Support Programs


The Center for the Advancement of Students in Academia oversees multiple university support programs.  The programs mission is to promote the academic development of the next generation of underrepresented research scientists and health professionals. To achieve this mission, CASA provides to students: opportunities to participate in faculty research, faculty and student mentoring, course enrichment workshops, travel to scientific meetings, travel to doctoral degree-granting institutions for future graduate study, and research experiences at NIH, other research institutions, and laboratories in foreign institutions.

The CASA website hosts information about all of the university support programs the center oversees.


The SDSU Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS)-Intitiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program is an intensive undergraduate research training program which prepares students for direct entry into biomedical or behavioral Ph.D. programs. In 2008, the MBRS IMSD Program was awarded a new 4-year grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to continue supporting undergraduates. 

The NIGMS mission is to improve the participation of historically underrepresented students in the sciences and increase the number of underrepresented students who matriculate directly to a Ph.D. program. Although this is the primary goal, we encourage all students to apply, as the MBRS IMSD Program offers several benefits to help students succeed and prepare for graduate school.


The Minority Access to Research Careers Program sponsored by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences was established in 1975 to help develop the talent and to increase the number Ph.D. degrees awarded among certain ethnic groups that have long been underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Groups that are presently underrepresented in the biomedical sciences include African-Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. By contrast, the demand throughout the nation for Ph.D.'s in the biomedical sciences from among these underrepresented ethnic groups is unprecedented.


The SDSU McNair Scholars Program is an innovative program that prepares talented students in the pursuit of doctoral study and careers in higher education. Twenty-five scholars are selected to receive stipends to conduct research with university faculty mentors, write research papers and present their work to professors and peers at regional and national conferences.


The NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program provides support to institutions to help students make transitions at a critical stage in their development as scientists, from a two-year community college to full four-year baccalaureate program. 'Bridges' targets students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of the nation and/or populations disproportionately affected by health disparities.

The goal of the SDSU Bridges program is to train 20 students a year from the three partnering colleges to complete their bachelors degree training. The outcome of the program will be to produce highly competent young scientists; among those transferring to SDSU, students will have a 90% retention rate in their baccalaureate degree programs. The Bridges Program has helped students achieve their academic objectives through enrichment courses in laboratory skills, research ethics, biomedical research techniques, technical writing, chemistry, microbiology, human physiology, calculus, computational biology, and a colloquium addressing minority health care disparities.


The Educational Opportunities Program is housed in the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs. EOP is committed to supporting first-generation, low-income students through innovative outreach and retention programs that encourage them to persist towards the goal of a university degree.

EOP Transfer Bridge Program (TPB)

Educational Opportunities Program - Transfer Bridge Program (TBP) is an intensive 3-unit transitional program offered during the summer prior to the beginning of the fall semester to newly admitted EOP students transferring into San Diego State University from community colleges. The purpose of the program is for students to effectively utilize academic advising/counseling during TBP. At the conclusion of the program students should be able to: identify graduation requirements for their major, effectively identify and use library support services, demonstrate financial literacy in areas of financial aid, and scholarship searches as well as demonstrate the value of peer relations to support their university transition.


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