Targeting four institutions with structured science research programs for undergraduates, this study focuses on how underrepresented students experience science. Several key themes emerged from focus group discussions: learning to become research scientists, experiences with the culture of science, and views on racial and social stigma. Participants spoke of essential factors for becoming a scientist, but their experiences also raised complex issues about the role of race and social stigma in scientific training. Students experienced the collaborative and empowering culture of science, exhibited strong science identities and high self-efficacy, while developing directed career goals as a result of "doing science" in these programs.
Keywords: Identity; Racial/ethnic minorities; Self-efficacy; Stigma; Undergraduate science research.