Who We Are

A Private University with a Public Mission

We are a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University committed to cultivating diverse health professions leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations.

CDU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, and certificate programs, across a range of health and medical professions.

We are the second-most diverse university in the nation in terms of both student and faculty diversity. We are also proud to be one of only four Historically Black Medical Colleges, a charter Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools member and a Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI).

At CDU, we envision a world without health disparities. We are actively investing in tomorrow’s healthcare leaders for the good of underserved communities across the nation.

Mission Driven, Community Focused

Charles R. Drew University is located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of south Los Angeles and was founded in 1966 in the wake of the Watts uprising. CDU was founded to address inadequate medical care in the region and to provide equitable medical education opportunities for under-represented students.

CDU offers the only historically black Doctor of Medicine program west of the Mississippi, and is strongly invested in the local and regional community. The university leads multiple partnerships and programs to provide equitable healthcare resources in a variety of south Los Angeles neighborhoods.

President and Leadership

David M. Carlisle, MD, PhD

University President

Dr. Carlisle is a published author in health policy, quality of care, medical education diversity and eliminating health disparities. A board-certified Internal Medicine specialist, his clinical work has always revolved around caring for the underserved.

Local Impact


of CDU students are from Los Angeles county

Mission Driven


of CDU students practice in underserved communities following graduation

Community Focused


Centers and Clinical Partnerships for area residents

Student Body


Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Students

The CDU Advantage

Breaking New Ground

Learn more about CDU Rising, our comprehensive fundraising campaign to help fuel our mission and propel our vision. Included in this campaign is the construction of a brand new Health Professions Education building.