Applying to ESP

*Please read all the information below. The ESP Application is at the very bottom of this page.


This is a University-wide program available to students interested in any discipline — humanities, fine arts, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, education, and many more — in all colleges that compose The University of Alabama. Almost all full-time UA faculty conduct research and are possible mentors for Emerging Scholars.


Any regularly admitted student who is entering UA for the first year of full-time university study is eligible for ESP. Students who have been part of the Capstone Summer Honors program in previous years; who enter for the first time during the summer semester; who have substantial numbers of AP or IB credits, but who are chronological freshmen; and who have dual enrollment credits are all eligible for admission. If you have already attended Bama Bound and have a fall semester schedule, you are still eligible to join ESP and, if modest changes in your schedule are needed, the program and your college advisors will assist you in making those adjustments.

Sophomores and Juniors

Any student in their second or third year of enrollment at UA or who transfers to UA as a sophomore or junior is eligible for ESP. Students who have a substantial number of transfer credits, but are chronological sophomores, are eligible for ESP. IMPORTANT: By applying to this program, applicants are affirming they will not have study abroad, internship, or co-op plans that would interfere with their research semester.

Applicant Characteristics

Successful applicants will have:

  • A demonstrated passion for learning and dedication to excellence
  • A willingness to work hard to meet personal goals
  • A record of commitment to organizations and activities

Application Process

Our program has 3 application cycles.
Cycle 1: Jan 1 – Feb 28 for early-admission, March 1- April 30 final deadline: Rising sophomores and juniors can apply to be a part of the fall cohort.
Cycle 2: May 1 – July 31: Incoming Freshman and transfer students can apply to be a part of the fall cohort.
Cycle 3: Aug 1 – Dec 13: All freshman, sophomores, and juniors at UA can apply to be apart of the spring cohort.​
Those students accepted into ESP will be notified by email.

To Include in Your Application

Contact Information

We will only accept your UA email address for the application. You can access this address through myBama. This is also how you will receive communications from ESP, so please be sure to monitor that account often or have it forwarded to an account you monitor.


You will be required to provide the name and contact information for at least one reference.

We recommend that your reference be someone who can speak to your academic and intellectual abilities, work ethic, and commitment to excellence. Some possible references may be high school teachers, community organization supervisors, youth group directors, coaches, or other professionals who have worked closely with you. Sophomores and Juniors should use references related to their activities as a student at UA, such as professors, supervisors, or professional mentors.

Your reference could be contacted during the application process.

​Personal Statement

You will be asked to write a 500-750 word personal statement to upload with your application. This is a chance to tell the committee why you should be an Emerging Scholar.

In this statement, please consider including the following:

  • Why you would like to be an Emerging Scholar
  • Why you think undergraduate research will be a valuable experience
  • Any research-related experiences you have already had (prior experience in research does not necessarily increase or decrease your likelihood of being accepted into the program)
  • What research topics or questions would most interest you as a Scholar

Please save your personal statement in Word and then copy and paste into the application.

After You Submit Your Application

A few minutes after submitting, you should receive a confirmation email to the Crimson email address you provided in the application.  Keep this confirmation email for your records. You could receive notice for an interview some time after you apply. Please let your reference know they could be contacted.
If you are accepted into ESP, you will receive an email notifying you of next steps.

APPLY BELOW for Our New Cohort



*Early Decisions and Priority Deadline is February 28 or September 30*
*CURRENT STUDENTS: Final Application Deadline is April 30 or December 13*

Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students: Deadline is July 31