ACCESS Program for Women in Science and Mathematics

Established in 1991, ACCESS is a signature program of the College of Science. Through partnerships with the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, and the College of Engineering, ACCESS welcomes and supports women majoring in all STEM disciplines. Our graduates have gone on to become professors, scientists, medical professionals, mathematicians, engineers, computer programmers, lawyers, and more. The ACCESS alumnae network is nearly 800 strong.

The ACCESS Program provides a supportive path into the sciences and engineering with a scholarship award, first-year learning experience, and networking that fosters academic success throughout your undergraduate education. The ACCESS scholarships, summer experience, and other programming are valued at $3500 (college transfer students) and $4500 (freshman receive a summer housing allowance). With a vision of greater inclusion, diversity, and accessibility across STEM fields, ACCESS works for young women today, and the workforce of tomorrow.

Learn more about the program and women of ACCESS by visiting our website.

Summer (before your first Fall semester):
ACCESS begins with a 7-week summer living (freshmen live on campus) and learning experience. Science and engineering are explored in a multidisciplinary STEM course, Science in a Changing World (SCI 3000), that also integrates global policy and science communication. Strategies for undergraduate success, including career insights and networking, are incorporated throughout. Students earn 3 upper division credits, and fulfill their undergraduate International Requirement (IR), during this ACCESS exclusive course.

Fall and Spring semesters of your first-year:
Mentorship support, as well as research and academic success workshops, are provided during Fall and Spring semesters. In addition, during Spring semester you are given the unparalleled opportunity to explore science or engineering by engaging in research in a campus laboratory that aligns with your academic and/or career interests. The program culminates in a year-end research symposium, where ACCESS students share their research experience with other STEM students, faculty, and invited guests.

Applying to ACCESS:
ACCESS accepts incoming freshmen and college transfer women. A team of STEM faculty evaluates and discusses each application using a holistic review process. Academic and extracurricular experiences, letters of recommendation, GPA, and standardized exam scores are all considered, and no category receives higher weight. If your GPA is a 3.0, we still encourage you to apply. ACCESS is looking for 32 women who represent the values of diversity and community, and have a shared passion for STEM, to join the 2019-2020 cohort.

Participation in ACCESS:

Students who are selected for this prestigious and impactful award are REQUIRED to participate in all aspects of this year-long program. This includes the 7-week summer course, which begins June 17, 2019 and ends on August 2, 2019. Class is held M-F from 8:30 AM to 12 Noon; no classes: July 4, 5, and 24. In addition to regularly scheduled class, there are several afternoons where discussions, science shows, and behind the scenes activities will be offered. A detailed schedule is provided during the ACCESS orientation and welcome event on May 18, from 11 AM to 2 PM.

The ACCESS orientation DOES NOT replace the University of Utah First Year New Student Orientation or Transfer Student Orientation requirement. Due to the ACCESS Program summer schedule, we recommend first-year students (freshman) register for the U of U New Student Orientation program offered on June 14 and 15. Transfer students must attend a Transfer Orientation prior to the first day of the ACCESS summer course (June 17).

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 woman, 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. The ACCESS Program for Women in Science and Mathematics seeks to build a diverse and inclusive cohort with individuals from different backgrounds. 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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