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Maximizing Access to Research Careers-Undergraduate Student Training Research (MARC U*STAR) Program

Welcome to the MARC U*STAR (Maximizing Access to Research Careers - Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research) Program at CSU San Marcos. The program is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS). The MARC Program is intended to prepare qualified undergraduate minority students majoring in the sciences to enter and succeed in doctoral studies (Ph.D. or M.D. / Ph.D.). Only five new scholars are admitted into this honors undergraduate research program each year.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Be a full time student at CSU San Marcos
  2. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  3. Be 2 years away from graduation (Junior Standing)
  4. Commitment to pursuing a Ph.D. in a biomedical research field
  5. U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  6. Be a science major in Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics or Psychology
  7. The MARC U*STAR Program is for underrepresented students in the sciences, which include American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, or students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students.

Program Requirements

  1. Work in a research laboratory 12-15 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week in the summer
  2. Attend weekly seminars and workshops (Thursdays from 4:00pm - 5:30pm).
  3. Take BIOL 488: Seminar in Biomedical Research
  4. Participate in the OTRES Summer Research Training Program
  5. Participate in a Summer Research Program outside of San Diego
  6. Participate in the Puentes Program (Graduate School Prep Program)
  7. Attend scientific meetings to present your research
  8. Participate in all OTRES activities
  9. Mentor Undergraduate OTRES Students

Program Benefits

  1. Stipend of $12,588 per year (monthly stipend of $1,049)
  2. Obtain "hands-on" research experience in research laboratories at CSU San Marcos
  3. Partial support for tuition (subject to NIH funding limits and after all other scholarships and/or grants have been applied)
  4. Travel and conference expenses for 1 conference per year
  5. Academic Advising and Priority Registration

If you have any questions about applying to the MARC program, please feel free to contact Celia Martinez at or 760-750-3681.