Program Components

Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science Programs

Welcome to the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science Programs at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Participation in these highly competitive college preparatory programs is an honor and a privilege. These are federally funded programs designed to assist motivated, hard-working students in building a bright future through educational achievement. Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science students are role models, leaders, and scholars. 

The University of Nevada, Reno currently houses three classic Upward Bound Programs and one Upward Bound Math Science Programs. Collectively, the programs annually serve 246 LIFG students at eight target high schools in Washoe and Lyon counties. The University's Washoe grant, the first TRIO grant awarded in the state of Nevada, has been providing college preparatory services to LIFG students since 1967, making it one of the oldest continuously funded classic Upward Bound grants in the nation. The other two Upward Bound programs, the Truckee grant and the Northwest grant, were added to the University's slate of TRIO programs in the early 2000s. The Upward Bound Math Science program, our Silver UBMS grant, was added in the fall of 2017. In the 50 years since Upward Bound first began at the University, the four programs have provided services to nearly 5,000 students. 

The Upward Bound Programs have a rich tradition of academic success in Northern Nevada. All four grants have been funded through 2022, and this fall marked the 50th year of Upward Bound at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Academic Year Program

Upward bound girls

Throughout the year Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science students will participate in learning experiences with diverse groups of people both on and off the university campus.  During the academic year, students meet with their assigned grant counselor/advisor semi-monthly at their high schools, work with trained tutors on specific school assignments, and attend monthly College Preparatory Saturday Sessions (CPSS).

Since Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science students will be required to take both the ACT and SAT twice during their high school career, once during the Spring of Junior year and again during the fall of Senior year, Upward Bound provides fee waivers for the ACT and SAT tests to program participants. 

Students who complete all program requirements will be awarded points as a function of their involvement, efforts, and performance in high school, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science and in other program related activities. This Point System has been established to assist the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science programs in making objective decisions concerning retention of participants in the program, and to provide a fair and measurable means of rewarding participants.  These points will be calculated each semester and sent to each participant's home in a progress report. 

Upward Bound students participate in various enrichment activities, such as outdoor activities, museum tours, plays, art festivals, college and career fairs, community service, and other educational or cultural awareness activities. Moreover, student participants who have made significant progress toward reaching college preparatory goals will have the opportunity to attend at least one college tour during their Upward Bound or Upward Bound Math Science experience. However, please be aware that financial and logistical constraints limit the number of students able to attend each college tour. Therefore, students who meet eligibility requirements for college tour attendance may have to choose only one college tour to attend each Academic Year.

Summer Academy (SA) Participation and Eligibility

Upward bound summer

All students are required to participate in an Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science summer program each summer.  Summer options include the residential Summer Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno; regional residential Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science summer programs; and an online program.  All new Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science students are required to attend a residential summer program following their first year in the program.  All expenses are paid, including meals and housing in a university residence hall for five to six weeks.

Students are placed in core high school classes (Mathematics, English, Social Studies, Science, and Foreign Languages) that will prepare them for the courses they will take in high school the following year. Afternoon electives often include STEM related courses, arts, multimedia production, music, drama, public speaking, fitness, test preparation, and recreational sports.

During Summer Academy, students share a room in a residence hall with other high school students, interact with college instructors and residential advisors, attend field trips and cultural events, and participate in intramural activities, much like regular college students on a university campus.

Summer Bridge Program

In order to assist in the transition from high school to college, Upward Bound offers high school seniors who have been admitted to a university the opportunity to participate in the Summer Bridge Program. These college-bound students enroll in tuition-paid college classes, attend weekly study seminars, and meet individually with an Upward Bound counselor.

Questions? Contact Upward Bound, (775) 784-4978 or email