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A Summer of Science at City College

Science at City College

Welcome! The Division of Science at City College of New York, home to nine Nobel Prize winners, continues its tradition of excellence to this day. Our faculty are not only leaders in their fields of research, but we are also committed educators, with deep experience in teaching science and math to diverse audiences. We are excited to offer you a broad selection of courses this summer to help you advance your education and satisfy your thirst for learning more. As with all other summer courses at CUNY, all classes will be held online, so you can take them from anywhere.  There are no prerequisites for any of our classes this summer. Email us for any prerequisite waivers at


Special Courses

> A Biography of SARS-CoV-2 with Drs. David Jeruzalmi and Ranajeet Ghose, Professors of Chemistry and Biochemistry
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a previously unseen human pathogen that causes COVID-19, a human respiratory disease.  Declared a global pandemic in March 2020, COVID-19 sickened millions and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands across the globe.  SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic exposed multiple weaknesses in human societies, including limits to science, technology, globalization, delivery of healthcare, economic and racial disparities that will likely influence problem-solvers for the next decade, if not the rest of this century. This course will present a detailed biography of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, from its start as an animal virus to its evolution into a human pathogen to its effect on the human body and human societies, to efforts to tame its pernicious effects.

> Methods of Astronomy with Dr. Michael Lubell, Professor of Physics
Designed to fulfill the Scientific World requirement of the CUNY Pathways common core, the course covers the fundamental physical laws that underlie the motions of heavenly bodies, including Newtonian mechanics and Einstein's theory of relativity, planetary, stellar and galactic evolution; the methods, techniques and instruments used by modern astronomy, including the Hubble Space Telescope and planetary space probes.

> The Social Brain with Dr. Hysell Oviedo, Assistant Professor of Biology
Humans are inherently social, making this era of social distancing a taxing experience on mental health.  Large portions of our brains are dedicated to social interactions and understanding other people. This course will present a survey of our current understanding of the extensive network of brain areas devoted to social functions and delve into conditions that lead to dysfunctions of the social brain.

> Exploring Chemistry for Non-majors with Dr.Laurent Mars, Associate Dean for Science
Designed to fulfill the Life and Physical Science requirement of the Pathways Core curriculum, this course first explores scientific measurement – basic calculations using different types of units – from a historical and cultural perspective.  Following those introductory topics, the course explores the fundamental ideas of modern chemistry – (structure of atoms and molecules, relationship between structure and properties) and surveys the different types of chemical reactions (electron transfer, proton transfer, nuclear) with real life applications to food chemistry (e.g., Maillard reaction) and soap & detergency science (history of soap making, hydrophilic-lipophilic balance, micelles). Finally, a few simple experiments will be conducted to illustrate the concepts introduced in class.

> From the Arctic to the Amazon: Earth Science in the Space Age with Dr. Kyle McDonald, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Remote sensing techniques have enabled major advances in Earth sciences, providing capabilities for advancing our understanding of Earth’s environment, including in remote and logistically challenging regions. This course will take you on a virtual tour of Earth’s ecosystems as they are studied from Earth-orbiting satellites. With research extending from the tropics to the Arctic, and from forests to tundra to coral reefs, Earth scientists uncover the secrets of how the Earth system functions. Students will be introduced to issues faced by ecosystems in the era of climate change and to the capabilities of remote sensing satellites for advancing the understanding of our world.

> Communicating Research and Scholarship with Dr. Ana Carnaval, Professor of Biology and Christine Klusko, Administrator of Biology
This course creates a space for undergraduate students to communicate projects, ideas, and findings across the College, while learning how to communicate their research more effectively. There will be two opportunities for each student to present their research online, and receive oral and written feedback from peers and faculty. All students will be required to present their findings and submit a self-evaluation of their first presentation to show desired improvements for the second presentation, as well as a final self-evaluation at the end of the course. The course will also include lectures on presentation and communication techniques (including a 1-minute elevator pitch), persuasion, and communication via social media.

> Disease and History with Dr. Susan Perkins, Dean of Science
This course satisfies biology elective credit requirements. In this course, we will learn about the myriad of pathogens and parasites that use humans as their hosts and, in so doing, have altered the course of history. You will learn the basic biology of these scourges as well as review the history of their discovery, treatment, and occasional eradication. With a lens on the current pandemic, we will cover what makes certain pathogens particularly dangerous and discuss where we should be looking for future outbreaks.

Other Courses



  • Human Biology
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Organismic Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
  • Developmental Biology
  • Sensory Perception


  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Exploring Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry I and II

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

  • The Dynamic Earth
  • The Atmosphere
  • Perspectives on Global Warming
  • Earth Systems Science
  • Engineering Geology


  • Math for the Contemporary World
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • College Algebra & Trigonometry
  • Bridge to Algeba, Precalculus
  • Bridge to Pre-Calc,
  • Calculus I, II, and III
  • Elements of Calculus & Statistics
  • Bridge to Advanced Mathematics
  • History of Mathematics
  • Elements of Linear Algebra
  • Elements of Combinatorics
  • Elements of Probability Theory
  • Methods of Differential Equations
  • Basic Elementary Algebra


  • General Physics I and II
  • University Physics I and II
  • Physics for Architecture Students
  • Modern Physics for Engineers
  • Quantitative Mechanics
  • Computational Physics