Who can apply?

Any Lafayette student is invited to get involved in the Grand Challenges program. Lafayette has developed two degrees of opportunities, the shallow dive and the deep dive, in order to encourage students of all areas to engage at a comfortable level of interest. The shallow dive involves projects envisioned to typically be offered as a 1/4-unit course. The deep dive, or the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, includes five components specified by the NAE that must be completed.

I'm interested. What's my next step?

Interested students or faculty members should complete the Get Involved form. Once the form is received you will be contacted to discuss your ideas and begin to formalize an approach.

Can activities I completed before I was accepted into the GCSP count toward my requirements?

Yes, all relevant activities experienced after you arrived at Lafayette will count toward your GCSP requirements. For example, if you did summer research, completed an interdisciplinary cluster of three courses outside of your major that relates to a Grand Challenge, or worked for an entrepreneurial enterprise before you were accepted, these activities would count.

What are the requirements to graduate with the GCSP designation?

The National Academy of Engineering requires all GC Scholars to complete five sets of broadening and high-engagement activities relating to one or more Grand Challenges. These include relevant courses, research, service-learning, study abroad and entrepreneurship.

Can courses and activities count toward more than one component of GCSP?

No, courses and activities used to satisfy one component of GCSP may not be used to satisfy another set of GC requirements, however, they may be used to fulfill applicable sections of the College’s Common Course of Study or other degree requirements.

What happens after I complete all the GCSP requirements?

Upon completing the five requirements of the GCSP, students must submit an application to complete the Grand Challenge Scholar Program. Part of this application is an essay where the student relates the five components to their selected Grand Challenge and shows how they have impacted the challenge under investigation.

What if I don't complete all of the GCSP requirements before I graduate?

The National Academy will not recognize partial completion of GCSP requirements, so students who do not complete all of the requirements will not receive the certificate from the NAE or have the special cord at graduation.

Are there additional costs associated with being a Grand Challenge project or program?

Study abroad always involves travel expenses. Some service-learning experiences may have travel costs. GC Scholars will be required to pay for these expenses.

What if I am accepted then decide I no longer want to be a Grand Challenge Scholar?

You simply need to let your faculty mentor know that you are no longer interested in being in the program.