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Pathway Programs

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is committed to fostering interest among high school and undergraduate students for careers in medicine and scientific research. We have a number of programs and resources for high school and college students some of which are focused on increasing physicians and scientists who have diverse social, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our Career Exploration and Summer Enrichment programs have successfully helped students to achieve and succeed in their goals.


Rochester Young Scientists Club (RYSC)

The Rochester Young Scientists Club (RYSC) exposes motivated middle school students to the scientific community at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). We want to foster middle schoolers’ interest in science by helping them to perform and present their own science projects at a world-class academic institution.


Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP)

          STEP 2021

STEP is a New York State funded program for high school students who are economically disadvantaged or from underrepresented backgrounds. The program is designed to stimulate participants' interest in career development opportunities in medicine and the health care professions. STEP students have the opportunity to work directly with physicians, technical staff, certified teachers, medical, and graduate students. Students are exposed to a variety of academic and professional skill development opportunities to enhance their problem solving, critical thinking and test taking skills with an emphasis on active or "hands-on" learning.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must be members of an Underrepresented Group (see groups below):

  • African American/Black
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • American Indian
  • Alaskan Native

Applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a New York State resident
  • Must be a U. S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Entering Grades 7 through 12 having a GPA of 2.8 average or better
  • Must express interest in science and /or the health professions.
Questions or comments? Please email: 

Summer STEP Applications deadline – April 7, 2023 at 4 pm EST

Summer STEP Program Dates – July 5, 2023 - July 28, 2023 *
* Students participating in STEP III will also attend the program June 26-June 30 and July 31 - August 4.

Applicants must be a New York Resident living in Wayne or Monroe County.


Mini Medical School Pre-College Program

Mini-Medical School is a unique, three-week summer intensive course open to academically gifted junior and senior high school students who have an interest in pursuing a career as a physician. This program will expose the students to clinical, didactic, community service, and public health aspects of medicine.  Specifically, students spend a week in the anatomy labs, a week learning about neuroscience and psychiatry, and a week exploring public health issues. For more information visit Rochester’s Pre-College Programs.


What's Up Doc? Pre-College Program

This two week program is open to 9th through rising 12th graders and designed to address questions such as: What’s it like to be a physician? What does it take to become a doctor? Participants meet with practicing physicians, medical students, and other experts. They explore hands-on medical procedures, examine equipment, and discuss medical ethics and the role of the physician. The mentoring component educates participants on what it takes to prepare for medical school, and provides guidance on how to decide if medicine is the right path for you. For more information visit Rochester’s Pre-College Programs


Rochester Early Medical Scholars Program (REMS)

The Rochester Early Medical Scholars Program (REMS) provides both acceptance to the University of Rochester College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering and conditional acceptance to the School of Medicine and Dentistry to a group of exceptionally talented and motivated students.  REMS highly encourages the utmost flexibility in degree programs, focuses on mentoring relationships with medical school staff, and promotes early exposure to the medical school curriculum through a series of lectures and seminars.  The eight-year programs leads to a baccalaureate degree and the M.D. Degree, both granted by the University of Rochester.  You can find out more about the REMS Program by contacting


Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS)

The purpose of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students is to encourage academic achievement, emotional maturity, and understanding of a career in medicine, communication skills and leadership in underrepresented students. MAPS aims to provide a supportive environment wherein students from the River Campus receive academic support, networking opportunities, peer mentoring among other things to ultimately increase the matriculation of these undergraduate members into health programs, with an emphasis on clinical medicine.


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

          SURF 2019

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD) is committed to enhancing the preparation of candidates for careers in the health professions, research and the biomedical sciences who have a demonstrated vision and commitment to improving the health status of diverse patient populations via patient care, research and/or teaching.

As a part of institutional commitment to support the AAMC’s efforts to increase diversity in medicine, the URSMD supports the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. SURF is a ten-week academic program designed to strengthen the science, clinical, and research skills of selected college students to enhance their competitiveness for careers in medicine and the biomedical sciences. SURF participants are selected from a national pool of candidates who have a demonstrated vision and commitment to improving the health status of diverse patient populations via patient care, research and/or teaching.

Program participants conduct focused research in a medical center laboratory under the mentorship of faculty. The program includes seminars and activities, which allow for formal and informal discussions. Students are also exposed to weekly lectures/seminars, gross anatomy lectures and labs, clinical rotations in the Emergency Department, Problem-Based Learning sessions to enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, MCAT review/testing and mock interviews. Participants receive a stipend and housing is included during this ten-week period.

The online application for this program is available in October of each year. 

Questions? Please email:


SURF Application Deadline: February 3, 2023 at 4:00 PM EST

SURF Program Dates: May 28, 2023 – August 4, 2023

Applicants must be a US Citizen.


Summer Undergraduate Research Program in the Biomedical Sciences

The Summer Scholars Program is for undergraduate students interested in the Ph.D. degree in the Biological or Biomedical Sciences and for Students with a potential interest in attending graduate school at the University of Rochester. Trainees will be selected from a large national pool of applicants, and will participate in a centerpiece 10-week, hands-on, independent research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor, with guidance from graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and oversight from the Program Director.


Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP)

The Visiting Clerkship Program is designed to give students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine (URiM) or who have a demonstrated vision and commitment to improving the health status of diverse patient populations via patient care, research and/or teaching an opportunity to experience training at URMC and to connect with faculty, residents, and 4th year medical students during the months of August-November.

Contact for an application and more information.

Applicants must be US citizens and full-time, final year medical students who have completed 3rd year core clerkships.


Other Resources

Resources about programs offered by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other organizations can be found below: