CUNY Start

Students wearing CUNYStart tee shirts

Start Strong with CUNY Start

CUNY Start is an intensive and affordable semester long program for incoming BMCC students to build their English and Math academic skills. In the CUNY Start Program, you will take Math and/or English as needed and hold your financial aid for credit courses. You will also work closely with an academic advisor in a weekly College Success Seminar and one-on-one throughout the semester so that you are successful in your first semester and beyond!

This is a highly supportive program with two opportunities to pass the course in one semester. The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce or eliminate your developmental skills requirement and help you be successful in your credit-bearing courses. Find out what alumni have to say about us, success rates and how we support students here.


  • Need for English and/or Math development as determined by the CUNY proficiency index and CUNY Start milestone
  • First time freshmen or have previously taken 15 credits or fewer
  • Can commit to an intensive, highly participatory program for a semester and be ready to matriculate the following semester

Program Benefits

  • One-time only $75 fee covering instruction, materials and texts
  • Two opportunities to pass the courses in Phase 1 and Phase 2
  • Wrap-around supports with a weekly college knowledge seminar class, one-on-one advisement, and referrals to campus and off-campus resources
  • Weekly tutoring using CUNY Start methods
  • Pipeline to ASAP and other BMCC Success Programs

Full-time and part-time program options

Most of our classes are offered in person or hybrid for summer 2024. Please sign up here to meet our advisors in a live information session followed by a brief interview to register:

  • Sign up for an Information and Registration Session

Fall 2024

Full-time program offerings

Mondays through Fridays
Covers English, Math and Seminar

  • 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (hybrid classes)
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (all in person classes)
  • 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (synchronous online classes)

Part-time program offerings

Mondays through Thursdays
Covers English OR Math and Seminar

  • 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. (English all in person)
  • 2:15 – 5:15 p.m. (English hybrid or in person)
  • 6 – 9 p.m. (English, hybrid or online and Math, online)

CUNY Start Frequently Asked Questions

CUNY is no longer administering assessment tests to incoming freshmen (except in certain cases for ESL students).  Start is not a test prep program. You must have taken the CUNY Assessment tests or have a Proficiency Index based on high school performance.

The new CUNY Proficiency Index, based on your High School performance and standardized test scores, gives you information on your level of college readiness. For students who need to develop their reading, writing and math skills, BMCC will indicate that you take one semester of CUNY Start. CUNY Start is an intense, highly successful program with many supports to help an incoming student build their skills and later navigate credit courses and programs.

In order to succeed in credit courses, you need to have strong college-level skills in English and math. Without these skills, it is likely that you will have difficulty with your coursework.

No. We want you to be 100% focused on your developmental needs so CUNY Start students do not take any credit courses while in CUNY Start

You can only choose 1 schedule for Full Time OR 1 schedule for Part time. If you have all three content area needs and want to go Part Time, we suggest you take Reading and Writing first. All of this also depends on your proficiency index levels for either content area, so it is best to speak with a CUNY Start advisor to determine the best schedule or combination of classes for your needs. For this coming Fall 20 semester, we are offering at least half our sections online, so you can choose a schedule that will work with your work and other commitments.

Yes. CUNY Start students are full members of the college community and use campus resources such as academic and career counseling, the gym, and libraries.

You will be able to join any of the clubs and sports teams BMCC has to offer as soon as you finish CUNY Start! Many other BMCC services are open to CUNY Start students including Single Stop, Library, Early Childhood Center, Panther Pantry, Counseling and much more.

After completing a semester in CUNY Start, many students are fully skills proficient and begin taking college-credit English and math class or have significantly reduced developmental needs.

No. CUNY Start saves a student from having to use their financial aid, so that you can use it for your credit courses!

Office of Academic Affairs

199 Chambers St, Room S-715
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 220-8320

Hours of Operation:
9 a.m. – 5 p.m