CUNY Start


Start Strong with CUNY Start!

CUNY Start is an intensive and affordable semester long program for BMCC students who need to enroll in developmental skills courses. In the CUNY Start Program, you will take Math and/or Reading/Writing as needed and hold your financial aid for credit courses. CUNY Start gives you an opportunity to work on several levels and areas of developmental needs all in one semester. You will also work closely with an academic advisor in a weekly College Success Seminar and one-on-one throughout the semester.

This is the only program with two opportunities to retake the assessment exams. 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.



  • Need for Reading, Writing and/or Math development as determined by past assessment test scores or through the CUNY proficiency index starting in Spring 2020
  • Past assessment test scores (Reading score 30-54, Writing score 30-54 or highest range for ESL students, Math score any under 56)
  • 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 following semester

CUNY Start Benefits

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

Full Time and Part Time Program options

The first step in applying to the CUNY Start program is attending an information session.

Sign Up for an Info Session

Full Time Program

Monday – Friday
Reading, Writing & Math

  • 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • 12:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Part Time Program

Monday – Thursday
Reading and Writing OR Math

  • 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Reading / Writing only)
  • 2:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Reading/Writing only)
  • 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Reading /Writing or Math)

CUNY Start Frequently Asked Questions

No. CUNY 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 CUNY Assessment Tests gives you information about whether your skills are college-level. If you need to develop your skills, you may consider becoming a CUNY Start student.

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

No. CUNY Start only accepts students who have not passed the CUNY Assessment Tests. For tutoring services you can visit the BMCC Learning Resource Center in room S510.

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

No. 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.

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

No. As soon as you finish the CUNY Start program you will be able to join any of the clubs and sports teams BMCC has to offer.

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. We want you to save your financial aid to pay for credit courses.

Office of Academic Affairs

199 Chambers St, Room S715
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 220-8320


Hours of Operation:
9 a.m. – 5 p.m