Financial Assistance | Biological Sciences

Financial Assistance and Support Programs for Student Research

Your first stop in looking for financial assistance should be the Cal State LA Center for Student Financial Aid. The Center for Student Financial Aid is committed to assisting current and prospective students with financial assistance available from federal, state and institutional sources for their attendance at Cal State L.A. They can provide information of grants, scholarships, loans, and federal work-study opportunities. The Center for Student Financial Aid is located in Student Affairs 124 (SA-124) and their phone number is 323-343-3166. You should also check out FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

On-Campus Scholarships Related to the Biological Sciences

The University has a large number of on-campus scholarships. Many of these are general scholarships, but some are directed towards students who major in the life sciences. Some of these are

Alpha Therapeutics
• Upper division Biochemistry or Microbiology major
• 3.0 undergraduate GPA; full-time status

Anthony J. Andreoli Scholarship
• Biochemistry or Microbiology major, upper division standing
• Research potential in Biochemistry or Microbiology

Lupe Elias-Exposito
• Microbiology major
• 3.0 GPA

David Cameron Fisher Memorial Fellowship (Emeriti)
• Undergraduate student, junior or senior
• Biology major
• 3.0 GPA
• full-time status
• preference to students interested in marine biology or environmental studies

Elizabeth Tamblyn Memorial Scholarship
• Undergraduate student, upper division standing
• Microbiology major
• 3.0 GPA
• full-time status
• U.S. citizen

Robert Shuffer Memorial Scholarship
• Biology or Microbiology major, undergraduate or graduate
• 3.0 GPA
• full-time status
• preference to students interested in plant biology

Ron and Nan Okum Scholarship
• Biology major
• 3.0 GPA
• full-time status
• demonstrate financial need
• have completed at least 12 units at CSLA

Contact the Center for Student Financial Aid for more information.

Research Training and Career Development Programs

There are a variety of programs at Cal State LA which are designed to support students who are interested in pursuing careers in science. Many of these programs are funded by external agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). These programs vary in the types of activities they sponsor and their levels of student support. Several of these programs are listed below, but there is a turnover as existing programs end and new programs are established.

Bridges to the Future
There are two Bridges to the Future Programs. The Bridges to the BS Program targets community college students. It is a collaboration among four schools: East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles City College, Pasadena City College, and Cal State LA. The goal is to prepare minority science students for transfers to a four-year university where they will successfully complete the bachelor's degree and be prepared to enter advanced degree programs in the biomedical sciences. The second program is the Bridges to the Ph.D. Cal State LA, USC, UCLA and UC Irvine offer a cooperative program leading to the MS degree at CSLA and the Ph.D. degree at either of the other three schools. Visit the Bridges to the Future web site for more information on these two programs.

The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program offers a variety of student support activities including summer training programs, year-round research training programs, a competitive year-round scholars program, and a Bridges to the Doctorate (LSAMP-BD). It is a comprehensive, statewide program dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minority groups graduating from campuses of the California State University (CSU) with baccalaureate degrees in the science, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. The level and type of support vary by program activity.

The Minority Access to Research Careers-Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC-U*STAR) Program is an undergraduate honors research training program for juniors and seniors. The objective is to increase the pool of well-prepared minority undergraduate students who can successfully compete for positions in top graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. Visit the MARC-U*STAR web site for more information.

The Minority Biomedical Research Support-Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE) Program is designed for talented and motivated students interested in developing professional careers as research scientists. It provides support for research participation and career enhancement of freshman-through-senior undergraduates, and graduate students pursuing the masters degree, with the expectation that student participants will pursue education to the Ph.D. following graduation from Cal State LA. There are three components of MBRS-RISE. The first is the President James M. Rosser Research Undergraduate Science Honors (RUSH) Program. This program targets new freshmen. The second component is the MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholars Program. This program targets undergraduates. There are also funds available for research supplies and travel to scientific conferences. The third component is the MBRS-RISE MS-to-Ph.D. Program. It involves a collaboration between Cal State LA and UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and the University of Southern California. The program vertically integrates the M.S. at Cal State LA in chemistry, biochemistry, biology and microbiology and psychology with the graduate programs at the doctoral institutions. This program targets graduate students. Visit the MBRS-RISE web site for more information.

Teacher Training and Career Development Programs

California, as is true for most states, continues to face a serious crisis due to inadequate supply of properly credentialed middle and high school science and mathematics teachers, and continued attrition from teacher ranks due to retirements and early to mid career drop outs. This crisis is particularly acute for high needs school districts. A number of programs exist to encourage science majors to consider careers as middle school or high school teachers.

The Cal State LA Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) Program is funded by the CSU Chancellor's office to address the serious shortage of math and science teachers. MSTI strives to increase the number of competent credentialed math and science teachers graduating from Cal State LA. The MSTI program offers students who plan on becoming math or science teachers one time scholarships and forgivable loans. Visit the MSTI web site for more information.

Faculty Research Grants

In addition to the programs described above, many individual faculty members have research grants that support graduate students and/or undergraduates who work in their laboratories. Sources of funds include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other government agencies. Contact individual faculty members in the Biological Sciences to inquire about the availability of student support.

Graduate Student Teaching Assistantships

The Department of Biological Sciences employs graduate students who lead laboratory sections, particularly in general education biology courses and introductory biology courses for majors. Most teaching assistants teach lab sections twice a week and earn a salary which is based on the number of units that they teach. Inquire at the Department of Biological Sciences Office after you are enrolled in the MS program.

Financial Aid Resources for Graduate Students

Several programs are available which provide financial assistance for graduate students. These include the Graduate Equity Fellowship Program, the California Pre-Doctoral Program, the California Forgivable Loan/Doctoral Incentive Program, and the International Graduate Student Tuition Waiver Program. Support is also available for graduate students to present research at professional conferences and meetings. Visit the web site for the Office of Graduate Studies for more information.