Emerging Scholars Program (ESP)

The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) is an honors-level calculus and pre-calculus program for college students with a very strong student support component. It's designed to increase the number of students, particularly students from underrepresented minority groups and women, who succeed and excel in mathematics and who thereby have the opportunity to pursue careers in fields such as engineering, science, mathematics or mathematics education.

ESP is based on a two-fold philosophy that centers around a shared commitment to excellence and a strong sense of community. It is based on the "workshop" model developed by Uri Treisman at the University of California Berkeley.


  • A very high likelihood of success. On average, 86% of ESP students pass their courses, with about 70% of them receiving A's or B's. The percentages for regular classes are typically around 55% and 35% respectively. On departmental final exams, ESP classes usually average 15 to 20% higher than regular classes. For example, in fall 2019, on the MAT 1800 Pre-Calculus Final Exam, the average score of the non-ESP classes was 65%. The ESP average score was 87%.
  • A strong foundation in mathematics for further study in the sciences, engineering, education or math.
  • Honors credits for ESP MAT 2010 and ESP MAT 2020.
  • A caring support staff that tries to provide whatever individual assistance a student may need; from jobs and scholarships, to course scheduling, tutoring, help with personal problems, etc.
  • Membership in a community of students that promotes friendships well beyond the classroom.
  • Organized study sessions.
  • Access to the ESP student lounge.


Since 1991, ESP has built a track record that is truly incredible:

  • The average passing rates for ESP classes range from about 85 to 90%. The passing rates for regular classes average about 45 to 50%.
  • The average "A-B" rates for ESP classes range from about 70 to 75%. The "A-B" rates for regular classes average about 30 to 35%.
  • Since 1997, on the math department's final exam in calculus, ESP's classes have outperformed the university's honors classes every year – despite the fact that those ESP classes show an average ACT math score of about 23 as compared to 29 for the university's honors classes.

Apply to Emerging Scholars Program

For information on ESP, contact emergingscholars@wayne.edu or 313-577-2589.