ACCESS Scholarship: Supporting Women in Science and Mathematics

ACCESS provides freshmen and transfer students from a variety of backgrounds with a supportive path into STEM degrees, and later careers. ACCESS begins with a summer learning experience. During the summer, students earn upper division course credits while completing two University of Utah undergraduate General Education requirements (IR and SF). The year culminates with hands-on research, where individual students are paired with a world class scientist or engineer for mentorship, and is followed by an ACCESS research symposium at the end of spring semester. Frequently, our students continue working with their mentor, engaging in research throughout their undergraduate degree and sometimes publishing before graduating.

A year with ACCESS informs academic and career goals at the earliest possible stage, builds social awareness, unites a group of like-minded peers, and connects first year STEM students to a network of over 800 program alumni.

Learn more about the prestigious ACCESS Scholarship and first year experience by visiting our website.

Eligibility and Selection Process

ACCESS invites STEM majors who are committed to advancing gender equity in science and engineering to apply.

A team of STEM faculty evaluates each applicant using a holistic review process that considers high school course load and rigor, extracurricular experiences, letters of recommendation, application essays, and GPA. No category receives higher weight.
ACCESS is a signature program of the College of Science. Through partnerships with the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, College of Engineering, and Medical Laboratory Sciences, ACCESS welcomes and supports students majoring in all STEM disciplines.

ACCESS Scholarship (monetary value)
The scholarship, valued at over $5000, includes a monetary award and covers all costs associated with the ACCESS first year experience.

The value of the direct scholarship award is an estimate and is subject to change due to costs associated with housing.

Participation Requirements
Students are REQUIRED to participate in all aspects of this year-long program. Summer absences due to high school competitions, graduation, and related obligations will be considered.

Full participation includes completing the 4-week summer course (SCI 3000) and enrichment activities (begins June 21, 2021 and ends on July 20, 2021). Class is held M-F from 9:30 AM to 12 Noon; no classes: July 5 and 23. In addition to regularly scheduled class, enrichment experiences that foster community and extend learning outside the classroom, are required and will be announced.

Questions about the ACCESS Scholarship and first year experience?
Please feel free to reach out via email to or visit the ACCESS website for more information.

Supplemental Questions
  1. What undergraduate major(s) do you plan to pursue at the University of Utah? College of Science = (COS), College of Engineering = (COE), College of Mines and Earth Sciences = (CMES). Learn more about majors in each college by clicking here.

  2. Are there other majors you are considering and would like to learn more about? College of Science = (COS), College of Engineering = (COE), College of Mines and Earth Sciences = (CMES). Learn more about majors in each college by clicking here.

  3. Personal essay: Highlight your interests, academic and career goals, and motivation to pursue a major and career in STEM. How will ACCESS help you succeed, as an undergraduate, in the sciences or engineering?
  4. Character and life experiences: Provide insight into your character and any personal hardships that are relevant to admission into the ACCESS Program.
  5. Diversity: Science and innovation benefits from collaboration that comes from varied viewpoints. ACCESS seeks to build a diverse and inclusive cohort with individuals from different backgrounds. How might your own life experiences, leadership qualities, and/or goals contribute to advancing gender equity in STEM fields? Do you have any unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to diversity in ACCESS? This can include fluency in other languages, economic hardship, being the first in your immediate family to seek a college degree, and/or cultural or societal interests and experiences.
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