Office of Undergraduate Research

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Pre-Undergraduate Research Experience - PURE

Students in the field

PURE is a special summer research program at the University of San Diego that is designed to give entering students the opportunity to get involved in a research project the summer before their freshman year. This is a unique opportunity to 1) gain real-world experience in science, technology (computer science), engineering, math or medicine (STEM/M), 2) interact closely with a faculty mentor, 3) meet other students just like you interested in STEM research and 4) to familiarize yourself with the campus prior to the start of the Fall semester. 

In order to be considered for the Pre-Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) Program, you must be:

  • Accepted and planning to attend the University of San Diego starting Fall 2014
  • Interested in a career involving science, technology/computer science, engineering, math or medicine (STEM/M), and
  • Meeting at least one of the following criteria:
  • A member of a traditionally underrepresented minority group, or
  • First-generation family member to seek higher education, or
  • From a socio-economically disadvantaged background

The application window is currently open and will close at 5pm on May 1, 2014. 

Application Materials:

  • Application form
  • One-page essay that includes:
    • Why you are interested in doing research,
    • The STEM/M areas that interest you most and
    • Information that will allow us to evaluate how well you meet the criteria specified above

Please email with questions.

Background on PURE:

The initial funding for this program came from a Blasker Grant from the San Diego Foundation. Current funders include the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation, the McCarthy Family Foundation and the Farrell Family Foundation.

Each summer, many undergraduates work collaboratively with USD professors conducting research in a variety of fields.  PURE students join this collaborative research community and work under the direct guidance and supervision of a faculty member in the fields of chemistry, biophysics, biochemistry, biology, math, computer science, engineering, physics or marine science.  Because PURE students carry out original research, the results of the projects may be published in scientific journals with the students as co-authors.  PURE students can continue their research, even after the end of the PURE program.

The program runs from June 23-August 18, 2014*.  PURE students are invited to join other undergraduate research students in the campus Summer Scholars housing community..  In addition to conducting research, you will be participating in professional development activities such as learning to read, write, discuss and present research in the STEM disciplines and research ethics.  You will also be building community with other undergraduate researchers and faculty in outings such as attending a Padres baseball game and Summer Scholars BBQ.

*Can be different depending on your schedule and the schedule of the faculty who will be mentoring you.