department menu


  • What does STEM mean?

     Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Who is eligible?

    See the scholarship information page.
  • How do I apply?

    Complete the application form at apply.
  • During what year can I apply for the Noyce Scholarship?

    You can apply for the Noyce scholarship as early as your Sophomore year. Juniors, Seniors and graduates are also welcome to apply.
  • How do I submit reference letters?

    Letters and other support documents should be attached within your online application. Alternatively, they can be emailed to
  • How will a Noyce scholarship affect my financial aid?

    If your financial aid plus the Noyce scholarship exceeds the total cost of attendance at CSU San Marcos, then your financial aid award will be reduced by the amount that exceeds the cost of attendance. Contact the CSUSM Office of Financial Aid for more information.
  • I am a transfer student. Should I send my transcript from my transfer school?

    Yes, copies of transcripts from all previous schools are necessary.
  • When will I find out if I was chosen to receive the scholarship?

    In the fall, applications will be reviewed beginning in mid-November. Strong applicants will beinvited for interview during early December. Awards will be announced in mid-December. In the spring, applications will be reviewed beginning in mid-April, and awards will be announced in mid-May.

  • What are some of the opportunities and experiences I’ll have as a Noyce Scholar?

    The CSUSM Noyce Scholar Program is unique in that we facilitate and encourage participation in authentic early teaching opportunities through collaborations with CSUSM faculty and master teachers in local schools. As a Noyce Scholar, you will join a community of scholars and alumni with a commitment to the STEM education profession. There will be several gatherings of these groups, at times to socialize, and others to interact more formally. In addition, you will be invited to attend numerous state and national conferences and workshops, with expenses paid by the project.
  • What does “high need” mean?

    The term “high-need district” is defined by the Federal Government for the purpose of this scholarship as a local educational agency that meets at least one of the following criteria:

    1. A high percentage of individuals from families below the poverty line. The district has at least one school in which 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for participation in the free and reduced lunch program, as established by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42U.S.C.1751 et seq.);
    2. A high percentage of secondary school teachers not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach. The district has at least one school in which: (i) more than 34 percent of the academic classroom teachers at the secondary level (across all academic subjects) do not have an undergraduate degree with a major or minor in, or graduate degree in, the academic field in which they teach the largest percentage of their classes; or (ii) more than 34 percent of the teachers in two academic departments do not have an undergraduate degree with a major or minor in, or a graduate degree in the academic field in which they teach the largest percentage of their classes; or
    3. A high teacher turnover rate. The district has at least one school whose teacher attrition rate has been 15 percent or greater over the last three school years.

    Note that the criteria apply to the district, not a particular school. As long as any school in a district is high-need, the district is considered high-need. What this means practically is that, as of AY 2020-2021, most school districts in the San Diego and south Riverside region are high-need. Exceptions are Carlsbad, Coronado, Julian, Murrieta, Poway, and San Dieguito;  and some elementary school districts such as Cardiff, Del Mar, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, etc. You should look at the criteria at the time of employment. Once hired you will not be responsible to ensure that the district assigns you specifically to a school that meets any of these criteria.

  • Is there a list of schools that qualify?

    No, however these resources can help you to identify high-needs districts:

    1. CA Department of Education—Student Poverty FRPM Data
    2. State Education websites US census website
    3. Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory

    Contact the Noyce Project Director at to confirm your district of interest qualifies, or for further clarification.

  • Will I be assigned a school or district to work in?

    No, you will be responsible to apply for and ascertain a teaching position in a high-needs district on your own. The CSUSM Noyce program faculty will support and advise during your job search.
  • What if I cannot find a job in a high-need school or decide to pursue another profession?

    First and foremost, if you are actively seeking but having trouble finding a job in a high-need district, please contact the Noyce Project Director at We want to be supportive and work together to create a manageable solution. In the scenario that you cannot find a job, we will consider your circumstances and develop a mutually agreeable solution, such as providing a brief amnesty period for meeting your commitment.

    If you do not accept a job in a high-need district and have not contacted the Noyce Project Directors, your scholarship will be converted into a loan which you will pay back according to terms detailed in the agreement you signed prior to accepting the Noyce Scholarship.

  • How many years do I need to teach in a high-need school district?

    For every full-year of scholarship received, you are required to teach, full-time and full-responsibility, in a high-need school district for two years. If you start to receive scholarship as an undergraduate, you have up to eight years to fulfill the teaching requirement after completing the credential program. If you receive scholarship during the credential program only, you have up to four years after completing the program to fulfill the teaching requirement.

    You are expected to obtain a Single Subject teaching credential. We do NOT start counting the teaching service years until you earn an appropriate teaching certificate.

  • Do I have to teach in San Diego / locally?

    No, you may teach in any high-need district across the country, even in the territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam.
  • Can I work in private or charter schools?

    Private schools are not affiliated with school districts and would not meet the requirement of working in a high-need school district.  Charter schools are publicly funded and would be fine (as well as public schools), provided that they are high-need.
  • Am I only allowed to apply to high-need districts?

    No, of course we can't keep you from applying for other work. But if you take a job that doesn't meet the requirements of the scholarship, you may be asked to repay.
  • How is CSUSM's Noyce Program different from other programs with the same name?

    The CSUSM Robert Noyce Scholarship Program is one of many similar programs located at colleges and universities across the country, all with the same name. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds each of these programs and all have the same goal of enhancing K-12 science and math education. However, the details of each program are determined to local faculty member who submits a proposal for NSF grant funding.

    The CSUSM program has a focus to increase the number of undergraduate STEM students completing their CA Single Subject teaching credential at CSUSM. Features unique to the CSUSM program are the many early teaching opportunities, especially the LA Program, the STEM Service Learning Program, and the Math Circles we host.

    Rong-Ji Chen is the Principal Investigator in charge of overseeing and administering the CSUSM grant.

  • Who is Robert Noyce?

    Robert Noyce (1927-1990) was a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor (1957) and Intel (1968). He co-invented the integrated circuit or silicon microchip, which revolutionized the computer industry and gave Silicon Valley its name. Robert Noyce’s legacy lives on with the Noyce Foundation. The goal of the Noyce Foundation is to improve the quality of public math and science education and inspire the next generation scientists and engineers. The Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship is funded through the National Science Foundation.

    For more information:

 Also see the FAQ at the NSF site.

I still have questions. Who should I contact for more information?

Email See the Contact Information page.