​​​​ NSF logoAbout the NSF S-STEM Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF), is partnering with SMC’s existing Science and Research Initiative (SRI) to offer a "STEM Scholarship Program" and will provide scholarships each semester through Spring 2020 to academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who are majoring in one of the supported STEM disciplines.

NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program Overview

STEM Disciplines Supported

The STEM disciplines supported by the S-STEM program include:

  • Biological sciences (except medicine and other clinical fields);

  • Physical sciences (including physics, chemistry, astronomy, and materials science);

  • Mathematical sciences;

  • Computer and information sciences;

  • Geosciences;

  • Engineering; and

  • Technology areas associated with the preceding disciplines (for example, biotechnology, chemical technology, engineering technology, information technology, etc.)


Students selected to receive the NSF STEM Scholarship will receive:

  • Financial support each semester they are enrolled at SMC based on the financial need listed in the financial aid award letter. See FAQ for how the financial aid award letter is calculated.

  • Mentorship by STEM faculty, students, and counselors.​

  • Special NSF program activities each semester

  • Math workshops and STEM academic support

Qualifications, Requirements

​​Required Qualifications

  • Be a citizen of the United States, National of the United States (Be citizens of the United States, nationals of the United States (as defined in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), aliens admitted as refugees under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

    *Please note that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individuals are ineligible for support from this solicitation unless they meet the requirements listed in the first sentence of this bullet.

  • Apply, and qualify, for Federal Financial Aid 

  • Be a STEM major 

Preferred Criteria

  • Be enrolled full-time (12+ units) each semester in one of the STEM disciplines listed above;

  • Be preparing academically to transfer to a 4-year, research-oriented baccalaureate program;

  • Maintain a SMC GPA of at least a 2.8

Application Process

Eligible students will be selected through a competitive application process. You must meet the required qualifications to be considered for the scholarship. (Citizenship, Financial Need, STEM Major, and program participation commitment).

Your application will be reviewed by a committee. The committee will review each application from a holistic perspective and rank each applicant according to the preferred criteria, short answer responses and the STEM faculty member recommendations.

Application Instructions

Please go through the checklist to make sure you have all of the items below, before you begin the application process.

Application Checklist

  1. Contact Information

  2. General Academic Information: GPA, Math courses taken, major information, expected number of years to transfer, etc.

  3. Answers to three (3) short essay questions (400 words max)
    *These should be written and spell checked PRIOR to opening up the application link.

    • Describe your STEM Goals and examples of experiences that have made an impact on your STEM interests?

    • What challenges have you had to overcome thus far in pursuing your educational goals? What potential challenges do you foresee in meeting your educational goals in the future?

    • How will the NSF STEM Scholarship benefits (financial support, mentorship, counseling, STEM workshops) help you overcome the challenges you mentioned in Question 2 and help you to fulfill your STEM goals?

  4. Name and email of a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math Instructor who will recommend you based on:

    • How long have they known you;

    • Your STEM academic potential using specific examples of your classwork and/or class projects;

    • Examples that will demonstrate how you strive to meet your educational goals in their STEM classes and/or in STEM endeavors outside of the classroom.

  5. ​​Unofficial copy of High School Transcript (ONLY FOR incoming High School students/new SMC Students). You will be asked to upload your unofficial transcript as part of the online application.


Students will be contacted via email regarding the status of their application during October 2019​.

Click Here to Apply Online

*Additional Faculty Recommendation

This form is to be used if you need to submit an additional Faculty Name for the recommendation portion of your application. Please ONLY submit an additional Faculty Recommendation Request if the Faculty Member you listed on your NSF-STEM Scholarship Application will be unable to provide a recommendation for you.

NOTE: Only ONE recommendation will be considered for each application.

Submit Additional Faculty Recommendation​

Santa Monica College | NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program | NSF-STEM-Scholarship@smc.edu | (310) 434-3988