Do you have what it takes to join the Chemistry Scholars (ChemScholars) Program? Are you looking for greater access to faculty mentorship and research options? We are looking for qualified high school students who have the potential to achieve distinction in the field and in their future careers. Past ChemScholars have enjoyed a successful undergraduate life at UAB and have moved on to prestigious medical schools and graduate schools.

  • Qualifications

    Incoming freshmen that meet the following requirements are eligible to apply to the program.

    • declare chemistry as your major
    • have a desire to serve as a peer teacher
    • have a 3.5 or greater high school GPA
    • have a composite ACT score of 26 or greater (or SAT equivalent)

    If you meet these standards, you are invited to send a letter of application by March 1. Interviews will be set up on a rolling basis after applications are completed and decisions are generally made mid- to late-March.

  • Benefits

    As a ChemScholar, you will:

    • participate in the undergraduate teaching program as peer teachers starting your freshman year
    • work closely with chemistry faculty and graduate students who serve as teaching mentors
    • receive individual training that is applicable to any “next step” on your career path
    • have the opportunity to do undergraduate research alongside faculty members, both in the department and on the medical side of campus
    • become part of a learning community of chemistry majors

    Peer teaching is at the core of the ChemScholars program. First year ChemScholars shadow an experienced peer teacher in a teaching laboratory. ChemScholars then serve as a peer teachers for either recitation or laboratory sections for the next three years. This hands-on teaching experience gives you an in-depth understanding of chemistry, allows you to develop communication and presentation skills, and trains you to work effectively in groups.

  • Support

    If you are accepted as a ChemScholar, you will receive a stipend of up to $1,600 your freshman year. For the remaining three years, you will receive up to $3,200 each of the as long as you:

    • maintain a 3.0 GPA in your chemistry courses
    • are a full-time student majoring in chemistry
    • adequately perform your teaching duties
    • are in good academic standing at UAB


Further information can be obtained from the UAB Department of Chemistry by calling (205) 934-4747 or contacting Mitzy Erdmann at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How to Apply

Application Deadline: March 1

Incoming Students

If you are interested in being considered for a position as a ChemScholar, please complete the Incoming Student Application. As part of the application, you will need to submit:

  • a cover letter stating your interest in the program and your background in chemistry
  • a current resume (MUST include high school GPA and highest ACT score)
  • a short essay stating how the ChemScholars Program would have a positive impact on your undergraduate educational experience

Your high school chemistry teacher should also complete the Teacher Nomination Form.

Current UAB Students

Chemistry majors in their first or second year at UAB can apply for a position as a ChemScholar by completing the Current Student Application.

Admission to the program will be made based on academic qualifications, essay, level of interest, and fit with current staff.

  • Ryan Murphy
  • Nick Boyle
  • Kelly Walters
  • Ryan Murphy

    I applied to join the Chemistry Scholar’s program my freshman year of college not only for the convenience of an on-campus job, but primarily for the opportunity to get more involved with my department of study and build upon my teaching and mentoring skills. In my undergraduate path towards medical school, my primary focus of activities beyond my classes focused on building my communication and interpersonal skills, both key competencies of a good physician. Through the Chemistry Scholar’s program, I was provided opportunities to communicate scientific knowledge to students of all different backgrounds through a variety of methods and media, including my work producing and editing lab and lecture instructional videos for the department.

  • Nick Boyle

    Teaching is a valuable experience because you must understand the material much more thoroughly than is required for most undergraduate courses. Through the opportunity to teach college-level chemistry, the Chemistry Scholars Program trained me to think critically about complex questions, a skill that is vital for graduate-level education.

  • Kelly Walters

    It’s hard to put into words exactly what this program did for me—how do you explain four years of immense growth, mentorship, camaraderie, and the feeling of possibility? I was surrounded by people who genuinely wanted to see me succeed, and learned chemistry in an environment that fostered a passion for it. Because of the real-world leadership, scientific skills, and responsibility taught to me as a chemistry scholar, I am now proudly an M.D./Ph.D. scholar with a network of professional connections, but I will always say that chemistry was my first love.

  • Ryan Murphy
  • Nick Boyle
  • Kelly Walters