Preparing Undergraduates through Mentoring towards PhDs (PUMP)

Preparing Undergraduates through Mentoring towards PhDs (PUMP)
Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus


PUMP started at CSUN to increase the number of URM students who enter Ph.D. programs in the mathematical sciences. Program Activities include summer and winter institutes, weekly seminars, and research projects. In 2013, they received an NSF Workforce grant to extend PUMP to the other nine CSU campuses in California. In this recent version, PUMP students go through a residential and intensive summer program in their transition from lower to upper division courses and undertake research in their senior year. A learning community is formed in the residential program. PUMP now has a vast network of previous students who serve as role models and mentors. Current students familiarize themselves with the process of applying and attending graduate school by connecting with previous PUMP students. The role model becomes a mentor creating an environment that promotes crucial support from within the community. In 2016, the program began recruiting students that are expected to graduate in two years. These students participate in advanced courses to prepare for graduate programs, or go directly to Ph.D. programs.

Program Description

PUMP’s overarching goals are to create a doctoral culture and an environment that encourages and prepares students to pursue graduate study. They also work towards increasing the number of Hispanic/Latino students who enter Ph.D. programs in mathematical sciences. PUMP’s long-term goal is to serve as a model for institutions interested in increasing Hispanic/Latino Ph.D.s.


A total of 29 students between 2007 – 2012 have gone on to Ph.D. programs. Several students have completed their program and gone on to successful careers. According to the NSF/Division of Science Resources statistics for the period 1996-2000 only one CSUN math baccalaureate completed a Ph.D. program in that period. In 2013/2014, PUMP served 25 seniors:

  • 54% of participants were Hispanic/Latinos
  • 21 entered graduate programs, of those nine have entered Ph.D. programs

In 2014/2015, they served 37 seniors:

  • 50% were Hispanic/Latinos 
  • 28 entered graduate programs, of those 10 entered Ph.D. programs

In 2015/2016, they served 18 seniors:

  • 58% were Hispanic/Latinos
  • 15 entered graduate programs, of those four entered Ph.D. programs

In 2016/2017, they served 28 seniors:

  • 53% were Hispanic/Latino
  • 24 entered graduate programs, of those nine will enter Ph.D. programs

Since 2014, 31 Hispanic/Latino students have entered a Master’s program and 18 Hispanic/Latino students entered Ph.D. programs, a total of 49 students.