The Clark Scholars Program at the University of Maryland was established as part of Building Together, the Foundation’s $219.5 million investment in the University of Maryland announced October 2017.

The Clark Scholars Program is designed to recruit, retain, and graduate exceptionally talented engineering students with financial need who are poised to take on society’s Grand Challenges. Clark Scholars will confront these challenges with a multidisciplinary, socially aware, and entrepreneurial background and will earn the designation of National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars. The goal of the Clark Scholars Program is to graduate 100% of program participants with little to no college debt and for these graduates to join the network of leading Clark Scholars alumni who are advancing technology through innovation.

Students selected for this distinguished program will receive need-based scholarships. The program will support up to 10 new state of Maryland students each year, for a maximum of 40 students when fully enrolled. The program launched with an inaugural cohort of 10 students in Fall 2018.

Learn more about Mr. Clark and his connection to the University of Maryland.

Students will be selected based on factors including:

  • Financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • Prior academic and extracurricular achievements.
  • Interests and/or prior experiences that align with the program components, including multidisciplinary education, research, entrepreneurship, technology management, global leadership, and social consciousness

Prospective freshmen admitted to the A. James Clark School of Engineering during the freshman early action admission process will be considered for the program and invited to apply.

Incoming freshmen scholars kick off their Clark Scholar experience with a mandatory two-week residential summer program on-campus from July 27th through August 9th.  The two-week program serves as an opportunity for students to meet and develop relationships with fellow cohort members, build a foundation for their fall academic coursework, and meet important people and resources integral to their success as a Clark School student. 

The summer program activities focus around community building, learning about campus resources, preparation for chemistry, and exposure to computational thinking.  The 2023 summer program kicked off with a day of bonding and ziplining at an outdoor adventure center, giving Clark Scholars the chance to build teamwork skills and get to know one another.  Other highlights included visiting the National Aquarium and escaping the Charm City Clue Rooms in Baltimore, MD and Beat the Bomb in Washington, D.C. Students also had fun in “The Joy and Importance of Understanding How and Why Things Work,” which was a weeklong workshop course where they were able to disassemble and reassemble a variety of products (i.e., leaf blower, microwave oven, bicycle, etc.) as well as work on their computational thinking skills.  During the University Resources workshops, students had the unique opportunity to meet with Dean Samuel Graham, Jr. and intimately discuss the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges.  After the summer program, our incoming Clark Scholars started the fall semester supported by a network of friends and university faculty and staff, and also equipped with the confidence to begin to develop their Fearless Ideas as Terp Engineers!

The 2024 Summer Program will be held from July 27th through August 9th. More details regarding the program will be shared with the Fall 2024 incoming Clark Scholars in March/April 2024.  Please note that this is a mandatory program that is required for all new Clark Scholars.

The Clark Scholars Program curriculum is designed for students to develop their leadership skills, business acumen, commitment to service, and identity as a Clark Scholar.  In the first year, scholars take the Engineering and the Grand Challenge's course with their cohort members, and also meet monthly with program staff.  Scholars also meet monthly with all cohorts to work on their service-learning project, directed by Faculty Advisor Dr. Christopher Cadou.  The current service-learning project is a student-led project aimed at stormwater management on campus.  Clark Scholars also engage in semesterly advising meetings with Dr. Cadou and Associate Director, Damien Franze, to discuss their educational and professional goals. 

During the next three years, Clark Scholars continue with advising and cohort meetings and collect additional experiences to build their resume as future leaders.  Maryland Clark Scholars have the opportunity to interface with other Clark Scholars across ten leading engineering institutions through an annual conference hosted by the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation.  Additionally, Clark Scholars are provided the opportunity to connect with and learn from other engineering students, faculty, and engineering professionals through various educational workshops and special opportunities, like the annual National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program Conference and biannual Grand Challenges Global Summit.  Academically, they take business, leadership, and interdisciplinary coursework that align with their individual professional goals. 

  • Clark Scholars must be active program participants, attending mandatory cohort meetings and advising meetings with program faculty, staff, and Clark School administrators.
  • Clark Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative UMD grade point average, remain enrolled in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, make satisfactory progress toward a degree in engineering, and complete a minimum of 12 credits per semester/24 credits per year.
  • Clark Scholars must complete the program's academic course requirements and present their research during the Undergraduate Research Day (as directed by program staff).
  • Clark Scholars must meet the campus financial aid deadlines on an annual basis, including filing a FAFSA by the university's priority deadline, which is April 1, 2024 for the 2024-2025 academic year. 
  • All incoming Clark Scholars must participate in the Clark Scholars Summer Program.
  • As part of their studies, Clark Scholars will seek to solve some of the greatest engineering challenges as participants in the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program.

Full Clark Scholars Policy details are available on the Office of Student and Financial Aid website. 

Visit our team page for our contact information!