Minority College Experience and Women in Science and Engineering Programs


Minority College Experience and Women in Science and Engineering are FREE summer programs offered by Penn State Behrend. Both programs are designed for academically-talented students from the Erie County, Pennsylvania area. The non-residential nature of this program does not typically enable students from other areas to participate. The programs give local students, who qualify, a chance to enroll in a university credit course with regularly-enrolled college students the summer before their senior year in high school. Both programs provide plenty of direct, hands-on experience through field trips, workshops, and lectures conducted by professionals in local businesses and organizations.

Information about the summer 2017 MCE/WISE program will be available in February.



The academic schedule will determine when students are on campus. Class schedules will be set during the Orientation, Advising and Registration session. Courses open to students in MCE and WISE are scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. These classes meet on a three-day, four-day, or five day schedule. All students in both programs are required to participate in workshops every Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Optional workshops are offered throughout the week. In addition, optional field trips are offered on Thursday afternoons. The program will be held in July and August 2016.


Program Benefits

There is no tuition charge for the MCE or WISE programs. In addition, students receive textbooks, parking permits or bus passes for commuting to and from campus, and a stipend for lunch when on campus. The only cost to the participants may be admission costs for selected optional field trips.

Students who complete the MCE or WISE summer course with a grade-point average of 3.0 or better will be assured admission to Penn State Behrend following high school graduation and completion of the Penn State application process.



What is Minority College Experience?

The Minority College Experience program offers students of color or economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to explore their options in higher education and examine possible career paths. If you’re African American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Native American male or female – you may be able to enroll in a free college credit course related to any of Penn State Behrend’s thirty-six majors. This program is also available to economically disadvantaged students from any ethnic background. The program offers you the opportunity to interact with college students, professors, administrators and professionals through a variety of workshops and field trips.


What is Women in Science and Engineering?

Women in Science and Engineering encourages female high school students of all backgrounds to explore career opportunities they may not have considered previously. Science, engineering, environmental studies, information technology, psychology, health professions – all these career options are open to talented women. If you’re a highly motivated student interested in math and science, you may qualify for free enrollment in this program.


What are the Academic Requirements?


Students applying for the program should:

  • Be a high school junior
  • Have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or above
  • Have earned an SAT score of 1350 or PSAT score of 98 or better (or 135 or better if take prior to October 2015)


Placement Testing and Advising

Students who are accepted into one of these programs will be required to take an online placement test to measure their mathematical knowledge. Students will also take part in an orientation, academic advising, and course registration program held prior to the beginning of classes. Academic advisors will use the test results to make appropriate course placements during the registration portion of the program.

Important Dates

MCE/WISE Information SessionThursday, April 14 at 7 p.m.

Application deadline: Thursday, April 28

Scheduling and Orientation:  Wednesday, June 15 (time/location details will be distributed to participants)

Programs begin:  Tuesday, June 28 

Classes begin:  Wednesday, June 29

No classes:  Monday, July 4

Last Day of Class:  Wednesday, August 10

Final Exams:  Thursday, August 11 or Friday, August 12 (depends on class scheduled)


Contact Information


Melissa Grimm
Admissions Counselor
4701 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563
(814) 898-6100



To the student:

  • Applicants must be high school juniors during the 2015-16 school year.
  • The deadline to apply for the Summer 2016 MCE/WISE program is April 28, 2016.
  • Prior to starting the application:
    • Print the counselor recommendation form. Give the counselor recommendation form to your high school guidance counselor. 
    • Complete and print the Undergraduate Nondegree Enrollment Form.  Mail your completed form to Penn State Behrend Admissions Office, Attn: Melissa Grimm, 4851 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563.  You may also email a scanned copy to mgrimm@admissions.psu.edu.
  • Apply online.
  • Only completed applications will be considered for admission.