Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University committed to cultivating diverse health professions leaders.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University committed to cultivating diverse health professions leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, clinical service and community engagement. CDU is also a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS.
In the five decades since the school was incorporated in 1966, CDU has graduated more than 600 physicians, over 1,270 physician assistants and over 1,700 other health professionals, as well as training over 2,700 physician specialists through its sponsored residency programs. Its School of Nursing has graduated over 1,400 nursing professionals, including more than 1,000 family nurse practitioners.
CDU has earned designation as a minority-serving institution by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, and is recognized by the Department of Education (DOE) under Title III B as a Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI). The University is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
CDU is an exceptionally diverse institution. Over 80 percent of students and 71 percent of faculty are from communities of color. CDU is the second most diverse four-year private nonprofit college in the nation, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education (August 2017). The Chronicle for Higher Education Almanac lists CDU as the top private, four-year, nonprofit university in the country in terms of faculty diversity. The Greenlining Institute recognized CDU as the most diverse medical education program in the University of California system. A California Wellness Foundation report estimated that one‐third of all minority physicians practicing in Los Angeles County are graduates of the CDU medical school and/or residency training programs. More than 85 percent of CDU College of Medicine students report that they intend to practice and provide much-needed care in underserved communities following graduation.
CDU has been ranked nationally in several studies for student income post-graduation. A Brookings Institute college evaluation system called CDU a “hidden gem,” positioning the University third in the nation for providing the greatest value-added boost to alumni in occupational earnings power. In the 2019 U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard, CDU ranks as the 7th highest college in California in median annual earnings of former students one year after graduation.
Two CDU programs appeared in the US News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings. The Master’s program at the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing ranked #159 (out of 584 nursing schools nationwide). The College of Science and Health’s Public Health program ranked #102 (out of 177 programs nationwide). The University’s Physician Assistant Program placed third in the 2019 American Association of Physician Assistants National Medical Challenge Bowl, a competition among PA Programs that tests participants’ knowledge of practical and applied medical knowledge in the PA field.
The University is named after Dr. Charles R. Drew, a pioneering African-American physician who overcame long odds and racism in the early and mid-20th century to produce seminal work on blood banking and blood plasma storage and transfusion. He was also a distinguished surgeon and chair of surgery at Howard University. Our University continues to honor his legacy by breaking new ground in health professions education and working to eliminate health disparities in all communities.
Vanessa Riggins, Executive Director of Enrollment Management
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