Coulter Scholars

About the program

As part of Dartmouth's STEM diversity initiative, Penny and Jim Coulter '82 have invested $25 million into programs to increase access and leadership opportunities for historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and prepare the next generation of leaders in these fields. This includes the establishment and endowment of the Coulter Scholars Program, an undergraduate scholarship program that will support a cohort of 16 students, with the goal of enhancing STEM participation by students from underrepresented groups. 

All Coulter Scholars will work closely with the program director and faculty advisors to deepen their study at Dartmouth, pursue research opportunities, and advance intellectual curiosity and achievement. 

The first two years of the program will focus on opportunities for faculty-mentored research and the development of research, leadership, and creative skills. By the end of their sophomore year, Coulter Scholars will have identified a research plan and faculty mentor, with the goal of producing an appropriate output by the time of graduation from Dartmouth. 

As a key feature of the program, all Coulter Scholars are eligible for funds to enhance opportunities in research, internships, or professional development. The Penny and Jim Coulter 1982 Scholars Enrichment Endowment Fund will provide an annual stipend for each scholar during each of their sophomore, junior, and senior years of study – as well as the fifth year in the case of BE Engineering degree recipients.

Scholar selection

Scholars will be selected through the admissions process each year, with the Class of 2028 the first to be selected. Consistent with College policy, selection to the Coulter Scholars Program is need-blind and open to all matriculated undergraduate students. Preference in the selection process is for students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, who have shown exceptional academic promise in those fields, and/or who show a demonstrated commitment to the goals of the Penny and Jim Coulter 1982 Scholars Program in their scholarship. All scholars who demonstrate financial need will receive scholarship support for all four years. Cohort programming and experiential learning/research grants will be available to all scholars, whether or not they receive financial aid. 

There may be options for students to apply and be selected into the program at the end of their sophomore year. Scholars selected as sophomores will be eligible for research grants beginning in their sophomore summer. 

Grants for research and experiential learning

Coulter Scholars will be eligible for a minimum of $5,000 per year, beginning in their sophomore year and continuing through a fifth year if applicable (as in the case of BE Engineering degree recipients), with potential to apply for additional funding. The stipends aim to enable experiences that enhance Scholars' academic and intellectual development. Funding is contingent on approved plans for its use and continued academic progress. 

Examples of funding categories include:

  • Part-time research with a faculty mentor during "on" terms
  • Leave-term research, internship, or other related opportunity
  • Travel for research, field work, or other purposes related to an academic pursuit
  • Attendance at conferences, leadership training, or other experiential programming related to a field of study
  • Supplies and equipment related to the funding categories above

Expectations for Scholars

Students selected as Coulter Scholars are expected to actively engage in their academics and in the program for the entirety of their undergraduate degree. This includes:

  • Regular meetings with the program director and faculty mentors once identified
  • Attendance at scholar programming events
  • Submission of quarterly progress reports and annual plans
  • Engagement and leadership with on/off-campus groups and initiatives
  • Continuation of academic engagement and achievement 
  • Submission of a letter of gratitude to program sponsors and updated profile information annually