Daisy at Chalk Board

The Program

Program Overview

The STEMLA Program encompasses all four years of a Fellow's time at Bryn Mawr. 

I am really grateful to have found a community to relate to and support me as a first-generation student in STEM. Opportunities like personal mentorship and paid lab work have really helped me when navigating higher education. 

-Jo Smith '26

Starting in the summer before their first year, Fellows attend the STEMLA Summer Program. The Summer Program spans four weeks, where Fellows live, eat, and study on Bryn Mawr's campus. Following the completion of the Summer Program, Fellows return home before arriving back on campus for Customs Week. 

During the first semester of their first year at Bryn Mawr, STEMLA Fellows will be paired with a STEM faculty-mentor, who will work to help Fellows cultivate personal connections in their STEM disciplines of interest, make decisions on their next steps in STEM, and persist when they encounter challenging moments. During this first semester, Fellows will also enroll in a Scientific Thinking course, meant to emphasizes quantitative and graphic analysis skills, the scientific inquiry process, and STEM career paths.

In the second semester of their first year, Fellows are eligible to begin working as lab assistants. Under the direction of a Bryn Mawr STEM faculty member, Fellows have the opportunity to work on current research, while getting acquainted with the lab environment. 

In subsequent summers, many Fellows participate in research both at Bryn Mawr, through the Summer Science Research program, and at other institutions. 

As Fellows begin to narrow in on a major at the end of their second year, they will partake in a variety of programming and workshops meant to illuminate various STEM career pathways. 

Throughout all semesters, the program hosts workshops, excursions, social events, and annual traditions meant to further our the program's mission.

STEMLA Timeline



Benefits and Outcomes

Eligible STEMLA Fellows will have access to the following:

  • An annual scholarship meant to partially offset the need for student loans and/or work study.
  • A fully funded, immersive summer program that prepares students for college life and participation in STEM majors and fields
  • Participation in the STEMLA Laptop Program (if needed)
  • Participation in a ‘Scientific Thinking’ course during the fall of the first year that emphasizes quantitative and graphic analysis skills, the scientific inquiry process, and STEM career paths
  • A tight knit cohort and community of peers in STEM
  • Funded lab assistant opportunities
  • An extensive mentorship team of both faculty and staff
  • Funding for attendance and presentations at scholarly conferences
  • Funded opportunities to participate in off-campus summer research programs
  • Funding for GRE test and test preparation
  • Paid membership to the Association for Women in Science
  • Access to STEM review sessions during the academic year
  • Access to STEM specific work and social spaces

Program benefits may vary based on financial aid packages, academic year, citizenship status, availability of funds, and grant requirements. If you have questions about your eligibility for program benefits, please contact Kelsey Obringer or Dean Leslie Castrejon.

  1. Fellows will develop a long-lasting mentorship network by establishing meaningful relationships with faculty, staff, peers, alumnae, and community partners;
  2. Fellows will partake in a variety of immersive learning experiences (internships, research, lab assistanceships, study abroad) that allow them to meaningfully explore their respective academic and career pathways;
  3. Fellows will actively engage and interact with a broad cross section of the campus community in order to create a sense of community and belonging;
  4. Fellows’ academic performance will be on par with their higher-income counterparts in introductory chemistry and math courses;
  5. There will be no significant difference in overall GPA at graduation between Fellows and their higher-income peers;
  6. There will be a higher than average 4-year graduation rate for Fellows majoring in a STEM discipline;
  7. Fellows will report a strong sense of belonging and self-efficacy;
  8. Fellows will be able to envision pathways to research and non-research careers in STEM;
  9. A majority of Fellows will pursue post-graduation STEM activities.