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FAQs

How are STAR Scholars selected?

Approximately half of each STAR Scholars cohort is chosen by Enrollment Management and the Office of Undergraduate Research during the admissions process. Accepted students who are singled out as particularly exceptional on the basis of overall high school performance, SAT/ACT scores, and interest or demonstrated achievement in research or creative activities are offered a position in the STAR Scholars Program as a recruitment incentive. Approximately 20% of the offers made to this group of students are accepted.

Can students already attending the University become STAR Scholars?

Yes. The remaining spots in each STAR Scholars cohort are opened to the rest of the freshman class and are filled by way of an application process. The application process begins at the start of Winter term; interested students submit an application, which includes a personal statement and a letter of recommendation from a Drexel faculty member. 

How many STAR Scholars are accepted per year?

A total of 155 students were funded in the STAR Scholars Program in the 2012-2013 academic year. This number has grown steadily every year, as the program began with a funded cohort of 30 students during the summer of 2003. 

Can students from any major apply for the STAR Scholars Program?

Yes. We make a concerted effort to include students from many or all disciplines from across the university. We include students from across the university in proportion to the number of applications we receive from each discipline; as a result, there is often stiffer competition among students from particular disciplines than others. 

Are only students in the Honors Program eligible to apply for the STAR Scholars Program?

No. The STAR Scholars Program is not restricted to students in the Honors Program, though the eligibility requirements for STAR are similar to those for the Honors Program.

How are STAR Scholars matched to faculty mentors?

STAR Scholars are not matched to faculty mentors; rather, they choose their own faculty mentor. We advise STAR Scholars on which faculty mentors are conducting research in the areas in which they have expressed an interest, and we encourage STAR Scholars to take the initiative in finding their own faculty mentor by networking with their current professors, “researching their research” by looking up faculty research projects online, and perusing the Discover website to see the types of research positions that are already posted.

How long is the STAR Scholars Summer Experience?

The STAR Scholars Program runs for the full ten (10) weeks of the Drexel University Summer Term between students’ freshman and sophomore year. 

How many hours per week are STAR Scholars expected to work?

STAR Scholars are expected to work approximately 40 hours/week for the entirety of the summer term, for a total of 400 hours of faculty-mentored research, scholarship, or creative activity.

How much pay do STAR Scholars receive?

Each STAR Scholar is provided a stipend equal to $10/hour for 40 hours/week over the course of a 10-week period. Thus, each STAR Scholar is expected to earn a total of $4,000 in taxable income over the course of the summer term. In addition, campus housing is provided at no cost to all STAR Scholars for the summer term.

What is expected of STAR Mentors?

STAR Mentors are expected to define appropriate research activities within the chosen discipline, provide academic and career guidance to their STAR Scholars, and monitor the research being conducted under their tutelage. We expect Mentors to provide a research/creative environment that is conducive to learning, as well as feedback to students as their research/creative activity progresses. Our expectations of our STAR Mentors are explained in full detail in the STAR Scholar/Mentor Contract.

What specific deliverables are expected of all STAR Scholars?

Each STAR Scholar is responsible for creating a research poster, which they are then expected to present at the STAR Scholars Summer Showcase, held at the end of the summer term for friends, family, and the Drexel community. STAR Scholars are also required to write and submit an abstract of their research to be published in the STAR Scholars Summer Showcase program.

Can STAR Scholars participate in an international research opportunity?

There are a limited number of international STAR opportunities currently available. If you are interested, please contact OUR staff to set up a meeting to discuss your research interests and potential opportunities. 

Are STAR Scholars eligible to take courses during the STAR Summer Term?

Yes. STAR Scholars are eligible to take a class during the STAR Summer Term with the approval of their Mentor. Each student who chooses to take a course over the summer bears responsibility for tuition for this course, as payment for summer courses is NOT included in the stipend for STAR Scholars.

How can students in the STAR Scholars Program continue to participate in undergraduate research after the program ends?

Many of our STAR Scholars continue their research by choosing a research co-op; participating in research as a volunteer, for academic credit, or for work/study; and by presenting their work at general undergraduate conferences or discipline-specific conferences.