Funded by the National Science Foundation, the STEM Scholars program provides social & financial support for academically promising students with financial need to thrive at BSU and pursue successful careers in STEM fields.
National Science Foundation logo

Starting Fall 2024, secure your future in STEM with up to $15,000 a year to cover your FULL cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, housing, meals and other miscellaneous costs),  Join our supportive network of peer and faculty mentors and develop life-long skills in emotional intelligence and personal resilience. These skills will help you succeed and thrive in school and give you an advantage as you search for jobs after graduation.


Scholarship Benefits

As a STEM Scholar, you’ll receive:

  • Financial Support:  Scholarships to cover tuition, fees, books, housing and meals.  Additional funds for research travel, computers and childcare are available.
  • STEM Club Community:  Monthly social and professional events, with the option to live in the STEM residence hall community and takes classes with other Scholars.
  • Mentors and Tutors:  Advisors, tutors and peer mentors from STEM and TRIO that provide academic and career guidance in STEM.
  • Research:  Opportunities for hands-on research experience in collaboration with STEM faculty.
  • Develop Emotional Intelligence: Develop self-awareness and self-management; the ability to consider other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions; and relationship management skills designed to create healthy and effective professional relationships that will advance your STEM career!
  • STEM Kick-Start Week:  A free, fun, interactive introduction to BSU with time to meet peers and faculty.  Learn how to maximize your STEM education experience while enjoying the beauty of our lakeside Northwoods campus.
  • STEM FYE Course:  A First-Year Experience (FYE) course focused on STEM fields that involves STEM faculty.

Ryan Kurtz“Being a part of the STEM cohort gave me the opportunity to build camaraderie with other students outside of my major. The community building events gave me opportunities to explore Bemidji outside of the university, like canoeing from Lake Plantagenet to Lake Bemidji.”

—Ryan Kurtz ’18
Bemidji, Minn.
Manager of Finance, Optum Insight

Who Should Apply

We welcome all students to apply, especially those individuals who are underrepresented in STEM. New, transfer and returning students can apply for the STEM Scholars Program!

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Complete the FAFSA application to determine if you are Pell-eligible and have unmet financial need.  (All applicants must complete the FAFSA application.)
  • Enroll as at least a half-time student (min. 6 credits per semester, 12 credits per year).
  • Hold U.S. citizenship, permanent residency or meet refugee criteria as defined by U.S. law
  • Pursue a B.S. major in one of the following STEM fields:
    • Aquatic Biology
    • Biology
    • Wildlife Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB)
    • Computer Science
    • Computer Information Systems
    • Environmental Studies
    • Geography
    • Indigenous Sustainability Studies
    • Policy Planning
    • Mathematics
    • Note that pre-health, clinical and education programs are not eligible for the scholarship.

*Preference will be given to students enrolled in on-campus, face-to-face programs (not fully online programs) that have two or more years until graduation (junior status or below).


Bemidji State University’s STEM Scholars Program is rooted in the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility (DEIJA). We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, eliminating systemic barriers, celebrating diverse perspectives and advocating for social justice within the STEM community. We actively recruit and support underrepresented students, providing financial support and resources to level the playing field and create a sense of belonging. Our program aims to empower students from all backgrounds to pursue STEM education and careers, contributing to a more equitable and innovative future.

STEM Career Opportunities

STEM Scholars gain skills in high-demand disciplines such as biology, chemistry and computer science, positioning them for careers essential to national interests like cybersecurity and climate change.

Carly Shore

“There was no downside to being a member of this exceptional group. Financially, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Graduating college with little-to-no student loan debt is exceptionally rare, and a gift that will resonate with you for the entirety of your adult life.”

Carly Shore ’19
Rochester, Minn.
Medical Technologist, Mayo Clinic

Employment Data for STEM B.S. Graduates

With an average wage of $92,000—well above the U.S. mean—these careers offer strong growth rates and the potential for upward social mobility. In Minnesota, home to tech and biotech giants like 3M and MedTronic, STEM-related jobs are booming, making scholars highly marketable.

These fields are not only financially rewarding but also critical to addressing today’s most pressing challenges.

Job National Median Salary Number of Jobs in Minnesota
Software Developer $109,020 33,284
Computer Systems Analyst $99,270 18,856
Medical Scientists $95,310 3,303
Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers $78,300 4,302
Chemists and Material Scientists $79,760 2,039
Information Security Analysts $102,600 2,532
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $76,530 1,837
Natural Science Managers $137,900 1,646
Database Administrators and Architects $101,000 2,887
Biochemists $120,270 787

a. National data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021.
b. State data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Employment Outlook Projections 2021.

How to Apply

Apply for this scholarship (and all available scholarships at BSU) through the Foundation Scholarship Application.

  1. Complete the Bemidji State online application
  2. Complete the FAFSA through the Financial Aid office. FASFA will open in December.
  3. Fill out the Foundation Scholarship application form by February 15th (priority deadline).  Applications will be accepted until April 1st.

I’m Interested

If you would like more information or have a question, ask

Connect with us on social media: bemidjistate_stemscholars 

Request More Information about the STEM Scholarship

Fill out this form to get more information about the STEM Scholars Program or get reminders about important application deadlines.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. (NSF-DUE 2321990).