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Welcome to UMBC’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program

UMBC’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program is designed for students from all majors who are interested in solving important societal problems. The program fosters a vibrant interdisciplinary community to help tackle the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Grand Challenges, and gives students experiences and skills to create solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.

What are the Grand Challenges?

The Grand Challenges are 14 broad problems in the areas of sustainability, health, security, and knowledge. Solutions to these issues require interdisciplinary teamwork and years of sustained effort. Read more at

“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.”–NAE

UMBC Grand Challenge Scholars

Each scholar will complete three one-credit seminars to help them create a personalized program to explore a selected Grand Challenge. This personalized program provides experiences in five program areas include research, interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship, global dimensions, and service. Upon graduation, scholars will receive a formal designation for their accomplishments in the program.

Apply to become a UMBC Grand Challenge Scholar!

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with a new cohort starting at the beginning of each Fall semester. Click here for more information about the selection process.