The CURIE Academy at Cornell University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students and a female teacher talking during an activity in a classroom.

The CURIE Academy at Cornell University

Imagine a summer filled with hands-on science experiments, intriguing discoveries, and the chance to explore your passion for STEM in a dynamic and supportive environment. If you’re a high school student with a thirst for knowledge and a love for science, The CURIE Academy at Cornell University might just be your ticket to an unforgettable summer experience.

In this blog, we’ll dive deep into what The CURIE Academy is all about, what makes it so unique, and why you should consider joining this exciting program. Get ready for a journey of scientific exploration and personal growth!

What is The CURIE Academy?

The CURIE Academy stands for “Curie Academy of Nanomaterials and Energy.” It is a highly esteemed summer program hosted by Cornell University, one of the world’s leading Ivy League institutions.

This academy is specifically designed for high-achieving, intellectually curious high school students with a keen interest in science and engineering.

The acronym “CURIE” pays homage to the renowned physicist and chemist Marie Curie, who made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of radioactivity and became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. The CURIE Academy aims to inspire young minds in the same way Marie Curie inspired generations of scientists.

The CURIE Academy is a thrilling one-week adventure, tailor-made for high school girls who are on the brink of their junior or senior year. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to dive into the world of engineering while living college life, this program is your golden ticket!

But that’s not all – CURIE is on a mission to make engineering education accessible to everyone. They understand that not all students have had the same opportunities to explore STEM.

That’s why they are especially eager to welcome girls whose voices and experiences have been traditionally underrepresented in the world of science and engineering. Your unique perspective is valued here!

What’s in store for you at CURIE?

Picture yourself living on the vibrant Cornell campus, making memories in dormitories, and connecting with brilliant minds from all corners of the country. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with current Cornell Engineering students, renowned faculty members, and a diverse group of participants.

Each day at CURIE is an exciting chapter in your engineering journey. You’ll dive into daily classes led by Cornell Engineering experts, where you’ll unravel the mysteries of a specific area of study.

You will be alongside faculty, grad students, and undergrads on real research projects. Your ideas and creativity will be at the forefront!

Oh, and not to mention the nine incredible field sessions! You’ll get to explore various engineering majors, gaining a taste of what each one has to offer. Plus, there’s a special session dedicated to demystifying the admissions process, helping you chart your path toward a future in engineering.

In a nutshell, The CURIE Academy is an unforgettable adventure that’ll fuel your passion for engineering, connect you with inspiring people, and empower you to chase your dreams.

student smiling in camera holding an orange folder

Why is The CURIE Academy Unique?

The CURIE Academy at Cornell University offers a specialized focus on nanomaterials and energy science. Nanomaterials are materials with structures at the nanoscale, which can lead to extraordinary properties and applications.

Energy science explores innovative ways to harness and utilize energy, from renewable sources to cutting-edge technologies. These topics are at the forefront of scientific research, making The CURIE Academy a perfect place to explore the future of science.

Hands-On Laboratory Experience

At CURIE, students don’t just learn about science; they actively engage in it. Participants have the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art laboratories, conducting experiments and gaining practical skills that prepare them for future academic and professional pursuits. It’s a chance to see firsthand how science is done at the university level.

World-Class Faculty and Resources

The CURIE Academy is hosted by Cornell University, which boasts an exceptional faculty known for their research in various scientific fields.

CURIE students have access to cutting-edge equipment and facilities, enabling them to explore their scientific interests under the guidance of experts in the field.

Collaborative Learning Environment

Science is a collaborative endeavor, and The CURIE Academy recognizes this. Participants work alongside like-minded peers from diverse backgrounds, fostering an environment of teamwork and knowledge sharing. This collaboration not only enhances their academic experience but also builds lifelong friendships.

Two women are studying in their dorms.

College Preparation

For many high school students, The CURIE Academy serves as a taste of college life. Living on Cornell’s campus, students gain a glimpse into the independence and responsibility that comes with higher education. It’s a valuable opportunity to prepare for the transition to college while pursuing their scientific passions.

But if your parents are concerned with your safety and guidance, tell them not to worry! The Academy has a dedicated team in place, with a Residential Hall Director (RHD) at the helm, overseeing a group of five program assistants (PAs).

