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MARC-U*STAR Benefits

MARC-U*STAR supports student academic and research activities while they train to enter PhD programs. Students receive financial benefits, as well as professional experience required for doctoral program admission and success.

  • Obtain "hands-on" research experience in research laboratories at UTSA or UTHSCSA and at one or more summer internships. Students have a project of their own and will publish their thesis, abstracts, and scientific papers.
  • Students are expected to work 15 or more hours per week in the laboratory during the semester and full-time (40 hours) during the summer.
  • To maximize their research exposure, students are not allowed to hold off-campus jobs while participating in MARC-U*STAR.
Financial (NOTE: This program will likely cause reorganization of your financial aid. See below.)
  • Stipend ($969/month)
  • Tuition benefits for Fall and Spring tuition ($7883/year)
  • Travel and conference expenses for one (1) conference per year
  • Travel, housing, and food support during Summer Internships (nearly guarantees admission to any summer program, with sufficient GPA and solid letters of recommendation)
Conference Attendance

All MARC-U*STAR participants are allotted funds attend one scientific conference annually. Paid is airfare, hotel (sharing a room), registration fees, per diem (generally a flat $35-$48/day for food when it is not provided), and other travel related to attending the conference. All other travel/entertainment is the responsibility of the student.

Professional Development
  • RISE/MARC colloquium, seminar, and Lunch with the Speaker (direct professional training and networking sessions)
  • Research Careers and Professional Skills Development course
  • Off-campus summer research internship
  • Leadership training
  • Conference attendance
  • Thesis creation and final oral presentation
  • Course enrichment

MARC-U*STAR and Financial Aid

The MARC-U*STAR program funds are considered a scholarship or stipend and are disbursed through the scholarship office. MARC-U*STAR will be inserted within your financial aid award - if you are getting loans, it will likely replace them, as well as some university scholarships. If you are at maximal financial aid (~$18K) and working off campus, you will need to assess whether MARC-U*STAR participation will cause financial hardship by replacing your financial aid as well as outside employment. When you are offered a position in MARC-U*STAR, please set up an appointment to visit with Mr. Christian Torres in the Financial Aid Office, to assess the program's impact on your finances.