Professional Tracks

As per the State of New York’s mandate, the CSTEP program works to support students who are interested in an area of study in the general areas of science and technology or an area of study that will result in a New York State license. CSTEP students are part of a group within the program known as professional tracks. Academic and professional advisement that a student receives is based on the professional track that they are a part of. Below (and to the right of this page) are the professional tracks that CSTEP currently supports. If you do not see your area of study and you believe that it would be covered under the state mandate, contact the CSTEP office. It is possible that we may still be able to support your area of study.


Accounting students can be on either the CPA track or the Non-CPA track. Certified public accountants (CPAs) are accountants who have state certification to practice as public accountants. Certification as a CPA comes with a variety of rights and responsibilities conferred by the state that issues it. Non-CPA accounting students can also be accountants and bookkeepers for companies and organizations, but the scope of what they can do may be limited.

Accounting students will major in accounting, naturally, but the CPA track will have a significantly different path from the Non-CPA track. For Non-CPA track students, the path is simple: They will spend four years at Brooklyn College taking classes accumulating 120 credits toward their bachelor of science degree. Upon graduating, they can find many jobs at companies, government agencies, or organizations, working in accounting, corporate finance, finance accounting, tax preparation, etc.

The CPA track is very different. These students will spend five years at Brooklyn College accumulating 150 credits. They must then sit for a rigorous state exam covering four major areas of accounting.  Finally, they must work for one year for a certified public accountant. After these three requirements are successfully met, then the student becomes a CPA. Students who plan on applying to the “Big 4” or a midsized accounting firm for either a job or an internship must also be mindful of their GPA and extracurricular activities: These firms require at least a 3.30 GPA; internships will become important in securing a full-time job; and extracurricular activities will help to set them apart from their competition.

Note: The CSTEP program supports CPA-track students only.

Allied Health

Allied health professions include health care workers who provide a variety of diagnostic, technical, and therapeutic care that support other health care professionals. They work to prevent disease and diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate patients with physical, sensory, psychological cognitive, and social functions. The field of allied health includes a variety of professions, but the CSTEP program only supports students interested in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists work to restore or improve physical abilities, make behavioral changes, help patients adapt to new or existing surroundings, and/or teach new skills. They generally develop a plan in conjunction with a physician, physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner. In New York State, licensed occupational therapists must have at least a bachelor’s degree that includes studies in human anatomy, physiology, and medical and psychosocial conditions. Students wishing to attend Brooklyn College with the intent of pursuing occupational therapy can get their undergraduate degree in kinesiology and then apply to a master’s degree program in occupational therapy. In addition, to become licensed in the State of New York, students must have six months of supervised experience and pass a state licensing exam.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist is a health care professional who evaluates, plans, and administers a patient’s treatment to relieve pain, improve body functions and movement, help limit or rehabilitate disabilities, and restore and maintain optimal physical function. They generally work with a physician, physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner. Students at Brooklyn College will complete a bachelor’s degree generally in kinesiology and then apply to a doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) program to complete their training. In addition, students must complete clinical experience and pass a state exam to be licensed as a physical therapist in the State of New York.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy or speech-language pathology is a field of study that diagnoses, evaluates, and treats disorders of speech, voice, swallowing, and language. Speech pathologists work to identify speech and language problems in infants, children, adolescents, and adults. They work with patients who have speech impairments such as stuttering, slurred speech, and articulation. In New York State, speech-language pathologists must complete at a minimum a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. This includes courses in basic communication processes, audiology, scientific areas of speech-language pathology, and language. In addition, they must pass a state exam and have at least 300 hours of supervised practice and nine months of paid supervised experience. Licensed speech-language pathologists are also required by law to complete 30 hours of continuing competency learning activities every three years. Brooklyn College offers both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

Computer Science

Computer science is the study and understanding of the design of computers systems and its processes and applications. It is useful for the purpose of information management and information transfer. It spans a variety of areas from mathematics and science to engineering and can be used in a variety of industries. Because of its central focus on processes and manipulation of data, the discipline requires a fundamental understanding of algorithms and information processes. Students need to have a clear understanding of theoretical studies, experimental methods, and engineering design. At Brooklyn College, students can study for an undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Science in computer and information science. Students can choose from a variety of concentrations, including computational mathematics, computer science, information systems, and multimedia computing, as well as an interdisciplinary study in cognitive science and a course of study with our Murray Koppelman School of Education. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, students are able to begin work in a variety of fields: software applications development, computer systems analysis or engineering, network systems administration, database management/administration, or web development. Students can also continue on to higher degrees in computer science or computer engineering.

