Mt. Sinai Medical School – Medical STEP Program for “Historically Underrepresented and Economically Disadvantaged Students”

Case Particulars


Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education

Date Filed

August 19, 2023

Docket No.


Case Status

OCR Complaint Filed

Case Overview

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has participated in a New York State funding program — entitled the Center for Excellence in Youth Education 2023 High School Summer Program — designed for 7-12th grade students and which contains discriminatory guidelines limiting participation to those who are Black, Latino, Alaskan native or American Indian. As for all other applicants, only those coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds may be considered eligible for the program. The applicable state law for the program does not require that any school accept the funding; the school’s participation in the program was entirely voluntary.


Students in the CEYE participate in one of the three available programs — Introduction to Bioinformatics, Medical and Scientific Exploration, and Internship Placement Program — meeting on Thursdays and Fridays from the end of June through mid-August.


The program limits the applicant pool to those who “[i]dentify as [sic] Under Represented Minority,” while White and Asian students must show that they are “economically disadvantaged” in order to be considered.


Equal Protection Project is the Complainant in this matter, which is under evaluation by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.