Admission to SVSM is limited to rising high school juniors and seniors whose custodial parents or guardians established legal residence in North Carolina no later than December 1 of the application year. Selection is based on academic ability, science and mathematics motivation, and emotional maturity. Consideration is given to students whose abilities are not accurately reflected in grades and standardized test scores, such as those for whom English is a second language and those who are hearing impaired or have cerebral palsy.
An admissions committee made up of professionals in education, science and mathematics selects the finalists invited to participate in SVMS. Each finalist is assigned to a specific campus based in large part upon the availability of the student's preferred academic program.
Admissions materials are sent to high school mathematics and science department heads and counseling offices in October, and the application is available online at that time (online only). The application deadline is the end of January. Interested students may also contact the Center for STEM Education at UNC Charlotte for information about the program.
Room, board and tuition are provided without charge to the resident. Each student's family is responsible for a medical examination prior to enrollment, for transportation to and from the site, for pocket money, and for any medical charges incurred by the student during the program. Limited funds are available to help cover these expenses for students with severe financial need.
Students live in dormitories under the supervision of qualified residential advisors who provide guidance and plan social, athletic, cultural and co-curricular activities. All of the institutes operate under statewide guidelines regarding curfews, dating, sign-outs, and visitors. Additional rules may be established as needed at the respective sites. Students may not have cars on campus. Possession/Consumption of drugs, alcohol and weapons is strictly prohibited. Students who do not obey the rules or who fail to take advantage of the academic opportunities offered by the program will be dismissed.