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RISE Undergraduate Application

The information provided below details the requirements for application to the UTSA RISE Undergraduate Research Training Program.

Applications are accepted year-round. Please apply for consideration during our next application period, which is approximately two months before the beginning of the spring, summer and fall semesters. In addition, if openings become available during the semester, applications in hand will be considered.

RISE is a year-round program with students preparing for the next stage of their training. It is not a summer program but continues throughout the school year.

Undergraduate level RISE has two tracks: Pre-PhD and Pre-PhD/Professional Degree (MD/PhD, DDS/PhD, etc.). These tracks have different GPA requirements (see below).

Requirements include:

  • Full time student
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Desire to pursue doctoral (PhD) education or PhD/Professional degree (MD/PhD or DDS/PhD)
    This does NOT include:
    • MD, DDS, MPH, or other professional degree without a PhD, even if you wish to perform research in the future
    • Combined degrees that require completion of two years of the professional program prior to application to the PhD
    • Professional PhDs that lead exclusively to clinical or health care practice without research
  • 3.7 or higher GPA if Pre-MD/PhD, Pre-DDS/PhD, or other professional combined degrees; this GPA must be maintained
  • 3.0 or higher GPA if Pre-PhD; this GPA must be maintained
  • Majoring in Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology, or any of the following majors with a biomedical research emphasis: Biomedical Engineering, Physics, or Computer Science
  • All As and Bs in science/math courses in the semester prior to entry
  • Able to commit to 15 hours or more to research work in Fall/Spring and 40 hours in summer
  • Commitment to complete the program once it is started
  • Will complete a thesis
  • Will attend an off-campus Summer research program
  • Will apply to at least seven (7) doctoral programs


EITHER are classified as being from a group that is underrepresented in the sciences

  • African-American
  • Filipino
  • American Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic
  • Native American/Alaskan Native


  • Must be eligible for Pell Grants


New Student Application

Applications being accepted for Fall 2015
deadline July 20, 2015

The RISE Application is the same as that for MARC and the Work Study Research Training Program. Please indicate all that you want to apply for.

The Application consists of an online application (click here for application after you have read the information below).

You will need to upload a personal statement and Names/Emails from two recommenders.

Application Advice


Continuing Student Application

Applications being accepted for Fall 2015
deadline July 20, 2015


RISE or Work Study Research Training Program students who want to apply for the MARC-U*STAR program may fill out a smaller application. You will be asked to upload:


Advice for Writing a Personal Statement

Please write several paragraphs addressing the following:

  • What are your career plans?
  • What are your future educational plans?
  • Why are you interested in biomedical research?
  • What/who inspired you to perform biomedical research?
  • How do you think this program will enhance your ability to obtain your career goals?
  • Also include any other relevant information that you feel the Student Selection and Retention Committee should take into consideration when assessing your application.
General Advice

Do not let shyness or hesitation about an application prevent you from participating is this program. If you are strongly motivated to pursue a career in research and are having trouble with letters or other parts of your application, come and see Dr. Gail Taylor for advice. If a doctoral degree in Biology or Chemistry is your goal, our program will benefit you greatly, both in the present by allowing you to obtain valuable research experience, and in the future with admission to special off-campus undergraduate summer research programs and doctoral (PhD) programs.

Advice on Asking for Recommendations

You need two recommendations for this application.

  1. Obtain recommendations preferably from UTSA math or science faculty members
    • Exception: Psychology students should get at least one recommendation from a Psychology professor.
    • Recommendations from TAs are not recommended.
    • If you have worked in or are working in a research laboratory (not a teaching lab), get a recommendation from the PI of the lab
  2. The better you know someone, the better your recommendation is likely to be. If you have any doubts that a person will evaluate you well, ask them whether they "know you well enough to write a strong recommendation for you." People don’t like writing bad recommendations and this way, you give them an easy way to turn you down rather than write a bad or very scanty recommendation. Realize, however, that even a scanty recommendation is better than not turning one in at all or not applying.
  3. Ask your recommender as far in advance as possible - preferably two weeks at minimum. Good recommendations take some consideration and time to put together and your professors are very busy.
  4. You will provide the name and email address of your recommender when you apply. Your recommender will receive an email inviting them to send in the recommendation.
  5. If a faculty member doesn’t know you very well but will work with you, you may assist them by helping them get to know you better. Set up an appointment and provide them with a letter detailing your future goals and the program to which you are applying, as well as a copy of your resume/CV.
  6. PhDs often need to be reminded and are not annoyed if you do it politely. Follow up with your recommenders to make sure that the letters are actually sent. The "squeaky wheel gets the oil" really works in this circumstance.