Overview/Program Purpose

This program is open to qualified nursing students from any undergraduate institution in the United States currently holding junior status, getting ready to enter senior year. Preference will be given to first generation college students.

The program offers eligible undergraduates with outstanding academic potential the opportunity to work on research projects with nursing faculty mentors. The eight-week program is designed for students who plan to pursue the PhD degree and enter academic careers in nursing. Included in the eight weeks will be formal and informal discussion on career options, GRE preparation and other activities. Each student participant will be assigned to a faculty mentor matched as closely as possible to the student's research interests and career goals. Participants will either assist the faculty member in an ongoing research project or, with approval of faculty, work collaboratively with the mentor in designing a new project of mutual interest. Research areas are: Biobehavioral Sciences, Biologic Sciences, Health Disparities/Vulnerable Populations and Health Services Research.


  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Currently a junior undergraduate student.
  • Preference given to first-generation college students and applicants who are attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Tribal Colleges and Universities Programs (TCUP). 
  • Cumulative, minimum GPA of 2.80.

Scholars will be asked to update information on their educational and career activities for a period of up to three years after the completion of the program. This tracking is done solely to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. It is critical that we conduct this long-term evaluation in order to maintain continued funding for the program. The information collected remains strictly confidential.


All program participants (including UCLA undergraduates) are required to reside in assigned University housing. Out of state students will be provided with up to $450 for round-trip travel from home to UCLA. Students traveling within California will be provided with a maximum of $200 for travel expenses. A stipend in the amount of $2,400 is to be used for: personal expenses, supplies (zip disks, etc) and extracurricular activities. Includes a meal allowance of $825.

Program Components

Applying to Graduate School, Career Options, Funding Graduate School, Graduate Student Panel, GRE Prep Course, Library Orientation, Personal Statement, PowerPoint Presentations, Preparing a Conference Presentation and Research Poster Presentation


All application materials and supporting documents must be received by March 26. Preference will be given to applications that are completed by the program's deadline. Notification of decisions will be made by the end of May..

How To Apply

You must submit an Online Application & Support Materials. Please make sure you submit a complete application by sending all pertinent supporting materials via email, mail or private carrier.

Supporting Materials to be emailed to Mark Covin, Director of Recruitment, Outreach & Admissions: mcovin@sonnet.ucla.edu

  • Personal Essay stating why you are applying to the SPUR program (one to two pages, double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font).
  • One written Letter of Recommendation (No family or friends)
  • An official copy of your transcript with Fall 2020 grades posted. If Fall 2021 grades are not posted, your application will be incomplete and not reviewed.
  • Verification of your Current Financial Aid Package. If you are currently receiving financial aid, the program requires a copy of one of the following documents: Financial Aid Award Letter, Financial Aid Contract or Financial Aid Transcript covering the 2021-2022 academic year.

For further information, please contact:

Mark Covin mcovin@sonnet.ucla.edu