FAQ's

Grand Challenges

How does the application process work?

Any accepted student to Georgia Tech may apply by completing the Grand Challenges application. Your Grand Challenges application will be read in conjunction with your application to Georgia Tech. We will consider the type and scope of your high school activities; we will read your essay looking for evidence of your interest in tackling big societal challenges; we will look for evidence of dedication and passion in your activities and in your essay. Early admission invitations to join Grand Challenges will begin on March 1st with final offers including regular admission by April 20. Invited students must accept or decline the invitation at least by May 1st.

When do I need to accept or decline my invitation?

You will be given specific instructions on how to accept or decline in your invitation letter. For early admits, we request that you respond by April 1st and for regular admits, by May 1st.

Will I still be a participant in the Freshman Experience program if I decide to do the Grand Challenges program?

Yes, you’re still a member of the Freshman Experience program if you participate in Grand Challenges. As such, you’ll have fantastic Peer Leaders (PLs) on your floor, opportunities to sign up for a meal plan, and access to the support and resources that the Freshman Experience program gives you.

What if I’ve already signed up for a dorm through housing?

No worries! When you decide to join Grand Challenges, we will work with housing to make sure that you are placed in Howell with everyone else.

What if I want to live somewhere else?

An important part of creating a living-learning community is developing connections and shared experiences outside of the classroom, so all Grand Challenges participants are required to live in Howell.

Can I still live with friends who aren’t in the Grand Challenges?

Unfortunately, Howell is reserved for Grand Challenges participants only. Keep in mind that if you both live on East Campus, you will probably be within 400 yards of their dorm. If you think your friends might be interested in learning to solve the world's problems have them apply by the deadline, and we will take a look at their application.

How do I know if this program is right for me?

We’re looking for students who like solving challenging problems and are interested in making a difference. We want participants who are excited about participating in hands-on problem-solving in their first year in college, and who want to do more at Georgia Tech than just go to a lecture for four hours per day. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place.

What’s required after my first year?

After your first year, we hope that you’ll continue with your project. Teams that are approved to continue are required to take a 1 hour course, GT 2201.

Can I participate in both the Honors and Grand Challenges Living-Learning Community?

Unfortunately, no. Honors and Grand Challenges require participating students to live in different residence halls, so students are not able to do both.

How much is the program fee?

Students pay $400 per semester in Grand Challenges.

How will I engage with faculty?

The Grand Challenges Faculty Fellows are a cadre of faculty from all over campus who have coffee, lunch, and dinner with students. You can sign up to meet them and spend the semester getting to know them.

Leadership Fellows

How many Leadership Fellow positions are available?

For the 2017/2018 academic year we have the following positions available:

  • 24 Graduate Students
  • 25 Faculty/Staff
  • Unlimited returning Fellow volunteers
What are you looking for in a candidate?

The candidate requirements are as follows:

  • Commitment to coaching and developing others
  • Willingness to commit as many as 4-5 hours per week to program activities
  • Be a Master's or Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Have a cumulative G.P.A. of at least a 2.5 and be in good academic standing

It is important that the candidate has a passion for developing others and is relatable to others.

What is the length of the commitment for both coaches and undergraduates?

Coaches are asked to commit to a full academic year and will participate in two “rounds” of coaching – one round during the fall semester and one round during the spring semester of their commitment. Undergraduate and graduate students participate in coaching for only one semester at a time.

How many students do you expect in the program?

We expect to support a total of 165 Coachees in each semester through the Leadership Fellows program. Coachees vary in years at Tech from first year undergraduates to graduate students. All students are screened and selected through an application process.

How many students will each Fellow coach and what is the estimated time commitment per week?

Graduate students are expected to coach 4 Coachees per semester. Faculty/Staff can take from 1-2 Coachees and returning Fellows are expected to coach 1-2 Coachees per semester. The time commitment is 4-5 hours per week, plus (4) hour-long monthly meetings over the course of each semester. Optional leadership challenges and activities are planned as well.

Is there opportunity to renew in subsequent years?

Once a Leadership Fellow, always a Leadership Fellow. Fellows are encouraged to return as a volunteer Fellow for as long as they remain at Georgia Tech. Coaches are valuable resources and a source of inspiration for each new cohort of Coachees. We expect each returning Fellow to take on at least one coaching assignment during the academic year. Although there is no compensation for returning Fellows, they will have continued access to coaching resources, including an open invitation to participate in additional leadership training and events. We also ask returning Fellows to help us with the recruitment and training of each new class of Leadership Fellows.

How will the stipend (STUDENTS ONLY) work for international/domestic students?

The OHR website states that F-1 and J-1 students must maintain a full course load of study and that they can not work more than 20 hours per week during the term and up to 40 hours per week during vacation/holiday periods provided that she/he is enrolled in the next term of study.

