A: Watson is open to applications from anyone aged 18-23 (special exceptions can be made), whether American or international. We encourage teams of students working on the same idea to apply as a team. Watson is an incubator for changemakers of all kinds. We encourage a diversity of changemakers in each class, knowing that to solve the toughest problems facing the world a broad spectrum of solutions are crucial. Our mission is to help students take their ideas from concept stage or early implementation to launch.
A: We look primarily for the depth of a student’s motivation. Who are you and why are you driven to do what you do? We are looking for the depth and authenticity of your drive, sense of purpose, and vision for yourself and the world. We believe this sense of purpose is even more important than the specific idea an applicant applies with. In addition, Watson looks at the following criteria:
In one sentence: We are looking for 18-23 year old early stage social entrepreneurs
Programs: Scholars can apply to Watson to incubate their ideas for a semester or for a full Bachelor’s degree track.
Stage: Students can apply to Watson’s semester program before, during, or immediately after their undergraduate studies, or come to Watson for their Bachelor’s degree. The students we select are early stage in the development of their ideas, but in most cases a strong applicant has already implemented at least a prototype of their idea (i.e. they are past idea stage).
Gritty Idealists: Scholars are idealistic in the sense that they believe they can make the world a better place, but gritty in the sense that they aren’t afraid to start and bootstrap a solution in a resource limited environment.
Protect Your Courage: We look for scholars who will both protect their courage (by demonstrating they aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone with a bias towards action and prototyping) while also protecting the courage of their fellow scholars (through support and peer to peer mentorship)
Addressing the Root Cause: To what extent is the idea the scholar is developing addressing the root cause of the problem they are choosing to solve – and how well have they articulated both their solution and the problem – rather than simply putting a band-aid on a problem.
A: In Fall 2014, Watson launched an innovative new Bachelor’s Degree in partnership with Lynn University. Learn more about the degree here.
In addition, Scholars can work with their university to receive academic credit for attending Watson’s semester program and we will help with this process for accepted students.
There’s more about the academic offerings at Watson here.
A: Selected Scholars enroll in Watson for either a degree track (between 2-4 years) or our one semester program (Fall and Spring) in Boulder, Colorado.
A: Watson will work with each finalist to explore possibilities for satisfying major specific degree requirements while at Watson.
A: Fall dates are August 28 – December 15, 2017. Spring dates are January 22 – May 4, 2018.