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What is the Grand Challenge Scholars Program?

The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP) is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five key components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century.


In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. The challenges address opportunities and challenges affecting quality of life.

In a letter of commitment presented to President Barack Obama in spring 2016, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology announced plans to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle these 14 most pressing issues facing society today.


CEAT is already actively engaged in the curricular components represented by the program; however, GCSP students, in cooperation with faculty mentors, industry, and government, will begin leading the expansion of the tenets of the Grand Challenges through industry backed design projects, GCSP focused research efforts, scholarly publications, and enhanced leadership training that recognizes the diversity of both our nation and the global community. 


With the formal implementation of the GCSP, CEAT will focus one of its scholars programs on an educational target that integrates research, interdisciplinary curriculum, entrepreneurship, global understanding and service learning, attracting a diverse cohort of students who will embrace innovation and collaboration through sustainable and affordable solutions to global issues. 

What makes a Grand Challenge Scholar?

Students interested in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program must have demonstrated academic excellence within the college (minimum college GPA of 3.2 with at least 18 CEAT credit hours) to apply, as academic achievement is an important component of success in any of our scholars programs. However, the student’s response on the proposed GCSP portfolio and evidence of a commitment to the program will be major factors in considering prospective applicants.

Become a Grand Challenge Scholar! 

To apply for the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, each student must meet the following requirements:

1. Have professional school standing in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology with a least 30 semester credit hours remaining until graduation.

2. Complete the interest form below by February 1.

3. Submit a commitment form from the student’s GCSP Mentor.

4. Propose a GCSP portfolio encompassing the five required components in the NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Declaration of Principles.  Email to by February 1.

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