The BSN-BSC Mentorship Program

The BSN-BSC Mentorship Program is designed to support underrepresented minority graduate students in the physical and engineering sciences. In this program, experienced graduate students will be matched in a mentoring relationship with first- and second-year graduate students in a similar field of study. Mentors will develop leadership, communication and mentorship skills, while offering guidance and support to students who are facing particularly challenging periods of graduate school, such as the initial transition, first-year courses, and preliminary and qualifying exams. It is our hope that both mentors and mentees will see this as an opportunity to grow professionally.

How It Works

Participants will be matched by graduate program, or by related graduate program. Mentors will be required to meet with their mentees once per week at a time that is mutually convenient. The BSN-BSC will hold a regular luncheon seminar. These seminars will be held weekly each semester. Mentors and mentees will be encouraged to attend as many as possible, and required to attend at least one per month.

Why You Should Consider Becoming a Mentor or Mentee

Mentors will gain the opportunity to help promote graduate student retention in the sciences, make a friend, develop new skills, and become a role model. As a mentee, you will make connections, get guidance on navigating the first years of graduate school from experienced graduate students, and start to develop a support system for your graduate education. Mentors will be paid a stipend each semester and will be reimbursed for any meals or activities shared with their mentees over the course of the semester. Finally, mentorship is an important skill that can be carried on through one’s career as an academic and professional.

How to Sign Up

Potential mentors need to apply; students who'd like to be mentored should register.

For more information, please contact:

Colette Patt, Ph.D., Director
Ira Young, Associate Director
The BSN-BSC Program
510-642-0794/510 642-5777

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?
All first- and second-year graduate students are eligible to register and request to be mentored. Third-year students and beyond who have passed their preliminary and/or qualifying exams are eligible to apply to serve as mentors.

What is the commitment?
A one-semester commitment is required; a two-semester commitment is preferred. Senior students will mentor one mentee for at least one semester, and up to, but no longer than four semesters.

How much time will this require?
You should reserve enough time to meet in person with your mentor/mentee (two to four times per month), to attend a lunchtime seminar (once per month), and to exchange e-mails and/or other communication that is relevant.

How often are mentors paid?
Mentors will be paid once a semester, at the end of the semester.

What if I already serve as a mentor to a first-year student in my program? Can I participate?
Yes, definitely. We would welcome both you and your mentee!

What training is involved?
Once a semester, new and returning mentors/mentees will be required to attend an orientation.