Program Requirements

In order to successfully participate in the CSS program and graduate as a Chancellor’s Science Scholar, students must follow all program requirements, including:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in an approved STEM B.S. major
  • Attend the entire Summer EXCELerator
  • Join a research lab by the beginning of their third year
  • Take at least two STEM courses per semester
  • Participate in the IDST 201 “Increasing Diversity in STEM Research” course, 1 credit, with their cohort once per academic year
  • Write a research thesis
  • Apply to at least four graduate programs, Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., and/or approved Masters programs

Scholars also meet regularly with CSS program coordinators, who follow the “whole student” model for advising and mentoring – counseling students on everything from selecting courses, finding and successfully obtaining research assistant positions, applying to graduate schools and more. As scholars progress through their undergraduate years, program coordinators tailor the IDST 201 course to topics that promote academic success, professional development, and post-baccalaureate planning. Examples of topics covered each year include:

First Year:
Managing the transition to college; best practices for learning, organization, and personal wellness; examining the roles of research, development, and engagement in a community of scholars

Second Year:
Developing communication skills for clear and effective research presentations; examining the importance of community outreach on increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM fields; building a professional presence on social media

Third Year:
Developing a personal timeline for graduate school applications; crafting a strong personal statement and updated CV/resume; exploring the relationship between representation in the sciences and success in STEM fields

Fourth Year:
Developing and practicing successful graduate school interview strategies; assessing mentor relationships and what to look for in a mentor; understanding how to manage stress and transitions to graduate school or the workplace

Many CSS scholars pursue on-campus research during the academic year and find opportunities at other institutions during the summers, like Jared Richards, CSS 4, who spent a summer at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. (Photo: Megan May/UNC Research)