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About the Program

The Bison STEM Scholars Program (BSSP) is designed to attract and prepare high-achieving high school students.  Students who are selected for the program are required to ultimately pursue, a PhD, or a combined MD/PhD.  Students are required to major in a STEM-related discipline.  The purpose of the Bison STEM Scholars Program is to challenge students through rigorous preparation and to create an environment/community of interdependence which should lead to successful outcomes.  The program, focuses on encouraging participants to build personal responsibility, personal accountability, and make wise choices regarding their education.  The program will also focus on building a global perspective to prepare its students to live, prosper and contribute to a world that is increasingly diverse and global in nature.

The Bison STEM Scholars Program presents an opportunity for academically-talented students interested in STEM fields to become thinkers, researchers, educators and leaders.  Howard University has long been a leader in producing Black STEM PhDs.  This program will expand and extend the reach of Howard University’s leadership role in producing students that will change the landscape in higher education.

Program Benefits and Eligibility

The Bison STEM Scholars Program’s mission is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who earn a PhD or combined MD/PhD in a STEM discipline.  Participants must be interested in pursuing a career in research and/or teaching, policy development or a leadership role in government or the corporate world.  High-achieving high school seniors can be nominated by a school administrator, teacher (especially math or science teacher), guidance personnel or may apply on their own.

Bison STEM Scholars will receive the following benefits as a member of the program:

  • Scholarship
  • Parents earn more than $150,000 (AGI as reported on the FAFSA), scholar receives 75% tuition, 100% of fees
  • Parents earn less than $150,000 (AGI as reported on the FAFSA), scholar receives 100% tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies stipend, up to $1,500/yr.
  • Summer Bridge Program (mandatory)
  • Research Internship Opportunities (required during summers)
  • In-Program Advising
  • Large and Small Study Groups
  • Tutoring
  • Mentoring
  • Cultural Arts
  • Study Abroad (optional)

Eligibility Criteria

  • A minimum math SAT score of 600 and a minimum SAT composite score of at least 1250, or
  • ACT Math score of at least 26
  • An overall high school GPA of 3.0 or higher (unweighted), at least “B” grades in high school math and science, engineering and computer science courses
  • Committed to pursuing a PhD or combined MD/PhD in math, science, computer science or engineering
  • Documented previous community service experience
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Additional consideration given to applicants with documented leadership experience

How to Apply

  • You must first complete an application for admission to Howard University using the Common Application
  • In addition, you must complete the Bison STEM Scholars Program (BSSP) Application.  Go to the Howard University website and click the Admissions tab, then select Bison STEM Scholars Program.  There you will be able to complete the Bison STEM Scholars Program application, electronically, print and submit as an email attachment. Application period opens November 1, 2018.
  • You must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • You will also need to submit, via email, your SAT and/or ACT scores, copy of your high school transcript, two recommendations: at least one from your math or science teacher and one from another teacher/research mentor/guidance counselor/administrator who is familiar with your work and your scholarship essays (not those that were submitted for admission to the University.  The email address for submitting your application and other documents is:
  • There are several ways to gain consideration for the Bison STEM Scholars Program.  Prospects can be nominated by their high school principal or guidance/career counselor, they can apply on their own or, applicants who apply for Early Decision and who meet the BSSP criteria will be invited to apply.  No matter how they apply, all prospects are given equal consideration if they meet the minimum criteria and present a complete application packet.

Selected Participants

  • Must be a high-achiever with a strong academic record
  • Committed to the pursuit of a PhD or combined MD/PhD in a STEM-related discipline and to increasing diversity in STEM-related fields
  • Focused on working in teams
  • Committed to community service
  • Must be willing to work hard and develop discipline

Bison Selection Weekend

After all application packets have been reviewed, the top applicants will be invited to participate in a selection process.  It will be an overnight experience and finalists will reside on-campus with current Howard University students.  Finalists and their parents are responsible for travel expenses.  Those with demonstrated financial need should contact the BSSP Office in advance.  The Selection Weekend Program will include among other activities, a panel interview.

After Selection Weekend has concluded, information gleaned from the Selection Weekend experience will be assessed.  Approximately 25 finalists (can vary from year-to-year) will be chosen as program participants.  Offers will be sent out and responses must be received by May 1st.  To matriculate in the Fall as a Bison STEM Scholar, the Summer Bridge Program must be successfully completed.

Bison STEM Scholars Summer Bridge Program

Students who accept the offer to participate in the Bison STEM Scholars Program are required to participate in the 6-week Summer Bridge Program which begins in late June.  Interested applicants should not plan anything from late June to Mid August.  Program participants must begin the Summer Bridge Program on-time and must complete the program successfully. Directly after the Summer Bridge Program ends, scholars will travel to Berlin, Germany for a 2-week seminar. 

Important Dates:

  • November 1: Application period opens
  • February 5: Bison STEM Scholars Program application deadline (All application materials must be completed by this date to be considered and evaluated)
  • Late February: Invitations to Bison Selection Weekend are sent out
  • March 22 and 23: Selection Weekend
  • April 1: Decision letters begin going out
  • May 1: Acceptance of offers to participate in the Bison STEM Scholars Program due
  • Summer Bridge Program: June 15, 2019 (Saturday) – July 26, 2019 (Friday), Checkout – July 27, 2019 (Saturday) 
  • Trip to Germany - Dates are TBD

Click here to start the Scholarship Application

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