Undergraduate Scholarships

What is our Undergraduate Scholarship?

The Coherent / II-VI Foundation Scholarship is designed to fulfill our mission of encouraging and enabling students entering the fields of science, engineering and mathematics at the undergraduate level. It is available to students in bachelor degree programs, not for students studying for a certificate or associate’s degree. The scholarship opportunity is available to Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors who are applying for the first time. Seniors who are applying to renew their scholarships are eligible.

Scholarships are limited to students entering the fields of engineering, mathematics and science. The competition for the Coherent / II-VI Foundation Scholarship is getting tougher each year. Of primary interest to the Coherent / II-VI Foundation are students majoring in the fields of electrical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science engineering, mathematics, and mechanical engineering. However, at the discretion of the Scholarship Selection Committee, industrial engineering, computer science engineering and other engineering disciplines may be acceptable, depending on the quality of the work experience. Civil engineers, architectural engineers, computer software engineers, petroleum engineers and students in a pre-med program are excluded.

Coherent / II-VI Foundation Scholarship History

In August 2007, the first class of student scholarships was awarded. Seven students graduating into or already attending college were granted $5,000 each in potentially renewable scholarships.

In April 2008, the Board of Directors increased the individual award up to $10,000 per student with the opportunity to apply for renewal for three additional years. In 2014, we extended our program by offering international scholarships. Forty-nine domestic scholarships were awarded and eight scholarships were awarded to students in Vietnam that year. In 2016, the Board altered the scholarship amounts. Students entering their freshmen year are eligible for UP TO $5,000 with upper class students being eligible for UP TO $10,000.

Forty-nine students were awarded scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year. Applications came in from across the world to compose a very strong group of scholarship winners. 15% of the 2023-24 awardees maintained a 4.0 GPA, 87% maintained a 3.6 or above. Ten scholarships were awarded internationally.

Scholarship Requirements

Scholarships are limited to students entering the fields of engineering, mathematics and science (Civil engineers, architectural engineers, petroleum engineers, software engineers, computer software engineers and students in a pre-med program are excluded).

Students entering their senior year of college and applying for the first time are not eligible.

3.3 or above GPA (unweighted)

For incoming freshman, an SAT score of 1200 or ACT score of 26

360 Hours Work Experience in an Industrial Environment ***One very unique aspect of the Coherent / II-VI Foundation Scholarship is the requirement of nine (9) weeks/360 hours of manufacturing-, engineering- or science-related experience in an industrial setting from October 1st through August 31st of the year in which the candidate applies for the scholarship. This requirement forces the candidates to have hands-on, real-world experiences outside of an academic setting, therefore creating a different perspective from which to view his or her career decisions.

Personal Interview

Essay Composition

No Record of Disciplinary Issues

Please note: Meeting the minimum requirements does not automatically guarantee you will be a recipient. This is a competition and a limited number of scholarships are available. 

Scholarship Testimonials

Reflections from Undergraduate Scholarship recipients:

2024 Scholarship Application Deadlines

April 15th, 2024, 1:00pm ET — ONLY for Coherent Corp. Practicum Program Students - Documentation Deadline

  1. Official Transcript – Sealed Snail Mailed or Certified Secure Digital Copy
  2. Cost and Commitment Form
  3. 3 References, including one from supervisor
  4. Essay(s)
  5. Proof of Enrollment

June 1, 2024, 1:00pm ET — New & Renewal Application Deadline

  1. Application Form
  2. Job Description
  3. Interview Scheduled

June 28th, 2024, 1:00pm ET — New & Renewal Documentation Deadline

  1. Official Transcript – Sealed Snail Mailed or Certified Secure Digital Copy
  2. Cost and Commitment Form
  3. 3 References, including one from supervisor
  4. Essay(s)
  5. Proof of Enrollment

2024 Application Timeline Summary

The Timeline Summary also includes links to forms that must be completed. Please read through carefully.

June 1st, 1:00pm EDT — Intention Deadline


This is the deadline to declare your intention to apply by submitting:

  1. The application form
  2. Job description (Proof of employment and a description of what you will be doing during your employment must be presented to the Coherent/ II-VI Foundation office in the form of a job description provided by your employer, company HR department or your supervisor/mentor. The job description could include: tasks, goals and projects you will be working on; if you’re being mentored/supervised by engineers or scientists, etc.)
  3. Scheduling an interview. Email scholar@co26fdn.org to schedule an interview. Interviews will be conducted during the week of May 28th, Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am – 4 pm and the weeks of June 3rd and June 10th, Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 4 pm. All in-person interviews of all students in the Pittsburgh area must be done the week of June 10th in the Board Room of the Hampton Inn in Bridgeville, PA.

