The Maximizing Access to Research Careers for Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) Program is designed to identify, inspire, motivate and train the next generation of biomedical scientists who hold leadership positions in cutting-edge scientific research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

MARC is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is designed to increase the participation of students involved in biomedical/behavioral research. The program nurtures undergraduates in a way that induces their interest in and readiness for research careers in the biomedical/behavioral sciences. Students from various majors including Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Exercise Science participate in the programs. Scholars receive extensive hands-on laboratory research experiences that also consist of coursework, workshops and seminars designed to introduce students to biomedical/behavioral science careers and leading scientists. The main objective of MARC is to strengthen the student’s academic and research credentials to facilitate their entry into competitive biomedical/behavioral science graduate (PhD/MD PhD) programs.

Program Overview

The WSSU MARC U*STAR Program provides support for students who are members of underrepresented groups in the biomedical behavioral sciences to improve their preparation for high caliber graduate training at the Ph.D. level in biomedical and behavioral research.

MARC scholars must be honors students majoring in the biomedical or behavioral sciences such as biology, chemistry, molecular biology, or psychology and the more quantitative disciplines such as mathematical and computer sciences. These students must have expressed interest in a biomedical or behavioral research career and intend to pursue postgraduate education leading to the Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., or other combined professional degree, upon finishing their baccalaureate degrees. These federally funded programs are not designed for people who want to go to medical school, dental school, or any other professional school.

MARC U*STAR Scholars must have Junior or Senior classification (24 months or less until graduation) and a minimum 3.0 GPA cumulative and within major.

Scholars participate in:

  • extensive academic research (approximately 20 hours per week);
  • conference presentations;
  • seminar series, journal club, and ethics training; and
  • Graduate Record Exam preparation.

Scholars also receive:

  • partial support for tuition and fees (60% of in-state tuition);
  • health insurance;
  • a monthly stipend; and
  • travel to one scientific meeting annually.