What are the dates of the STARS program?

The STARS Program runs for six weeks from the second week of June through the third week of July. It takes place primarily Monday through Friday, though there are also some evening social activities.

Who can apply?

The STARS Program is for academically accomplished high school juniors. You must be in your junior year of high school when you submit your STARS Program Application package.

When is the deadline for submitting an application package?

Complete STARS Program Student Application packages must be received by Friday, March 20. STARS Program Student Application packages will not be accepted prior to March 1.

When will I be notified if I am accepted?

All applicants will be notified of the Program's decision by email no later than April 10.

How many students do you accept?

We accept approximately 80 students each summer to participate in the program.

How many applications do you normally receive?

Approximately 120-130 STARS Student Applications are received annually.

What is your criteria for selection?

Selection is determined based on a student's interest in science, GPA, test scores (PSAT, SAT, PACT, ACT, etc.), student essay, quality of application and letter of recommendation.

Is there a cost?

Yes. To submit your application for consideration there is a non-refundable application fee of $100 that is due between March 1 and March 20 along with your completed 2020 STARS Program Student Application.

If accepted into the program there are a required Program Participation Fee of $3,499.00, and a required UMSL Dual Enrollment/STARS Student one credit hour tuition fee of $373.80 for Missouri and Illinois residents. Other students out-of-state pay $987.10.

Is there any financial aid?

Yes. To submit you will need to fill out the financial aid application in the STARS Program Student Application and submit it with your student application package. You must detail why you are in need of financial aid. If you are chosen to receive aid you will be notified no later than April 10, as part of the acceptance process.

What will I be doing during the six-week program?

The main focus of this program is to prepare and present a research paper.  Additionally, lectures by nationally-known scientists are given as well as presentations concerning the higher education admissions process, St. Louis science fair competitions, and social activities.

How am I assigned a mentor?

Download and review the Mentor Selection List, rank (1-8) your top choices, indicate those choices on your application. We try to assign you to your first, second, or third mentor of choice, although this is not always possible.

Where will I be working?

You will be working at the location of your assigned mentor. You will be at UMSL Monday and Wednesday mornings and lunch. The remainder of the week at whatever campus or institution you have been assigned to.

What areas of science are represented?

Scientists who work in the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, medicine, psychology, and public health act as research mentors.

Do I need to provide my own transportation?

Yes. You will need to have access to a car or acquire a Metrolink/MetroBus pass. If you do not have a driver's license, you will need to coordinate a ride or use the many MetroLink/MetroBus stations located across the Saint Louis area that are available for transport.

Is lunch provided?

Lunch is provided at the UMSL Millennium Student Center (MSC) on Mondays and Wednesdays after the morning group session. The other days you will need to provide your own meal. On the last week of the program, lunch will be provided on Monday and Friday at the Millennium Student Center (MSC).

Whom may I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact the Director of the STARS Program, Dr. Kenneth R. Mares, at maresk@umsl.edu or 314-516-6155.