Dean's Scholars Curriculum

Graphic: Student taking notes during class

Program Curriculum

The Dean’s Scholars Program provides an intensive research opportunity for undergraduate students who want to distinguish themselves both professionally and academically. Students will develop their research and communication skills as they construct a research project and work alongside a faculty mentor. 

The program is a two-year commitment and scholars will be required to take two 3-credit courses and a 1-credit seminar throughout the duration of the program. By the end of the program, students will have a completed research project and will have the opportunity to present their academic research at conferences and submit their final paper to peer-reviewed journals. 

Please see below for a semester by semester breakdown of the requirements for the program. 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].

Applications will open for the 2020-2022 Cohort in Spring 2020.


"In the Dean’s Scholars program, students become intimately familiar with every step of the research process, from conceptualizing their project to conducting fieldwork, to analyzing their data, and finally to writing up and presenting their findings. The experience provides our scholars with skills for tackling the world’s most pressing problems through careful research and analysis."

Dr. Alexander Cromwell

Associate Director of the Dean's Scholars Program


The Curriculum

Junior Year

Summary

  •  IAFF 2040 Research Methods in International Affairs (3-credit course)

  • Select research topic & question 

  • Develop problem statement, literature review, and research design/proposal 

  • Select faculty mentor 

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events 

  • Participate in LEAP Initiative events

  • Scholars are not allowed to study abroad during this semester 

About the Curriculum

The first semester helps each student to build a strong foundation for their research project. Students will be required to register for the 3-credit Dean’s Scholars Research Methods course, IAFF 2040: Research Methods in International Affairs, with the Dean’s scholars Associate Director, Alexander Cromwell. This course will take the place of the Elliott School’s research methods course requirement. In this course, students will be introduced to the theoretical groundings and multiple approaches to research in this multidisciplinary field, and will gain an in-depth understanding of the research process. This will include improving each student’s ability to identify a real-world problem that relates to a gap in the scholarly literature, and to form a research question and design a research project that furthers the field in relation to this gap. Working closely with the Associate Director of the program, our program participants will create a feasible research plan to this end. 

By the end of the first semester, participants and the Associate Director will identify potential faculty mentors who are experts in the students’ individual research topics, 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.

Summary

  •  IAFF 3192: ESIA Dean’s Scholars Workshop (1-credit course) 

  • Revise research design/proposal for project 

  • Submit IRB request 

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events 

  • Participate in LEAP Initiative events 

  • Identify potential fellowships 

  • Scholars are allowed to study abroad 

About the Curriculum

During this semester, students will take their first Dean’s Scholars seminar class, IAFF 3192, a 1-credit course that will help them refine their data collection plan. Building on the work they did during the first semester, participants will finalize their full proposal including revising their research question, literature review, and proposed research design and methods. Scholars will also submit their research through GW’s Institutional Review Board to ensure that their research is approved before they begin to collect data in the summer of their junior year. The Associate Director and faculty mentors will guide students throughout this process. 

Students, the faculty mentor, and the Associate Director will also identify potential fellowships as well as peer-reviewed journals that the scholars can apply to in the following academic year. This will be a crucial time to identify these fellowships and develop a plan for these applications, as the deadline for many fellowships are early in the fall semester of students’ senior year. 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 any necessary documents for these applications, and have the opportunity to meet with the Associate Director of the Dean’s Scholars Program for guidance.

Senior Year

Summary

  •  IAFF 3193: ESIA Dean’s Scholars Seminar (3-credit course) 

  • Dean’s Scholars annual symposium 

  • Submit fellowship applications 

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events 

  • Participate in LEAP initiative 

  • Scholars cannot study abroad

About the Curriculum

During the Fall semester of their senior year, students will take the second Dean’s Scholars seminar course, IAFF 3193. This 3-credit course will reinforce their data analysis and writing skills, while guiding them through the completion of their final paper. 

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

Summary

  • Submit any remaining fellowship applications 

  • Present research project at conferences 

  • Dean’s Scholars peer-review publication 

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events 

  • Participate in LEAP initiative 

  • Scholars are allowed to study abroad

About the Curriculum

There are no course requirements for the final semester. Instead, our program participants will focus on presenting their academic research at conferences, submitting their final paper to peer-reviewed journals, and submitting any remaining fellowship applications. This semester concludes the Dean's Scholars Program.


Deans Scholars class - the students observe the professor explaining a core concept

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