All of them live right within the residence halls, ensuring that they are available around the clock to offer guidance and supervision to the participants of the program.

Why Should You Join The CURIE Academy?

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a scientist or engineer, CURIE allows you to explore your interests and discover what excites you about science. You’ll have access to resources and experiences that can help you make informed decisions about your future academic and career paths.

Network and Connect

The CURIE Academy at Cornell University is a fantastic networking opportunity. You’ll meet fellow students who share your passion for science, as well as professors and mentors who can provide guidance and support. These connections can be invaluable as you continue your educational journey.

Challenge Yourself

CURIE is designed for high-achieving students who are up for a challenge. You’ll tackle complex scientific concepts, engage in hands-on research, and push your intellectual boundaries. It’s an excellent way to stretch your mind and grow as a thinker.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Participating in The CURIE Academy can make your college applications stand out. Admissions committees appreciate students who show dedication to their field and seek out unique learning experiences. CURIE can demonstrate your commitment to STEM and your willingness to go the extra mile.

A woman smiling on camera while in the hallway

Who can be a part of The CURIE Academy?

Well, if you’re a high school student with dreams of diving deep into the exciting world of STEM, you’re in the right place! To join The CURIE Academy, here’s what you need:

First, a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale shows that you’re dedicated and enthusiastic about your studies, especially in math and science.

Second, you should be a rising junior or senior in high school, ready to take the next step in your academic journey.

Third, they are looking for young women who are eager to explore the wonders of engineering.

Finally, you should be on a path that includes challenging courses like calculus, physics, and chemistry, along with at least one other advanced science or math class, before you graduate.

So, if you’re passionate about STEM and ready to take your curiosity to the next level, we invite you to be a part of The CURIE Academy at Cornell University– where the future of science and engineering awaits!

Tuition Costs of The CURIE Academy

Let’s talk about the cost of this exciting journey at The CURIE Academy. The tuition fee is currently set at $1,850. This covers some fantastic perks: your cozy accommodation, delicious meals, and all the research supplies you’ll need to embark on your scientific adventures.

And here’s the best part – you won’t need to pay this fee until you receive that coveted acceptance letter. We understand that affordability is a concern for many, and we want every bright young mind to have a chance to join the program.

This is why Cornell University strongly encourages anyone worried about the cost to consider applying for a scholarship. Your dreams of exploring the world of STEM shouldn’t be limited by financial barriers!


If you have a strong need for financial support, you could be eligible for scholarships that can cover your tuition and even help with travel expenses.

Here’s what you need to do: along with your CURIE Academy Application and supporting documents, make sure to submit the Financial Assistance Form by March 1, 2024.

Once you’ve been admitted to this incredible program, they will let you know about any scholarship awards in your acceptance notification.

Just remember, there’s a small $75 non-refundable deposit required from all participants to secure your spot.

The CURIE Academy expects to share admission decisions via email by early April 2024. So, don’t miss out on this chance to make your STEM dreams come true with a bit of extra support from their scholarships!

A female student writing notes and highlighting them.

The CURIE Academy Schedule

At the CURIE Academy, they are all about giving their scholars a taste of what college life is really like, and it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss!

As a CURIE Scholar, you’ll be diving headfirst into an immersive experience that combines academics, research, and loads of fun.

Picture this: you’ll be joining daily interactive activities that not only boost your knowledge about various engineering fields but also help you map out your academic and career journey while unraveling the mysteries of the STEM admissions process. It’s like a behind-the-scenes pass to the world of science and engineering!

Field Sessions

Now, let’s talk field sessions. You’ll embark on nine exhilarating field sessions led by Cornell Engineering’s brilliant faculty. These sessions are like windows into different engineering majors, where you’ll explore the field, its curriculum, the latest trends, and groundbreaking research. But here’s the best part – these sessions are hands-on, meaning you’ll get to roll up your sleeves and dive into the action.

Research Project with the Cornell Faculty

But we’re not stopping there. You’ll also have the chance to work closely with Cornell Engineering faculty members, post-docs, graduate students, and undergrads.

Together, you’ll take on a specific project that’ll put your skills and creativity to the test. And guess what? You’ll proudly present your findings or outcomes on the final day, and your parents or guardians are more than welcome to join in on the excitement!

