New York Medical College

Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences

Mission and History



New York Medical College is a health sciences university whose purpose is to educate physicians, scientists, public health specialists, and other healthcare professionals, and to conduct biomedical and population-based research. Through its faculty and affiliated clinical partners, the College provides service to its community in an atmosphere of excellence, scholarship and professionalism. New York Medical College believes that the rich diversity of its student body and faculty is important to its mission of educating outstanding health care professionals for the multicultural world of the 21st century.

About the School

The Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences educates future researchers and teachers, and prepares senior-level scientists and technicians to work in academia and industry. Of the approximately 200 students enrolled, half pursue their studies full time. Some 16 percent are international students. There are strong doctoral programs in cell biology and anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, pharmacology, experimental pathology, physiology, and microbiology and immunology. In addition, an M.D./Ph.D. degree program is available for those students capable of completing the rigorous program requirements.

Some Highlights in the History of New York Medical College and the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences

New York Medical College was founded in 1860 by a group of visionary civic leaders who believed that medicine should be practiced with more sensitivity to the needs of patients. William Cullen Bryant, the noted poet and editor, was the driving force behind this group and he served as the first president of the College, known then as the New York Homeopathic Medical College, when it opened its doors in 1860 in Manhattan.

A separate but related institution known as the New York Medical College for Women was founded in 1863 and graduated the first female physician in the country, Dr. Emily Stowe, in 1867, as well as Dr. Susan McKinney, the first African-American female physician in New York State, in 1870. When the Women's College closed in 1918, its students transferred to New York Medical College. The College was the first medical school in the nation to establish a minority scholarship program, in 1928.

The College occupied several different sites within New York City over the years, and finally re-located to Valhalla in Westchester County, NY in the 1970's. The College became affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York in 1978, which helped provide financial stability during a troublesome time and also recognized a shared commitment to the public good by the two institutions in the area of health care and the health sciences. The College remains affiliated with several hospitals in the Archdiocese's health care network as well as with other public and private hospitals.

The College's involvement in graduate education dates back to 1910, when its records show the existence of advanced courses and research programs. Graduate courses in surgery and medicine were offered in the 1920's. In 1938, the College's charter was amended to include the authority to offer graduate degrees such as the Master of Science in medicine, a doctorate in medical science, and a doctorate in public health. In 1963, the Graduate School of Medical Sciences was founded, establishing for the first time a center for graduate education separate from the medical curriculum. The school was renamed the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences in 1969.