Once fellows are chosen, the Leadership Fellows Program Staff will work with each individual (domestic and international) to ensure that all OHR requirements are met. Stipend payments are issued in two payments of $1,500 each ($3,000 total for the academic year). Disbursement dates are discussed at orientation.

What types of training will be provided to Fellows?

Program staff will conduct a Spring Orientation for selected Fellows in April prior to the upcoming academic year. Program staff will also conduct an intensive 2-Day Coaching Training Retreat and have on-going training sessions for Fellows throughout the academic year.

What is the difference between a coach and a mentor?

A coach is much more active than a mentor. He/she takes a different stance within sessions in offering a critical review and real feedback about the undergraduate’s behavior and life choices. Coaching sessions are highly structured. Coaches will be working closely with undergraduates to develop action plans based on 360° assessment results as well as ongoing leadership experiments.

Will a coach be matched up with a student in their field of study?

Coaches may be matched with a coachee within their field of study. Fellows are asked to be flexible in their assignments since we have other matching criteria that we use as well.

How do I apply?

We accept applications for the upcoming academic year starting in February of the prior academic year. Go to the Leadership Fellows program page on the GT LEAD site to access the Leadership Fellows application (Note: Faculty/Staff application differs slightly from the student’s application so please select the appropriate option.)

Leading Edge

How many Coachee positions are available?

We can accommodate 165 Georgia Tech students per semester. Coachees vary in years at Tech from first year to graduate students. Georgia Tech students are screened and selected through an application process. Click here to apply for Leading Edge (One-on-One Leadership Coaching).

What are you looking for in a candidate?

Hopeful candidates must:

  • Have a platform within or outside of Georgia Tech in which to implement their development plan
  • Commit to meeting with their coach 5-6 times over the course of the semester
  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.75 and be in good academic standing

A successful candidate will:

  • Demonstrate the desire to intentionally explore and develop their leadership abilities
  • Be willing to confront uncomfortable truths
  • Persist in the face of uncertainty
  • Be humble and authentic
When are coaches assigned?

Coachees will have the opportunity to rank their top 3 choices for coaches (URL sent out at the conclusion of the Leading Edge Kick-Off). From this list, Leading Edge staff does it's best to match you with your preferred coach within 48 hours of selection. Coaches will reach out to all Coachees within 2-3 days of assignment.

What is the estimated time commitment?

Coachees are asked to complete a 360° Assessment and actively participate in 5-6 one-hour coaching sessions throughout the semester. In addition, all Coachees are expected to attend the Leading Edge Kick-Off (one-hour in duration) at the beginning of the semester. Leadership challenges, service projects and retreats are planned throughout the academic year and all Coachees are encouraged to attend.

Is there an opportunity to participate in subsequent years?

All Coachees are allowed to participate in the program up to three times during their time at Georgia Tech and Coachees must take at least one semester off before applying again.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

A coach is much more active than a mentor. He/she takes a different stance within sessions in offering a critical review and real feedback about the undergraduate’s behavior and life choices. Coaching sessions are highly structured. Coaches will be working closely with undergraduates to develop action plans based on 360° assessment results as well as ongoing leadership experiments.

How do I apply?

To access the Leading Edge application, click here. We also accept referrals so if you know a student that would benefit from one-on-one leadership coaching simply fill out the referral form and we will send him/her more information regarding the program along with application details.

When and where do I meet with my coach?

Coaching times and locations are set to be mutually convenient between the coach and coachee.

Who are the coaches?

Leadership Fellows (Coaches) are Georgia Tech Master's, Ph.D. students, faculty, staff and alumni who have a passion for developing Georgia Tech students' leadership skills. Leadership Fellows are professionally trained in leadership and coaching.

Will I get to select my coach?

Coachees will have the opportunity to rank their top 3 choices for coaches (URL sent out at the conclusion of the Leading Edge Kick-Off). From this list, Leading Edge staff does it's best to match you with your preferred coach within 48 hours of selection.

Minor in Leadership Studies

Is there an application process?

There is an application process. The application is available online at leadership.gatech.edu.  You will be asked to enter information about yourself in addition to responses to prompts and questions.  Application time should take 45-60 minutes. Important: please have the answers for the questions written in a text/word editor, so that you may paste them in. 

What are the eligibility requirements?

You must be a current student who has completed 30 credit hours at Georgia Tech.  The GPA Requirement is a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater.

What tracks are offered within the Minor in Leadership Studies?

Currently, we offer tracks in Business, Global Engineering Leadership, and Public Policy.  Each of these tracks is offered through the Scheller College of Business, the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Public Policy, respectively.

What are the completion requirements and the respective timeline?

