Support Programs

Health Career Opportunity Programs Scholarship and Forgivable Loan Program

The University of Connecticut Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine are pleased to offer a scholarship/forgivable loans to assist in the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body in medicine and dental medicine. The goal is to help ameliorate the financial concerns that limit students’ pursuit of health careers by decreasing indebtedness. Accepted students who meet the criteria below will be considered. Students who are selected for the program will be eligible for financial support by means of a forgivable loan, for a maximum of four years during medical or dental school curriculum, up to full tuition and fees. Students must remain in good academic standing throughout their enrollment to maintain eligibility. The loan will be forgiven if specific service criteria are met post-graduation; the criteria are further described in a promissory note.

Selection Criteria include:

  • Participation in high school and undergraduate Pipeline programs
  • Residency of the State of Connecticut or residency application pending approval
  • Need as assessed by the FAFSA and/or AMCAS application for the School of Medicine
  • Expressed Interest in a career in academic or clinical medicine/dental medicine
  • Underserved background, including but not limited to past residency in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area (MUA)
  • Assessment of a personal statement elaborating interest and evidence in serving the underserved
  • Assessment of research activities and other merits when relevant

Health Career Opportunity Programs Enrolled Students Support


The mentoring, career advising, social, and academic support available to enrolled students underrepresented in medicine and dental medicine, pipeline majority and minority students as well as minority student support organizations is made possible by the generous support of donors and alumni of the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine as well as faculty and community physicians and dentists.

The support activities listed below are supplemental to the support provided by the Associate Deans for Medical and Dental Student Affairs to all students in each school.

Mentoring and Career Advising

  • Career and academic counseling by the Health Career Opportunity Programs Associate Dean, Dr. Hurley and faculty mentors.
  • Weekly Dean’s hour, no appointment (Mondays, 12 to 1 p.m.) meetings available with Dean Hurley.
  • Time management and test-taking skills courses may be available on an individual basis upon request.
  • Partial support for tutorial services and board examination review courses may be available on an individual basis upon request.
  • Quarterly Health Careers Newsline on public health, clinical and research externship and scholarship opportunities offered by health professions schools, private foundations and medical and dental professional organizations.
  • Facebook administrative support for alumni mentoring, career advising for Student National Medical Association (SNMA); Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA); Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Dental Student Association (SNDA/HSDA) students.

Social Support

  • Annual welcome reception and Winter holiday gathering for incoming freshmen with classmates, upper level students, residents, fellows, faculty, and community physicians and dentists.
  • Annual bon voyage dinner and awards ceremony for graduating medical and dental students, with classmates, residents, fellows, faculty, and community physicians and dentists, hosted by the Associate Dean of Health Career Opportunity Programs and the presidents of SNMA, LMSA and SNDA/HSDA.
  • Lunch and Learn or dinner meetings and seminars on health care topics throughout the academic year as requested.
  • Elbert A. Powell and Irma Cheek Powell Minority Enrichment Lecture Series.
  • Mentoring Program with community physicians and dentists, including UConn minority medical and dental alumni.
  • Support for Black History Month events.
  • Support for Hispanic Heritage Month events.
  • Support for Annual Culture Shock event.
  • Support for the activities of SNMA, SNDA/HSDA, and LMSA.
  • Support for designated elected SNMA, LMSA, SNDA/HSDA representatives to attend annual regional and national meetings of these organizations.
  • Support for SNMA, SNDA/HSDA, and LMSA sponsored activities to provide first-year students assistance with their new educational environment through a peer support network with second-year students and communication of scholarly and socially newsworthy items of interest to enrolled medical and dental students through a department newsletter.

Student National Medical Association (SNMA)

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the nation's oldest and largest student organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Membership includes more than 8,000 medical students, premedical students, residents and physicians. The SNMA boasts over 40 years of service and is committed to addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent, and socially conscious physicians. UConn's SNMA organizes Culture Shock annually, which is one of the biggest social events of the year. It is a celebration of the diverse and unique heritage of the University of Connecticut student body and is attended by many members of the UConn Health community. In addition to the wonderful festivities, all proceeds are donated to a selected charity. Our UConn chapter is also involved in mentorship, community outreach, and service.

UConn Chapter Website: UConn Student National Medical Association
Regional Website: Student National Medical Association - Region VII
National Website: Student National Medical Association

Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Student Dental Association (SNDA/HSDA)

The Student National Dental Association and Hispanic Student Dental Association promotes oral health awareness for disadvantaged populations through service, mentorship, and camaraderie among its members and the community. Members help advance the leaders of tomorrow through promoting good fellowship and aiding in the advancement of minority students in dentistry. These goals are achieved through local and global service events, publications and public service announcements, attendance at national conventions, and collaboration with other national dental groups.​

UConn Chapter Websites: UConn Student National Dental Association/UConn Hispanic Student Dental Association
Regional Website: Student National Dental Association - Region 1
National Websites: Student National Dental Association, Hispanic Dental Association

Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)

The University of Connecticut's LMSA Chapter was founded in 2015. The purpose of UConn LMSA is to address the health needs of the Latino community, as well as to promote the interests and support of those students who identify themselves as Latino students of the UConn School of Medicine through social, cultural, educational, political and other activities. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our UConn LMSA leaders, over the last academic year, our chapter has really been able to reach for bigger goals and expand our impact in the community. We are especially thankful to have the support of UConn’s Health Career Opportunity Programs, which has made a lot of this possible.

UConn Chapter Website: UConn Latino Medical Student Association
Regional Website: Latino Medical Student Association - Northeast
National Website: Latino Medical Student Association