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TRiO Programs

USC Trio Graduates

The federally funded TRiO programs were created to motivate and support low-income and first-generation, minority students in progressing through the academic pipeline from middle school through college. USC TRiO includes three Upward Bound programs, one Upward Bound Math-Science program and two Educational Talent Search programs.

USC also is home to another federal TRiO program, the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which assists undergraduates in preparing for and enrolling in graduate studies at the doctoral level.

Upward Bound

Part of the university since 1977, Upward Bound is an intensive pre-college preparatory program comprising three components:

  • The Saturday Academy, an academic support program that meets at USC’s University Park campus on Saturdays from September to May, providing tutoring, academic advisement, college tours, enrichment courses and SAT preparation;
  • A summer residential program that gives students a real college experience by allowing them to live and take classes on the University Park campus; and
  • Ongoing assessment by an academic adviser who makes weekly visits to partner schools, meeting with students, teachers and counselors to make sure that students are on track academically.

Upward Bound Math-Science TRiOGrad2014

The Upward Bound Math-Science program serves students who have been identified as academic achievers, offering them intensive instruction in mathematics, science and technology. Participating teachers and instructors come from USC, the Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Students conduct research in a laboratory environment or work in internships with local corporations. Download an application form (PDF, 111KB).

Educational Talent Search

Launched at USC in fall 1991, Educational Talent Search provides academic, career and financial counseling to encourage students to graduate from high school and continue on to post-secondary education. Talent Search also provides academic opportunities for youths who are at risk by encouraging them to reengage with the educational system, complete their high school education and continue on to higher education.


Maria Garcia
Program Manager, Upward Bound
USC Government and Civic Engagement
Phone: (213) 821-2451
Fax: (213) 821-2476


Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Since 1996, USC’s Gateway/McNair Scholars Program has reached out to first-generation college students and asked them to keep overachieving.

Each year, 20 undergraduates are selected to conduct a 10-week summer research project under the guidance of a USC faculty mentor. The program provides a $2,800 stipend to enable each scholar to concentrate on his or her research.

The students present their findings to a panel of USC faculty members who evaluate their presentations. Some students also may receive funding to present their research at conferences or to visit graduate programs around the United States.

The program is named in honor of the astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who died in the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle explosion, and is administered through the USC Office of Undergraduate Programs.


Richard Andalon, Program Director
Mario Enriquez, Program Coordinator
USC Gateway/McNair Scholars Program
(213) 740-8702