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About College Scholars Program

College Scholars seal

Founded in 1973, the College Scholars Program is an interdisciplinary honors program in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program exists solely for highly motivated and academically talented students who have clear goals for their undergraduate education, and who cannot attain those goals within the traditional requirements structure of the College. 

Once admitted to the program, a Scholar is exempt from all the course distribution requirements for undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences. Instead, each Scholar works with a faculty member who serves as a Mentor, with the Director of College Scholars, and with others to design a unique curriculum to meet the Scholar's individual educational goals. Scholars are required to complete the university's general education requirements and to attend a one-hour seminar each week.  Also, as the culmination of the individual program, each scholar is required to complete a substantial project involving research, scholarship, or creative imagination. Graduates of the College Scholars Program are especially effective in gaining admission to the best graduate and professional schools, while some start careers directly upon graduation. Admission is based on previous academic accomplishments, test scores, references, a written application and an interview. Students can apply after one semester at UT, Knoxville, or as late as the middle of their fourth semester in residence.

Please note that College Scholars is different from the campus-wide Chancellor's Honors Program. While many of the current Scholars are also in that program, participation in Chancellor's  Honors is not a requirement for College Scholars.

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