Program Overview

The UCLA-HHMI Pathways to Success Program is an opportunity for first-year undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge biological research and be part of a rigorous academic support community as they matriculate through UCLA. Students who actively participate in the program:

1) Get early, hands-on research experience
2) Perform better in their lower division science courses
3) Develop strong and meaningful relationships with faculty and graduate students through mentorship and,
4) Become a part of a tight-knit science community.

Acceptance into the program is based on academic performance, a personal statement, and an interview. (See the Prospective Students tab for application instructions.)

Program Components


“The biggest changes I’ve seen in students who are selected to join the Pathways community is a heightened sense of awareness in their potential, reinforcement of their ability to contribute, the development of a sense of belonging, and increased self-confidence.”Dr. Tracy Johnson, HHMI Professor

Additional Information about HHMI

This highly selective program is made possible by the generous support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which is committed to providing a world-class educational experience to emerging scientific leaders.

Additional Information about Dr. Tracy Johnson

Dr. Tracy Johnson developed the University of California, Los Angeles/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Pathways to Success program, a comprehensive strategy to provide students with an authentic research experience early in their academic careers while creating a rigorous, but supportive learning community. Dr. Johnson’s research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of gene regulation, particularly RNA processing and chromatin modification.