Health Sciences Diversity

Research & Enrichment Programs

Enrichment programs are academic and professional development opportunities for undergraduates. The University of Pittsburgh’s health science schools offer enrichment activities to enhance knowledge of health careers and health disparities.  Benefits of these academic and clinical experiences for students include:

  • Enhancing preparation for applying to health professions schools
  • Creating of a sense of community among students who share similar interests and goals

Enrichment Opportunities

Creating Opportunities and Access to Careers in Health (COACH)

The COACH undergraduate advising and retention program engages Pitt undergraduate pre-health professions students in developing competitive portfolios beginning in their freshman year. In partnership with Pitt's Residence Life Living-Learning Communities, COACH provides programming for students in the residence halls. Additionally, through the use of an online portfolio, COACH enables students to set milestones, monitor their academic and professional development, evaluate their personal growth, identify areas of improvement, and clearly see their progress toward becoming competitive applicants for health professions programs.

American Student Placements in Rehabilitation Engineering (ASPIRE)

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program focuses on research in the rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology fields. Rehabilitation engineering employs a systematic approach to the design, modification, customization and/or fabrication of assistive technology for persons with disabilities. The QoLT ERC is a unique partnership between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh, integrating CMU’s strength in the design, implementation, and technology transfer of intelligent systems, and Pitt’s strength in rehabilitation, health sciences and aging research.

Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics

Offered by the Graduate School of Public Health, the SIBS program–Pittsburgh is a residential summer training program in biostatistics for quantitatively-oriented undergraduates and beginning graduate students who are interested in the biological and health sciences. The goal is to demonstrate that biostatistics is fun, useful and important for biomedical research.

Summer Pre-medical Academic Enrichment Program (SPAEP) I and II 

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's SPAEP program is open to college sophomores, and is designed to prepare and support students who wish to pursue medical careers. SPAEP is a residential program that provides travel, room, and board.

  • Level I is a seven week program designed for students who are entering their first or second year of college. Students study five diseases of importance to underserved communities: AIDS, hypertension, smoking-related illness, sickle cell anemia, and diabetes.
  • Level II (open only to those who have completed Level I) is a seven week summer research program that pairs students who are beyond their second year of college with biomedical researchers in a variety of areas. Faculty from the departments of Human Genetics, Cell Biology and Physiology, Immunology, Pathology, and many others, have supervised the experiences of SPAEP students in the past.

Biomedical Informatics for Minority Students

Students interested in learning about how technology can improve science and medicine may want to explore the field of Biomedical Informatics by attending the Summer Short-Term Trainee Program in Biomedical Informatics for Minority Students (STP-BI) this summer. From analyzing the human genome to tracking medical information in Electronic Health Records, from creating new ways of educating medical students to detecting outbreaks of diseases, the field of Biomedical Informatics is transforming health care and scientific discovery.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

SURP provides stimulating and rewarding research opportunities for undergraduates considering graduate education in biomedical research. The program is administered by the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program (IBGP) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - a premiere research center in the historic Oakland section of Pittsburgh. The School of Medicine provides an exceptional environment for students to gain research experience under the guidance of internationally recognized scientists.

CURE TBI Scholars Program

The Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (CURE) has granted the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC and Penn State Hershey three years of funding for traumatic brain injury research.  The project “Biomarkers and Drug Discovery Pipeline of TBI-Related Neurodegeneration” project, known as "CURE TBI" will support eight (8) underrepresented undergraduates and four (4) post-baccalaureate, pre-doctoral students in mentored research projects over the life of the grant.  Visit the CURE TBI Scholars Program.

 

Additional Resources

University of Pittsburgh Year of Healthy U

This year Pitt is studying, recognizing, and appreciating practices that promote good health, showing how a cross disciplinary understanding of health can lead to better lives. The Year of Healthy U will advance our understanding of health in all its forms and renew our commitment to fostering a healthy community.