Our intensive & holistic STEM focused college prep program
SMASH Academy, our flagship program, is a FREE, 3 year, intensive STEM-focused college prep program that empowers students to deepen their talents and pursue STEM careers. Each summer, scholars are immersed in tuition-free studies in partnership with leading universities throughout the country. During the academic year, scholars participate in monthly programming.
During the program, scholars build relationships with facilitators and STEM professionals that reflect their same demographics. Because of their common background, students connect more deeply with gain true mentorship from these STEM professionals. As they go through the program, scholars not only develop their skills and network – they also further develop their voice and build the confidence to become who they want to be.
How SMASH Academy works
Beginning the summer after their 9th grade year of high school, scholars gain access to the following:
- 3 summers of residential programming
- Monthly programming during the academic year
- Computer Science, STEM Workshop, College Success, and Electives courses
- Networking events with STEM professionals
- Post Academy support by way of our Alumni programming (college support, work readiness training, paid internships)
- A robust community of peers and support that will last a lifetime
Our university partners are an integral part of the SMASH Academy program. The first SMASH Academy was founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004.
Since then, it expanded across California and beyond. See below for our current locations.
2004: SMASH x UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
2011: SMASH x Stanford (Stanford, CA)
2016: SMASH x UC Davis (Davis, CA)
2017: SMASH x Morehouse (Atlanta, GA)
2019: SMASH x Illinois (Our first state-wide initiative, with university partners Illinois Institute of Technology and Southern Illinois University and foundation partner, CPASS Foundation.)
2020: SMASH x Northeastern University (Boston, MA) & SMASH x University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
2021: SMASH x Spelman (Atlanta, GA)
Applicants must meet all the eligibility requirements listed below in order to be considered for SMASH (no exceptions).
GPA: Must have minimum 9th grade 3.0 GPA or equivalent.
Grade Level: Be in the 9th grade at the time of application.
Math Skills: Have strong mathematics skills appropriate for your grade level, as determined by your state standardized math test scores.
Attend a public high school or private high school via scholarship.
Location: Reside in the United States within 50 miles of a SMASH site as determined by your zip code. Students applying to the IIT site must be an Illinois resident and 25 miles of the Chicago, Carbondale, and East St. Louis Metro Areas. SMASH Michigan will give preference to applicants who attend our target schools. However, if your school is not on the list, you are still welcome to apply.
Applicants to SMASH Morehouse must be male, and SMASH Spelman must be female.
The criteria below describes who we aim to serve, however, applicants do not need to fulfill any or all of the criteria to apply to SMASH.
From groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: African American, Chicano/Latinx, Native American, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian (i.e. Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese) or mixed race/multiracial groups with at least one parent from the above ethnicities.
First-generation college students: This means that neither one of your parents received a bachelor’s or 4-year degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in the United States. If you have a sibling in college you are still first generation. If your parents took some courses, but did not complete a degree you are still considered first generation
From a low-income family: (e.g. qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunch program).
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