Welcome to the UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars Program!

The UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars Program is designed for students from all majors who want to help solve important problems facing society. This structured program provides a vibrant inderdisciplinary community to help tackle the NAE Grand Challenges, and gives students experience and skills to help create solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.

What are the NAE Grand Challenges?

The Grand Challenges are fourteen broad problems facing society in sustainability, health, security, and knowledge. These solutions will require interdisciplinary teams and years of sustained effort.

The National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century. In 2008, the NAE identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. The Grand Challenges are a call to action and serve as a focal point for society's attention to opportunities and challenges affecting our quality of life.

Read more at engineeringchallenges.org

UMBC Grand Challenge Scholar

Each UMBC Grand Challenge Scholar will complete three one-credit seminars that are designed to help them create a personalized program to explore a selected Grand Challenge, from five program area perspectives: research, interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship, global dimensions, and service. UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars will receive formal designation at graduation for their accomplishments.


Apply to become a UMBC Grand Challenge Scholar now! (Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until program capacity is reached.) The program is designed for students completing their sophomore year, but all students may apply.

More Information

You can see more about the curriculum and the selection requirements on this site. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Additional Resources

Advisory Board

Spring 2016 GCSP Recruiting Flyer (pdf)

Presentation from March 2016 information sessions (pptx)