Skip to main content

Undergraduate | Breakthrough Scholars Leadership Program

NYU Stern Gould Plaza

Breakthrough Scholars Leadership Program

The Breakthrough Scholars Leadership Program is a four-year program that equips a select group of highly talented and high-performing recipients from diverse backgrounds with the skills and relationships needed to grow and excel at school and in their professional careers by attending the Stern Undergraduate College with a full scholarship.


The Breakthrough Scholars Leadership Program was founded in 2015 by NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the NYU Leadership Initiative. Peter Henry, Stern Dean Emeritus, was the driving force behind the creation of the program, and John Sexton, NYU President Emeritus, served as the faculty advisor during the first year of the program. Since its inception, the program has evolved to meet the current needs of Scholars and to further align with the priorities of the Stern Undergraduate College.


To empower high-achieving students with exceptional ability and fortitude to make a positive impact in their personal and professional lives.


Through academic excellence, leadership development, and career readiness, Stern equips Scholars with the skills, relationships, and experiences to help them succeed in their undergraduate career.

Program Benefits

Breakthrough Scholars enjoy benefits including but not limited to:

  • Full financial support: tuition, housing & meal plan, book allowance
  • First-Year Seminar
  • Cohort-based leadership curriculum
  • Corporate visits multiple times per year
  • Professional development workshops
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Exclusive networking opportunities
  • Mentorship
  • Leadership opportunities

Leadership Highlights

Breakthrough Scholars are engaged members of the NYU Stern community. Past Scholars have held key Stern leadership positions, including President of the Student Council and the Stern Baccalaureate speaker, among others.

Career Highlights

Past Breakthrough Scholar graduates have gone on to pursue impressive professional careers. Employers include:

  • Accenture
  • ACON Investments
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Citibank
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Hearst
  • J.P. Morgan
  • LiveNation
  • PwC


Breakthrough Scholars are selected upon admission to NYU Stern Undergraduate College.

Featured News

Transforming Lives through Scholarship: Meet 3 Undergraduate Breakthrough Scholars

Meet Varinia Munoz (BS/MS ’19), Aldo Gonzalez (BS ’20), and Dena Samad (BS/MS ’19) who participated in the Breakthrough Scholars program.
Read the Story

On Being a 'Sternie': Reflection From a Breakthrough Scholar

Karen Carrillo (BS ’21) shares more about what being a Breakthrough Scholar means to her.
Read the Story