CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The push is on to increase minority students in classes related to science, technology, engineering and math, better known as the STEM fields.

That's thanks to a new grant of more than $1 million given to the University of Virginia.

The grant is called the Bridge to the Doctorate Program, and it’s for graduate students in the STEM fields.

The National Science Foundation doled out $1.1 million to underrepresented students at UVA.

It's funneled into something called the Virginia-North Carolina Alliance, which then provides stipends, educational support, and tuition for 12 students in their first two years so that they can achieve their master’s degrees.

But the funds don’t stop there. After that two-year period, UVA will support those students as they pursue their PhDs.

“We've been very blessed to get this grant from the National Science Foundation, and since 2007 we've received $14.5 million from the National Science Foundation to improve the pipeline of minorities receiving their undergraduate degrees in the STEM fields,” says Marcus Martin, the vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity at UVA.

Since 2007, the Virginia-North Carolina Alliance has seen over $9,000 underrepresented graduates enter the STEM arena.

The alliance says it found out about the grant in June.

Recruiting will start in the fall of 2018 for the program, and cohorts will enter the University of Virginia in August of 2019.