The graduate program in physical anthropology at CUNY is based in evolutionary approaches to understanding human and nonhuman primate biology. Student and faculty research is distributed across a broad range of topics in biological anthropology including:

The CUNY program in Physical Anthropology has played a leading role in creating the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP), an NSF-funded IGERT training program that gives CUNY physical anthropology students access to faculty, laboratories, and collections at CUNY, New York University, Columbia University, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. All CUNY physical anthropology students are part of the NYCEP training program in which they take special courses jointly taught by CUNY, NYU, AMNH, and Columbia faculty, participate in an annual seminar series, and undertake research with NYCEP faculty in their laboratories and field sites.