Report an accessibility problem

Engineering | Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP)

Program Requirements


The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering joins twenty other universities in delivering this unique program for qualified 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 Challenge Scholars’ faculty and staff work closely with the undergraduate students to ensure their success in the program.

Grand Challenge Scholars will complete coursework and/or experiential opportunities within the five components of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program (research experience, interdisciplinary curriculum, entrepreneurship, global dimension, service learning) and a GCSP portfolio.

2018 GCSP Graduates

Read about how the class of 2018 completed their requirements

Service learning


Fulton Grand Challenge Scholars must develop a social consciousness and be motivated to bring their technical expertise to bear on 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 three 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 an innovative solution for non-profit organizations that have an engineering design problem.




Fulton Grand Challenge Scholars need to be prepared to translate invention to innovation; to develop market ventures that scale to global solutions in the public interest. Students will complete FSE 301: Entrepreneurship & Value Creation, an online 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.

Students will enroll in another entrepreneurship related course or choose an entrepreneurship related experience as the second requirement of the Entrepreneurship component.


Research experience


Students must complete at least two semesters of research related to their Grand Challenge theme. Research opportunities include:


GCSP Portfolio


GCSP program participants must complete a GCSP Portfolio to fulfill the requirements of the program. The portfolio will contain a representation of the work that the program participant has completed and will demonstrate how the components are interconnected and align with the chosen grand challenges theme.  The portfolio is submitted at the beginning of the student’s last semester.

Global Dimension


Grand Challenge Scholars need to develop a global perspective necessary to address challenges that are inherently global, as well as to lead innovation in a global economy.

Students must enroll in one global related course for the first requirement.  The student then has the option to enroll in one upper division global related course or participate in a global experience.  A global related 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 global component could be approved to satisfy the requirement.


Interdisciplinary curriculum


Fulton Grand Challenge Scholars need to be prepared to work at the overlap with public policy, business, law, ethics, human behavior, risk, medicine, and the sciences. The problems of today are complex and will require a multidisciplinary approach to solving these complex problems.  Some examples that span these disciplines with a coherent theme are Energy and the Environment, Sustainability, Uncertainty and Optimization.

Grand Challenge 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 general students requirement.

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.