• Science Education

  • NeXXt Scholars Program
  • What is the NeXXt Scholars Program?

    The NeXXt Scholars Program is part of an International Women's Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, which was launched by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in December 2011view the video at the bottom of this page

    By partnering with a consortium of U.S. women's colleges, the NeXXt Scholars Program is preparing the future generation of female global leaders who will be discovering the next great idea, and solving the next big challenge. Only females currently working in STEM-related fields will be considered as Mentor (or Fellow) candidates to provide the essential mentorship needed to facilitate the Program. The double X in the Program's title symbolizes the X chromosomes of women.

    The New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and a consortium of women's colleges, launched the NeXXt Scholars Program in the fall of 2012. This Program aims to engage, connect and advance young women from countries with predominantly Muslim populations and young American women to pursue undergraduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. In order to accomplish this goal, the Academy provides partnership, mentorship, and networking support for these Scholars by way of a selected female STEM Fellow.

    All International and American NeXXt Scholars receive access to the STEM community through their 5-year membership to the New York Academy of Sciences. Scholars are also individually matched with female Fellows, who serve as mentors in order to provide one-on-one support regarding career paths and professional development. Additionally, Scholars gain access to leadership, internship, and research opportunities to build the skills and confidence needed to become the next leaders, problem-solvers, and innovators in the U.S. and abroad. Selected female Fellows will also receive a membership to The New York Academy of Sciences and be able to take advantage of networking opportunities and training in foundational mentorship skills.

    The currently enrolled classes of International NeXXt Scholars come from 14 countries and regions with predominantly Muslim populations. By late 2015, more than 120 Scholars and Fellows were participating in the NeXXt Scholars program. In the future, this virtual mentoring program can be expanded to reach women around the world through the creation of local networks of Scholars and mentors or as part of the larger cohort, which exists solely online.

    Application Process for American NeXXt Scholars

    American high school seniors planning to major in a SEVIS-approved STEM major who accept an offer from a U.S. women's college that is participating in the NeXXt Scholars Program will automatically be considered if an International NeXXt Scholar is accepted. Although there is no formal application process, students can also indicate their interest as part of the college application.

    Application Process for International NeXXt Scholars

    International applicants planning to major in a STEM field need to contact an EducationUSA adviser in order to receive a nomination letter. The adviser must then submit the nomination letter directly to the colleges of interest; a copy should also be emailed to

    In addition to completing the nomination letter, the EducationUSA adviser must also designate the student as an applicant to the NeXXt Scholars Program by filling out an online application. For instructions, contact the administrators of the Program at

    The student must apply directly to any of the 34 participating U.S. women's colleges through standard procedures. The requirements for each school are detailed in the application guide at Questions can be directed to the EducationUSA adviser, the NeXXt Scholars Program via email, or points-of-contact listed in the women's college guide. Applying to more than one institution is highly recommended.

    The applicant becomes designated as an International NeXXt scholar upon confirmed matriculation at the women's college and is required to pursue a STEM major.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    What fields of study are included in the approved STEM majors?

    The NeXXt Scholars Program indicates approved STEM-related majors in accordance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security STEM-Designated Degree Program, which is updated annually. The list can be viewed at Certain countries specify which majors an International NeXXt scholar should pursue so students are encouraged to confirm desired study areas with appropriate officials. Please contact the country's EducationUSA adviser with questions.

    Although students without a committed intent to major in a STEM-related field should seek other opportunities, it is understandable that some students may find another passion while exploring a liberal arts curriculum. After encouraging the scholar to still major in STEM and minor in another field of interest, the student will remain eligible for the Program provided she takes a core set of STEM subjects at the level equivalent to at least a minor.

    What financial aid package does the NeXXt Scholars Initiative provide?

    Although the NeXXt Scholars Program does not provide any scholarship or directly include a financial aid component, some of the women's colleges offer need-based and/or merit-based financial assistance to qualified students. Other schools are able to assist with tuition and living expenses. For details, refer to the women's college admissions guide at To secure tuition assistance, candidates must apply to the women's colleges by the appropriate financial aid deadlines (which may be different from the application deadlines) and submit the necessary documents. Colleges will inform applicants directly of the financial aid package, if any, at the time of the acceptance decision.

    Further, some countries provide scholarship funds for students interested in studying abroad. Details are specific to the nature of the opportunity. Contact the country's EducationUSA adviser for more information (

    I am interested in becoming a Mentor. How can I apply?

    We are currently not accepting new mentors into the NeXXt Scholars Program. Please check back with us in the spring of 2016.

    To learn even more about the Program and determine if you are eligible to participate, please check out the following resources:


    In a special video address, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the creation of the NeXXt Scholars Program at the Celebrating Women in Science event held at the New York Academy of Sciences on December 10, 2011, the same night the 2011 Nobel Prizes were presented in Sweden, as well as the centennial of Marie Curie's second Nobel Prize.

    Here the Academy presents Secretary Clinton's address in its entirety. For this and other featured videos, visit the Media Center.


    Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or inquiries:

    Carla Y. Emanuele

    Program Coordinator, Education & Public Programs

    Amber Schaub

    Director, Education & Public Programs


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    • NYAS
    • Science Alliance
    • NeXXt Scholars
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