Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is a New York State grant funded initiative designed to foster academic excellence for students in the science, technology, engineering, and math majors, as well as majors that required a license (i.e. accounting, criminal justice/law, psychology, etc.). RIT CSTEP in collaboration with various partners will provide services to 150 students with an emphasis on high need career areas. CSTEP offers many services which allow students to achieve their academic and professional goals.


In order to qualify for the CSTEP program, students must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • New York State residents
  • Full-time student
  • African-American, Latino American, Native American, or low-income as defined by New York State income guidelines
  • Pursuing a major in: science, technology, engineering, math, and some business majors (i.e. MIS) or licensed professions (i.e. accounting, criminal justice/law, psychology, etc.) –
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • At least 2nd year student - *2nd semester freshmen are eligible to apply after completion of first semester*


RIT’s commitment to retaining students is at the forefront, in particular for AALANA and low-income students in the STEM fields. Program opportunities available to CSTEP students include the following:

  • Funding for textbooks and/or access codes
    • With the rising cost of textbooks, many students are sharing books or even choosing to go without. Academic success necessitates access to learning materials. All CSTEP students, who are in good standing, will receive an RIT Online Bookstore voucher each semester for textbooks and/or access code. Students will receive an email directly from Akademos when their voucher is available. Vouchers are made available one week before the start of classes and funds expire two weeks after add/drop week.   
  • Funding for research experience
    • Early engagement in research can build students’ confidence in their scientific developmental learning, leading to increased opportunities for competitive co-ops, presentations and publications (Lopatto, 2010). CSTEP offers students the opportunity to work on research projects in the fall and spring semesters. Students will work along aside RIT faculty mentors. Students will be paid for their 14 week research experience. They will also have the opportunity to present their research projects at the CSTEP Regional Conference.
    • CSTEP offers a 10 week intensive paid summer research program. Students will work along aside RIT faculty mentors. Students will present their research projects at the RIT Summer Research Symposium. 
  • CSTEP Regional Conference
    • Each year 8 to 10 CSTEP students will be invited to participate in the CSTEP Regional Conference. The conference provides students the opportunity to showcase their research projects, experience a professional conference, network with other universities, participate in the graduate school fair, and meet other CSTEP students from around the state.
  • Travel Funds for Professional Conferences/ Graduate School Visits
    • There is tremendous value for students to attend professional conferences where they are exposed to other like-minded students. They are able to they are able to build on their network, stay engaged in their area of expertise, and strengthen their soft presentation skills. CSTEP students are invited to participate in a number of regional and national conferences (NSBE, SHPE, FASEB, ABRCMS, etc.). Funding support includes conference registration fees, poster printing, transportation, travel and/or lodging expenses.
    • Visiting graduate schools allows students the opportunity meet future faculty mentors. CSTEP students will have the opportunity to request funds to assist with their travel expenses.
    • All requests must be made at least 4 weeks before travel commences in order to be considered. Due to limited travel funds, participants are not guaranteed that all of their travel requests will be honored. Following approval, the program staff will assist with all travel arrangements based on RIT travel policies.
  • Funding for graduate school preparatory courses and graduate school entrance exams
    • We want our students to advance their careers by pursuing graduate studies. However, with limited funding for graduate education and the costs of entrance exams and preparatory courses for these exams, students may not be inclined to further their education. By decreasing the financial burden of covering these costs, we incentivize our students to pursue graduate studies. CSTEP will pay for Kaplan courses (in person or online) to help students prepare for graduate school entrance exams. Additionally, CSTEP will pay for graduate school entrance exams (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.). 
  • Peer 1:1 tutoring
    • The CSTEP program provides individualized tutoring services by assigning students to qualified peer tutors. Our qualified tutors are dedicated students with experience in adapting to individual learning styles. Students may receive up to four hours per week, per course. 
    • If students are interested in becoming tutors, they can contact the office directly.
  • Personal and academic coaching
    • Research shows that if students connect to someone on campus (i.e. faculty, mentor, staff member), they are more inclined to stay at the institution (Olwell, 2017). Students at RIT CSTEP are expected to meet 2 times per semester with the CSTEP staff.   
  • Professional development activities and workshops
    • A combination of workshops, speakers, presentations, alumni panels on various academic, career and leadership topics will be offered to assist students. Many of these are in collaboration with on campus partners such as the Office of Career and Cooperative Education, Office of Financial Aid, Roswell Park, McNair, LSAMP and the RIT’s Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities Program (ECCO).
  • Graduation Celebration
    • As a process of celebrating this great accomplishment, graduating seniors and their families will be invited to a ceremony with refreshments. An official RIT diploma frame will be given to each student as further recognition of their achievements.


If interested in CSTEP, please click on the link below to apply. Students will be contacted for an intake appointment after the application is received. If you have questions please email