In order to complete the requirements for the minor, the student must take the PUBP 4140 Foundations of Leadership Course in addition to 3 courses (or 9 credit hours) within their respective track. The capstone project for the Business Track or the professional internship for the Global Engineering Leadership or Public Policy Track must also be completed. For the Global Engineering Track, the same requirements apply in addition to CEE 4803 Global Engineering Leadership and Management. Upon completion of all coursework requirements and one semester prior to the student’s anticipated date of graduation, the minor petition form must be completed, and submitted to the registrar’s office after having been approved by the student’s major school and minor school (Scheller, CEE, or Ivan Allen). Details about required and elective courses and the minor petition form can be found at leadership.gatech.edu and ce.gatech.edu/leadership-minor.

When and where should we submit the Minor Petition form?

The Minor Petition form is your final checklist that you submit at the end of your Leadership Minor track and/or prior to your GT graduation. This will certify that you completed all the requirements for the program and will ensure that the designation will be added to your diploma upon graduation. Have your major department/school academic advisor sign it first (this is required to verify that you are not violating any double-counting requirement – and this is something you should specifically point out to your advisor as she/he might not be aware that you are planning to count some of the credits for a minor), and after obtaining their signature, please submit a scanned copy of the form to leadershipminor@gatech.edu for final review.

Is there a specific order that the classes must be taken?

We strongly recommend that you start your Leadership Minor studies with the PUBP 4140 Foundations of Leadership course, then take your 3 electives, and finish with MGT 4611 - Integrative Management Analysis or PUBP 4651- a policy oriented internship, or CEE4803- an international internship. If you are pursing the Global Engineering Track, we suggest that you complete CEE 4803: Global Engineering Leadership and Management and PUBP 4140 before taking your 3 electives.  However, we understand that this might not work for all students, so there is no mandatory sequence requirement to complete your minor, with the exception that a student may not enroll in MGT 4611, PUBP 4651, or the CEE 4803 (Internship) course if he/she has not completed PUBP 4140 and at least 2 electives in their desired track.

In the Business track, how will the Integrative Management Analysis (MGT 4611) work?

The required MGT 4611 for the Business track of the Minor in Leadership Studies is designed to be a capstone course. Students will work on projects in teams of 3-5. While we try to ensure that these projects are broadly based on students’ interests, a perfect match is not always possible. During this course you will have the opportunity to work with, and enhance the capacity of, Atlanta-based social enterprises (these could be nonprofits, hybrids, or for-profit organizations with a strong social mission).

You will work in highly interdisciplinary teams, and collaborate with key stakeholders at the organization that you are partnered with to design a ‘context specific’ business solution. You will also receive feedback from the course instructor through various project focused course assignments. The goal of these course deliverables and associated feedback is to formalize your learning experience, allow you to ask questions, and create meaningful opportunities for you to practice leadership.

What types of group activities are planned?

There will be several extracurricular opportunities for you (i.e. small-group conversations with eminent Atlanta business, social or alumni leaders who are part of our IMPACT Speaker Series or the Kenneth Hyatt Distinguished Alumni Leadership Speaker Series), or site visits to local nonprofits and social enterprises, leadership retreats, conferences, case competitions etc. We will send out periodic announcements about these events by email. All students enrolled in the program are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities as they will enhance your overall learning experience in the program as well as provide great opportunities for networking with leaders and hearing about their leadership journeys.

Will the capstone projects be related to the Business track or to our major?

The capstone course will be an opportunity to practice leadership by working on projects that improve the human condition and allow you to put your knowledge to practice, to solve real-life problems, and in the process create social value and develop new skills. We will do our best to create opportunities that all students will find meaningful, regardless of their major or the sector of the partner organization. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the teams, you will be leveraging the training you receive as part of your major curriculum as well as all that you learned through your coursework in the minor and applying this to solving a real-life challenge.

How will the internship impact my degree? Will I need to take a semester off to fulfill my internship?

The professional internship for the Public Policy and Global Engineering Leadership tracks can take any form, from a few hours a week up to an entire semester.  The course is designed to be a 3 hour course within this program but can range from being 1.000 – 6.000 Credit hours and 1.000 to 6.000 Lecture Hours (or a full semester).  You may fulfill this requirement any time of the year, Spring, Summer, or Fall, as long as you meet the requirements to start the internship (completion requirements). This internship will be an opportunity to practice and observe leadership in the workplace through allowing you to use all that you have learned in a real-world atmosphere.  In your internship, we want you to aim to acquire new skills and learn meaningful information to put into practice with your leadership studies.

NOTE: Students are not be allowed to simply count previous internships towards this requirement.

What about GT's 36-hour rule? Does this apply to course work in the Minor as well?

GT policy states, "No student may be considered a candidate for a degree unless the final 36 credit hours required for the degree are earned in residence at GT and approved by the major school (GT General Catalogue, p. 394, Section XIII. B)". In other words, the last 36 hours of course work must be completed in residency at GT (unless you are studying abroad). This includes any courses applied to the degree or Minor. Often, if students have completed all or the majority of their course work at GT, they can Petition the Faculty to have the 36 hour rule waived.