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“UMBC has become a national model for diversity and excellence in science and engineering, and we are delighted that other universities are replicating the Meyerhoff Scholars Program.”

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

Science Hails UMBC as National Model for Closing Minority STEM Gap

July 20, 2009 – Science, the leading journal of scientific research, news and commentary, has recognized UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program as a national model demonstrating “what it takes” to help more minority students earn science degrees.

The Science article praised the Meyerhoff Program and the University of California, Berkeley’s Biology Scholars Program for improving retention rates among minority students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. It noted that Harvard, Cornell, the University of Michigan and Louisiana State University have begun to replicate aspects of the UMBC and Berkeley programs.

The June 12 article, “Minority Retention Rates in Science Are Sore Spot for Most Universities,” focused on how the Meyerhoff Program’s support network of student, faculty and staff mentors helps undergraduates through the challenges of tough science courses. According to the piece, “having such a support group is a big reason why...Meyerhoff scholarship students are twice as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree in a science field, and five times as likely to enroll in graduate study as their peers who were accepted but chose not to enter the program.”

Founded in 1988 by Baltimore philanthropists Robert and Jane Meyerhoff, the Meyerhoff Program began as an initiative to address the underrepresentation of African American men in the fields of science and engineering. It has since evolved into a diverse program that now includes men and women from a range of backgrounds who share the goal of advancing minorities in the STEM fields.

Since 1993, the program has graduated over 600 students. Alumni from the program have earned 53 Ph.D.s, 21 M.D./Ph.D.s, 74 M.D.s and 115 master’s degrees. Meyerhoff graduates have received these degrees from such institutions as Harvard, Stanford, Duke, the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T., Berkeley, Yale, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon. Over 85 additional alumni have earned graduate degrees in engineering, and nearly 300 alumni are currently enrolled in graduate and professional degree programs.

For more information on the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, visit


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