UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars Program

Engaging students in problems that matter

Reviewing applications beginning April 1, 2017

Do you want to help solve important problems facing society? Would you like to join and be part of a vibrant interdisciplinary community? Do you want to be recognized by the National Academy of Engineering for your contributions? Apply to the GCSP program and become a Grand Challenge Scholar!  Open to all UMBC majors.

What are the NAE Grand Challenges?

Fourteen broad problems facing society in sustainability, health, security, and knowledge
Solutions will require interdisciplinary teams and years of sustained effort

What does a UMBC Grand Challenge Scholar do?

Design a personalized program
Explore a selected Grand Challenge through five program areas: research, interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship, global perspectives and service
Receive formal designation as an NAE Grand Challenge Scholar at graduation

What are the program requirements?

Three one-credit GCSP seminars (GCSP 301, 302, 401)
GC-related experiences in the five program areas, such as coursework, study abroad, internships and mentored research

How and when do I apply?

Apply online at the GCSP website. Applications after April 1 are subject to program capacity
Submit your transcript, short essay answers, two references and optionally a letter of support
Designed for students completing their sophomore year, but all students may apply
✔ Contact GCSP Director Professor Marie desJardins at with any questions