The Earth and Mineral Sciences Academy for Global Experience, or EMSAGE, was formed in 2009 as a vehicle to foster our students’ global competence and to promote a spirit of integrity, service, and leadership. By comprehensively embracing these principles, students will develop into leaders in their chosen discipline, while possessing the breadth and maturity to extend their knowledge to the improvement of society as a whole.

EMSAGE Academicians and Laureates

All undergraduate students, enrolled in an EMS major, in good academic standing are Academicians in EMSAGE. Academicians may achieve Laureate status through notable achievement in scholarship, experiential learning and global literacy, and service.

What are the Benefits of Graduating as an EMSAGE Laureate?

Students striving for Laureate status pursue activities and accomplishments that demonstrate breadth and depth in the areas of global awareness, professional and civic service, and leadership. Thus, Laureate graduates have compiled a resume that will provide a substantial competitive edge in the global economy upon graduation.

EMSAGE Laureates are formally recognized, are awarded a crystal Laureate memento and certificate, and are enshrined on the EMSAGE Laureate roster in the Ryan Family Student Center.

How do I become an EMSAGE Laureate?

Students seeking elevation to Laureate status must apply in their graduation semester (or spring, if they are summer graduates). 

Laureate status is reserved for those students who have demonstrated a substantially higher level of achievement than the majority of students at Penn State in Scholarship, Experiential Learning and Global Literacy, and Service.

Undergraduate students aspiring to Laureate status are encouraged to actively plan their academic and professional development.  They should set goals that are consistent with their interests, and develop a plan to achieve them!  Students should seek input from their faculty mentors and advisors. Applicants should keep a portfolio of their activities and accomplishments. 

How are Laureates selected?

The selection process is rigorous. Although your GPA is important (at least a 3.0 GPA), your essay tells your story and is crucial to presenting a convincing argument for why you are an EMSAGE Laureate. Use this narrative to link your accomplishments in a cohesive fashion. Make sure to edit and proofread your creative, organized and well-supported essay if you want your application to demonstrate that you are a "cut above."

In addition to your GPA and essay, you need to demonstrate significant accomplishment in three areas: 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 exerience 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, 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; Commissin 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.

So, how do I apply?

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

EMSAGE Application Form


March 1, 2019

The selection committee will inform all applicants of their status no later than four weeks prior to commencement.