Morehead-Cain Sophomore Intake Initiative

The Morehead-Cain Sophomore Intake Initiative aims to identify twelve to fifteen current sophomores at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and extend an invitation for them to join the Morehead-Cain Program as a member of the Morehead-Cain Class of 2026. Scholars in the initial cohort will be announced in November 2023.

This initiative allows Morehead-Cain to build an additional entry point into the Program and expand its efforts to identify, invest in, and empower a community of dynamic, purpose-driven young leaders for the betterment of the University, the state, and the world. Young leaders in the Program—called Scholars—will be empowered to engage in discovery and authorship through unique, scholar-driven enrichment experiences.

Who can apply?

Morehead-Cain has worked extensively to build partnerships with a wide array of individuals on campus to serve as nominators, including professors, department heads, TAs, and staff of scholarship, service, extracurricular, and cultural programs. These nominators have a direct touchpoint with students and can provide thoughtful and qualitative recommendations. Nominees will be notified by Morehead-Cain about this opportunity on Friday, September 17, 2023.

Who is eligible?

UNC–Chapel Hill students in the class of 2026 are eligible. This includes transfer students, who may be nominated by the Admissions Office.

How will these students be selected?

Students will experience a selection process that focuses on the same selection criteria as our existing process, but is organized around how they have demonstrated character and leadership since high school graduation. They will submit a written application and finalists will be selected to participate in a Final Selection Experience and assessed by the Morehead-Cain Central Selection Committee—the same as every scholar in Morehead-Cain’s history. Outstanding candidates:

  • Aspire to author a unique college experience that makes the most of resources at Carolina and beyond;
  • Invest themselves in the community within and beyond the Carolina campus;
  • Demonstrate curiosity in their intellectual and classroom pursuits; and
  • Challenge themselves to learn and grow, recognizing that growth comes through discomfort.

What will the Program entail?

All sophomore enrollees will be Morehead-Cain Scholars and will have the same opportunities and expectations as current Morehead-Cain Scholars. This is deemed essential by the Morehead-Cain Board of Trustees in the design of this initiative.

Scholars will participate in an Outdoor Leadership program in spring 2024 and will have the opportunity to participate in summer enrichment programming, advising, Lovelace Fund for Discovery, and funded study abroad. They will make contributions to the campus community by participating and taking leadership roles in organizations and causes they care about. They will engage the Morehead-Cain Alumni community—a powerful network available to all scholars. They will also receive a living stipend from the Foundation each semester.

Optional: What if I have more questions?

For additional questions about the Morehead-Cain Sophomore Intake Initiative, please email