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The Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) at UTSA is a pre-college summer program committed to delivering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment opportunities for middle and high school students.

PREP seeks to contribute to the development of the future generations of STEM professionals, and provide opportunities for high school and middle school students to identify pathways to and through higher education. PREP’s current curriculum is delivered over the course of 4 years. The first year involves an introduction to engineering design, logic & algebraic reasoning. The second and third years include topics on physics and integrated algebra and probability, statistics and introduction to technical writing, respectively. The fourth year is dedicated to materials related to innovations in engineering- nano technology, data science, & cyber security. Finally, a new fifth year program will allow high school students to serve as engineering lab interns in a hybrid learning and working environment at a UTSA research lab during the summer.

The program started in 1979 by a UTSA mathematics professor, Dr. Manuel P. Berriozábal. Today, PREP is directed by Dr. Araceli Martinez Ortiz, a highly experienced engineer, professor, researcher and motivational speaker. Dr. Martinez Ortiz is the Microsoft endowed professor of engineering education at UTSA and director of engineering education graduate programs. Dr. Ydania Medina serves as the Assistant Director of PREP and Dr. Gabriela Gomez serves as the Curriculum and Professional Development manager.

PREP is a successful, hallmark pre-engineering program at UTSA that has served over 50,000 students in the State of Texas during the past 40 years The PREP team continues this mission of creating equitable access and participation of underrepresented students in STEM by offering low cost, innovative, active learning, on-campus experiences, motivating and inspiring speakers, and by promoting collaboration between institutions of higher education, school districts, industry and the community at large.

PREP Application

Please click on the link below to access the 2022-2023 PREP Summer Program Application.

2022-2023 PREP Summer Program Application

Application Deadline: February 14, 2023

Prep Dates: June 14, 2023 – July 13, 2023

Contact: prep@utsa.edu

PREP Eligibility

Students from all school districts within the Greater San Antonio area that meet the requirements outlined below are encouraged to apply.

PREP Program Requirements
  • Students may apply if currently enrolled in 6th – 11th grade.
  • Parent/guardian permission.
  • Submit a Nomination Form from a Science and Math teacher.
  • Submit a Conduct Report which can be requested at a school‘s main office.
  • Submit a 100-200 word essay written by the student that answers the prompt “Why I want to participate in PREP, why PREP is important to me, and what I like about STEM.”
  • Submit the most current official report card or parental portal printout of report card.
  • 70 or higher average grades in the most recent grading cycle (6 or 9 week term) in core classes (Science, Mathematics, English, and Social Studies).
  • To qualify for each PREP year, the following prerequisites must be met:
    • PREP Year 1 [Only for students currently in 6th-8th grade]
    • PREP Year 2 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 1 and/or have completed Algebra I]
    • PREP Year 3 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 2 and/or have completed Algebra II]
    • PREP Year 4 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 3 and/or have completed Chemistry I]
    • PREP Year 5 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 4 and/or have completed Chemistry I and Algebra II]

PREP Curriculum

Throughout the four years, students will learn about problem-solving systems, STEM career awareness, research & study skills, and participate in field trips and special events. See below for more specific curriculum information for each year in PREP.

Please check back in November for course descriptions by year.

Curriculum Year 1 [Only for students currently in 6th-8th grade]
  • Engineering Design
  • Logic & Algebraic Reasoning (TexPREP I)
Curriculum Year 2 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 1 and/or have completed Algebra I]
  • Physics & Integrated Algebra (TexPREP II)
Curriculum Year 3 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 2 and/or have completed Algebra II]
  • Probability & Statistics/Technical Writing (TexPREP III)
Curriculum Year 4 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 3 and/or have completed Chemistry I]

  • Integrated Science and Mathematical Research Lab (TexPREP V)
Curriculum Year 5 [Only for students who completed PREP Year 4 and/or have completed Chemistry I and Algebra II]
  • Engineering Lab PREP Internship (details forthcoming)

PREP Sites

Year 1 PREP UTSA Main, UTSA Downtown, or Texas A&M University
Year 2 PREP UTSA Main, UTSA Downtown, or Texas A&M University
Year 3 PREP St. Mary’s University
Year 4 PREP UTSA Main
Year 5 PREP UTSA Main

2023 PREP Resources

2023 PREP Participant Forms & Resources
Nomination Form Student and Parent Handbook Academic Records Request

Learn More

Want to learn more? Sign up to attend an info session.