Some of the many exceptional academic opportunities available within the University are listed below.
Ampersand Society is a community of learners comprised of high-achieving students in the College of Arts & Sciences; a small cohort of students is selected each spring from among first-year students who are invited to apply. Members receive close, intentional mentoring by faculty and administrators throughout their undergraduate educations and are chosen for their academic excellence, remarkable potential, and commitment to the life of the mind as a means to pursue a life of purpose. To be in good standing, students must maintain a minimum 3.7 GPA.
Each cohort of Ampersand Society meets monthly during the first three years of studies at Baylor; members enjoy the fellowship of Ampersand dinners and benefit from the knowledge and guidance of guest speakers, panel presentations, and discussion groups led by professors, administrators, and members of other Ampersand cohorts. In addition, faculty mentors from SPARK (Scholarship Programs, Awards, Research, & Knowledge) provide resources, guidance, and one-on-one mentoring to facilitate members' maximizing their undergraduate educations through research, fellowships, study abroad, and community engagement.
Baylor Business Fellows is a unique BBA major that enables gifted students with career goals not easily met through a traditional four-year degree program to combine business with other fields of study. Students apply for admission to the program, and while most students matriculate as Business Fellows, current Baylor undergraduates can apply for admission. The Fellows program offers flexibility in course choices combined with individualized, in-depth advising. Students can take the most rigorous courses they are capable of handling right away. Fellows complete a minimum of 124 total hours to earn the Bachelor of Business Administration degree, which must include 31 hours in Business coursework and 36 hours at the advanced level (3000- and 4000-level courses). Fellows are expected to maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average while taking at least 15 hours each semester. Applications are available on the Business Fellows homepage, linked above.
The Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC), a program in the Honors College, provides an alternative way for students to complete Baylor's core curriculum. Instead of taking the University's traditional general education requirements (separate classes in English, history, religion, philosophy, and political science, for example) BIC students learn about these subjects by taking a challenging and integrated curriculum. The BIC curriculum explores the interrelation of humanities, social sciences, and the physical sciences and thereby provides students with a broad context in which they can better understand the contemporary world. BIC students gain exposure to literature and thought from around the world to receive a global education. A maximum of 200 in-coming students are accepted each fall. BIC coursework is organized around five course sequences in the World Cultures, World of Rhetoric, Social World, Natural World, and Examined Life, and each course is team-taught by professors across the University.
Baylor University has a partnership with American University's Washington Semester Program that offers not only coursework but also substantive internships, research, field trips, guest speakers, and special events to all students who are accepted into the program (the students must be in their second-semester sophomore year or beyond when they take up this intensive experience). Baylor students are able to apply all their tuition-based scholarships from Baylor toward this program. Additionally, American University offers some merit and need-based scholarships ranging between $3,000 and $5,000. All students who are interested should explore the program information and the helpful Q & A page linked here. For more individual help with determining if this program is a good fit for your interests, contact the program coordinator Grant Jones.
Spring 2017 deadline: 1 November 2016
The Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative (BAY-SIC) is designed to bring together faculty, staff, and students in efforts to discover and develop innovative ways to promote human flourishing. Social innovation is an approach to tackling complex, “wicked” problems that involves cross-sector collaboration and multiple strategies and experiments. It aims to create a new equilibrium by building, renewing, or transforming institutions and offering approaches to social problems that are more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing ones. BAY-SIC courses, team-taught and collaborative, place undergraduate and graduate students in the same classroom, allowing them to work on transdisciplinary initiatives designed toward these ends. These experiments will be diverse, designed and tailored to the particular nuances of a given problem and the context of the collaboration.
The B-TRUE (Baylor Transdisciplinary Research Undergraduate Experience) program sponsors 10 undergraduate fellows to conduct summer research in one of six academic programs: Biology, Physics, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Geosciences, and Psychology/Neuroscience. An intensive 10-week summer research-training program for students interested in pursuing research-related careers, the B-TRUE program is designed to provide a rigorous, in-depth research experience across the life and physical sciences and to prepare participants for top-quality graduate programs. In particular, B-TRUE Fellows will conduct independent research with outstanding training program faculty mentors; work in a cutting edge science and technology environment; gain exposure to research topics in both physical and life sciences; receive career counseling and develop career interests; participate in workshops, seminars and journal clubs; and build a social network with student peers and faculty across scientific disciplines. The B-TRUE program culminates in a final summer poster day open to the public and provides Fellows with a $4000 stipend.
The Bob Bullock Scholars Program was established in 2000 through an agreement involving the family of Bob Bullock, members of the Texas Senate, and Baylor University. Funding was provided to allow students from Baylor University to work on a full-time basis during sessions of the Texas Legislature. The program aims to elevate the study of politics among our undergraduate student body and serve as a model for those individuals who seek to serve others through a career in public life. Dr. James A. Curry, the Bob Bullock Professor of Public Policy and Administration, arranges placements of Baylor students in appropriate legislative offices during the session of the Texas Legislature. Bullock Scholars live in Austin and work on a full-time basis for a member of the Texas Senate or the Texas House of Representatives for the entire legislative session. Students also will be enrolled for a minimum of six semester hours and may take as many as fifteen hours. The selection of Bob Bullock Scholars is competitive and requires that students complete a substantive application and submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, an official transcript, and writing sample for consideration. Applications are available on the Bob Bullock Scholars homepage, linked above.
The William Carey Crane Scholars Program, named in honor of Baylor's fourth president, is an intensive program for Baylor undergraduates that encourages and supports gifted students who are interested in connections between faith and reason. The program, sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning, mentors students who are considering graduate school and careers in academic life in particular, though not all Cranes pursue a vocation in the academy. Whether a student's path leads to higher education or some other profession, the aim is to help cultivate the next generation of Christian scholars and professionals with a sense of vocation.
