Qualia Global Scholars is a selective academic enrichment program for top high school students from around the world and was designed by Stanford University students, researchers, instructors, and alums. This program matches top pre-collegiate students with mentors from Stanford through an innovative approach incorporating human-centered AI and learnings from leading institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, and MIT.

Qualia Global Scholars Stanford University

Founded at Stanford University as a research project, Qualia Global Scholars is a selective pre-collegiate program matching talented high school students with mentors from Stanford University.


Named after “Qualia,” the philosophical term for “individual instances of subjective, conscious experience,” the Qualia Global Scholars Program has an ambitious mission of democratizing personalized and multi-dimensional mentorship for the top high school students across the globe. The program empowers the students to become future global leaders by mastering both the STEM and the liberal arts way of thinking and problem-solving. Under the guidance of Stanford mentors who provide instructions across disciplines such as AI, programming, design, venture capital, social entrepreneurship, humanities, and the social sciences, students selected in the program gain access to the valuable skills necessary for leading the world of tomorrow.

The Stanford mentors from the Qualia Global Scholars Program are incredibly well-accomplished and are passionate about empowering the next generation of global leaders. Students learn about valuable skills across multiple disciplines and receive highly individualized mentorship on college admissions, academics, extracurricular activities, and personal development. The mentors can empathize and connect with ambitious high school students since they recently went through the challenging journey of being accepted to the top universities of the world, such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Princeton. These mentors have stellar academic and extracurricular achievements and work to democratize access to educational opportunities for students from all backgrounds.

On the bright side, however, I learned that the high dropout rate could be reduced by more than ten times through a scalable, human-centered section-leading model that is integral to Stanford’s introductory Computer Science curriculum.

In an article published in The Stanford Daily and featured by the famous international computing society Association for Computing Machinery, program mentor Brian Sha describes the inspiration behind the human-centered, near-peer mentorship and project-based learning approach that is at the heart of the Qualia Global Scholars Program. He has an impeccable list of achievements, such as winning the Rotman International Trading Competition’s Algorithmic Trading Case as a Stanford representative; working as a researcher for the Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute’s AI Index (supported by institutions such as Stanford, MIT, McKinsey, Google, and OpenAI); and working as a software engineer and researcher at one of the top quantitative hedge funds in the world, helping manage an investment portfolio using cutting-edge AI, ML, and Data Science. He exemplifies the extremely accomplished team leading the program. He has served as a Teaching Fellow and taught a Stanford Computer Science course in an innovative dual-credit program started by Stanford to educate the top high school students from low socio-economic backgrounds. This program served as an inspiration behind Qualia’s mission to empower and nurture the most talented students around the world.

By providing need-based financial aid and personalized mentorship to students from low-income backgrounds, the program has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and crucial areas such as STEM, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the Qualia Global Scholars Program also actively provides much-needed support to schools from vulnerable communities in South Asia and Africa.

Qualia Global Scholars Program has been featured by various institutions and organizations such as Stanford University, The Stanford Daily, New York University (NYU), and the Association for Computing Machine (ACM).