Penn State Millennium Scholars Program

Main Content

This highly selective program is open to academically strong high school seniors whose future plans include a commitment to pursuing a doctoral degree in science or engineering, and who are committed to increasing the diversity of researchers in science and engineering.

Penn State Millennium Scholars program


To apply for the scholarship, you will need a Penn State Access ID (Example: xyx5012) available by creating a MyPennState profile. Students must apply separately for admission to Penn State University Park to pursue College of Engineering or College of Science majors, with the exception that students applying to the Premedicine major, Premedical-Medical, Forensic Science or BS/MBA programs are not eligible to apply for the Millennium Scholars program. Annual scholarships for Millennium Scholars will start at $15,000.

Now accepting applications for 2016

Although it is not required for students to be considered for the Millennium Scholars program, we encourage students to also apply to the Schreyer Honors College.


For more information please contact the Millennium Scholars Program at

A selection committee, with faculty members from the College of Engineering and the Eberly College of Science, will consider each application on the basis of the individual's academic achievements, SAT (or ACT) scores, two recommendation letters from science and math faculty, and commitment to addressing global challenges requiring scientific discoveries and technical solutions. Scholars will be selected for their interest in science, engineering, and mathematics, together with their intent to pursue a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in the sciences or engineering.

Applicants must attend an accredited high school with a rigorous college preparatory program. The minimum program of study should include:

English: four years
Social Science/History: three years
Mathematics*: three years
Science**: three years

*Students are strongly recommended to have completed four years of mathematics, including trigonometry, pre-calculus, and/or calculus.
** Students are strongly recommended to have completed four years of science, including at least one advanced placement science course in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Eligibility Criteria

The Penn State Millennium Scholars program is highly selective. Prospective students cannot have received lower than a B in any high school science or math course. Preference will be given to those who have taken advanced placement courses in math and science, have research experience, and have strong references from science or math instructors.

Students must meet all eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum of 600 on the Math component of the SAT
  • Cumulative High School GPA of a 3.30 or above
  • Aspire to obtain a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in Math, Science, or Engineering
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States


Financial Aid

Scholars receive a scholarship renewable for up to four years. Continued scholarship is contingent upon maintaining 3.5 grade point average in a science or engineering major.

Summer Bridge

A mandatory six-week bridge program during the summer for all incoming Millennium Scholars is an integral part of this program. Students will take courses in math and science. They will also be introduced to the rich research environment at Penn State. Important life skills such as time management, problem solving and study skills will be learned during this time. Opportunities to take part in social and cultural events will also be available. This time together helps to foster the inter-personal relationships that will be vital to excelling in the undergraduate programs and to exceeding the expectations for the Scholars.

Program Values

Contributing to society through world-class research while pursuing the goal of a Ph.D in science and engineering is the Millennium Scholar’s priority. This goal is achieved through academic excellence, sharing the knowledge found among the peer group of your fellow Scholars, and using the available program resources including mentoring, tutoring and advising.

Study Groups

Studying in groups is strongly and consistently encouraged, as it will help you succeed in your science, math or engineering major.

Scholar Community

The small number of Penn State Millennium Scholars contributes to a tight community of learners. Throughout their undergraduate studies, Scholars are required to be housed in the Science & Engineering Special Living option.

Academic Advising and Counseling

Penn State Millennium Scholars are provided with an academic adviser to aid them with their academic planning and performance. The program’s director will also regularly meet with students to discuss their academic progress or any personal problems that may occur.

Academic Coaching

All students are encouraged to use any departmental and university tutoring services to reach their highest academic achievement and fullest potential. Scholars are expected to excel and to expect more of themselves.

Research Opportunities

Our award-winning faculty offer Scholars an engaging and interactive learning environment in their research labs. You will learn science and engineering by doing science and engineering. As part of the research experience, Scholars will complete and defend a thesis.

Faculty Involvement

Faculty are involved in all aspects of the program including teaching, mentoring research and special events and activities. The faculty are key to providing a supportive environment, and to encourage inter-personal relationships that will last through your academic career and beyond.