Online Student Opportunities

NCSSM offers students a wide variety of experiences to engage as a thinker/maker/doer across every discipline including opportunities in research, entrepreneurship, leadership, and much more.

Online students are encouraged to participate in opportunities hosted by the Durham and Morganton campuses, as well as courses that are specific to the NCSSM Online program. Programs available to online students are listed here with buttons that will re-direct you to the host campus page.

Research and Innovation Opportunities

Register/apply to participate in opportunities

Research and Innovation Focused Courses

There are a variety of courses that incorporate research and innovation elements or are research-focused available. Different courses are offered during each semester, so students can plan their schedules accordingly.

*Residential students may be given special permission to add these classes to their schedules, though priority is given to online students.

  • Dean Tamar Avineri, Mathematics |

  • Dean Joe LoBuglio, Engineering & Computer Science |

  • Dean Elizabeth Moose, Humanities |

  • Dean Amy Sheck, Science |

Summer Mentorship Program

Students can engage in research through the Morganton-hosted or the Durham-hosted Mentorship Program, where students are matched with an off-campus mentor to conduct research and innovation for 5 weeks in the summer. Students complete a preparatory Explorations in Mentorship course in the spring semester. During the summer, students live on site at the Morganton or Durham campus and are transported to their mentor's site. As part of the Summer Research & Innovation Program, Mentorship students will interact with fellow Online students as well as Residential students throughout the summer.

  • Durham-hosted Mentorship (Contact:

    • Dr. Sarah Shoemaker, Director of Mentorship and Research in Durham

    • Dr. Josh Fuchs and Dr. Letitia Hubbard, Lead Instructors of Mentorship and Research

  • Morganton-hosted Mentorship (Contact:

    • Ms. Meagan Coneybeer, Director of Mentorship and Research, in Morganton

    • Ms. Collyn Gaffney, Lead Instructor of Mentorship and Research

Summer Research & Innovation Program (SRIP)

Work with NCSSM faculty on-campus or with volunteer mentors off-campus for full days over 2-5 weeks of the summer while living at NCSSM at no cost. Students can expect to engage in independent or ongoing projects that develop both personal and professional skills that will have a long-lasting impact on their paths to becoming leaders and engaged citizens. When not participating in their program, students can partake in a variety of planned activities and interact with students from various programs.

  • Durham-hosted SRIP (Contact:

    • Dr. Sarah Shoemaker, Director of Mentorship and Research in Durham

  • Morganton-hosted SRIP (Contact:

    • Ms. Meagan Coneybeer, Director of Mentorship and Research, in Morganton

Summer Ventures in Science and Math

NCSSM administered program which provides a no-cost four week summer research experience in science and mathematics at a UNC system campus (ASU, UNCC, ECU, UNCW) that includes housing/meals. NCSSM Online students are eligible to apply to Summer Ventures--as well as other rising juniors/seniors that are residents of North Carolina.

Contact: Chris Thomas, (


The NCSSM Rocketry team has two main branches, The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) and HIgh-Powered Rocketry (HPR) Team. In 2020-2021, NCSSM is sponsoring five teams in the American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest rocket contest with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year. The contest gives middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and hands-on experience solving engineering problems. The High-Powered Rocketry team is working on an independent research project designed and constructed by the students themselves.

Outreach is incredibly important to NCSSM Rocketry, as they work with Astronomy Days at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and attend the associated launch event. They have also supported a faculty member and students in NCSSM's Distance Education program by encouraging the formation of TARC teams that would receive technical and other assistance from our program. To learn more about rocketry at NCSSM, visit the website at

  • Dr. Garrett Love, Engineering Department Chair

Contact Information:

Communicate Your Research

Choose from a wide variety of events to communicate and celebrate your work. Opportunities vary from NCSSM sponsored conferences, undergraduate conferences, and state, regional, and national competitions.

Dr. Jonathan Bennett


Dr. David Cantrell