University Scholars & Global Scholars

Every spring, 30 outstanding second-year students from a variety of disciplines become the new class of University Scholars and Global Scholars.


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, then the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science. The program now counts over 750 alumni. 

University Scholars receive a one-time scholarship of $1,500. In addition, they are connected with a faculty mentor who helps them deepen and expand their academic interests. Global Scholars conduct internationally focused research under faculty mentorship, which they present at the Global Scholars Research Symposium their senior year. 

Both programs require enrollment in an interdisciplinary seminar that addresses an important topic in contemporary society.


To be considered, applicants must have a cumulative KU GPA of 3.5. Students do not need to be members of the University Honors Program to apply to either program. (At the beginning of the fall semester, second-year students with a strong academic record are invited to apply.) Scholars are selected on the basis of academic credentials, commitment to their education, intellectual promise, involvement and interests outside of the classroom, and recommendations.

Application process

Applications must include a submitted online form with personal statement, along with two recommendations from a KU faculty member or instructor submitted through an an online recommendation form. Applications for the 2023 cohort are due September 22, 2022. Interviews are planned for October 17, 2022, and cannot be rescheduled.

Still have questions? Contact University Scholars Program director Sarah Crawford-Parker at or Global Scholars Program director Michelle Ward at