CDU Attendee Facts

Student and Impact Statistics 

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, studentcentered 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, 1,225 physician assistants and nearly 1,600 other health professionals, as well as training over 2,700 physician specialists through its sponsored residency programs. Its School of Nursing has graduated over 1,300 nursing professionals, including over 950 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. 

Over 80 percent of CDU students and over 71 percent of CDU 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).  In fact, 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.  And more than 80 percent of CDU students report returning to practice and provide much-needed care in underserved communities following graduation. 

CDU has been ranked nationally in two 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.  And in a U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard, CDU placed in the top 20 (15th ) among California universities in “salary after attending.” 

The CDU curriculum, often referred to as ”the CDU Advantage,” is a distinctive and specialized education that cultivates and develops medical and health professions leaders who are able to conduct and translate empirical works in their drive for social justice and health equity.  It has been defined by five characteristics:

  1. research training and engagement;
  2. education in and for social justice and cultural diversity; 
  3. global and international education; 
  4. community engagement in underserved areas; and -       health policy knowledge and advocacy. 

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.