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Center for Training, Research, and Educational Excellence (CTREE)

Center for Training, Research, and Educational Excellence (CTREE)

Welcome to CTREE

The mission of the Center for Training, Research, and Educational Excellence (CTREE) is to enhance the educational and research experiences of students from historically/presently excluded and underserved backgrounds in higher education. Success is achieved by actively engaging students in research and scholarly activities that support them throughout their educational pathway and into their career. We aim to advance the diversity and inclusivity of the academic and non-academic workforce.


CTREE recently was honored to be 1 of 10 recipients of the NIH Institutional Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Prize.  

Each of the winning institutions receive a $100,000 prize from NIH for demonstrating exceptional dedication and innovation in fostering DEIA within research environments. 

With over 11 million dollars in funding, the center serves as the home for several student development programs and focuses on student and faculty career development and institutional curriculum enhancement.

The following programs are currently run by CTREE:

CTREE Programs
Program Name Audience
LSAMP Freshman, Sophomore, Junior & Senior STEM Majors in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science & Math.
U-RISE Students with at least 60 units majoring in Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science & Math.
CA-NARCH       Identify as American Indian/Alaska Native. Be a STEM major at CSUSM, SDSU, UC San Diego, or Palomar College.
TRDRP-SVFSIP       Students with at least 60 units interested in health research and advocacy.
McNair Scholars Program       Students with at least 60 units. Supports both STEM and non-STEM majors in pursuing graduate studies and earning a PhD.
CSUSM Bridges to the PhD Master’s students in Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology & Psychology who plan to obtain a PhD after their master’s degree.

CSUSM Bridges to the Baccalaureate

The program is designed for students who attend Palomar College or MiraCosta College, and many BRIDGES Scholars transfer to CSU San Marcos to continue research they begin as Bridges Scholars.


This program is designed for first-year undergraduates interested in bioengineering and biomedical research

Learn more about each programs benefits and eligibility criteria visit their individual webpages.

Priority Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Complete applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until all spots have been filled.  Please apply even if the deadline has past as new opportunities may arise that you are eligible for.  

For Letters of Recommendation:  Please provide names and contact information for potential letter writers.  We will reach out to them to request a letter if one is needed.


Apply to the URISE, McNair, LSAMP programs

Applying to Bridges to PhD, BEARS, Bridges to Baccalaureate
See the specific webpages

CTREE scholars get the following benefits:

  • Personalized, one-on-one academic and career advising.
  • Research opportunities with CSUSM faculty.
  • Full preparation for and help with the graduate school application process.
  • Access to GRE preparation materials.
  • Opportunities to travel to conferences to present your research.
  • Access to information about paid summer research opportunities.
  • Opportunities to network with other undergraduates who are interested in obtaining a Ph.D. degree.