Math-Science-Leadership Program

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2020-21 Program Applications will open on February 11th, 2020

Deadline for returning participants: March 9th, 11:00 pm PST
Deadline for new applicants: March 23rd, 11:00 pm PST
Deadline for reference forms for new applicants: March 29th, 11:00 pm PST

MSL 2020-21 Summer Program Dates
July 6-23, Monday-Thursday, 8:30-3:30
July 24, Friday – Program Finale and Celebration, 8:30-4:00

MSL 2020-21 Monthly Connection Events usually happen on the second Saturday of the month, September - May, 10:00-12:30. The final schedule will be shared in August 2020.

2020-21 Grades and Themes
Grade Problem-based project Leadership Focus
8 Environmental Sustainability Growth mindset
9 Biomedical Science Identities & values
10 Engineering & Technology Teamwork
11 Healthcare Leadership Cultural humility
12 Internship for 2019-20 returning participants  

The program will be moving toward a four-year, cohort-based approach which is reflected in the application process this year. We are actively raising funds to support all four grade levels this year, and will notify families in early April about program availability.

The MSL Team is grateful to the youth, families, faculty, and community members who engaged in deep discussions to re-conceptualize the future of our program. We’re also grateful to Tacoma Creates for the catalytic grant that facilitated a participatory design process and antiracist practices in our approach. A complete review of our findings is available in the final report.

If you have any questions, or would like to request a link to our application, please contact the Office of Student Transitions & Success at 253.692.4421 or email us at


The mission of The MSL Program is to encourage, motivate, and inspire students to succeed in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and develop the leadership and academic skills necessary to pursue a career in STEM fields.

Program overview

Since 2003, the Math-Science-Leadership Program (MSL) has been creating positive educational experiences that enhance academic success and access to career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). MSL serves youth in grades 7-11 that are historically underrepresented in STEM (low-income, minority, female and potential first-generation college students).

MSL brings together youth with students and faculty from UW Tacoma for an engaging three-week summer program and community-building monthly events throughout the school year. MSL develops supportive cohorts that build positive science-linked identities, academic and leadership skills over four years and creates capacity for community-serving institutions to collaboratively build increase youths’ ability to participate in the economies of the future.

By bringing together the ideas and needs of community groups that serve K-12 youth, post-secondary institutions of learning and industry, MSL fosters these long-term impacts:

  • Reducing achievement gaps for students in science and mathematics compared to peers who have not participated in MSL;
  • Increasing diversity of students who enroll in and complete STEM college degrees;
  • Increase Tacoma community engagement in K-12 STEM informal education efforts.