Carnegie Mellon University

Summer Academy for Math and Science 

Providing opportunities for students from underrepresented communities to explore STEM-related fields.

SAMS students
Program Length
Jun. 22
Aug. 3, 2024 

 (6 weeks)
Applications* Due
Decision Notification On
Housing Options

Resident Only

*Applications with SAMS as a first, second, and/or third choice selection will NOT be considered for Early Decision or on rolling admission. Applicants selecting this program will follow the timeline listed above.
**Must be a current junior to be eligible.

Program Overview

As SAMS Scholars, students engage in a rigorous curriculum taught by our renowned faculty and staff who are deeply committed to student success. The program allows students to develop a deeper understanding of STEM via traditional classroom instruction, through hands-on projects, and sustained engagement with world-renowned faculty and skilled staff mentors. In addition to their academic experiences, students also have the opportunity to collaborate and develop meaningful relationships with peers from across the country.

Through SAMS and other outreach initiatives, the university:

  • Develops a diverse and supportive community of STEM Scholars interested in attending top-tier universities.
  • Strengthens students’ commitment to pursuing STEM-related disciplines.
  • Broadens students understanding and access to opportunities made available through study in STEM.
  • Equips students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful STEM scholars.


The Summer Academy for Math and Science will consist of 2 parts:

PART 1: Part one of the SAMS program will occur prior to the start of the residential program (dates to be determined). This will be a virtual jumpstart for participants, focusing on some skill-building that will be needed for the in-person program. During this time the program will be connecting virtually for portions of these days, but students will not be needed for full days.  

PART 2: Part two of the SAMS program will be a 6 week, in-person Pre-College program.  SAMS Scholars will be in courses and meetings for full days during the time they are here. The academic portion of the program will conclude with the symposium on the final Friday of the program.

SAMS is a fully funded, merit-based program. There is no cost for scholars to participate. We expect all SAMS Scholars to participate fully for the duration of the program. We understand that students may be applying to multiple summer opportunities, however if selected for SAMS, scholars will not be permitted to participate in any other programs (virtual or in person) if program dates conflict. If you have any questions, please reach out to

    • Students will complete Quantitative and Computational Skill seminars that compose the academic core:

      • Math

      • Science

      • STEM-related project that is advised by a STEM faculty and/or graduate student

    • Students will participate in writing workshops with a focus on college application preparation.

    • Students will attend workshops, meet with alumni, students, university leaders, and finalize STEM-based projects.

    • Students will meet in mentoring small groups facilitated by the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion.

    • Students will participate in and learn more about collaborative learning through group tutoring and academic coaching sessions offered through the Student Academic Success Center.

    • Students and families will participate in virtual enrichment sessions, such as financial aid, FAFSA, and college admission.

    • Families will participate in virtual workshops about how to best support their student in the college search and admission process.

  • SAMS culminates with the day-long Symposium which includes a Closing Awards Ceremony and STEM project student presentations.

These connections will be ongoing and virtual.

  • Students will interact with admission, financial aid, student affairs, and academic support staff.
  • Students will interact with current Carnegie Mellon community members to explore STEM majors and opportunities at CMU.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

To be eligible for the SAMS program, students must:

  • Be at least 16 years old by the program start date.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be a junior in high school at the time of application submission.

Students selected for the SAMS program have the following qualities:

  • Demonstrate a strong interest in STEM disciplines. 

  • Have an experience that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion in education, extra-curricular activities, and/or community engagement.

All eligible students are welcome to apply, and we strongly encourage applications from students who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) on the basis of:

  • Low socioeconomic status, which may be indicated by eligibility for public assistance programs or free/reduced lunch

  • Raised in a home where English was a second language

  • First-generation college students (parent(s) did not complete a bachelor’s degree)

  • Currently attending a high school with historically low rates of admittance to top-tier institutions

The SAMS application includes more specific information regarding requirements. However, applicants can expect the application to include the following:

  • Online application
  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Standardized test scores (optional)
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation (one must be from a current math instructor)
  • Complete two essay prompts indicated in the application

An essay is required for the following prompt (300-500 words):

  • What do you hope to gain from participating in Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College Programs?

In addition, applicants must to respond to one of the below SAMS-specific essay prompts (no more than 1000 words):

  • 1. Carnegie Mellon’s founder, Andrew Carnegie, is famously known for the quote “My Heart is in the Work.”  Our work in the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion and belongingness (DEIB).  What are the benefits of pursuing passion projects as a future Summer Academy for Math & Science (SAMS) Scholar?
  • 2. As a STEM scholar, how can your academic work address a social inequity you have personally experienced or observed as harming/impacting a community in which you belong?

Financial Need

Summer Academy for Math & Science (SAMS) utilizes a holistic application review and admissions process, looking at the full application and selecting program participants based on a combination of factors. Because we are a fully funded, merit-based program for participants, demonstration of financial need is one of these factors. There is no option for participants to pay out of pocket tuition fees for this program, and financial documentation is required for application submission. Documentation includes either tax documents or a completed NACAC Application Fee Waiver signed by your high school guidance department.  

Further information is below, but please feel free to reach out with questions to any of the following contacts: 

Students in any of the below categories are considered to demonstrate financial need:  

  • Students who have received or are eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver.
  • Students who are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced-Price Lunch Program (FRPL).
  • Students whose family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Students who are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • Students whose family receives public assistance.
  • Students who live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or are homeless.
  • Students who are a ward of the state or an orphan.
  • Students who can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader. 

All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered.

CMU President, PNC official and SAMS students
PNC Foundation Chair and President Sally McCrady and CMU President Farnam Jahanian with SAMS students during the 2022 symposium and closing event, where a $3 million grant announcement was made.

 All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered. 


Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate and is required not to discriminate in violation of federal, state, or local laws or executive orders.  Inquiries concerning the application of and compliance with this statement should be directed to the Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.