In June 2013, the State of Connecticut continued its tradition of supporting UConn’s success with Next Generation Connecticut, an investment of approximately $1.5 billion. The primary focus is to expand UConn’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs to provide qualified individuals for Connecticut industries. This STEM expansion includes:
- Hiring new STEM faculty;
- Increasing enrollment of STEM-focused students;
- Building STEM facilities to house teaching labs for material science, physics, biology, engineering, cognitive science, genomics, and related disciplines; and
- Creating a STEM Scholars community within UConn's Honors Program.
High achieving, first-year freshmen applying to a STEM major have the opportunity to be selected as a STEM Scholar. In addition to receiving a scholarship, UConn STEM Scholars have the freedom to choose a course of study in numerous STEM fields and receive unique resources, benefits, and opportunities to enhance and support their academic pursuits. Benefits include:
- STEM Living and Learning Community, where students live with other STEM and Honors Scholars in a tight-knit community within the Honors first-year residential complex;
- First Year Experience STEM-related seminar taught by Honors faculty members;
- Monthly STEM research seminars that allow students to broaden their knowledge base while sharing their insights;
- Dedicated staff advisors with whom students work closely to identify the right research-based internships, study abroad opportunities, and undergraduate research positions; and
- IDEA or SURF grants, which provide funding for original scientific or creative projects.
Invitations to the STEM Scholars community are competitive. While a strong academic performance is required, particular importance will be placed on experiences outside of the classroom that indicate an interest and commitment to the STEM fields.