Most students enter the University Scholars Program as freshmen. After applying to Baylor University, a prospective student may apply directly to the University Scholars Program.
In order to receive word by the May 1st college notification deadline, the applicant must ensure that the completed form, the required essay, and two letters of recommendation arrive in the UNSC office by mid-April. UNSC, however, will accept applications later than mid-April, but decision notifications may be delayed. Upon review by the UNSC directors, National Merit Finalists receive automatic acceptance and need not provide letters of recommendation. However, National Merit Finalists should still submit the application essay in order to provide a profile of their academic interests. The directors of the program select all other students admitted into the program.
Application Process for the University Scholars Program:
Submit the online application.
Submit a 500-word essay (included in the online application).
A resume is optional.
Request a letter of recommendation from a current or former teacher. Letters previously submitted to Baylor University will count toward the required recommendation letter. Teachers should mail or fax recommendation letters, on school letterhead, to the contact information below. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact their teachers. NOTE: A recommendation letter is not required for National Merit Finalists.
The University Scholars Committee will have access to application materials submitted for admission to the university. The committee may request that the applicant meet with the Director, the committee, or individual committee members for a personal interview.
Criteria for Admission
In order of priority, the following are the five criteria for admission into University Scholars:
1) Because of the great disparity in the level of secondary school programs throughout the country, primary emphasis is necessarily placed on SAT/ACT scores.
2) Class rank and GPA
3) A 500-word essay
4) Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic record and potential for success at the university level
5) Since University Scholars are exempt from taking introductory required courses, the number and type of Advanced Placement or college-level courses previously taken will be considered.
Please note that, inasmuch as it is in the best interest of all Scholars to be in both the Honors and Scholars program, students desiring to position their portfolio best for consideration of University Scholars Status should already have applied and, ideally, been accepted to the Honors Program.
Late Entries and Transfers
In order that students derive the full benefit from the program, University Scholars will not accept students who have fewer than three years or 90 hours remaining to complete their undergraduate degree at Baylor. All Scholars must therefore complete at least 90 hours as students within the program. Students who enter late are responsible for changing their majors to University Scholars. Students with under 30 credit hours can change their major in the academic advisement office located on the first floor of the Paul L. Foster Success Center (Sid Richardson Building).