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S3 S-STEM Scholarship

Supporting Students for Success in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Biophysics at University of San Diego. Funded by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program (NSF #1458252)

The USD S3 S-STEM Scholarship program aims to attract and support excellent students wishing to major in the areas of mathematics, computer science, physics or biophysics, and the program is particularly interested in recruiting low-income, underrepresented, first-generation college and female students. Each S3 S-STEM Scholar receives up to $7500 per year, based on demonstrated financial need, to work towards the degree in mathematics, computer science or physics, and the scholarship can be renewed on an annual basis for up to four years. In addition to the monetary award, the program will provide NSF-MCP Scholars with the following opportunities:

  • Participation in a cohort group with similar interests and academic background throughout the undergraduate program
  • Extensive mentoring by one or more faculty members
  • Participation in undergraduate interdisciplinary research, and
  • Participation in specially designed courses

University of San Diego aims to support excellent students to become an S3 S-STEM Scholar and join a cohort of academically promising students with interest and talent in computer science, mathematics, physics and/or biophysics who will form a community of scholars. Each S3 S-STEM Scholar receives a scholarship of up to $10,000 per year (depending on financial need as determined by USD’s Office of Financial Aid) for up to three years, to work towards a degree in computer science, mathematics, physics and/or biophysics. The scholarships are renewable for a total of three years, as long as the recipient continues to meet the requirements of the award and the qualifying criteria.

The S3 S-STEM scholars are closely mentored by program faculty throughout their undergraduate education. The scholars regularly participate in STEM enrichment and community-building activities, and have opportunities for undergraduate research and to build leadership skills. Additionally, one semester each academic year the scholars take a one-unit course specially designed to develop the students’ communication skills, and interdisciplinary thinking skills and approaches.

Qualifications and Award Criteria:

An applicant must satisfy the following in order to be considered to become an S3 S-STEM Scholar:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student at University of San Diego.
    • Have a minimum cumulative USD GPA of 3.0.
    • Be majoring in computer science, mathematics, physics and/or biophysics.
    • Be a first year student during the 2014-2015 academic year.
  • Demonstrate financial need, as defined by the US Department of Education rules for need-based Federal Financial Aid, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitting it through the appropriate channels.
  • Be a citizen of the United States, a national of the United States (as defined in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), an alien admitted as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

Procedure for Applying:

To be considered for an S3 S-STEM Scholarship, please submit the following application materials:

  • The S3 S-STEM Scholarship application form.
  • Proof of completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
  • A short essay (500 words or less) discussing your interest, motivation for study and previous experience in computer science, mathematics, physics and/or biophysics, and your academic and professional goals.
  • The names and contact information of three references at USD—at least one should be a professor.

The S3 S-STEM Scholarship Selection Committee will review all completed applications and contact the references. Once selections are completed, scholarship recipients will be notified of their award via email. All application materials for awards that begin Fall 2015 must be received by May 11th.

For more information about this scholarship program or the application, contact Dr. Perla Myers at

Scholarship Program Faculty Members: