Why Apply?

Do you like learning more about the world around you, taking a hands-on approach to problem solving, and being a part of something big?  Then the Emerging Scholars Program might be for you!

The Emerging Scholars Program provides first- and second-year students at the University of Alabama with a unique opportunity to engage in research with our award-winning faculty.  With help from the Program’s director and a network of current and former Emerging Scholars, you will find a faculty mentor whose research interests you.  You will take an active role in the research process, learn how to present your work to other scholars, and develop relationships and skills that will serve you long after graduation.

If you think research only happens in the Natural Sciences, think again. Emerging Scholars have engaged in research in virtually every Department on campus. Whether you’re interested in cybercrime or art history, there is a research opportunity waiting for you.

For each cohort, the program typically accepts 60 freshmen, sophomores and juniors.  Grades and test scores will be used to determine if a student is ready for the program, but successful applicants will have a demonstrated passion for learning. Please take a look at our Application and consider applying for this program!

Scholar FAQs

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 of the colleges that compose The University of Alabama. Almost all full-time UA faculty conduct research and are possible mentors for Emerging Scholars

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

Incoming Freshmen (Fall Cohort)

Any regularly admitted student who is entering The University of Alabama for the first year of full-time university study is eligible for the Emerging Scholars Program. 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 the Emerging Scholars Program and, if modest changes in your schedule are needed, the program and your college advisors will assist you in making those adjustments.
  • High school GPA of 2.5 or above
  • 25 ACT/1130 SAT composite score

Current Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors (Spring and Fall Cohorts)

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

 Application Process

Our program has 3 application cycles.
Cycle 1: Feb. 1 – Feb. 28: Rising sophomores and juniors can apply to be a part of the fall cohort.
Cycle 2: May 1 – July 28th: Incoming Freshman, and transfer students can apply to be a part of the fall cohort.
Cycle 3: Aug. 1 – Nov. 1: All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors at the University of Alabama can apply to be apart of the spring cohort.​ Those students accepted into the Emerging Scholars Program will be notified by email within 20 days of each Cycle’s Application Deadline.

To Include in your Application

Contact Information

We will only accept your University of Alabama @crimson.ua.edu e-mail address for the application. You can access this address through myBama. This is also how you will receive communications from the Emerging Scholars Program, 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 and may provide this information for up to three references.

We recommend that your reference(s) 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 another professional who has worked closely with you. Sophomores and Juniors should use references related to their activities as a student at The University of Alabama, such as professors, supervisors, or professional mentors.

A few minutes after your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail.  In this e-mail there will be a link for you to give your references so they can provide an evaluation. We ask that they please complete this evaluation privately to ensure their honesty. Applications without an accompanying evaluation will receive lower scores than those with at least one evaluation.

​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 include 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 as a .pdf file before uploading it to your application. Files in other formats may experience technical issues resulting in an incomplete application.

After you Submit your Application

A few minutes after submitting, you should receive a confirmation e-mail to the Crimson e-mail address you provided in the application.  Keep this confirmation e-mail for your records. If you are accepted into the Emerging Scholars Program, you will receive an e-mail that will  notify you of your next steps.


Apply: Current UA Students