The CUNY Pipeline Program ( January 15, 2016)

The CUNY Pipeline Program

The Pipeline Program is a CUNY-wide initiative designed to provide educational and financial support to CUNY undergraduates from groups currently underrepresented in our nation’s universities who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in preparation for college-level teaching and advanced research. The Pipeline Program is a year-long program that includes several components.

  • Pipeline Summer Institute (PSI)– The Pipeline Program provides orientation to the world of graduate education through a six-week summer research institute at the CUNY Graduate Center. In the summer institute, fellows take a research seminar in either the social sciences or the humanities designed to introduce them to graduate-level work and research skills. They also take courses on critical thinking and writing, Grad School 101, and intensive GRE preparation. An important outcome of the PSI is the drafting of a research statement that forms the foundation of later activities.
  • Monthly Colloquia– In the fall and spring semesters, fellows attend monthly colloquia at the Graduate Center focused on the graduate admissions process. They also work in small peer mentoring groups led by MAGNET fellows (these fellows are Graduate Center doctoral students who are also from underrepresented groups). We try to provide as much overlap between the academic discipline of the Pipeline students and MAGNET mentors.
  • Research Project– Research and scholarly writing is the foundation of any graduate school application. Pipeline students conduct a research project directed by a CUNY faculty mentor (chosen by the student). This project forms the basis of students’ research statement or statement of purpose…that important piece of a grad school application.
  • Research Conference– An important focus of the spring colloquia sessions is to help students prepare to present their research in a conference setting.  Pipeline students report on their research project at the annual CUNY Pipeline Conference held at the Graduate Center in March and submit a thesis based on this research at the end of the academic year.
  • Supportive Environment– Everyone involved with the Pipeline Program (faculty, staff, mentors, and your fellow students) is dedicated to providing a safe, fun, intellectually stimulating, and caring environment. We spend a lot of time together and due to a relatively small cohort we really get to know each other and grow to care about each other as scholars and as human beings.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for admission into the CUNY Pipeline Program, a student must:

  1. be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  2. have an interest in pursuing a career in college teaching and research;
  3. have a minimum GPA of 3.2;
  4. be scheduled to graduate in the spring of the senior (or final) year;
  5. be a junior enrolled in one of CUNY’s senior colleges and have earned at least 80 credits;
  6. be a full-time registered student in one of the CUNY senior colleges

Other Rules

  • Students majoring in law, business, or medicine are not eligible to participate in the Pipeline Program. There are several similar programs in these fields so we encourage you to look into them.
  • You are required to have a faculty mentor (typically from your CUNY campus) for the duration of the program. In some cases students may switch mentors; however, this is strongly discouraged.
  • Pipeline students are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner during the program. We strive to create and uphold an inclusive and challenging academic environment.
  • Pipeline students are expected to be punctual and not have outside school or work commitments during the Pipeline Summer Institute.
  • To be eligible for the above stipends the requirements for each must be met.

An application MUST include:

  • 2 essays (you will copy and paste the text into the online application). Essay topics can be previewed here.
  • CV or resumé (also copy and pasted into online app)
  • Contact info for your faculty mentor (entered in the online app).
  • Official college transcript sent to the Educational Opportunity and Diversity office at the CUNY Graduate Center (address here).
  • At least 2 letters of recommendation (one from your faculty mentor) emailed to

Essay Topics

Prepare these essays before you start the online application.

  • Essay 1: Discuss a diversity issue of local or national concern and its significance to you?
  • Essay 2: Discuss your own research interests and how you came to develop these interests. Was there a specific course or project that made you realize you want to teach and do research at the college level? How do you intend to pursue these interests in graduate school?

Stipend Amounts and Requirements

Pipeline Fellows receive stipends during the course of the program totaling approximately $6,000.

  • Stipend for participating in the Summer Institute
  • Stipend for Graduate Record Exam (GRE) fee
  • Stipend to cover graduate school application fees
  • Stipend for participation in the spring research conference
  • Stipend for completion of the thesis at the end of the program

Deadline: January 15,2016

Applications received by this deadline will be fully reviewed. We will continue to accept applications after the priority deadline until we have assembled a full cohort. We may call applicants in for individual and/or group interviews. We will typically have decision by early April.


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