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ARCS Approves New University Partner, STEM Department

Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2022

ARCS® Foundation added the University of California Merced to its growing list of approved academic partners, plus the Biomedical Informatics program at Arizona State University.

LaGrange, Georgia (March 29, 2022) —The University of California Merced is the 50th and latest institution added to ARCS Foundation’s list of approved academic partners. UC Merced is known for its graduate program excellence and STEM research achievements.

The tenth campus, and newest of the University of California system, UC Merced has proven itself as a leading STEM research university since its founding in 2005. The campus sits in the San Joaquin Valley, one of California’s fastest growing regions. UC Merced has the most diverse student population body of any University of California campus.

ARCS Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved the addition of UC Merced for scholar award funding. The three approved departments within the institution are: Environmental Systems, Physics, and Cognitive and Information Sciences. The first scholar awards for graduate students in those programs will be given in fall of 2022.

“The board was extremely impressed with UC Merced’s high academic ranking, research excellence, and its dedication to serving a diverse student body,” ARCS National President Caron Ogg stated.

“We are honored to be named an ARCS partner,” UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sanchez Munoz said.  The approval “demonstrates the organization’s confidence in our emergence as a preeminent national research institution.”

The Environmental Systems graduate program at UC Merced trains students to tackle problems facing the planet – water, soil, climate energy, and resources – by viewing the Earth as an integrated system.

The Physics graduate program includes research in the traditional disciplines of physics, and related interdisciplinary areas.

The Cognitive and Information Sciences (CIS) PhD program offers students interdisciplinary training in cognitive science emphasizing computation, technology, and applications.

The process for approval as an ARCS university partner is rigorous. It includes evaluating the strength of graduate degree programs, faculty size and quality, national rankings, and national research grant funding, among other criteria.

ARCS Foundation Board of Directors also approved the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Arizona State University (ASU). This new multidisciplinary research field involves the generation, acquisition, management, and analysis of biomedical and health data, and its translation into information and knowledge for improving individual and population health.

"The Phoenix Chapter is very enthusiastic about potentially funding students from this program, which is an interdisciplinary tour de force with biology, computer science, engineering, epidemiology, mathematics, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, public health and statistics among the component sciences,” ARCS Phoenix Chapter President Jill Bray states.

Currently, twenty students are enrolled in the Biomedical Informatics PhD program.

The Department of Biomedical Informatics is the second program at Arizona State University to be approved by ARCS National. Earlier this year, ASU’s Speech and Hearing Sciences program was approved for scholar award funding by ARCS National Board of Directors.




About ARCS® Foundation: ARCS Foundation is a national nonprofit volunteer women’s organization that promotes US competitiveness by providing financial awards to academically outstanding US citizens studying to complete degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and health disciplines at 50 of the nation’s leading research universities. The organization has awarded more than $120 million to more than 10,900 scholars since 1958. ARCS Foundation Scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured billions in grant funding, started science-related companies, and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline. More information is available at

ARCS Approved Academic Partner