Frequently Asked Questions


Per Bryn Mawr’s academic policies, students do not declare their major until the spring of their sophomore year. As such, students admitted into the STEMLA program have not yet declared a major in a STEM discipline, but have demonstrated some degree of interest in a STEM major in their admissions application. It is both common and expected that students will explore different academic disciplines. The STEMLA program actively supports students’ exploration. In the event that a current STEMLA fellow decides to pursue a non-STEM major in the spring of their sophomore year, they will still maintain the status of a STEMLA Fellow. 

Yes! We actually encourage Fellows to participate in research during their time at Bryn Mawr. There are many options for Fellows interested in research, including Bryn Mawr’s Summer Science Research Program. STEMLA also has funds available for students to conduct research with Bryn Mawr faculty during the academic year. Fellows can begin working in campus labs as early as the second semester of their first year. 

Absolutely! We highly encourage Fellows to take advantage of Bryn Mawr’s many study abroad options.

So long as work study is included in your financial aid package, you can participate in work study. 

Once accepted in the STEMLA program, Fellows remain STEMLA Fellows for the duration of their time at Bryn Mawr College. The STEMLA program begins with the residential summer program, which Fellows will partake in during the summer before their first year. During the fall of their first year, Fellows will partake in community and cohort building activities and be matched with a faculty-mentor. Throughout the academic year, the STEMLA program will hold various events and workshops that are open to all STEMLA Fellows from all class years. 

Yes! We encourage it. The Breaking Barriers program provides even more support, resources, and mentorship for FGLI students at Bryn Mawr. 

Residential Summer Program

The summer program is beneficial for many reasons, chief among them being the early exposure to college life. Adjusting to a new environment can be difficult. Spending four weeks on the campus you will later spend four years on can be a great way to begin the adjustment period. The program also allows you to create community, meet faculty,  and gain a familiarity with campus and the surrounding area. The head start on course credits also doesn’t hurt!

The residential summer program is an essential aspect of larger STEMLA program. Participation in the summer program is required for full participation in the STEMLA program. Committing to fully participate in the summer program is key to getting the most out of the courses and programming offered.  Any known, extenuating circumstances that might present a conflict during the summer program should be immediately brought to the attention of the STEMLA staff. 

Unfortunately no, the STEMLA program was designed to serve as a college transition program. As such, it is not possible to participate in future summers as students will have already entered college. 

The summer program is generally four weeks during the summer months. Historically, the program has begun the second week of July and ended the first week of August.

The themes of the summer program are carefully constructed to provide Fellows with exposure to different scientific disciplines, as well as courses in the social sciences and humanities. They are created to compliment each other so that Fellows can explore similar topics from different vantage points. The program is meant to give Fellows a head start on college, where they will have to complete a variety of courses both within and outside their major. Summer courses will provide a foundation for future courses within and outside the sciences. 

No, there is no cost associated with the STEMLA program. Courses, as well as food and housing, are covered for the duration of the four week summer program. There is also travel assistance available both to and from the program. Fellows will be given a $1,500 stipend for participation in the program. 

Yes, Fellows will be housed in one of the many residence halls on Bryn Mawr’s campus. Regular meals will be served in campus dining halls. 

At the conclusion of the summer program, Fellows must vacate the residence halls. Fellows are not permitted to remain in residence halls during the time between the summer program and Customs week. If you would like to stay in the area during the period between the program and Custom’s week, you will need to seek out your own arrangements. The STEMLA staff are more than happy to discuss options with you.

Yes, within reason, travel assistance will be provided to and from campus for the summer program. Fellows that travel to the STEMLA Summer Program via plane or train will work with Kelsey, the STEMLA Assistant Director, to arrange travel. 

Travel funds can only be applied to a Fellow’s travel expenses. Family, friends, or guardians will not be covered by the STEMLA funding. 


The summer stipend is only provided during the summer immersion program, which takes place during the summer before a student's first year at BMC. There will be no stipends in following summers.  

You can get academic accommodations for the summer program. If you are planning to request academic accommodations, it is recommended that you contact the Director of Access Services, Deb Alder as early as possible. You can contact Deb Alder by calling 610-526-7516 or sending an email to After an initial consultation meeting, next steps will be determined. 

Learn more about Access Services at Bryn Mawr here

While COVID-19 concerns continue, Bryn Mawr College is operating in ways that protect everyone's health and safety while also pursuing the crucial mission of education and research. The STEMLA program is constantly monitoring changes and will make updates to the program in accordance with CDC and College recommendations. All Fellows that attend the summer program must provide proof of vaccination (including a booster) or request a religious or health related exemption before arriving on campus.

To learn more about Bryn Mawr's COVID-19 policies and mitigation measures, you can visit our COVID-19 news and updates page

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