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ExCELS Grant Program

ExCELS Grant – NSF Experiential Computing and Engaged Learning Scholarships Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $2.5M grant to provide scholarships to undergraduate students at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at CSUSB. The Experiential Computing and Engaged Learning Scholarships (ExCELS) program targets academically talented students who demonstrate financial need and who intend to pursue a major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Computer Systems, Bioinformatics, or Data Science. These scholarships are for those who meet the described eligibility criteria and aim to recruit and retain more students in computing-related disciplines. Need-based awards will be up to $10,000 per year per student for up to 4 years, provided the student is enrolled full-time and maintains good academic standing. There are 30 awards available each year, and additional scholarships will be granted until funds are exhausted. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  1. Full-time enrollment (a minimum of 12 units per semester) at CSUSB with a declared major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Computer Systems, Bioinformatics, or Data Science. 
  2. A cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher. 
  3. Evidence of financial need (e.g., Pell Grant recipients), as determined by the Office of Financial Aid at CSUSB. 
  4. Applicants must be a citizen of the United States, a national of the United States, a refugee, or a permanent resident (as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act) at the time of submitting the application. 

Application Link:

To apply, follow the two stages of the selection process: 

Stage 1: Initial Selection 

  1. Submit the ExCELS Application Form. Your submission should include a personal statement (of approximately 500 words) and a copy of your most recent CSUSB transcripts (unofficial copies are accepted). 
  2. Submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can do this either through the Financial Aid Office or online at

Stage 2: Further Requirements for Shortlisted Applicants (will be announced after the initial section process) 

  1. Two Letters of Recommendation: These should be from faculty members who can comment on your interest, ability, and potential in pursuing a computing degree. 
  2. Applicant's Educational Plan: This should outline all the courses you plan to take during the one-year fellowship period. 

Application Deadline:  

  • ExCELS applications are reviewed as they are received. The review will begin on Dec 1, 2023. 

For more information or questions, please contact: 

Dr. Yunfei Hou,


Dr. Khalil Dajani, Email: