University of Southern California


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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.

Click here for more information regarding USC Upward Bound TRiO 

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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).


Maria Garcia
Director, Upward Bound
Phone: (213) 821-2451
Fax: (213) 821-2476

Michael Santos
Director, Upward Bound
South LA/Southwest

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.

Parker P. Jenkins
Associate Director
USC TRiO Programs
Educational Talent Search
(213) 821-2473


Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

From fall 1996 to spring 2015, USC’s McNair Scholars Program reached out to high-achieving first-generation college students and other underrepresented students. The program promoted undergraduate student success through mentorships, scholarships, graduate school preparation, research experiences, writing and public speaking courses, professional and career development, and symposiums and conferences. Participants worked closely with USC professors, graduate students, and professional staff members. Participants began the program by taking a Research Methods Course in the spring and culminated their experiences after going through the Summer Research Institute (SRI).

An evaluation of the program in 2015 revealed the following student achievements: 150 Master’s Degrees completed, 22 Ph.D. Degrees conferred, nearly 38 other doctoral degrees awarded, and at least 30 to 40 enrolled annually in graduate programs. The McNair Scholars Program is a U.S. Department of Education Federal TRIO Program. The program is named in honor of astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who died in the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle explosion.

The McNair Program at USC continues operating under the following name: Research Gateway Scholars Program. The program mission, structure, services, and academic rigor all remains the same. The name was changed because the university is now supporting the program financially. During the 2016 – 2017 academic year, the university will apply for a new McNair Grant Program via the U.S. Department of Education.

USC Undergraduates who wish to learn more about the program should send an inquiry to Please note that only USC undergraduates are eligible for the program.

David Glasgow
Program Director
USC Office of Undergraduate Programs, Gateway/McNair Scholars
Phone: (213) 740-8702
Fax: (213) 740-9048