Dean's Scholars Curriculum

Graphic: Student sitting in front of laptop in classroom

Program Curriculum

The Dean’s Scholars Program provides an intensive research opportunity for undergraduate students who want to distinguish themselves both professionally and academically.

The program is a two-year commitment and selected participants will need to prioritize these courses when planning their schedules.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Dr. Alexander Cromwell, Associate Director of the Dean’s Scholars Program, at [email protected].

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The Curriculum

Junior Year


  • Research Methods course
  • Selection of Research topic
  • Selection of faculty mentor
  • Participation in Scholars events

About the Curriculum

The first semester aims to help students build strong research foundations. Students will be required to register for the Dean’s Scholars Research Methods course with the Dean’s scholars Associate Director, Alexander Cromwell. This course will introduce students to the foundations and methods of research, while allowing them to conceptualize and refine their research topic. Working closely with the Associate Director of the program, our program participants will create a research plan and develop a feasible research question.

At the end of the first semester, the students and the Associate Director will identify potential faculty mentors who are experts in their research topic , and sign the Faculty/Student Agreement Form. Finally, scholars, their chosen faculty mentor and the Associate Director will meet before the end of the semester to establish the program requirements and expectations.


  • Dean’s Scholars Seminar I
  • Full Proposal for research project
  • Travel research and budgeting
  • Participation in Scholars events
  • Participation in LEAP initiative
  • Identify potential fellowship

About the Curriculum

Students will take their first seminar class, which will guide them through their personal research. Building on the work they did during the first semester, they will finalize their full proposal including completed literature review, case study, and methods selections. The Associate Director of the program and the faculty mentor will guide students through this process.

During this semester, the students, the Faculty mentor, and the Director will identify potential fellowships as well as peer-reviewed journals in preparation for the following academic year, in order to build a strong record of professional and academic achievement. These fellowships will help participants to plan for their future career. Those who choose to continue their education will have one-on-one meetings with the Associate Director to work on their preferred graduate school application schedule.

About the Curriculum

Scholars will use the Summer semester to conduct their research and collect data. They will also work on their fellowship applications, gather necessary documents and meet with the Director of the Dean’s Scholars Program for guidance and advice.

Senior Year


  • Dean’s Scholars Seminar II
  • Submission of Fellowship applications
  • Participation in Dean’s Scholars events
  • Presentation of research project at conferences
  • Participation in LEAP initiative
  • Dean’s Scholars peer-review publication
  • Dean’s Scholars annual symposium

About the Curriculum

During the Fall semester of their senior year, students will take the second Dean’s Scholars seminar course. This class will reinforce their data analysis and writing skills, while guiding them through the completion of their final paper. 

Students will also have the unique opportunity to submit their applications for conferences and fellowships identified throughout the previous year. The Director of the program as well as the faculty mentor will guide them through the different activities undertaken throughout the semester.

About the Curriculum

During the final semester, our program participants will present their academic research at conferences, submit their final paper to peer-reviewed journals and conclude the Dean's Scholars Program.

From Our Students

“This program has provided me with invaluable guidance and research tools that I know will help me throughout graduate school and my future career."

Athena Richardson

Class of 2017

"Participating in the program prepared me to achieve the goals I aspired and gave me the necessary skills to enable me to intern at a prominent think tank and begin a career in IR research."

Grace Headinger

Class of 2017