Wall Street Scholars


The Wall Street Scholars at the University of Kentucky offers a signature experience to a cohort of no more than 30 students annually that includes advanced academic curriculum and high-impact learning, complemented by co-curriculum education and development in soft skills. The mission is to assist selected, high-achieving undergraduates to enter and be successful in investment banking, asset management, consulting, private wealth management, corporate finance, and other highly rewarding positions.


  • Dozens of UK students in the past few years have seen impressive success in career development. Some of the students entered positions that offer $100k+ in compensation and excellent exit options.
  • The Wall Street Scholars is open to a limited number of students who are highly motivated to succeed in the most competitive industries in finance. It offers invaluable access to a community of other highly-motivated students and alumni who are expected to offer career guidance.
  • The Wall Street Scholars is not a certificate or an honors program, nor will it appear on transcripts.
  • No new courses will be offered. Instead, the experience features an advanced academic curriculum, high impact learning, and co-curriculum education.

Selection Criteria for Freshmen Wall Street Scholars

Applications are open to UK freshmen in Fall with the intent of including finance as a pre major, major or co-major. To apply, a student must be admitted to the University of Kentucky. Please check UK freshmen admissions website for university application procedure and requirements. Students of non-finance majors interested in this program and finance career success are encouraged to keep their original major and add finance curriculum and co-curriculum in their career development.

  • Recommended Minimum ACT Composite Score: 26 (or minimum SAT (ERW+M) score: 1230)
  • Recommended Minimum ACT Math Score: 26 (or minimum SAT (Math) score: 610)
  • Recommended Minimum high school unweighted GPA: 3.7
  • Recommended minimum AP credits or dual credits: 6
  • Recommended AP courses: mathematics, statistics
  • Wall Street Scholars will compete with the best and brightest in the nation for internships and full-time jobs. Here are some of the key questions to consider carefully before applying:
    • Do I have good attention to detail, initiative, strong analytical and communication skills, and high intellectual curiosity?
    • Am I willing to invest significant time and effort in and outside of class to network and prepare for the interviews?
    • Given my personality and aspirations, is this type of career (fast-paced and competitive) a good fit?
  • The University of Kentucky is implementing a test optional policy for the 2021-22 academic year. Hence, scores from the ACT or the SAT I are not required for freshman applicants for the 2021-22 academic year. Applicants may submit them for consideration in illustrating their academic journey.
  • Preferred applicants will demonstrate willingness to work in large metropolitan cities and financial centers such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Boston, Houston, Dallas, and San Francisco.

Meeting the required and recommended criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the Wall Street Scholars group. Group size is limited to optimize the experience of the students. The selection process is highly competitive. The application and review process for the Wall Street Scholars is separate from the application and review process for other Gatton undergraduate scholarships.

Freshmen Application Procedure and Deadline:

Early deadline is June 1. Final deadline is September 15. Applicants (admitted freshmen students) are recommended to submit the following documents as early as possible. Selected candidates will be invited to interviews. Applications are processed on a rolling basis.

Selection Criteria for Sophomore Wall Street Scholars

Outstanding undergraduate students with an expected graduation in December 2023 or May 2024 and meeting all following criteria are welcome to complete the application now through August 15, 2021:

  • Having NOT applied for the Wall Street Scholars program as a freshman
  • Having a minimum ACT Composite Score: 29 (or minimum SAT (ERW+M) score: 1340)
  • Having completed or expecting to complete MA 123 or equivalent, STA 296, ACC 201, ECO 201 by the end of the first year of college with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5
  • Having obtained an internship or a part-time job in finance/economics/analytics/accounting during the summer before college or the first year of college
  • Strong interest in working in large metropolitan cities and financial centers

Sophomore Application Procedure and Deadline

Applicants for the sophomore Wall Street Scholars must complete the application online and submit your up-to-date first-year UK transcript (instead of high school transcript) and resume in PDF online by August 15. Space for sophomore applicants is extremely limited. Interviews will be offered on a rolling basis. Early application is encouraged.

Program Details

  • Scholarships are available on a competitive basis. Performance based scholarships are given to admitted Wall Street Scholars starting in freshmen spring semester. In addition, up to $10,000 will be awarded to outstanding first-year applicants.
  • Admitted first-year Wall Street Scholars candidates should select pre-finance or finance as a major or co-major during the first year of joining UK.
  • Admitted Wall Street Scholars candidates are expected to participate in the finance curriculum and co-curriculum that include sophomore and junior summer finance internships and career development opportunities.
  • All admitted candidates must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the University of Kentucky. In addition, they must earn a combined GPA of at least 3.5 in FIN 405 and FIN 410 and at least a B in each finance course (i.e., courses with a FIN prefix). Failure to do so will put the candidates on probation for one semester to bring the overall GPA back to 3.5 or to show strong evidence of improved performance and finance career development success. Failure to do so after the probation semester will result in immediate dismissal from Wall Street Scholars.
  • Peer Mentoring and Giving Back:
    • Admitted candidates are expected to participate as peer mentors after they complete a year of the Wall Street Scholars program.
    • Candidates in their junior or senior year are expected to offer mentoring, finance career advising, and other advanced career development opportunities to freshmen and sophomore candidates selected into the program.
    • Students completing the Wall Street Scholars program satisfactorily are expected to “give back” to the department and the college through mentoring help, visits, and/or other means.
  • Co-Curricular Activities The Wall Street Scholars will have access to the following training and career development activities:

    • Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) Certification: Wall Street Scholars students should complete Bloomberg (BMC) certification by the end of freshman year. This can be obtained free of charge at the Seale Computing Center.

    • Research using Capital IQ and other financial databases and news sources

    • Advanced Excel and Financial Modeling Training (e.g., Wall Street Prep seminars or Break into Wall Street): Participants are expected to complete for Wall Street Prep Financial valuation and Excel Modeling seminar in fall of sophomore year and the Wall Street Prep M&A and LBO Modeling seminar in spring of sophomore year.

    • Software and programming knowledge in Python & R

    • Networking: Wall Street Scholars must join invited networking meetings as often as possible. They are also expected to spend significant time networking with alumni and industry professionals to learn about finance practice, the companies, and work opportunities.

    • Leadership development: Wall Street Scholars are expected to actively participate or take a leadership position in the Finance Society, the Investment Banking Club, or other student organizations to develop networking and leadership skills as early as possible.

    • Company visit(s): Participants can apply for scholarships for the faculty-led student group visits to New York City and a trip to Chicago/Atlanta/Charlotte/Nashville/Boston. Due to COVID, travel is temporary suspended. Instead, virtual trip or networking opportunities will be offered.

    • Internships: Wall Street Scholars should secure at least one finance/accounting internship/co-op before junior year and a finance internship in the summer of junior year that has high potential to lead to a full-time position of the field/firm in which the student is interested.

    • Preferential consideration for CFA Challenge Team and CFA exam scholarship for recommended candidates.

Click Here to Apply!

Please email Dr. Wendy Liu, Director of Wall Street Scholars and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Finance, at wendy.liu@uky.edu if you have additional questions about the Wall Street Scholars program.