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Curious about the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program? Check below for some common questions about our program requirements and student experience. If you have additional questions not answered here, please feel free to contact us.
Chancellor’s Science Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and be working towards a B.S. degree in one of the core STEM disciplines: Biomedical Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics and Astronomy, or Statistics and Operational Research. Any other majors must be approved by the CSS leadership team.

Scholars must be enrolled in full-time study. Seniors who are set to graduate on time may take one “underload” semester, minimum of 6 credit hours, with permission from the University’s Academic Advising Program. Any other arrangements must be approved by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid and the CSS leadership team. Additionally, scholars are required to conduct research with an approved research group and must secure a lab position by the beginning of their junior year.

The CSS program offers free tutoring in most STEM subjects each semester, connects scholars with campus resources, and encourages cohort study groups in order to foster a culture of academic success. Scholars are required to form study groups for their first semester of STEM classes. Program coordinators educate scholars about the many university resources, including academic support programs offered by colleges, departments, specific courses, and faculty, and encourage them to seek additional support in order to excel.
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. The scholarship covers eight semesters, not including summer sessions, as long as scholars continue to meet all program requirements and maintain full-time enrollment in an approved STEM major. 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.
Chancellor’s Science Scholars are well-prepared to be competitive applicants to graduate school programs and are expected to apply to a minimum of four Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., or approved Masters programs by December of their senior year.

Scholars determine their own path once they leave Carolina in pursuit of their personal and professional goals. This may include applying for professional programs (such as medical school), taking advantage of employment opportunities, or taking a gap year. We encourage all scholars to follow their passions; however, they must still apply to a minimum of four approved graduate programs.

To support scholars in their graduate school applications, CSS program coordinators work with each student to explore graduate programs and universities that are a good fit for the student’s interests and career goals. We offer a GRE test preparation course, lend out GRE study guides, conduct mock interviews, and assist scholars with personal statements and recommendation letters.

Yes, CSS program coordinators help students identify research opportunities and secure placement in world-renowned labs here at Carolina. Our network of connections across STEM departments and other entities like UNC’s School of Medicine and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy ensures that we are able to help students find research that interests them and will contribute to their long-term educational and professional goals. We also assist students with finding and applying for summer research positions at other universities and institutes.
Yes! CSS scholars may double major, as long as one of the majors is an approved STEM B.S. program. Some scholars choose two STEM majors, such as Biology and Environmental Sciences or Computer Science and Math. Others choose a second major that allows them to explore non-STEM interests such as Philosophy, Economics, Dramatic Arts, Public Policy, Global Studies, and Music.

Scholars may also have one or two minors, which is another way to delve deeper into subjects like Entrepreneurship, Medical Anthropology, Business Administration, and foreign languages and cultures. CSS scholars work closely with assigned advisors in the University’s Academic Advising Program to ensure that they maintain balanced course loads and are on track to meet all degree requirements for their selected major(s).

To enhance the cohort connections formed during Summer EXCELerator, CSS scholars live together in a residential learning community during their first year at Carolina, with an assigned CSS roommate. This helps them to acclimate to college life within a supportive, familiar community. During sophomore year, scholars will continue to live on campus but may choose their own roommate and where they would like to live within university-owned housing. Scholars have the opportunity to live off-campus during junior and senior years, helping them to prepare for life in graduate school and beyond.
Absolutely! UNC has one of the highest study abroad rates among public universities nationwide – more than one-third of all undergraduates study in other countries during their time here, and CSS scholars are no exception. Some of Carolina’s study abroad programs are specifically geared towards students in STEM, such as UNC Science programs in Scandinavia, Dublin, or Sevilla, the Burch Science program in London, and Environmental Studies in the Galapagos Islands. Other scholars study abroad to strengthen foreign language skills or learn about new cultures.

Most scholars who study abroad choose to do so during the summer, however some study abroad for a full semester, depending on the program. CSS program coordinators can work with you to explore programs of interest and plan how a study abroad experience can enhance your undergraduate course of study.

Yes, full participation in Summer EXCELerator prior to the start of your first year is required in order to join the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program. During this intensive six-week experience, scholars become fully immersed in their cohort while earning seven hours of college credit, exploring Carolina’s STEM research offerings, and actively engaging in seminars on professional development, diversity, and inclusion. Scholars return to campus in the fall with many advantages over their fellow first-year peers – a built-in support network of classmates, familiarity with the UNC campus, and valuable study skills to ensure a strong academic start to their collegiate career.

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