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 high school graduates and college students, 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 six 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 is a six 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.

University of Pittsburgh Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS)

MIDAS is a summer research opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of computational modeling of infectious diseases. Through this ten-week Summer Research Program, participants will gain an appreciation of major research questions being raised at the intersection of public health, biological sciences, and computer technology.

Participants selected for the program will work with MIDAS Investigators, experienced graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, conducting exciting interdisciplinary research projects in this dynamic field.

This intensive, research-based experience will prepare applicants interested in working at the interface of mathematics, computer science, engineering, statistics, epidemiology, public health, and the biological science for the rigors of scientific research and graduate education.

Additional Resources