The Millennium Scholars Program is open to all high-achieving high school seniors who are interested in becoming leaders in STEM-related fields. Students must apply to one of the participating academic colleges at Penn State and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. There is no additional fee to apply for the Millennium Scholars Program.
Although it is not required to be considered for the Millennium Scholars Program, students are also encouraged to apply to the Schreyer Honors College.
How to Apply
The first step is to complete and submit an application to Penn State.
(Note: As part of your application to Penn State, you will create a MyPennState profile and obtain a Penn State WebAccess ID. You must have your individual WebAccess ID and password to begin work on the online Millennium Scholars Program application.)
After the first step, you can complete and submit the online Millennium Scholars application. See below for the application requirements, and make sure to have all of the requisite information available to include in your program application.
- List of all Advanced Placement and/or college courses you have taken.
- Names and contact information (valid email address) of two people who will submit recommendations for you. One of these people must be a math, science or engineering instructor.
- Responses to the four essay questions.
2020 Millennium Scholars Program Essay Prompts: Each essay should be no more than 500 words
- Identify a global challenge and discuss how you would become involved in implementing a solution from a technological and a humanitarian perspective. Global challenges might include access to clean water, food insecurity, or climate change, but you are not limited to those suggestions. Please choose a topic that you perceive to be a global challenge and that is you significant or impactful to you. (We are interested in reading about a variety of challenges. Don’t feel that you need to choose a topic that is currently in the news.)
- Discuss the most meaningful project, activity or experience you have been involved with outside of your academics.
- The University and the world are comprised of a diversity of races, ethnicities, traditions and religions. Describe how you have experienced diversity in your own life, including your cultural history and background.
- What are the challenges of making STEM fields more diverse and inclusive? Why is it important to make STEM fields more diverse and inclusive?
Millennium Scholars Program applicants must do the following:
- Complete an undergraduate application through MyPennState, the Coalition for Access & Affordability or the Common Application including a complete and accurate high school academic record.
- Select University Park as their first-choice starting campus on the general Penn State application.
- Select an intended major in one of the participating colleges (Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Information Sciences and Technology, and Eberly College of Science) as their academic interest area on the general Penn State application.
- In the Millennium Scholars Program application, complete and submit answers to four essay questions, as well as the names and contact information of two people who will submit recommendations for the applicant. At least one recommendation must come from a math, science, and/or engineering instructor.
- The submission of SAT or ACT scores is optional.
The Undergraduate Admissions office will evaluate your credentials for admission to the University, and a Millennium Scholars Selection Committee – consisting of program staff, faculty, and deans from the participating colleges – will review your Millennium Scholars Program application. These decisions are made independent of each other. Students should not wait for their admissions decision to submit their Millennium Scholars Program application, although an offer of admission to University Park eventually will be required for admission to the Millennium Scholars Program.
The Millennium Scholars Program application evaluation includes:
- a transcript review to evaluate your academic success and background, particularly in math and science courses;
- an assessment of the written essays;
- review of the letters of recommendation
Successful applicants will be:
- high achievers with strong academic records;
- committed to increasing diversity in STEM-related fields;
- eager collaborative learners and team players; and
- prepared to work hard, graduate in the top of their classes, and become leaders in STEM-related fields.
After all applications have been evaluated, the top 100 candidates will be invited to come to University Park for the last step in the selection process: Interview Weekend. Students and families are responsible for travel costs to University Park for this two-day event, although a limited number of travel grants may be made in cases of demonstrated financial need.
A separate committee will make final admission offer decisions after the candidates’ interviews. Approximately 40 students then will be admitted to the Summer Bridge program in preparation for matriculation to Penn State in the fall.
Students who accept an offer of admission to Penn State and the Millennium Scholars Program then will arrive on campus in mid-June for a six-week Summer Bridge program. Exact dates will vary from year to year, successful candidates will receive detailed instructions with their offers from the program. Completion of the Summer Bridge is required to matriculate into the Millennium Scholars Program at Penn State.
Admissions Timeline for the 2021-2022 Academic Year
Aspiring Millennium Scholars should note the following deadlines:
August 1, 2020: Penn State and Millennium Scholars Program applications available
November 2020: Penn State EARLY ACTION filing deadline (Millennium Scholars candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by this deadline.)
November 1, 2020: Schreyer Honors College application priority filing deadline
December 9, 2020 (11:59pm Eastern): Millennium Scholars Program application deadline (All applications and recommendations must be submitted by this date for the application to be evaluated)
February 26 and 27, 2021: Interview Weekend on the University Park campus
Mid March: Offers made to Millennium Scholars candidates
May 1, 2021: Penn State offer acceptance deadline
June 19-July 31, 2021: Summer Bridge program
August 23, 2021: First day of Fall classes