provides a sound theoretical grounding and highly applicable skills by integrating crucial areas of study such as adolescent psychology, delinquency research and gang theory, social work, cross-cultural studies, and health and sexuality issues. It also teaches students to incorporate young people in shaping the policies that impact their lives.