Since 2009, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) Academy for Global Experience, or EMSAGE, has been college’s signature undergraduate program for fostering experiential and global competence and promoting a spirit of integrity, service, and leadership. By comprehensively embracing these principles, students develop into leaders in their chosen discipline who possess the breadth and maturity to extend their knowledge to address society’s most pressing problems.

Students who attain significant achievement across the broad categories of scholarship, experiential learning and global literacy, and service are recognized by the college with the distinctive designation of EMSAGE Laureate.  Beginning in the Fall 2019 semester, students hoping to attain Laureate status may apply to be Protégés or Practitioners (see below), creating an EMSAGE community to foster their success.


Students enrolled in majors within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences can be awarded Laureate status through notable achievement in scholarship, experiential learning and global literacy, and service.  Students seeking elevation to Laureate status must apply once they are within 36 credits of graduation and have achieved at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.  There will be an opportunity to apply twice annually during both the fall and spring semesters and application deadlines will be announced on this page.  An important aspect of the Laureate application is an essay that ties together their experiences and describes how these experiences have helped them evolve over time at Penn State into the person they are today.


Students striving for Laureate status actively pursue activities and accomplishments that demonstrate breadth and depth in areas such as academic excellence, global awareness, professional and civic service, and leadership. Thus, upon graduation, EMSAGE Laureates have compiled a resume that will provide a substantial competitive edge in the global economy. In addition, EMSAGE Laureates are formally recognized with a crystal Laureate memento and certificate and are enshrined on the EMSAGE Laureate roster in the Ryan Family Student Center.


Undergraduate students aspiring to Laureate status are encouraged to actively plan their academic and professional development.  Students should set goals in each of the three principle areas that are consistent with their interests and develop an engagement plan to achieve them.  Suggestions from faculty, mentors and advisors are a great resource, and assistance is available from the Director of Student Engagement. Applicants should keep a portfolio of their activities and accomplishments to aid in the application process.

The EMSAGE program has three phases to support students in obtaining Laureate status and to promote a vibrant community of engaged scholars: Protégés, Practitioners, and Laureates.  Students do not need to participate in every stage to apply for Laureate status, but it is strongly encouraged.

EMSAGE Protégés

Students in good standing who have completed at least 12 university credits (earned after high school) and are interested in becoming EMSAGE Laureates but have had limited experiences beyond the classroom (e.g. internships, co-ops, research) can apply to be EMSAGE Protégés. To become an EMSAGE protégé, a student will need to submit an engagement plan detailing the activities they might engage in to work toward Laureate status.  In addition, protégés will receive mentoring from EMSAGE Practitioners and Laureates.

EMSAGE Practitioners

Students in good standing with at least 24 Penn State credits who have met at least half of the requirements for Laureate status, including experiences beyond the classroom, can apply to be an EMSAGE Practitioner. If the applicant does not have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, it must be mathematically possible to reach a 3.0 with the remaining credits in their intended degree. To become a practitioner, students will need to submit a one-page essay detailing at least five experiences (examples are given below in the EMSAGE Laureate Requirements section) that they have completed from across the areas of scholarship, experiential learning and global literacy, and service, along with an engagement plan for how they will complete the remainder of the EMSAGE Laureate requirements. Practitioners will serve as valuable resources for Protégés and will receive mentoring from the EMSAGE Laureates.

EMSAGE Laureates

Each semester, students who are within 36 credits of completing their undergraduate degree and have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA will be able to apply to be an EMSAGE Laureate. Laureates will serve as mentors and role models for practitioners and protégés. Deadlines for Laureate applications for each academic year will be announced at the beginning of the fall semester.


The selection process is rigorous. Although GPA is important (at least a 3.0 GPA), there is also a required essay that must tell the student’s unique story and is crucial to presenting a convincing argument for why they are an EMSAGE Laureate. This narrative must link the required accomplishments in the three EMSAGE principle areas in a cohesive fashion. Students should make sure to edit and proofread a creative, organized, and well-supported essay if they want their application to demonstrate that they have earned the EMSAGE Laureate distinction.

In addition to the GPA and essay requirements, students will need to list a minimum of nine accomplishments balanced across the three areas of: Scholarship, Experiential Learning and Global Literacy, and Service. Examples of achievement in each of these three areas may include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Enrolled in an Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate degree program (IUG) in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences 
  • Enrolled in one or more minors or concurrent majors
  • Demonstrated proficiency in foreign language(s)
  • Dean’s list for 4 or more semesters
  • Recipient of a prominent scholarship award (Examples: Bunton-Waller, Udall, Goldwater, NSF, Truman, Rhodes, Marshall, Discovery Grant, etc.)
  • Publication in peer-reviewed literature
  • Participation in the William Grundy Haven Paper Competition
  • Participation in a poster competition
  • Undergraduate research

Experiential Learning and Global Literacy

  • Participation in International Internship and/or Study Abroad programs
  • Participation in Cooperative Education and/or Internship programs
  • Participation in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program or equivalent
  • Participation in CAUSE projects or an academic project with an international travel component
  • Participation in extended field studies
  • Presentation at a professional forum
  • Work experience relevant to your EMS major
  • Unique life experiences (Examples: military service, Peace Corps, extensive travel, living abroad, etc.)


  • Participation as a teaching assistant
  • Participation as a mentor in TOTEMS
  • Active participation in professional societies
  • Educational outreach (Examples: mentor in SEEMS, ASM Camp, WISE Camp, Campus Weather Service, Weather Camp, school visitations, EMEX, EMS Museum Docent, etc.)
  • Participation and service to University organizations or commissions (Examples: EMS Student Council, Interest House, IFC/Panhellenic Council, UPUA, Faculty Senate, FISE, etc.)
  • Participation in local, state, or federal government (Examples: Congressional Fellow, Volunteer helper with voter registration, etc.)
  • Civic and volunteer service (Examples: Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank, Big Brother/Sister, Red Cross Blood Drive, Meals on Wheels, etc.)
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity (Examples: World in Conversation discussion facilitator, LGBTQA; Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity.)
  • Peer mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Resident Assistant
  • Demonstrated leadership in the organizations of which you are a member

Please note that achieving Laureate status will require accomplishments in a minimum of nine activities that demonstrate balance across each of these categories.


Practitioner Application Form >>

Protégé Application Form >>


Students wishing to be considered for Laureate status must complete the online application. 

EMSAGE Application Form >>


  • EMSAGE Protégé and EMSAGE Practitioner Applications: Spring 2020 TBD
  • EMSAGE Laureates: Spring 2020 TBD


For questions and additional information regarding the EMSAGE program please contact:

Karen T. Marosi
Director of Student Engagement
Ryan Family Student Center (14 Deike)