This paper describes and assesses the effectiveness of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The Program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who pursue graduate and professional degrees in science and engineering. Until 1996 the program admitted African American students exclusively, and the current study focuses only on students from that group. The Meyerhoff students have achieved higher grade point averages, graduated in science and engineering at higher rates, and gained admittance to graduate schools at higher rates than multiple current and historical comparison samples. Student survey and interview data revealed that a number of program components were viewed as being especially important contributors to students' academic success: Program Community, Study Groups, Summer Bridge Program, Financial Support, Program Staff, and Research Internships and Mentors. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 37: 629–654, 2000