Application Overview

A University Scholar application consists of a University Scholar project proposal and a plan of study. These two key components are described below. As you prepare your application, you must seek the advice of faculty who will constitute your advisory committee. Once submitted, your proposal will be evaluated by the University Scholar Oversight and Selection Committee.

Important note: In order to apply, you must have submitted a letter of intent by the September deadline.

University Scholar Project

The centerpiece of the University Scholar Program is the University Scholar project, which is defined as a high-level piece of scholarship or creative activity that reflects individual creativity, independent thinking, excellence, and academic rigor. It is interdisciplinary or focused within a major area of study, and in many ways reflects the level of effort and expertise often found in a master’s level thesis.

For students enrolled in the Honors Program, the University Scholar project generally also serves as the Honors thesis. Students intending to do this, should obtain approval from the departmental Honors advisor in their Honors major(s).

University Scholar Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is a coherent set of undergraduate and, often, graduate classes selected by you to ensure that your final three semesters of coursework will provide in-depth expertise and knowledge in support of your University Scholar project and your academic goals. The plan should be characterized by intellectual rigor, creativity, and an eagerness to go beyond the restrictions of major requirements.

  • You will present your plan of study on a “plan of study comparison” form which will list your normal plan of study on the left-hand side and your proposed University Scholar plan of study on the right-hand side.
  • You may propose substitutions for major requirements and/or general education requirements as part of your plan of study. You will need to list and provide a justification for these substitutions on the Substitution Request form.

Plan of Study Approval

The members of your advisory committee are responsible for determining that your overall Plan of Study is rigorous and fully grounds you in the content of your chosen major(s).  Their endorsement of your application indicates that they approve any proposed substitutions to major requirements.

Any proposed substitutions to the general education requirements will be considered by the University Scholar Oversight and Selection Committee. The Oversight and Selection Committee’s decision will be conveyed in the admissions letter.

  • Important note: If you are majoring in a program with strict certification and/or accreditation regulations (such as engineering, nursing or education), you may need to continue to meet all major and general education requirements as determined by your school or college. It is your responsibility to discuss this with your advisor and advisory committee.

If you are selected for the Program, you will have an opportunity to make adjustments to your plan of study, if necessary.