Skip to Local Navigation
Skip to Content
California State University, Long Beach
RISE Program banner


What is RISE and the RISE Starters program?

RISE is sponsored by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its goal is to increase the number of students going on to careers in the biomedical sciences. RISE Starters receive extensive mentoring and academic support as well as specially designed courses in the freshman and sophomore years to prepare them for success in their majors and to train them to be scientists. As juniors and seniors, students can apply to be RISE Fellows and receive financial support to carry out undergraduate research with a CSULB faculty member.

Who is eligible to participate?

If you are a student majoring in any of the biological sciences, biochemistry or chemistry, and you have career goals in the biomedical sciences, the RISE Starter program may be right for you. Because one of the aims of the NIH is to increase the number of students from underserved groups who go on to careers as scientists. Students must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. Selection criteria will also include your career goals and academic preparation, as well as interest in undergraduate research.

What are the benefits of participating?

In addition to taking special courses, you will work closely with a faculty mentor and peer mentor for the first two years at CSULB and receive academic advising and support tailored to your needs. RISE activities will develop speaking and writing skills, provide information about research opportunities at CSULB, and offer tips on preparing for graduate or medical school and careers in science. You will be part of a learning community of students and faculty members who care about your success.

What are the expectations for participants?

As a RISE Starter, you will work with an advisor who will help you plan your first semester schedule, which will include a freshman seminar as well as appropriate math, science, and general education classes. You are expected to participate in regular activities with your fellow RISE starters. Depending on your academic preparation, you may have the opportunity to get a head start on the fall through summer workshops, and you will be expected to enroll in supplemental instruction in designated courses. In year two, you will continue to work with your mentors, take classes in your major and for general education, and participate in special classes in scientific writing and research design.

How can you become a RISE Starter?

To become a RISE Starter and be a part of the RISE Learning Community please contact Paul Buonora, Ph.D. at Paul.Buonora or Michael Tran at to be added to our RISE Starter contact list.