Texas Tech University

TrUE Scholars Program

The TrUE Scholars program supports first-year and current TTU students through the entire continuum of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) during their time at TTU. The program recruits, trains, and launches talented students into marquee experiences designed to set them apart.

Program Applications

Graduating High School Students

We are interested in identifying high school seniors who exhibit genuine interest in research & creative activities and excel in their academic pursuits.  Selected applicants will begin the program in Fall 2022.

The application for graduating high school students is currently closed. Thank you for all who applied! 

The high school student application deadline was May 15, 2022 at 11:59pm.

High school applicants were notified of our acceptance decision on June 1, 2022.

Current TTU Students

We are interested in identifying current Texas Tech undergraduate students with at least one full year of coursework remaining to fill a very limited number of program openings beginning in Fall 2022. If you meet this requirement, please complete the following form.

The application for current TTU students is closed. Thank you for all who applied! 

Current TTU student applicants will be notified of our acceptance decision by July 1, 2022.

About TrUE Scholars

TrUE Scholars FlyerTrUE Scholars is steeped in the TTU tradition of the Matador—not only by using the names Novilleros, Toreadors, and Matadors—but also because of the excellent Red Raiders that make their way through the program! TrUE equips amazing students like you to become scholars through Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (URCA)!


Year 1: Novilleros (Novices)

After being accepted into the TrUE Scholars Program, you will have the privilege of donning the title "Novillero." As a Novillero, you will spend your first year delving into topics like entrepreneurship & innovation, participating in networking events, exploring lab/facilities at TTU, and receiving crucial peer mentorship & academic life coaching all while gaining valuable knowledge and skills towards the path to The Mark of the Matador!

Once you have completed your first year, you may be promoted to the rank of Toreador within the TrUE Scholars program!

Year 2: Toreadors (Apprentices)

As a Toreador, you continue to have all the support available to you as a Novillero with an added bonus of being assured a spot within one of our pre-designed URCA group projects. You will receive funding while working with your group and faculty mentor. 

After Year 2, you will be ready to utilize your Novillero knowledge and Toreador skills as a Matador!

Years 3 & 4: Matadors (Practitioners)

You have reached the highest rank within the program—the Matador. This title is reserved for our most seasoned TrUE Scholars! You now have the training and experience necessary to pursue your URCA interest. After finding a faculty mentor, you will have the opportunity to apply for Matador Funding to work on an individual, funded, URCA project.

Ideal outcomes for Matadors include discipline-specific conference presentations, co-authorship on journal publications, and acceptance offers from graduate programs.

Mark of the Matador

Once you have completed at least one full year of research as a Matador you will receive the "Mark of the Matador." This recognition transcends being just a status symbol at TTU, and sets you up to succeed at the graduate school level.

Mark of the Matador Award Logo

Looking for Pi²?

Updated 09/27/2021: You're in the right place! Beginning in September 2021, the TTU Program in Inquiry and Investigation (Pi²) will now be called the TrUE Scholars Program! We are excited to announce a number of new program supports and benefits in the coming weeks. Please check out our program preview here!


Year 1: Novilleros (Novices)

Explore research & creative activities

  • Explore opportunities
  • Learn new skills
  • Build your network

Year 2: Toreadors (Apprentices)

Work on a group project with your fellow Toreadors

  • Join a team
  • Work with a professor
  • Get funded

Years 3 & 4: Matadors (Practitioners)

Launch into a one-on-one, faculty-led project

  • Find a mentor
  • Get funded
  • Pursue your passion