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Academic and Student Services

StEP-UP College Program

Student Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Professions (StEP-UP)


Undergraduate students in StEP-UP move through the program in a supportive cohort that supplements their pre-medicine and biomedical studies through each year of college. Students will get opportunities to work with MCW faculty and medical and graduate students.

While the StEP-UP program is designed to supplement each year of a student’s college career, we understand that not all students graduate in four years or go directly into their medical or graduate studies after college. Students will still be able to participate, even if they do not follow the traditional four-year college path.

StEP-UP Dates

StEP-UP consists of six Science Saturdays throughout each academic year. Most students will be admitted at the beginning of their first year in college. Below are the tentative dates for the 2023-2024 academic year. We are planning for the majority of our sessions to be held on campus.

  • October 14, 2023
  • November 11, 2023
  • January 27, 2024
  • February 17, 2024
  • March 9, 2024
  • April 13, 2024

Step 1 (Freshmen Year): Building a Professional Perspective

Build your study skills and participate in scholarly conversations and activities. Learn about different communication styles, personal branding, work/life balance, and how to financially prepare for medical or graduate school and beyond.

Step 2 (Sophomore Year): Clinical and Research Opportunities

Explore different specialties and research. Shadow MCW faculty in clinic and laboratory settings while being introduced to the MCAT or GRE.

Step 3 (Junior Year)

Develop a strong application for medical or graduate school admission. Prepare for the MCAT or GRE and focus on the application process, creating a personal statement, and asking for letters of recommendation.

Step 4 (Senior Year)

You will receive support as you enter the admissions cycle for medical or graduate school. There will be opportunities to connect with current MCW students and residents in addition to volunteering including serving as a peer mentor for Step 1 students.

College Program Application Requirements and Procedure

Application Deadline

Application Deadline

College application deadline: Priority deadline September 1 of each year.

Final deadline: September 20.



To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be from a background that is underrepresented in medicine. Our target populations include African American/Black, Hmong, Mexican American, Mainland Puerto Rican, and Native American backgrounds.
  • Have at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA (high school GPA for Freshmen, college GPA for Sophomores or higher)
  • Enrolled at an accredited college in Wisconsin
  • Ability to travel to the MCW-Milwaukee one Saturday each month during the academic year

Please note: Children of MCW faculty and staff are not eligible to apply for StEP-UP.

How to Apply

How to Apply

  • Complete the online application
  • Complete two short-answer personal statements:
    • Do you consider yourself to be from a disadvantaged background? What does it mean to be ethnically, economically and/or educationally disadvantaged?
    • As part of StEP-UP, how will you contribute to the diversity at MCW and in the healthcare field?
    • What are your academic and career goals and how will StEP-UP help you achieve them?
  • Upload your current resume/CV
  • Upload high school (for new freshmen) or college transcripts (unofficial transcripts accepted)
  • Have two teachers, professors, advisors, or non-family mentors complete and submit a recommendation form
  • Applications for the upcoming academic year open on April 1. The priority deadline for applications is September 1 of each academic year. Applications and recommendations must be complete by September 20 to be considered..

Zoom interviews will be required for all eligible applicants.

Complete the online application