Do you have questions about the Scholars Program? No problem! Check out our list of frequently asked questions below.
  • How will this program affect students' employment chances?

    Our students have an exceptional record of placement in careers and graduate programs. This is because they are well prepared by their classes and can present employers and graduate school committees stellar records of research, service, internships, and volunteering. We also teach our Scholars to write first-rate cover letters and to produce effective resumes. And we strive to give them assistance in identifying the best graduate programs and career opportunities in their chosen fields.

     Social Science Scholars experience graph

  • What kind of employment opportunities could this program lead to?

    The Social Science Scholars Program equips students for a wide range of careers because we do all we can to ensure that our students graduate with excellent academic records and a wide range of meaningful experiences on and off campus. Graduated Scholars are learning or practicing human rights, corporate, labor, and civil rights law; they are studying or practicing medicine, psychology, and clinical social work; they are working for government and intelligence agencies, nonprofits, major banks, and Fortune 500 companies; and they are completing higher degrees in everything from developmental economics and humans relations to political science and psychology. The range is enormous but our placement rate of 98.5% attests to our dedication to the Scholars and the rich opportunities available to them as graduates.

  • What do Scholars study?
    We have Scholars in all departments within the College of Social Science, from history, urban planning, and economics to social work, political science and psychology. Many also obtain additional degrees from other colleges on campus, including Engineering, Journalism, James Madison, Math, and Arts and Letters.
  • Why are so few students admitted?

    We elected to invest heavily in individual students, striving to ensure that they are happy, productive, and successful. Providing such intense support on an individual level demands that we keep numbers to no more than 20 or so a year.

  • Who can apply to the Social Science Scholars Program?

    Freshmen who are applying to MSU and current freshmen. All Scholars have to be taking a major in the College of Social Science. 

  • What kinds of students is the program looking for?

    We’re looking for students who care deeply about learning, who interact well and respectfully with other students in seminar classes and on study abroad, who wish to study one of the social sciences, and who are eager to take on extra opportunities on campus and in the community. We are dedicated to forming diverse cohorts of personable, able, and enthusiastic students.

  • Can students apply to medical school having graduated as a Social Science Scholar?

    Absolutely. Several of our Scholars have gone to careers in health-related fields. 

  • How can students apply?

    Details about the application process can be found here.

  • How can high school counselors learn more about the program?

    We are more than happy to speak with you by phone or Zoom with you and any students who might be interested in applying. 

  • What is the timeline of the application process?
    The deadline is April 1, but we try to interview students soon after we receive all of their application materials.
  • How many credits will students obtain as a Social Science Scholar?

    Most students receive 21 credits in the program (14 from a seminar class in each semester of the first four years and 7 for the summer study abroad at the end of the first year). Five of these courses carry honors credit. 

  • Does the program provide scholarships?

    Yes, usually on the basis of financial need. We also work with Honors College, individual departments, the College of Social Science, and alumni to secure additional funding for our students. 

  • What majors can students take as a Social Science Scholar?

    Scholars must have one primary major within the College of Social Science. Click below to see a list of available Social Science majors.


  • What happens if a student decides to drop out of the program?

    Students may drop out at any time. This may have implications for the scholarships they receive, but if the program is not right for them we will assist in finding a more suitable fit. 

  • How can I learn more about the Social Science Scholars program?
    We love talking about the Scholars Program! Please email questions to the Director of the program, Dr. John Waller (wallerj1@msu.edu). We’re also happy to chat over Zoom.

For more information, contact:

John Waller
Social Science Scholars Program
Berkey Hall

Samyuktha Iyer
Co-Director, Academic Specialist
Social Science Scholars Program
Berkey Hall