Program requirements

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering joins more than sixty other universities in delivering this unique program for qualified undergraduate ASU engineering students. Students that gain admission into the program will work on curricular and co-curricular components to satisfy the program requirements. The Grand Challenges Scholars’ faculty and staff work closely with the undergraduate students to ensure their success in the program.

Grand Challenges Scholars will complete coursework and/or experiential opportunities within the five components of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (social consciousness, multicultural, viable business/entrepreneurship, multidisciplinary, and talent), as well as GCSP portfolio.

2020 GCSP Graduates

Read about how the class of 2020 completed their requirements

Social Consciousness

(Service Learning)

Fulton Grand Challenges Scholars will develop an understanding that engineering solutions should primarily serve people and society reflecting social consciousness. Students complete service learning to develop this social consciousness and motivation to use their technical expertise to help solve societal problems.

A student must demonstrate leadership in a significant project related to their grand challenge area for 80 service learning hours, OR enrolled in two semesters of the EPICS coursework. Service learning may be demonstrated via leadership roles in Engineers Without Borders, Bridges to Prosperity, engineering outreach, or other service learning opportunities that relate to engineering and to service learning. The Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) classes (offered every semester for 1 credit) focus on designing innovative engineering solutions to solve real world problems for non-profit organizations.


(Multicultural Awareness)

Grand Challenges Scholars will complete experience(s) and/or course(s) to develop an understanding of different cultures that is necessary to ensure cultural acceptance of proposed engineering solutions. Students must develop this multicultural awareness and global perspective for them to address the global Grand Challenges and to become leaders of innovation in a global economy.

Students must enroll in one multicultural/global course or participate in a multicultural experience to meet the first requirement. The student then has the option to enroll in one upper division multicultural/global related course, or participate in a multicultural experience.  A multicultural experience, such as an approved study abroad program or faculty directed study abroad program, a global internship, a global Engineers Without Borders project, or an EPICS project with a multicultural component could be approved to satisfy the requirements.

Viable Business/Entrepreneurship

(Entrepreneurial Mindset)

Fulton Grand Challenges Scholars will complete an entrepreneurship course or experience to develop an understanding of the necessity of a viable business model for solution implementation. Through the course or experience, students will learn how to translate invention to innovation, and how to develop market ventures that scale to global solutions in the public interest. Students will complete FSE 301: Entrepreneurship & Value Creation, a course that explores the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on the practical issues typically encountered in starting up and operating a technology venture.  If a student has completed another separate substantial entrepreneurship experience that aligns with their selected Grand Challenges theme, such as ASU Venture Devils, that experience may be approved as a substitute for FSE301.  


(Research/Creative Project)

Fulton Grand Challenges Scholars will complete two semesters of mentored research or creative project experience related to their chosen Grand Challenge theme in order to gain hands-on experience and more in-depth knowledge of work in their chosen focus area:


(Interdisciplinary perspective)

Fulton Grand Challenges Scholars will gain an understanding of the multidisciplinarity of engineering systems solutions to complex challenges facing society today. To gain an interdisciplinary perspective, students will complete coursework and/or experiences in other fields (outside of engineering) that complements their technical engineering work in order to prepare them to work at the overlap with public policy, business, law, ethics, human behavior, risk, the arts, and medicine.

Grand Challenges Scholars will enroll in FSE 150: Perspectives on Grand Challenges for Engineering (3 credit hours) within their first year in the program. Students will develop an understanding of the grand challenges that face human societies in the 21st century, learn about the grand challenge research themes, and discuss the implications interdisciplinary and global nature of the grand challenges. Students will also create a preliminary plan of study for completing the components of the program. This course meets a Social/Behavioral Sciences (SB) requirement and is designated as automatic honors credit for students in Barrett, the Honors College.

In addition, students will work with faculty and staff to identify an upper division interdisciplinary course to help explore their grand challenge theme from a new perspective, such as policy, global health, law, or sustainability. Students also have the option to participate in an interdisciplinary related experience. This experience would be outside the realm of engineering, but related to the student’s GCSP theme.  Internships, assistanceships, or volunteering in the areas of law, policy, business, medicine, etc. may be possible experiences.


GCSP Portfolio

GCSP program participants must create a digital GCSP Portfolio to document and reflect on their experiences in the program.  The digital portfolio will contain a representation of the work that the program participant has completed, and will demonstrate how the components are interconnected and aligned with their chosen grand challenges theme. The final portfolio must be submitted near the beginning of the student’s last semester to complete the GCSP requirements.