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STEM Educational Partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions

The USGS is interested in forming partnerships with minority serving institutions to provide opportunities for students through lecture series and internships. The programs began in the late 1980s with a partnership with the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez. Learn more below.


The USGS has rich partnerships with three minority-serving institutions, and is in the process of establishing more. Through these relationships, USGS scientists visit the universities regularly, interacting with students and faculty. Sometimes these visits result in shared research experiences. At each school, faculty nominate outstanding students for USGS summer internships at multiple locations around the country, and across all USGS mission areas.

The Youth and Education in Science office supports these partnerships and helps build new opportunities. Each partnership has a primary relationship with a nearby USGS office which organizes the activities and opportunities with each university.


City College of New York + Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

About: The CCNY partnership involves USGS lectures on the first Friday of every month. Students can take the lecture series as a course. In the past two years, USGS scientists have discussed coastal wetlands, paleoseismicity, submarine landslides, and climate change indicators. 

More Information | Contact

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Tennessee State University + Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center

Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center - Tennessee

About: This partnership was formalized in 2018 when TSU received two National Science Foundation grants to encourage the growth of geoscience content at historically black colleges. One of these grants, partnered with Vanderbilt University, provides geology courses at TSU and at neighboring Vanderbilt.

More Information | Contact

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Alaska Pacific University + Alaska Science Center

USGS Grace Hall office on the Alaska Pacific University campus

About: The newest STEM Educational Partnership was established with Alaska Pacific University, a Native Alaskan serving institution, in 2021. The Alaska Science Center has offices co-located on the campus, creating an ideal opportunity for engagement.

More Information | Contact

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North Carolina Central University + South Atlantic Water Science Center

South Atlantic Water Science Center - Columbia, SC Office

About: This partnership with NCCU offers learning opportunities for students interested in the USGS, providing assignments related to the sciences or the students' field of study, and providing career-related experience through internship opportunities and other professional development activities.

More Information | Contact

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United Tribes Technical College & Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College + Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center external office photo

About: Established in 2022, the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and the Dakota Water Science Center have built a partnership with two North Dakota Tribal Colleges to benefit local tribal communities and provide educational opportunities for students.

More Information | Contact

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Northern Arizona University + Astrogeology Science Center

Astrogeology Science Center

About: This partnership between NAU and the Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff AZ was formalized into the STEM Educational Partnership Program in late 2022.

More Information | Contact

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University of Maryland, Baltimore County + MD-DE-DC-Water Science Center

MD-DE-DC Water Science Center

About: This partnership is between the Maryland-Delaware-DC Water Science Center, the EPA and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The goal of the partnership is to advance research, teaching, outreach, career development, and stewardship in environmental sciences and engineering. 

More Information | Contact




Students from STEM Educational Partnership schools who are interested in internships at the USGS should speak with their faculty liaison about their interests. The USGS accepts applications from faculty-nominated students. Students should submit a resume and a cover letter that discusses their interests and training in science. The resume must have the student’s education, job experience, and contact information, including an email address.

The USGS receives these applications in two ways, both of which are required:

  1. The faculty liaison submits the resumes and cover letters to the USGS partners by email. Then the USGS will contact the prospective intern by email, with a link to a targeted job advertisement on USAJobs.

  2. Students must create a USAJobs profile, and upload their resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript to formally apply. See our USAJobs tips pdf for guidance on how to use USAJobs.

USGS Scientists interested in hiring from this talented pool should contact the partner science center, or the Youth and Education in Science office.

Timing: There are no formal deadlines for this program. Applications are generally open in October, with interviews in November – February. Student placements are made January – April.