College of Arts and Sciences
...explores contemporary questions with interdisciplinary and historical perspectives...
The Scholars Program offers a unique opportunity to a select group of students to engage with distinguished faculty and their own peers in the kind of heightened intellectual discussion that is generally not possible within the large lecture format of most introductory level courses. A basic assumption underlying the program is that an understanding of 21st century American culture and our place in it requires some understanding of the diverse cultural traditions that have influenced it. Thus, a central purpose of the courses in the program is to introduce students to some of the more significant ideas and controversies from the past that shape contemporary life.
The curriculum uses a multi-disciplinary approach to explore questions related to the Program’s three major themes: Membership and Belonging; Authority, Knowledge, and Scholarship; and Nature and the Environment. Students read and discuss texts from varying subject areas, such as history, philosophy, psychology, literature, and political science. Each year the course is team-taught by at least two faculty members, and the instructors hail from multiple disciplines across the College of Arts and Sciences. Class sections are capped at 25 students, allowing Scholars participants to interact closely with some of the most prestigious faculty members in the University, a privilege not afforded to average first year students.
Students in the Scholars Program take an intensive, four credit course (CAS 1110) during the Fall Semester Each week begins with a lecture delivered by one of the Scholars faculty members or an outside specialist. For the remainder of the week, class time is devoted to discussion and writing about the course themes in light of the lecture and readings. Because the course is writing intensive, students also participate in in-class writing workshops in preparation for their major writing assignments.
During the Spring Semester Scholars are offered the opportunity to participate in a one credit student/faculty colloquium (CAS 2900). Each year the colloquium focuses on a different theme; thus Scholars can participate in it all four years. The colloquium meets seven times during the Spring. At each meeting, which lasts for two hours, a noted authority from the faculty, or an invited guest, presents a lecture for 45 minutes, after which the floor is opened for discussion. Both faculty and Scholars participate in the discussions that follow.
The Scholars Program is designed for students who consider themselves intellectually curious and who want to be part of a community of students and professors who share this curiosity. Scholars students do not merely read texts and listen to lectures. They engage with the material, offering their own observations and coming to their own conclusions regarding how the information presented has influenced our present world.
Read quotes from current Scholars students in the program.
The Scholars Program is open to students of higher than average intellectual capability and motivation. To be considered for admission, a student must have an ACT score of 25 or an SAT verbal score of 600. For more information about becoming involved in Scholars, please contact us at email@example.com.
The Scholars experience extends outside the classroom. Students participating in the program have the option of living in the same dorm, allowing for a community base that fosters an environment for engaged learning. Even for students who do not select the housing option, there is plenty of opportunity for social engagement. At the start of the school year, students meet one another and the faculty at a welcome picnic. Students work together on assignments, such as preparing team reports on course themes. These experiences give students the opportunity to interact beyond the classroom, bringing them together as a close-knit community of people interested in similar issues. As one former Scholar put it: “We’re the people in the dining hall, talking about Plato over breakfast.”
Faculty members have also arranged movie nights, lunches with the visiting lecturers, pizza parties, and hosted parties for the Scholars students in their homes. Because of these events and the small class sizes, many students develop a more personal connection with the faculty members than is usually possible in general survey classes.
Students in Scholars earn credit for core requirements as they pursue their own intellectual development. The Fall Semester class (CAS 1110) counts for four credit hours of Tier II Humanities credit, allowing students to make progress toward their college and university degree requirements. Additionally, students who successfully complete CAS 1110 are exempted from ENG 1510, the Tier I Composition requirement.