NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program

About the Program

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a combined curricular and extracurricular program with five components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century. Students will work with a mentor on research related to a NAE Grand Challenge, engage in an interdisciplinary curriculum, entrepreneurship, global perspective, and service learning. Upon completing the program the student will receive a certificate of completion signed by both the NAE and the responsible Drexel University official.

Admission Requirements

Students have the opportunity to join the program anytime in the third quarter of their freshman year but not later than the end of their third year. Candidates must have a GPA of at least 3.25. The application includes a statement on why the student wishes to be a part of the program and vision statement for completion of the program requirements, including the research and civic engagement requirements. Students will complete a proposed plan of study that satisfies the requirements of the GCSP and must identify a mentor who they will work with in meeting the GCSP objectives. 

Program Requirements

Project or research activity
Each Scholar will engage in some research that can be identified with one of the very broadly identified NAE Grand Challenges with a research mentor. 

Civic Engagement activity
Each student will complete service with one community organization. The Scholar will be required to submit a written report on their activity and accomplishments.

Please note: In each of the coursework areas below, a student has the option of choosing an alternate course, provided it is approved by the program director and satisfies NAE requirements.

Program Requirements
Entrepreneurship and Innovation experience. Select two courses from the following:6.0-8.0
Leading Start-Ups
Launch It!: Early Stage
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Business Plan for Entrepreneurs
Global and cross-cultural perspectives. Select one course from the following:2.0-3.0
Global Entrepreneurship
Introduction to Global Engineering
International Business. Select one course from the following:4.0
International Business
Criminal Law
Political Science/History. Select one course from the following:4.0
Comparative Politics I
Ethics and International Relations
Culture and Communications. Select one course from the following:3.0
Strategic International Communication
Women and Society in a Global Context
Total Credits19.0-22.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Additional Information

For more information and program contacts, please visit the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program webpage. 

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