State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP)

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York, NY.
Type Academic Enrichment, Academic Year Program, High School Students, Test Preparation


The State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP) is an academic enrichment program designed for students who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related STEM professions. The long range objective of the program is to increase the number of minority healthcare and STEM professionals.  The program offers enrichment courses geared towards preparing students for success in math and science. The courses may include, but are not limited to the following: Anatomy, biochemistry, embryology, chemistry, genetics, neuroscience, organic chemistry, physics, physiology, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. In addition, the program offers PSAT and SAT preparation courses provided by Kaplan. Classes are held on Saturdays, in the Hammer Health Science Center, in both morning and afternoon sessions. In addition to the rigorous academic schedule, the program offers mandatory college preparation and career development workshops, college counseling services, field trips and college tours.

Students admitted to SPREP are eligible to apply for a summer research program for high school students run by the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. The BRAINYAC program (Brain Research Apprenticeships In New York At Columbia) admits students with a stated interest in biomedical and specifically neuroscience research who can commit to Saturday afternoon classes starting in January and the four week summer term (July-August). Starting in January, BRAINYAC students learn basic neuroscience concepts and laboratory skills that will prepare them for their four week mentored research experience in a CUMC neuroscience lab during the summer. Students receive a stipend for their participation in the program. Admitted SPREP students will receive more information in October about the BRAINYAC program and how to apply.


  • Be enrolled in 7th – 12th grade
  • The student must also be a New York State Resident or a Permanent Resident alien residing in the state.
  • For purposes of this state-funded program, an eligible student is one who self-identifies as being:
    • African-American
    • Hispanic/Latino
    • Native American
    • Alaskan Native

Or one who meets the economic guidelines outlined by the state.

Students enrolled in S-PREP are selected on the basis of strong motivation, character, and academic credentials. Participants in S-PREP are selected according to the following criteria:

  • Maintenance of an 80% grade average particularly in math and science
  • A strong interest in medicine
  • The ability to commit to the course schedule
  • A mature personality