5 Programs Putting Graduate Degrees Within Reach

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are you an undergrad interested in going to grad school? Take note of these opportunities for underrepresented students at UA.

There are still many communities that remain underrepresented in graduate school, such as women and students of color. These five University of Arizona programs provide underrepresented students a route to graduate school by offering the chance to forge relationships with faculty and mentors, improve research and problem-solving skills, and increase confidence.

Integrated Optics for Undergraduate Native Americans (IOU-NA)

The UA awarded more doctoral degrees to Native Americans (28) than any other institution in the country from 2008 to 2012, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. And the Integrated Optics for Undergraduate Native Americans program is just one reason for that. During this 10-week program, participants are paired with a research project that matches their interests, with potential fields including optics and photonics, astronomy, hydrology and soil sciences.

Latin American Summer Program

English proficiency requirements for graduate programs often create a barrier to entry for many international students. So each summer, undergraduates from across Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, Honduras and Chile, come to the UA to enhance their research skills while also improving their English and preparing for the GRE. The program lasts 10 weeks, and students attend workshops on public speaking, poster presentations and dissertation defenses. The program culminates in a conference that brings together about 150 students from similar research programs.

Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)

Undergraduates considered underrepresented in biomedical research can take advantage of the MARC program. This two-year research, mentoring and financial opportunity includes hands-on scientific training within the laboratories of renowned UA faculty.

Pathways Scholars Program

The Pathways Scholars Program at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix is designed for Arizona residents who want to pursue a career in medicine and are either socioeconomically challenged, first-generation college students, from rural areas or members of an American Indian tribe. Through peer-assisted learning and early exposure to medical school coursework, students are set up to succeed in the College of Medicine – Phoenix. Plus, students who meet specific milestones are automatically enrolled in the college. 

Student Affairs Research (STAR) Program

This year-round undergraduate research and mentoring program is open to students of all majors, including the humanities and fine arts, but it is specifically for students from backgrounds underrepresented in graduate education. Through intensive writing courses and directed research work, participants are given the tools, experience and mentoring necessary to be successful in research-focused graduate programs. In addition to a $4,000 stipend for the summer and a summer tuition waiver (6 units), students also receive GRE preparation and testing assistance.