About CSS

Solving the most important challenges of our time requires talent and contribution from individuals across a broad range of experiences and backgrounds. For many years, our scientific leadership has suffered from a lack of diverse representation among its major contributors. The Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program responds to this deficit by recruiting high-achieving students from all backgrounds to pursue STEM degrees and careers in scientific leadership.

CSS 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 become members of 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.

The program includes:

Financial Support
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.

A Head Start on Excellence
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 30-40 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.

Academic Achievement
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.

Professional Preparation
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.

Undergraduate research, a supportive cohort community, and mentorship by faculty and peers help the CSS program stand out from other STEM scholarships.