June 28th, 1:00pm EDT — Documentation Deadline

New and renewal student scholarship applications and all required documents are due.

ALL application requirements MUST be received in the office by 1:00 pm EDT on the date due.

1. Three (3) signed letters of recommendation: one from your immediate supervisor describing your practical work experience and your performance during this experience, and two additional letters of character reference. Please request the recommender explains how they know you. ALL recommendation letters must have a physical, hand-written signature or they will NOT be accepted. Submit the recommendations via email to scholar@co26fdn.org or upload to the appropriate form on the website.


2. New applicants must write two essays on the following prompts. Renewing applicants write on prompt B. The essays are not to exceed one single-spaced page each and should be uploaded to the form on the website.

  • NEW APPLICANTS ONLY – Why have you chosen an engineering, science, or mathematics field of study?
  • ALL APPLICANTS – What you have learned from your hands-on work experience in an industrial environment? Include in your essay a brief description of two technical examples and two soft skill examples of what you’ve learned.


3. Completed Documentation Form on the website. This includes:

  • A statement of anticipated cost of tuition, books and fees associated with your specific institution for the entire year.
  • A list of other scholarships and grants you are receiving.
  • Proof that you have completed or are committed to completing at least nine (9) weeks or the equivalent of 360 hours of practical, hands-on work experience in an industrial environment during the period from October 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024.
  • Proof that you are enrolled in a major in an engineering-, science-, or mathematics-related course of study for the upcoming academic year. A copy of pre-registration for the fall semester, your fall class schedule or your acceptance letter will be accepted for this requirement. (Civil engineers, architectural engineers, petroleum engineers, and students in a pre-med program are excluded. Software engineers and computer science majors are usually excluded with some exceptions due to work experience or focus of study.)


4. Certified sealed copy or certified, secure digital copy of either your complete High School or University/College transcripts, whichever is most current. ORDER YOUR TRANSCRIPT TO BE SENT DIRECTLY FROM YOUR SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY TO: scholar@co26fdn.org.

A minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.3 is required. For High School students: (1) The unweighted GPA is used (4.0 scale). (2) Official SAT or ACT scores must be provided. A minimum SAT score of 1200 is required or a minimum ACT composite score of 26. (3) If your SAT scores do not appear on your transcript, then they must be sent directly from the College Board by the deadline. ORDER TRANSCRIPTS AND SAT SCORES EARLY. THEY TAKE TIME TO GET TO US! (SAT Code #6347; ACT Code #7950)

Last Two Weeks of July — Selection

The Selection Committee meets to decide student scholarship awards and funding levels.

First Week of August — Notification

Students are notified of awards. Scholarship recipients must complete the DATA SHEET located on website.

Failure to complete and return the data form will result in delay of funding.

August 1st – 15th — Funding

Once we receive your data sheet:

  1. We will email to the school contact person that you give us an agreement stating your scholarship may be used for tuition, books and fees only. According to IRS laws, this agreement must be signed by the school before we can send them your scholarship award.
  2. Once we receive a signed agreement, your scholarship award will be mailed directly to the school. Scholarship awards can be applied to one semester or divided equally between two semesters, whatever you and your school prefer. As long as the award is used within the 2023-2024 school year and is applied only to tuition, books and fees, this is your choice.
  3. We will notify you when we mail it so you can watch your student account for credit.

If we do not receive a signed agreement from your school, it is your responsibility to contact them and ensure this is done so you can receive your award. Checks CANNOT be sent until this signed agreement is received.

August 31st — Work Experience Verification

Work experience qualification period concludes. A minimum of 360 hours must be completed to qualify for the current scholarship funding cycle. If you had not completed your hours before filing your application, you will need to submit a signed letter via PDF scanned email or regular mail, from a company representative stating how many hours you worked.

Work Experience Verification 

October 1st — Work Experience Qualification Period Begins

Between October 1 and August 31st, 360 hours/9 weeks must be completed to qualify for the next scholarship funding cycle.