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About the program
UNC’s Chancellors Science Scholars program began as a partnership in 2011 with UMBC’s nationally recognized Meyerhoff Scholars program and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The purpose of these relationships was to diversify and provide access to jobs in the fields of STEM.
As scientists, we know that many of the most important challenges in our nation and world need to be met by advances in science and technology. But, most importantly we recognize that with a lack of diversity in these fields there is a lack of talent.
As an organization the Chancellor Science Scholars work to bring awareness to the issues of diversity as well as provide a space where students, regardless of background, can be supported to pursue fields in STEM.
We seek to maximize student success by building a community of learners who work collaboratively to succeed academically and in research.
We also open doors for students to experience research within and outside of the university, allowing them to be an active part of the teams of scientists addressing some of our most fundamental scientific questions.
Together, our scholars are prepared to move into Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D programs after graduation, and to become part of the next generation of leaders in science and technology.
IS THE CHANCELLOR’S SCIENCE SCHOLARS A PROGRAM OR A SCHOLARSHIP?
The Chancellor’s Science Scholars program is not solely a financial arrangement. Scholars are a part of a program that provides intensive academic advising, a cohort of fellow Scholars, assistance with research placements, internship and graduate school applications, and other support necessary to ensure success at UNC. Scholars are required to sign a contractual agreement and must abide by program policies related to grade point average, program participation, major, and other relevant features of the program.
WHAT IS THE AMOUNT AND DURATION OF SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORT?
The Chancellor’s Science Scholars program includes a $10,000 merit scholarship per academic year for a total of eight semesters, excluding the summer sessions. The recipient must be enrolled full-time, maintain a GPA above 3.0, and have a B.S. major in a STEM as defined by the program. With a pre-approval by the Academic Advising Program, seniors who are target to graduate on time may take one “underload” semester, minimum of 6 hours. Any other arrangements must be pre-approved by the Program and the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.
IS THE PURSUIT OF A PH.D. MANDATORY?
Students must intend to pursue a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and biomedical science, engineering, computer science or other related STEM disciplines.
IS THIS A PH.D. OR M.D./PH.D PROGRAM?
No. CSS aims to prepare students to enter PhD or combined M.D./Ph.D. programs. The Chancellor’s Science Scholars program is not for students whose sole goal is to attend medical school, MD, DDO, DO, DVM, et cetera.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUMMER EXCELERATOR? WHY IS IT MANDATORY?
The Summer EXCELerator provides students with an accelerated entry to UNC by allowing students to become acclimated to UNC and the rigors of university level courses and testing before the semester begins. The CSS Summer EXCELerator program includes for-credit coursework in mathematics and the social sciences, training and seminars in science, analytical problem solving, group study, site visits, and social and cultural events. The unique experience of Summer EXCELerator is also important for forming the cohort bond that will assist students as they navigate their undergraduate years and beyond.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A CHANCELLOR’S SCIENCE SCHOLAR?
As individuals begin the process of applying to UNC we encourage students to submit their application by the Early Action deadline. This is to ensure all applicants are considered fully for the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program. We are reviewing students based on their academic performance, leadership qualities, commitment to diversity and demonstrated interest in science, as illustrated by their coursework, extracurricular activities, reference letters and essays.
In addition to the review process, all students have the opportunity to complete the Excel Survey that is listed in the UNC supplemental portion of the Common Application, we advise students who are interested in CSS to select it as one of your three preferences. Based on this information we will then reach out to students to complete two short essay questions specific to CSS. After review from our office, students will be notified along with their admissions decision if they are invited to our Selection Weekend. This weekend occurs at the end of February/beginning of March and is an opportunity for students to visit campus, learn more about our program and participate in interviews with STEM faculty and university staff. Students will be extended an offer to the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program shortly after the conclusion of Selection Weekend.
WHAT ARE THE ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE CHANCELLOR’S SCIENCE SCHOLARS?
Scholars must maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average and working toward a major in one of the core STEM disciplines offered at UNC-Chapel Hill. Majors include: applied science/biomedical engineering, BS, biology, BS, chemistry, BS, computer science, BS, BS-MS, environmental science, BS, mathematics, BS, and physics and astronomy, BS. Students may choose to double major or complete minors in any other disciplines, as long as their primary focus remains in the sciences. Any other majors must be approved by the Program Staff.
ARE CHANCELLOR’S SCIENCE SCHOLARS REQUIRED TO LIVE TOGETHER?
Chancellor’s Science Scholars form a community on campus during their time in the Summer EXCELerator program. Entering in to their first year Chancellor’s Science Scholars live together in the same dorm (Aycock-Graham) as to ensure they are supported by one another. CSS students continue to live on campus until their junior year. In their senior year we believe that giving scholars the opportunity to live off campus prepares them for life in graduate school and beyond.