BEST Scholars Program

Biology and Environmental Science Training

The BEST Scholars Program at Franklin Pierce


If your academic interests lead you to choose a major in Biology or Environmental Science, the BEST Scholars Program provides unique opportunities for qualified students to thrive in an intensive learning community, supported by scholarships funded through the National Science Foundation. With enhanced coursework, targeted mentoring, close connections among faculty and students, and comprehensive career preparation, BEST Scholars are uniquely prepared to enter jobs or graduate schools in natural and environmental sciences upon graduation.

Outdoor learning laboratory

With our 1,200-acre campus in Rindge, NH as your living laboratory, as a BEST Scholar you will live and work among students with the same passion for the environment and natural world that you have. Nestled between Mt. Monadnock and Pearly Pond, the campus features woods, wetlands, fields, ponds, trails, and gardens allowing you to conduct important fieldwork during class time.

You’ll participate in hands-on outdoor learning activities with faculty and other BEST Scholars, such as a five-day Pre-Orientation Wilderness Adventure that incorporates wildlife research and water and soil studies. BEST Scholars enroll as a group in the required First Year Inquiry course, and pursue an outdoor-based inquiry on a biological, ecological or environmental project. Over all four years, your program of study will be enhanced by local and regional field trips, including overnight to Hubbard Brook Experimental Station in the White Mountains.

Outdoor learning at Franklin Pierce has encompassed such diverse topics as:

Enhanced connections and mentoring

As a BEST Scholar, you will study in honors sections of required courses and be challenged by advanced work that includes labs, research, data collection and analysis. During your first year, you will be housed in a BEST program “living and learning” community, strengthening connections and facilitating study groups. Weekly evening study sessions with instructors, individual tutoring and mentoring, special events and connections with upperclassmen in your major ensure you have the support you need to succeed in this challenging program.

Scholars will complete their studies with a senior capstone project that connects their classroom and field learning with problems that engage professionals in the field. They present their work at the Council on Undergraduate Research Conference, and at the annual Franklin Pierce Academic Showcase. 

Intensive career exploration in biological and environmental science

A major goal of the BEST Scholars Program is to prepare talented students for careers in science, whether directly after college, or after further graduate-level education. Career Services staff meet regularly with BEST Scholars throughout their four years at Franklin Pierce, helping them to explore career paths and connecting them with alumni mentors. The following organizations offer job shadowing and possible internship opportunities for BEST Scholars: NH Fish and Game, Oxbow Associates, Harris Center for Conservation Education, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hubbard Center for Genomic Research at UNH, Monadnock Conservancy, and Mass. Audubon.

Financial support for qualified applicants

Funding from the National Science Foundation provides annual scholarships of $7000 or $9000 per year for 14 students (two cohorts of 7 students) who have demonstrated academic talent and unmet financial need.

BEST Scholars must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in academic course, and be a full-time candidate for a B.S. degree with a major in Environmental Science or Biology. Student must be a U.S. citizen, national, refugee or permanent resident. 

 How To Apply

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1741950.

Undergraduate Admissions(800) 437-0048

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