SD-CoMETS Scholarship Program

The National Science Foundation (Award #1930313) awarded RIT a five-year grant for the Self-Determined Critical Mass of Engineering Technology Scholar (SD-CoMETS) from its 2019 Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program. The purpose of this program is to expand and diversify the number of high-technology workers and to develop high-quality professionals in Engineering Technology. These scholarships are available to students accepted and starting an Engineering Technology major begin­ning academic years 2020-2022. SD-CoMETS scholarships are need-based, and are in addition to the grants and scholarships already awarded by RIT.

RIT’s College of Engineering Technology will award scholarships to 12 incoming freshmen each year who are enrolling full-time in one of the following majors:

  • Civil Engineering Technology
  • Computer Engineering Technology
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Mechatronics Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Robotics and Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Each SD-CoMETS scholar will receive a scholarship of $3,750 per semester for the first five semesters in which they are enrolled in courses full-time, as long as they continue to meet scholarship requirements.


To be eligible to receive the SD-CoMETS grant recipients must:

  • Be an academically successful incoming freshman who has sub­mitted an application for admission by March 15 in the year that they are applying to RIT
  • Be a citizen, national, refugee alien, or permanent resident alien of the United States of America
  • Be accepted and enrolled full-time in one of the six participating Engineering Technology majors
  • Demonstrate financial need as defined by the U.S. Department of Education and by the RIT Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships upon receipt of results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Scholarship Renewal

The SD-CoMETS scholarship will be renewed each semester for the scholar’s first five academic (non-co-op) semesters, provided the SD-CoMETS scholar:

  • to demonstrates financial need
  • matriculated full-time in any of the six participating majors
  • a semester GPA ≥ 3 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • the SD-CoMETS seminar
  • at least one professional skills workshop or industrial tour each year
  • with at least one outreach event each year

All SD-CoMETS scholars will be assigned a faculty and a peer mentor. It is expected that each scholar will meet with their mentors several times per year.

Principal Investigators

Jeanne Christman
Associate Professor
Betsy Dell
Mike Eastman
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Jennifer O'Neil
Assistant Professor
md Abdullah al Faruque
Associate Professor

Grant Coordinator

Paige Drake
Senior Staff Specialist

Scholar Resources


To find SD-CoMETS related events, visit the RIT Events Calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

You do not need to apply. If you are accepted as a full-time freshman for a BS in one of the six participating majors, you will be considered for the SD-CoMETS scholarship. You must demonstrate academic talent and financial need as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. This is determined by the RIT Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships upon receipt of results from FAFSA. Special consideration is given to applicants from groups who are underrepresented in Engineering Technology.

If you transfer to one of the six academic majors participating in the program, you will remain eligible for the scholarship. However, if you transfer to an academic major not participating in this program, your scholarship will not be renewed.

You must remain a full-time student (as defined by RIT) in the semester you receive the scholarship. You become ineligible for the scholarship if you become a part-time student.

Yes. You must successfully complete the one-semester SD-CoMETS seminar your first year, and attend at least one professional skills workshop or industrial tour and assist with at least one outreach event yearly. You must also maintain a semester GPA ≥ 3.0, be enrolled for a full-time academic load each semester and continue to demonstrate financial need.

Per NSF requirements, we need to inform NSF about your accomplishments during and after your education at RIT. Please inform Dr. Christman of achievements, such as winning an award or going on cooperative employment. When you graduate from RIT, please email her the name of your employer or plans for graduate school. You may also be asked to participate in surveys and focus group interviews to determine the efficacy of the SD-CoMETS scholarship program.

Our government is concerned about the shortage of qualified graduates, especially those from underrepresented groups, with majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These federal funds, provided through the National Science Foundation, are to encourage and enable the achievement of baccalaureate degrees in these disciplines.