Skip to main content

About CSS

The Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program offers merit-based scholarships, opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, professional development, leadership training, mentorship, and other programming designed to pave the way for academic success and future achievement. Along the way, students join a community of scholars committed not only to individual excellence, but also to challenging preconceptions of the scientist archetype and creating a more inclusive culture within the STEM academy.
Hands-on experience in Carolina’s cutting-edge research labs prepares scholars to tackle the grand challenges of today — and tomorrow. Photo: Anna Wheless, Neher Lab

The CSS Program is modeled after the nationally-recognized Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In partnership with UMBC and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, CSS was one of the first programs in the nation to adapt the successful Meyerhoff model to a preeminent research university, demonstrating the value of building community, mentoring, and instilling high expectations of scholars. Together, CSS scholars are prepared to move into Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs after graduation and become part of the next generation of leaders in science and technology.

The program includes:

The CSS merit scholarship awards $10,000 to NC residents. It covers tuition, fees, and room & board for out-of-state students. All CSS scholarships are awarded on an annual basis and renewable for four years. Scholars may also apply for additional funding to support summer research opportunities, travel to industry conferences, and other academic enrichment endeavors, as the availability of funds permits.

The required intensive six-week Summer EXCELerator program prior to the students’ first year on campus gives them a foundation of strong coursework, teaches them the best practices of our most successful students, and coalesces them into a tight cohort of supportive peers.

Each year, a vibrant and diverse group of approximately 25-30 outstanding scholars who are committed to scientific research and to each other live together during their first year to form a community and then continue to meet regularly throughout their time at Carolina.

Outstanding academic performance in math and the sciences is our goal. Students receive regular, intensive advising from CSS program coordinators, faculty mentors in STEM departments, and dedicated advisors within the University’s Academic Advising Program. CSS scholars also receive priority registration for STEM courses.

Research experience is one of the most important ways to prepare for Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs. We help students find a research position in a lab at Carolina early in their time here, and we help match them with summer placements at other leading universities and research labs.

In junior and senior years, CSS prepares scholars for the next step with assistance in the graduate school application process, including workshops on individual application components – such as cover letters, personal statements, and interviews – and GRE/MCAT test preparation.

Students who graduate in good program standing receive the designation of “Chancellor’s Science Scholars Laureate” on their official UNC transcript.