Social Activities at The CURIE

But wait, there’s more! The fantastic CURIE program assistants will lead you through a series of social activities and friendly engineering competitions. Imagine group outings to cool places like the Lindseth Climbing Center, Treman State Park, and even some classic bowling at Helen Newman Hall.

This will surely give you lifelong memories with new friends who share your passion for all things engineering.

Application Steps and Requirements

Let’s break down the application process into four exciting parts! Once you kickstart your journey with the Academy Application Form, you will receive access to the rest of the application parts.

Part I. The Academy Application Form

Get ready for a thrilling adventure! Once you’ve filled out this form, you’ll be on your way. Expect a “thank you for your submission” page to pop up, and you’ll also receive a confirmation email because your excitement deserves recognition.

But that’s not all! In both these places, you’ll find handy links to upload your transcript, share your financial assistance details, and even reach out to your recommender.

Part II. The High School Transcript

Show off your academic prowess by submitting your current transcript. We want to see your latest grades and your in-progress coursework.

If you’re wondering where to acquire your transcript, please speak with your trusty guidance counselor. You’ll find the upload link for your transcript once you’ve completed the Academy Application Form.

Part III. The Recommendation Form

You’re not in this alone! Ask your math teacher, science teacher, or high school counselor to complete the online recommendation form by March 1.

They’ll share their insights about your brilliance, so don’t forget to send them the link, which will be available once you’ve aced the Academy Application Form.

Part IV. The Financial Assistance Form (Optional)

If you’re dreaming big but need some financial support, you can go for the Financial Assistance Form. Submit it by March 1, 2023, and you might be eligible for tuition or travel assistance.

Your parent or guardian will be your sidekick for this one, as they’ll need to complete the form and upload income verification documents like W-2s, Federal Tax Returns, or Pay Stubs.

female student has hopeful expression for college interview

Admission Tips

Since the CURIE Academy gets loads of impressive applications every year, unfortunately, they are unable to provide personalized feedback, but we’re here to help you put your best foot forward! Here are some nifty tips for crafting an outstanding application:

First and foremost, pour your heart and soul into your essay. Pay super close attention to the questions, and be sure to tackle them head-on. They want to get to know the incredible you, so don’t hold back!

And if you’re not 100% sure about your passion for engineering, that’s perfectly okay. Just be honest about it in your essay – they appreciate authenticity!

It’s all about letting your unique spark shine, so go ahead and let your passion and curiosity light the way. We can’t wait to see your application dazzle!

Final Thoughts

In the world of science, Marie Curie once said, “We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves.”

As we wrap up our journey through The CURIE Academy at Cornell University, the words above couldn’t ring truer. This academy is not just a summer program; it’s an invitation to discover the boundless potential within you.

Throughout this blog, we have explored the remarkable experiences and the groundbreaking research opportunities that await you at CURIE.

It’s a place where passion for science ignites, where hands-on exploration fuels your curiosity, and where a world of knowledge unfolds before your eyes.

As you consider joining CURIE, remember that the world of science is a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Whether you’re drawn to nanomaterials, energy science, or any STEM field, know that your dreams are worth pursuing. Marie Curie herself defied conventions, and today, we celebrate her as an icon of scientific discovery.

As a young woman, you should stand tall, embrace your dreams, and step boldly into the world of The CURIE Academy. Let your journey in this program be a testament to your determination, curiosity, and belief in yourself.

Every great scientist, engineer, and innovator started with a spark of curiosity, and who knows, maybe CURIE will be the place where your spark turns into a blazing fire of scientific excellence!

The future of science is in your hands, and The CURIE Academy is here to help you reach for the stars. As you go on this incredible adventure, never forget that the greatest discoveries often begin with a single question, a single dream, and a whole lot of courage.

So, embrace the journey, chase your dreams, and let the world witness the brilliance that lies within you. The CURIE Academy is waiting, and your adventure in science starts now!

If you’re seeking assistance in gaining admission to pre-college programs, it’s a wise choice to reach out to seasoned college admissions professionals, such as AdmissionSight. With more than ten years of expertise, our team has skillfully navigated students through the demanding admissions process, securing their entry into esteemed universities worldwide. Don’t hesitate – arrange your first consultation with us now and embark on the initial stage of your academic journey towards success!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.