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University Scholars Application FAQs

University Scholars Selection Process

The University Scholars Program strives to have a diverse applicant pool of sophomores from across the university. Accordingly, our selection panels represent a variety of backgrounds and academic fields. Applications are first read by at least two readers, and the top forty candidates are invited to interview. Each interview panel will have at least two members, who will talk with candidates for 15-20 minutes.

2016 Readers include

Marta Caminero-Santangelo (Seminar Instructor, English), Phil Baringer (Physics, former Seminar Instructor), DeAngela Burns-Wallace (Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies), ​ Darren Canady (English), Tim Jackson (Chemistry), Joo Ok Kim (American Studies), Shantel Martinez (Office of First-Year Experience), Christopher Perreira (American Studies), Bryan Young (Civil & Environmental Engineering, Honors Program Director)

2016 Interviewers include:

Marta Caminero-Santangelo (Seminar Instructor, English), Perry Alexander (Computer Science, former Seminar Instructor), John Augusto (Experiential Learning), Darren Canady (English), Ayesha Hardison (English and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies), Meagan Patterson (Educational Psychology), Jennifer Roberts (Geology, former Seminar Instructor), Bryan Young (Civil & Environmental Engineering, Honors Program Director)

No, these programs are open to all KU students in their sophomore year.
At least one of your recommenders must be an instructor at the University of Kansas, but ideally both of them will be. Instructors of English classes or Foreign Language classes are also often good recommenders, because the classes tend to be smaller and they’ve gotten to know you better. Your academic advisors or program mentors may also be appropriate. If you don’t feel that you got to know two KU faculty or staff members well enough in your first year, you could ask someone who taught you in high school to be your second recommender. If you would like more specific advice, you can check with the relevant program contact person.
We usually recommend that students waive their right to view recommendations in all application settings. Such letters are written more candidly and are viewed more favorably by selection committees. In fact, this is often a requirement in major national scholarship applications. If you have concerns or questions, check with a trusted advisor.
They are both great! Read the course descriptions carefully and see if one is more appealing to you. Seek out alumni of both programs and ask them about their experiences. Check with your advisors for extra guidance.
Yes. Students found to have submitted applications to both programs will be disqualified.
No. All interviews must take place on October 22nd to ensure a fair process for all students. Skype interviews may be possible for students who are participating in a university-sponsored program away from Lawrence, such as study abroad, but you should contact the program coordinator in advance.
The seminar is a required component, so only students who want to and are able to participate in the seminar should apply.

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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
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