Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS)-Reseach Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program (RISE) Undergraduate Scholars Program

California State University-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA.
Type Basic Science Research


The MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholars Program involves 40 undergraduates (10 talented minority students in each undergraduate class, freshman through senior). The program is designed to increase their academic achievement in a solid science curriculum; integrate them into their major department and University communities; expose them to the biomedical sciences and scientists; enhance their academic achievement; and to lay the foundation for their eventual successful research careers in the biomedical sciences. The traditional undergraduate experience is enhanced through participation in co-curricular activities of seminars, workshops, special courses, and strong opportunities for year-round participation in contemporary research under the direction of the Training Faculty. The MBRS-RISE student’s participation in research is part-time (10-15 hours per week) during the academic year, and full-time during the summer.

Participating students:

  • develop solid skills in mathematics, basic sciences, and the English language and use these to support high academic achievement in rigorous undergraduate majors in the natural and behavioral sciences and mathematics;
  • are motivated to careers in the biomedical sciences through interaction with science faculty and other biomedical scientists and participation in solid research experiences;
  • are prepared for the transition from undergraduates to Ph.D. students


The MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholars Program Advisory Committee will evaluate the application of each
candidate and the three letters of recommendation. Students must enroll in undergraduate majors at Cal State LA in disciplines useful in the biomedical sciences (chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, biology, microbiology, mathematics, or related fields). In addition, students must have:

  • demonstrated high academic ability in course work. An A-B average and good letters of recommendation from college or university science faculty are regarded as indicating a student of high ability. However, we will entertain applications from students who do not yet have the academic profile above, yet in the estimation of science faculty and the Program Advisory Committee have potential for success in a research career and can raise their academic performance to a 3.2 GPA or better before they graduate.
  • Requirements for admission into the Cal State LA MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholars program are maintained liberal and flexible by design. While applicants generally have a strong GPA, our MBRS-RISE program has included students whose GPA’s at entry range from 2.50 to 4.00. However, students who are admitted in the program with less than a 3.00 were accepted because they demonstrated (generally through strong letters of recommendation and the personal statement) considerable promise for success in academics and research.
  • It is expected that all students will experience an improvement in their academic achievement through participation in MBRS-RISE, and that undergraduates will graduate with a 3.2 or higher grade point average.
  • completed sufficient college-level courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics so they are on track to graduation, and can be a reasonable background to their research training.
  • shown an interest in a career in thesciences or mathematics and a desire to do independent research,
  • a determination to enter graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. in science or mathematics in areas useful to biomedical research following completion of the Bachelor of Science degree.
  • either U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency.

Check program website for updates deadline dates and program information.

More Information


Dr. Carlos G. Gutierrez
Program Director
Physical Sciences 603
(323) 343-2356
e-mail: cgutier@calstatela.edu