U-RISE Application

Group of students standing next to professor on an outside stairwell

Before You Apply

  • The URISE program has four pillars, 1) faculty mentored research, 2) entering research curriculum, 3) faculty mentor training in inclusivity, and 4) building scientific identity with community.   

  • Student participants explore research and prepare for on-campus and off campus summer research through an activity-type course (contact [email protected] for more information). They also take part in various workshops, seminars, and other program activities connecting them with peers and their communities year-round which all aim to help student discover and solidify their scientist identity (contact [email protected] for more information). In their final year, students will prepare and submit competitive applications for PhD programs in their field of study with support from the U-RISE program. 

  • On-campus faculty mentors are specifically trained to offer an inclusive research environment (contact [email protected] for more information). The U-RISE program contributes between $1,000 and $1,500 in supplies towards the research activities of the U-RISE student.  

  • U-RISE students receive up to 60% of their tuition and an annual stipend of up to $13,644, depending on their Cal State LA financial package. They also will receive up to $3,500 towards their off-campus summer research experience to cover travel and living costs. U-RISE students are also expected to present their research at a conference and will receive up to $1,000 to cover travel, lodging, and registration fees.  

  • Along with participants from other research training programs on campus, U-RISE students and their faculty mentors will be invited to celebrate research at an annual two-day retreat for which lodging and travel (contact [email protected] for more information). 

  • The U-RISE program seeks underrepresented undergraduate students majoring in a field related to the biomedical sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Kinesiology, Nutritional and Food Sciences, Psychology, Nutritional Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

  • The eligible student is from a group traditionally under-represented in the health-related sciences which includes as defined by NIH (https://diversity.nih.gov/about-us/population-underrepresented) race (Blacks or African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders), ethnicity (Hispanics or Latinos), ability (physical or mental impairment) or disadvantaged backgrounds (homeless, foster care, no parent who completed a bachelor’s degree, Federal Pell grant eligible, qualified for federal food programs, upbringing in a U.S. area with underserved high schools). 

  • All applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident.

  • The ideal candidate is a sophomore with two to three years left until graduation. 

  • The applicant has completed the first semester of their major specific courses (e.g., BIOL 1100 Cellular Basis of Life or CHEM 1100 General Chemistry I) with a grade of at least a B- and has developed a strong interest to explore a research career in the biomedical sciences.  

It will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to fill out the form itself. In addition, before you start the application, please gather the following items as PDF files for upload:

  • Your transcripts of all your college and university work. Coursework from Cal State LA can be uploaded as unofficial transcripts which you download from GET;
  • A current, signed Academic Advisement Plan to verify your anticipated graduation date: 
    • Meet with an NSS Advisor and mention that this is for their U RISE application.
    • Develop with the advisor their degree plan laying out which courses they have to take in which year and indicating the expected year of graduation.
    • Send the completed degree plan as a PDF via electronic signature to the advisor who has helped them with the degree plan to obtain their approval.
    • You will upload the signed advisor approved degree plan to the U RISE application page.
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume; if you are unsure about what either is and which to choose, you can find some resources on CVs and resumes here
  • An essay answering several prompts:
    • Any experience you have in research or related areas. What research question did you pursue; what experimental work did you do; and what do think your results mean?
    • The U-RISE Program is designed to prepare students for admission and success in PhD programs immediately following the BS/BA degree at Cal State LA. Please explain how these goals are consistent with your plans.
    • Discuss your career plans after you complete your formal education, particularly how research in science, engineering, or mathematics fits into these plans; and why you consider the PhD as necessary for your work.
    • It is expected that you will complete the BS degree with a 3.3 GPA or higher in your major. Explain any discrepancy between your grades in academic coursework and your talents and potential. If applicable, how will you raise your GPA as a U-RISE scholar?
    • Explain how your selection as a U-RISE scholar will enhance the participation of marginalized individuals in research careers.
    • How will you continue to advance your research training if you are not accepted into the U-RISE Program?
  • If applicable, a notarized copy of your Alien Registration ("Green") card.


You also need to arrange for two letters of recommendation written on your behalf by science, engineering, or mathematics faculty members who know you well. These may be from previous schools you have attended. Please ask your recommenders to submit their letters and complete a brief questionnaire here.