Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Preprofessional Opportunities

Summer Program for Under-Represented Students (SPURS) Columbia University Medical Center


Category: Summer
Type: Research
Location: New York New York
Deadline: Early February


3.0 grade point average (GPA) or better and must be considered underrepresented by NIH: • African American • Hispanic American • Native American • Native Pacific Islander • Native Hawaiian • Individuals from rural backgrounds • Economically disadvantaged


Our mission is to train the next generation of health care professionals. This program will play a pivotal role in advancing education for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students.

In addition, we intend to create diversity of representation among the future ranks of doctors and investigative scientists. Many of our talented candidates are first-generation college students coming from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In order for these students to succeed and for society to benefit, it is crucial that we provide the means for these students to gain access to careers in biomedical research and facilitate their understanding of what it means to be a biomedical investigator. 



Provides intense research fellowship experiences on the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons campus to undergraduate students from Universities in the City of Greater New York. The experience is intended to (a) provide meaningful training in biomedical research, and (b) enhance the students’ ability to achieve a career in biomedical research and/or medicine by pursuing an advanced degree (either Ph.D., M.D./ Ph.D. or M.D.). In addition to specific training in the indicated research area, the students receive in-depth training in biomedical research methodology, including: (a) the design and analysis of experiments, (b) a critical reading of the scientific literature, through journal clubs, (c) the presentation of scientific results at laboratory meetings, (d) attendance at convened poster sessions, (e) the preparation of abstracts and manuscripts describing the results of experiments, and (f) career counseling and research ethics.
Offers a series of scientific and motivational talks. Speakers have included David Dinkins, former Mayor of New York City; Louis Sullivan, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and founder of Morehouse College of Medicine; Dr. Cecil Pickett, President of Research and Development at Biogen IDEC, Dr. Herman Taylor, Principal Investigator/Director of the Jackson Heart Study, scientists from Merck and Pfizer; Columbia University Deans and scientists and others.
Provides stipends and housing for all students.
Offers a series of cultural and recreational events designed to make the experience a full and rich one.