The program convenes dinners, seminars, and retreats in an effort to foster intellectually rich discussions about faith and scholarly inquiry as students are introduced to leading Christian scholars and their writings. In addition, the program seeks to provide resources and guidance to students applying to graduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines. Students apply by invitation; they must have and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5. More details are found on the Crane scholars homepage, linked above.
The William Hillis Scholars in Biomedical Science Program is an endowed scholarship program established by the College of Arts & Sciences in 2014 that provides research experiences and enhanced mentoring and learning opportunities for high-achieving undergraduate pre-health students to make them more competitive for positions in top graduate programs and medical schools. The Hillis Scholars program is named in honor of Dr. William B. Hillis, a medical doctor and researcher who served more than 30 years as a professor and administrator at Baylor University. Scholars receive an annual scholarship in addition to programming funds to support travel to conferences and special off-campus events; exposure to a broad understanding of summer research opportunities; expert advocates to connect students to meaningful and optimal research opportunities at Baylor; connections with constituents on and off campus who support undergraduate biomedical research; and specialized advising to ensure that they take appropriate curriculum for biomedical research. Admission is highly-competitive; students are nominated by Baylor faculty members.
The McLane Teammates Scholar Program is a one semester, non-credit reading group in which participants read and discuss selections from classic works in political economy and from contemporary scholars that address the relationships between and among entrepreneurship, economic freedom, and social progress. The McLane Teammates Scholar Program at Baylor complements similar programs launched concurrently by the O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University and the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University. All three groups will examine the same set of readings and interact with one another through social media. McLane Scholars meet weekly during the semester; each cohort's experience culminates in members’ attending a symposium, which hosts key thinkers and scholars who contribute to the national conversation on the theme guiding the reading group’s book list and discussions for the given semester. Participation is competitive and requires students apply for acceptance. Applications are available on the McLane Scholars homepage, linked above.
Science Research Fellows (SRF) is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for successful careers in research in disciplines including biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, psychology, neuroscience, environmental science, anthropology, and geosciences. This flexible major enables students to immerse themselves in research early on in their studies while giving them the freedom to explore other fields of study. SRF students are expected to join a research lab at the start of their sophomore year and stay for at least 2 years. Fellows receive individualized mentorship and guidance to make their career goals a reality. The first major of its kind in the nation, Science Research Fellows is highly-selective and requires a 1470 on the new SAT or a 32 on the ACT as well as application essays and two letters of recommendation.
Important Dates for AY 2017-2018: applications open November 1 and are reviewed in two cycles; applications submitted by 15 November receive a response by 15 December and applications submitted by 15 February receive a response by 15 March
As a member institution of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, Baylor University offers undergraduate students the opportunity to intern throughout the United States with agencies that work in distressed communities. Housed within the Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative, the Shepherd Scholars Program selects up to 5 undergraduate students each year to participate in a Shepherd Internship. Scholars learn first-hand about the multiple dimensions of poverty in the United States by working for eight weeks alongside individuals seeking to improve their communities. They work with agencies that fit their academic program of study and professional goals in order to develop their experience and skills for future civic involvement and employment.
This fully-funded internship includes Scholars' participating in an opening conference and closing symposium, which equips them for their internship, allows them to reflect on and process their experiences, and invites them to submit their conference papers for publication. Example placements for the internship, which is a full-time summer placement, include Americans Helping Americans in Beattyville, Kentucky; Greensboro County Department of Public Health, Food Access Project in Greensboro, North Carolina; Public Defender Services for the District of Columbia in Washington D.C.; New American Pathways in Atlanta, Georgia; The Family Center, Inc. in Helena, Arkansas, and Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers in Camden, New Jersey. Please contact Dr. Kirsten Escobar for information and an application packet.
Applications due for 2017 Shepherd Scholars: Friday, 13 January 2017
Interviews for 2017 Shepherd Scholars: Friday, 20 January 2017
The University Scholars Program is designed for outstanding students who seek a liberal education and choose two or more concentrations, often in diverse disciplines at Baylor. Most University Scholars students enter the program as first year students through a rigorous application process that considers criteria including: ACT/SAT scores, class rank, application essays, interests, maturity, and fit for the program.
University Scholars cultivate a broad base of knowledge and skills across the arts & sciences and may include professional studies. Students explore widely and experience the breadth of Baylor''s course offerings. As their intellectual passion and vocation become apparent, students work with mentors to craft an individualized course of study in two or more disciplines. Minimum course work for a concentration is generally defined as 5-6 upper-level courses in a discipline or closely-aligned disciplines. Advisors and mentors recommend courses of study, transdisciplinary opportunities, internships, study abroad programs, and academic experiences to help students tailor a Baylor education that helps them meet their post-baccalaureate and long-term academic goals. The program is not an end in itself but rather a point of departure for intellectual inquiry and academic excellence. Scholars typically go on to graduate school, medical school, or law school. For information about how to apply for the University Scholars Program, please see the program website, linked above.
The aim of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) is to provide undergraduate students with research experiences in their academic areas of beyond conventional classroom instruction. To help facilitate these experiences, URSA and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research provide small grants, up to $5000, to support faculty research and scholarly projects with significant undergraduate involvement. Students participate in the URSA Small Grant under the aegis of a sponsoring faculty member who partners with the student in applying for these funds and also through mentoring the student while he or she works on the proposed project. For more information about URSA and the Small Grants Program, visit the URSA website, linked above.
AY 2017-2018 deadline: Wednesday, 15 February 2017