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Science Talent Expansion Program

College of the Sciences
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Science Talent Expansion Program
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: 509-963-3002

Freshmen Science Seminar

Freshman student standing by windmill

The STEP Freshmen Science Seminar is an innovative and exciting science program designed for students in their freshmen year at Central Washington University. The STEP Freshmen Science Seminar consists of an integrated sequence of classes and enrichment activities in which students gain hands-on experience in modern scientific research and engineering methods, explore theme-based interdisciplinary scientific issues, and develop mentoring relationships with CWU science and engineering faculty.


Applying to STEP

Application to the STEP Freshman Science Seminar is open to all high school seniors with an interest in and aptitude for the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

To apply to the STEP Freshman Science Seminar, please download the freshman application form HERE and return it to the STEP Program Coordinator.

Freshmen students workingSTEP Courses

(Freshmen Science Seminar)

Students who are selected for the STEP Freshman Science Seminar will participate in a three-quarter (Fall, Winter and Spring) sequence of science courses which have been specially designed by science faculty members and satisfy a CWU General Education requirement (STEP 101, 102, and 103).

STEP freshmen students may also enroll in optional STEP-specific English 101 and University 101 courses specifically developed for STEP students. English 101 satisfy the CWU Basic Skills requirement in English, and University 101 satisfies a CWU General Education requirement.

The STEP courses allow students to engage in hands-on scientific research, teaching, or engineering experiences, develop mentoring relationships with faculty, and obtain advice on course of study and career opportunities in STEM disciplines.

Financial Aid

A special financial aid opportunity is available to eligible freshman students who have been accepted into STEP and who submit a FAFSA by the March 15th priority deadline. Continuation of aid beyond the Fall quarter of the freshman year is dependent on academic performance.

picture of Kamola HallSTEP Living & Learning Community

STEP freshman are encouraged to join the STEP Living Learning Community (LLC). The STEP LLC is a community of students who live together in Kamola residence hall and share academic interests. Hall staff and science faculty organize out-of-classroom enrichment activities related to science. Living Learning Communities not only provide enjoyable out-of-classroom experiences and social interactions, they also have been shown to improve students' academic performance, increase academic dialogues between faculty and students, and develop connections across disciplines.


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