University Scholars and Global Scholars Programs


In Fall 2018, 45 outstanding second-year students from a variety of disciplines will be selected to become the new generation of University Scholars and Global Scholars.

Each University Scholar: Each Global Scholar:
Receives a one-time scholarship of $1,500 Receives a one-time study abroad scholarship of $1,000
Is connected with a faculty mentor Conducts research under faculty mentorship
Attends a student/mentor banquet in January Presents at Global Scholars Research Symposium (senior year)
Enrolls in an interdisciplinary seminar taught by a faculty member noted for a distinguished teaching record Enrolls in an interdisciplinary seminar taught by a faculty member noted for a distinguished teaching record
Eligibility Requirements: Eligibility Requirements:
Students who are beginning their second year of college Students who are beginning their second year of college who have an interest in international studies
3.75 GPA or above 3.75 GPA or above

Details on the Spring 2018 Global Scholars Seminar:

"Biodiversity and Biodiversity Scholarship Around the World" taught by A. Townsend Peterson
In this course, we will explore biodiversity science. Readings will take us on an exploration of biodiversity (i.e., where are there many species and where are there few species?), biodiversity information (i.e., where is the information concentrated?), and biodiversity science (i.e., who is doing what with biodiversity?). Specifically, we will read and discuss papers about these topics, and we will talk about that work with students and scholars around the world. Overall, the goal is to gain a global appreciation of biodiversity, biodiversity information, and biodiversity science, and how all three do and do not work together.
The course will be offered Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10:00-11:15 am.

Details on the Spring 2018 University Scholars Seminar:

"Herman Melville’s America: Studying Inequality, Literature, and History​" taught by David Roediger
Arguably the greatest U.S. writer of the nineteenth century, Herman Melville was consumed by making sense of, or at times just making fun of, the deep inequalities surrounding him in the post-Revolutionary United States. Masters and slaves, men and women, the overdeveloped world and the Global South, sailors and captains, settlers and indigenous people, workers and their bosses, humans and animals, as well as the rural poor and their supposed betters all engaged Melville’s searching attention and deep sympathies. That Melville sustained these interests so long and so deeply without much participating in political movements critiquing social relations in the U.S. raises profound questions about literature and politics.  In this discussion-based seminar students will read mostly short stories from Melville as well as the classic novella of slave revolt Benito Cereno and chapters from Typee, The Confidence Man, and Moby Dick. Interspersed will be short texts by social theorists from Melville’s time—for example Marx and Hegel—who were trying to understand inequality. The class will also read and discuss articles from modern historians, who often use Melville texts to examine inequality. Taught by Foundation professor and chair of the American Studies Department David Roediger, the class aims to teach writing and critical thinking skills as well as ability to analyze sources in a seminar situation and to trust in others’ intelligence while working through difficult questions. 
The course will be offered Tuesdays, 2:30-5:00 pm. 

How to Apply to Either/Both Programs

1) Fill out the application and personal statement.

2) Ask two people to fill out the recommendation form.

Applications for the 2019 cohort are due September 20, 2018. Interviews are planned for October 17-19, 2018.

Students in their second year at KU with a strong academic record are invited to apply at the beginning of the fall semester. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic credentials, commitment to their education, intellectual promise, involvement and interests outside of the classroom, and recommendations.

University Scholars and Global Scholars Application
University Scholars and Global Scholars Recommendation Form

Application FAQs

Still have questions? Contact University Scholars Program director Erin Spiridigliozzi at or Global Scholars Program director Michelle Ward at


History of the University Scholars Program

The University Scholars program was founded in the Spring of 1982 by Judge Deanell Tacha then Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor Francis Heller. The program now counts over 600 alumni.

2017-2018 University Scholars
2016-2017 University Scholars
2015-2016 University Scholars
2014-2015 University Scholars
2013-2014 University Scholars
2012-2013 University Scholars
2011-2012 University Scholars
2010-2011 University Scholars
2009-2010 University Scholars
2008-2009 University Scholars
2007-2008 University Scholars
2006-2007 University Scholars

History of the Global Scholars Program

Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty
RT @KUnews : Join @KUStudyAbroad today to #exploreKU 's International Jayhawk Festival and celebrate global community and diversity. https://…

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