Scholars Program

CS Scholars

High-achieving students naturally seek opportunities to excel beyond the traditional curriculum. The Department of Computer Science offers these opportunities through the new CS Scholars Program.

This unique program offers many benefits for the next generation of industry leaders:

  • Academic enrichment and professional development opportunities

  • Industry networking through travel and mentoring opportunities

  • More in-depth application of computer science theory

  • Smaller class size with more individualized instruction

Kansas State University’s computer science program is among the top in the Midwest, preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators.

Professional development

  • Travel support will help CS scholars visit industrial partners, other universities and conferences to learn about opportunities beyond the K-State campus.

  • Internships with industrial partners will develop practical skills to help scholars excel after graduation.

  • Mentoring from industry professionals will give scholars a broader view of potential career paths, industries and employers.

Academic enrichment

In-depth curriculum and smaller class sizes will provide CS scholars with more extensive learning experiences during their core courses. We will also host industry partners to lead discussions about cutting-edge industry problems and engage scholars in applied learning activities. This enhanced approach creates a strong foundation that empowers scholars to excel in college and career.

Undergraduate research with a faculty member will broaden understanding of computing fields, technologies and research methodology. This applied learning experience will deliver a competitive advantage in advanced courses and in the job market.

Research fellowships

CS scholars are given first priority for departmental research fellowships, which allow students to engage in research with a faculty mentor for up to $1,000/semester. Current scholars are engaging in research on artificial intelligence, security, robotics, data analytics, embedded systems, scientific computing and mobile development.


Students accepted to the scholars program typically have an ACT composite score of at least 30 and an ACT math section score of at least 30. They usually have background in at least one programming language that includes coverage of material on conditional statements, loops and methods. They also typically have a high school GPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale). However, we have had several motivated students excel in the CS Scholars Program who either had no previous programming background or who did not quite meet the ACT guidelines. If you are interested in classes that cover material in more depth and have greater opportunities for class discussions, we encourage you to still apply.


If you received an invitation to apply, are an incoming freshman or otherwise believe you would be well-suited to the scholars program, the priority deadline is Feb. 1, 2021. However, we will take applications until the program is full. Apply now.

Academic standards

Students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA as CS majors to remain in the scholars program. Students in the program must take the “Scholars” sections of the first four required CS courses: CIS 115, CIS 200, CIS 300 and CIS 400. These classes are smaller, go more in-depth and are more interactive. Scholars program participants must also enroll in CIS 090, a 0-credit seminar, every semester.

If you have any questions about the CS Scholars Program, please contact Julie Thornton at

CS scholar partners