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School of Medicine Columbia

PREP Program

The Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at USC seeks to increase the number of applicants to biomedical graduate programs from under-represented communities by offering the opportunity to work for a year in a biomedical research laboratory while preparing for graduate school in the biomedical sciences.

What is PREP?

Our PREP provides a year of post-baccalaureate training to minority or disadvantaged students who have indicated a desire to enter graduate school with the aim of obtaining a Ph.D. degree in the Biomedical Sciences.

Who Gets Admitted?

The University of South Carolina PREP, which is fully funded by the National Institutes of Health, is accepting applications. Each year, we plan to admit seven USC PREP scholars who will enter the program in the last week of June.

We welcome all qualified PREP applicants without discrimination including racial and ethnic minorities, socio-economically disadvantaged populations and individuals with disabilities.​ In the last five year funding period of USC PREP, 88% of PREP Scholars received offers from prestigious graduate schools. Last year, all of our Scholars went on to excellent graduate schools.

Once accepted into USC PREP, a Scholar will receive a stipend of $32,000 per year.

Why Our Program?

We have designed a program that will include:

  • Research experience in a biomedical research laboratory using the latest scientific equipment and methods
  • Mentoring by an experienced faculty member and other members of his/her research team
  • Seminar presentation by the PREP Scholar to enhance scientific communication skills
  • Presentation of work at national and local scientific meetings
  • Usually one biomedical graduate (or similar) course per semester for credit
  • Foundation courses including ethics, use of animals and radioactivity, paper writing and problem solving
  • Journal clubs to stimulate critical thinking about the published literature
  • Attendance at seminars presented by outside faculty

This program allows PREP Scholars to experience biomedical research and demonstrate their abilities as researchers. In addition, they will have the opportunity to show their ability to do well in graduate level coursework. We anticipate that the Scholars' laboratory research experience and graduate coursework will not only ensure their acceptance into a graduate program, but will also shorten the time needed to complete a Ph.D. by about a year.

Want to Learn More?

Interested in applying for PREP? Visit the PREP website within the Biomedical Sciences Program to learn more about our program and every opportunity associated with it.'

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