Undergraduate Enrichment Programs
Bridging the Gaps Summer Research Program
The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Bridging the Gaps Summer Research Program is a bench to bedside experience that provides an enriching educational research opportunity to outstanding undergraduate students who have been historically underrepresented as physicians (MD), physician scientists (MD/PhD), and biomedical scientists (PhD). BTG scholars conduct cutting edge research in the laboratories of faculty at the Keck School of Medicine. The goal is that many of these students will want to pursue their medical or graduate studies at Keck.
In the past 10 years of the program’s existence, numerous Bridging the Gaps students have successfully matriculated to MD programs and other health profession graduate programs, many choosing to matriculate at KSOM for their medical education.
Summer Program in Diabetes and Obesity Research
The Summer Program in Diabetes and Obesity Research (SPIDOR) is a 10-week NIH/NIDDK-funded summer research experience providing outstanding underrepresented students in science and medicine an opportunity to gain meaningful exposure to the exceptional research and clinical programs at the Keck School of Medicine. Summer scholars conduct cutting-edge research in the laboratories of faculty members from the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute (DORI) and are exposed to basic science, translational, and clinical research experiences. The summer session culminates with students presenting their research findings to the KSOM community at large. Several SPIDOR participants have matriculated at KSOM for their medical education.
The Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (DIA) JumpStart program is an initiative of USC’s Graduate schools to increase the pool of diverse PhD applicants. JumpStart works with USC schools and programs to invite diverse undergraduate students from outside institutions to apply for 10-week summer research opportunities in various PhD disciplines. Available opportunities range from lab-based research to mentored participation in other types of faculty projects. DIA JumpStart will fund approximately 20 students this year. Since the program’s inception, six students have been accepted to USC PhD programs. In 2022, the program will celebrate its five-year anniversary.
The Los Angeles Biostatistics Education Summer Training Program at USC (LA’s BEST@USC) offers students with at least two years of undergraduate study the opportunity to conduct summer research at USC with training from public health leaders. The six-week program includes two units of college credit, housing at USC, meals, transportation, and tuition, funded by the Summer Institutes in Biostatistics (SIBS) program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. All students receive formal training in biostatistics and meet experts in epidemiology, molecular biology, cancer, and clinical research with opportunities to work on real data sets. The main focus is on heart and lung diseases, but students also have the opportunity to be introduced to a wide range of public health research topics including cancer, metabolic disorders, and genetics. At the end of the summer session, students present their research findings to the Keck community.
USC URiM PreMed Summer Radiology Research Scholarship Program
Sponsored by the Radiology Department at the Keck School of Medicine, the USC URiM Summer Radiology Research Scholarship Program provides current USC undergraduates, especially those who are historically underrepresented in medicine, an opportunity to engage in research and learn more about the field of radiology. The program includes didactic lectures, as well as mentoring and shadowing opportunities with radiology faculty. Students develop a research project and present their findings in a poster session.
KeckPREP Scholars Program
Established in 2018, Keck PREP Scholars is a longitudinal preparatory program that supports the academic success and professional goals of a select group of undergraduate students enrolled at USC, with a special focus on URM and disadvantaged students. As part of the program, students benefit from resources and opportunities that will help them achieve success, including tutoring, research, community and service engagement, and mentoring by current Keck MD students. The Keck PREP Scholars program guides students to become not only leaders in the field of medicine, but also physicians committed to service, the community, and the promotion of equity in healthcare.
Keck PREP’s mission centers on:
- Preparation – provide students with a personalized approach in preparing for careers in healthcare;
- Retention – cultivate an environment conducive to sustaining students on the pre-health track;
- Education – offer academic support to encourage student success in pre-health education;
- Purpose – inspire students to find their role and purpose as future healthcare professionals.
EH MATTERS is offered by the USC Environmental Health Centers. The program offers USC undergraduate students from under-represented groups a paid, two-year, three-semester per year internship (Summer/Fall/Spring) to build the capacity of diverse students to engage in environmental health sciences and community health disparities research. Rising sophomores and juniors are encouraged to apply.
This community-engaged environmental health research program will expand students’ understanding of fundamental concepts in environmental health, exposure, susceptibility, risk, and health disparities. This formal training will provide a basis for a firm academic understanding of community environmental health disparity issues and firsthand experiences that look at environmental health through the lens of environmental justice.
Medical Student for a Day
Local undergraduate students in the Los Angeles area are invited to participate in a unique opportunity to experience life as a medical student. Visit the Health Science Campus to learn about the admissions process, how to be a competitive applicant, receive tips for interviews, shadow medical students and physicians and participate in various workshops, including discussing patient case studies. The annual full-day program is facilitated by the USC Keck Student National Medical Association (SNMA).