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ACCESS Scholarship

 ACCESS the Start of a Lifetime

ACCESS welcomes all students who are inspired by science and committed to advancing gender equality in STEM. The scholarship, valued at over $5000, includes a monetary award and covers all costs associated with the ACCESS first year experience.

ACCESS provides freshmen and transfer students from a variety of backgrounds with a supportive path into STEM degrees, and later careers. ACCESS begins with a summer living-learning opportunity (freshmen live on campus). During the summer students earn upper division course credits while completing two University of Utah undergraduate General Education requirements (IR and SF). The year culminates with hands-on research, where individual students are paired with a world class scientist or engineer for mentorship, and is followed by an ACCESS research symposium at the end of spring semester. Frequently, our students continue working with their mentor, engaging in research throughout their undergraduate degree and sometimes publishing before graduating. 

A year with ACCESS informs academic and career goals at the earliest possible stage, builds social awareness, unites a group of like-minded peers, and connects first year STEM students to a network of over 800 program alumni.

ACCESS supports the success of women in science and mathematics and welcomes all students who are committed to advancing gender equality in STEM fields, whether it be in academia or industry. With a vision of greater inclusion, diversity, and accessibility across STEM fields, ACCESS works for students today and the workforce of tomorrow.

ACCESS is a signature program of the University of Utah College of Science. Through partnerships with the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, the College of Engineering, and Medical Laboratory Sciences, ACCESS welcomes and supports students majoring in all STEM disciplines.

First year students (freshmen and college transfers), who are interested in majoring in a STEM discipline, are encouraged to apply.

A team of STEM faculty evaluates each applicant using a holistic review process that considers high school course load and rigor, extracurricular experiences, letters of recommendation, application essays, and GPA.

Detailed application requirements


Important Dates

  • 2021 Applications accepted: CLOSED
  • Offers and alternates notified: First week of April 2021
  • Summer course: June 21 - July 20 (subject to change)

ACCESS is made possible by many generous corporate and individual donors. Special thanks to

 A Year of ACCESS


Science and engineering are explored during an ACCESS exclusive course. In SCI 3000, students learn about contemporary research and the significant interactions between science, engineering, and society. The course fulfills two undergraduate requirements: International Requirement (IR) and Science Foundation (SF). Student success and the opportunity to survey academic and career paths are integral to this unique learning experience (no exams or quizzes). Activities in and out of class, and mentorship from program alumni help to establish a cohort of support. Freshmen ACCESS students are transitioned into college life while living on campus.



ACCESS workshops and mentorship continue to help students transition into university life and provide tools and support for bolstering success in STEM as a student and future professional.



Students participate in cutting-edge research under the guidance of a prominent scientist or engineer, giving them insight into the underpinnings of science and innovation. The year of ACCESS helps inform a students' academic and career goals at an early stage in their STEM pursuits. Discoveries are celebrated during the ACCESS Spring Research Symposium. Faculty, high school educators, family, and friends are invited to learn from the newest ACCESS alumni.



ACCESS 2020-2021

ACCESS 2019-2020

ACCESS 2018-2019



Boyana Martinova

Sonia Sehgal

Women in Mathematics

Anna Vickrey, PhD’20

Goldwater Winner

Ana Rosas

Alex Acuna

Sahar Kanishka

Rachel Cantrell

Bridget Phillips


Learn More

ACCESS Brochure

Download a PDF of the ACCESS Brochure.

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History of ACCESS

ACCESS was created in 1991 as a modern solution to an old problem.

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ACCESS Application

ACCESS application details and requirements.

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