Mental Health/Psychology

The field of psychoanalysis includes the following professions: creative arts therapist, marriage/family therapist, mental health counselors, and psychologists. They employ a variety of methods to diagnose, assess, and treat patients with range of nervous, emotional, and behavioral disorders and conditions, including anxiety, depression, and phobias. Brooklyn College has several programs of study that allow students to prepare for a career in psychoanalysis. In addition, the CSTEP program can support students in the areas of creative arts therapy, marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, neuropsychology, and psychology. Most, if not all, of these programs require a master’s degree. Brooklyn College offers a master’s degree in psychology; however, your undergraduate preparation at Brooklyn College can also prepare you for application to graduate programs elsewhere. The CSTEP program can be instrumental for students who need extra help in passing these classes.

Creative Arts Therapy

Creative arts therapists usually work as part of a team of health care professionals to provide care for a patient or a group of patients. They treat patients with mental illness through the use of psychoanalysis and the arts to address development and behavioral problems. The arts used can be art, dance, drama, music, poetry, and many other disciplines. Besides their training in psychotherapy, they also have training in clinical practice and human development; many also have education and training in the art in which they wish to specialize. In New York State, creative arts therapists must hold at least a master’s degree, pass a state exam, and have 1,500 clinical hours working under a licensed professional health professional.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Marriage and family therapists treat cognitive or behavioral disorders that disrupt interpersonal relationships, for example, marital-couple, parent-child, or sibling relationships. Marriage and family therapists are trained to assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and to address issues within relationship systems. They generally work with a team of health care professionals but can also work as solo practitioners to treat patients. In New York State, marriage and family therapists must have at least a master’s degree with required course work in marriage and family theory, practice and assessment, and ethical practice. They must also do a supervised internship, pass a state exam, and have at least 1,500 client contact hours under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counselors evaluate, assess, and treat a wide variety of patients with mental and emotional disorders and other behavioral challenges. They address issues as varied as interpersonal relationships, education and employment concerns, personal mental health issues, substance abuse, and patients with disabilities. They can treat individuals, families, couples, and even groups or organizations and can do both crisis intervention or work long term with patients. Mental health counselors are trained in counseling, psychotherapy, and prevention, using a variety of techniques, and can work on their own in private practice or as part of a team at a hospital, health care facility, school, or company. In New York State, mental health counselors must have at least a master’s degree with required course work in mental health counseling theory and practice, assessment, psychopathology, and ethical practice. They must also complete a supervised internship, pass a state licensing exam, and complete at least 3,000 hours of postdegree clinical experience under a qualified licensed mental health professional.


Neuropsychologists study how the brain and the nervous system manage and affect our cognitive and behavioral functions. It is a branch of study within psychology and relies heavily on research to determine how the brain functions. Much of this research can help doctors and other health care providers treat injuries or illnesses that are neurological in nature. Neuropsychologists can be researchers finding new ways to solve damage or impairment to the nervous system, or they can work in a clinical setting treating patients. Clinical neuroscientists often work in hospitals, clinics, or a physician’s office to diagnose and assess patients. They can use a variety of very sophisticated imaging tools such as CT, PET, and MRI to diagnose neurological problems. The CSTEP program supports clinical neuroscientist researchers only. Preparation in clinical neuropsychology begins at the doctoral level, and specialized education and training is completed at the postdoctoral level.


Psychologists are health care professionals who diagnose and treat mental, nervous, emotional, and behavioral disorders and ailments. Their practices can also include industrial or organizational psychology, research, and teaching. Only a licensed psychologist or a person working in an “exempt setting” may use these titles and terms. Exempt settings include chartered schools, settings operated by the government, and most colleges and universities. Students who are working in settings as part of their authorized doctoral program may have titles such as “psychologist-in-training” or “psychology intern.” Psychotherapists are not necessarily licensed as psychologists in New York. In New York State, a psychologist must have at least a doctoral degree in psychology from a program registered or accepted as equivalent by the New York State Education Department. Psychologists with doctoral degrees such as Ph.D., Psy.D., and Ed.D. will be considered to have met the educational requirements required by the State of New York. In addition, they must complete two years of supervised experience, one of which must be done after the doctoral degree has been granted. They must also successfully complete a national licensing exam.


