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MSC Project Information


A Historical Perspective

The University of Tennessee, Math and Science Center is a pre-college program that is funded by the U.S. Department of Education for high school students in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Upward Bound programs have been in existence over 35 years across the country and been at the University of Tennessee since 1991. Upward Bound programs were specifically created to help potential first-generation college students and students from families who meet income guidlines established by the federal government graduate from high school, attend college, and reach their full potential while in college. The program provides tutoring, ACT preparation, college and career information, instruction in academics, cultural enrichment and social counseling on a one-to-one basis with students in the program. It also gives students a chance to experience what college might be like following the 10th and 11th grade through a six week academic program on The University of Tennessee's campus during the summer.

Who is Eligible?

The University of Tennessee, Math and Science Center accepts applications and nominations from rising 9th, 10th and 11th graders who have a demonstrated interest and aptitude in math and science, and who want to go to college. In addition, student who are interested in applying to The University of Tennessee's Math and Science Center must be attending one of the following high schools:

  • Campbell County High School
  • Loudon High School
  • Jefferson County High School
  • Pigeon Forge High School
  • Union County High School
  • Grainger High School

All students must:

  1. Meet family income guidelines established by the federal government;
  2. Be a potential first generation college student (neither parent has a 4-yr. college degree);
  3. Complete the entire application package;
  4. Provide at least three recommendations from current high school guidance counselor, math teacher, and science teacher;
  5. Provide signed commitment of parental support;
  6. Want to pursue a career that requires a college education in the field of math and/or science;
  7. Demonstrate a willingness and desire to actively participate in all program activities;
  8. Agree to complete the poster project and participate fully in the scientific poster symposium.

How to Apply

Step1: Get an application from your high school guidance counselor, print one from the applications page of the Math and Science Center website, or call the MSC office at (865) 974-4466 for an application packet.

Step 2: Complete the entire application and return it to the Math and Science Center. A self-addressed envelope is contained within the application packet.

Step 3: The Project Director of the MSC Program will contact you within one week after your application is received to provide you with more details about your application.

Student Responsibilities

The University of Tennessee, Math and Science Center Program staff realizes that it takes a very special student to be considered for its Upward Bound Program. Each Upward Bound student upon acceptance makes a commitment to the following 5 conditions:

-Attend 10 Saturday Sessions;

-Commit to providing scholarly information to the Math and Science Center such as transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, college application in a timely manner;

-Commit to check-ins with the program staff on a regular basis (methods of communication include but are not limited to bi-weekly school visits with Educational Specialist, phone calls, emails, and mailings);

-Commit to enrolling in college prep classes at their high schools each semester;

-Commit to attending a six week Summer component at UTK.

Saturday Sessions

There are 10 Saturday Sessions held on the UTK campus for students within a 50-mile radius of Knoxville throughout the academic year. They are combinations of academics, tutoring, college visits, and cultural enrichment activities. Most Saturday Sessions consist of classes in math, science, ACT prep, and math and science tutoring. Other Saturday Sessions may consist of visiting local college campuses, providing community service, and exploring in-depth math and science careers. Saturday Sessions are for the benefit of the students in that they help them with academics, college planning, and cultural enrichment while in high school.

Summer Component

The Math and Science Center summer component is a six week academic camp at The University of Tennessee that gives students a chance to experience what college life is like first hand. The students live in a residence hall while taking academic classes in Science, English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, and ACT prep that will prepare them for their classes the following year in school. They also have an opportunity to attend lectures given by guest speakers about careers, colleges, financial aid, and college life; participate in recreational activities such as sports, scholar's bowl and movies; and special events across The University of Tennessee campus. The mentor program is an integral part of the MSC summer component. Students pair with University professors, graduate teaching assistants, instructors, as well as community sponsors to work on comprehensive mathematical and scientific research.

Bridge Component

The bridge component offers a unique opportunity for students who excel during their Upward Bound Math Science experience. Tennessee seniors apply for a bridge slot in early January. Students selected for bridge attend UTK during the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Students who are selected to participate in the Upward Bound Math/Science Bridge Program will be registered for a Life Science class during both Summer Sessions. Tutoring and counseling are also available through the Upward Bound office. All services, tuition, and fees are paid by the Upward Bound Program and this total scholarship equals almost $4500 per student!

Staff Promise

The Math and Science Center staff is committed to providing quality services to our students. We do not take our jobs lightly! Our commitment to you is the following: if you ever feel that we are not doing our jobs to your satisfaction, please let us know. We will take every measure to correct our actions and get back on track immediately!






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