Students who are interested in medical, dental, optometry, veterinary medicine, nursing, or pharmacy school are generally part of Brooklyn College’s Pre-Health Track. Pre-health students spend their undergraduate years at Brooklyn College preparing for application to and study in one of these options. Toward the end of their undergraduate program, students take a standardized exam. This, along with their grades, extracurricular activities, and internships, will be used for consideration by medical and health schools. Students will spend four years at Brooklyn College earning a bachelor’s degree and then apply to and attend a medical or health school relative to their area of study for two to four years. In addition, most medical and health licensing requires a residency of about two to five years, depending on the program, and that students pass a national or state board examination.

Students may choose to major in one of the sciences; however, this is not a requirement for all medical or health schools. In fact, you can major in a subject that you find exciting (other than science) all while earning the best grades possible. Medical and health schools look for students who are well rounded, work hard, and can demonstrate a commitment to things they are passionate about. To identify these qualities, schools look at a variety of things, one of which is your GPA (at least a 3.60 is considered competitive). Medical and health schools are also interested in the grades you earn in a specific group of classes such as General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus, General Physics, Advanced Molecular Biology, Bio-Chemistry, Statistics, Intro to Epidemiology, Medical Ethics, Intro to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Intro to Sociology/Anthropology and Human Anatomy/Physiology. Therefore, it is important to get the best grades possible in these classes. Schools are also interested in extracurricular activities such as internships at hospitals as well as any other medical or health-related area or research at a lab or facility.

CSTEP works with its pre-health students to make sure they are making academic progress toward their degree and are successful in their classes and provides guidance to students as they are applying to any health schools or programs. It works with students to find internships and research experiences. CSTEP students are also eligible for a significant discount on Kaplan preparation courses such as the MCAT, PCAT, and TEAS.

Public Health

Public health is the study of safeguarding and improving the health of groups of people through research for disease, implementation of health and lifestyle choices, and injury and accident prevention and education. It involves the knowledge and application of many different disciplines of health sciences in its research and practice. Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring on both a macro and a micro level. They work in communities or on a global scale to implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, and conduct research, as opposed to doctors and nurses, who are clinical professionals who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured.

At the undergraduate level, students interested in public health at Brooklyn College are generally health and nutrition science majors. They can choose from several concentrations: a B.A. or a B.S. in health and nutrition sciences, or in thanatology; a B.S. in public health; a B.S. in foods and nutrition; or an interdisciplinary study in global studies or early childhood/childhood education.

Brooklyn College also has master’s-level programs in public health. Students can choose from a master’s degree in nutrition, in public health (M.P.H.) either in general public health or in health care policy and administration, and a master’s in community health in thanatology or education. Brooklyn College also offers an advanced certificate in grief counseling.

Many students go on to pursue a D.P.H. in public health either at the CUNY Graduate Center or outside the CUNY system.


Scientists investigate our world and try to solve its problems by asking questions, collecting information, examining that information, and then explaining their conclusions. If you are curious about the world around you and are excited by the act and process of discovery, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field may be a wise choice for you. Because STEM is such a broad term and comprises so many different fields, many of our CSTEP students choose an area such as biology, chemistry, physics, or earth and environmental science to study.

Once you begin your undergraduate program, you will develop your skills as an investigator by learning the basics of your discipline and testing the validity of what you learn. You will take a wide variety of science classes, including biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as math classes in calculus and statistics. You will also learn about conducting research and the ethics involved in doing so.

In addition to your course work, you should begin to look at the kinds of research projects that our faculty is involved in, here on campus. By working in faculty labs, the exploratory aspect of science becomes more real and you will begin to work on something that you can become passionate about. This, in addition to research opportunities off campus, provides valuable hands-on learning. You will investigate and explore a variety of areas in science in a more tangible way and in a real-world setting. Very often, research placement will help you solidify your planned path of study or it may open up an entirely new branch you hadn’t considered before. Our students can choose either a B.S. or a B.A. path in biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science in addition to psychology/neuropsychology.

Brooklyn. All in.