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Program Details


A four-year program that moves students from having limited experience and exposure in a field to the point where they engage, discover and create on their own under the advisement of a faculty mentor. The Scholars will work closely with and assist faculty with engaging research and creative endeavors. The Scholars will be awarded a research scholarship in each of the four years. Entering Scholars will have the option to participate and conduct their independent research related to a multidisciplinary theme (e.g., what does sustainable development mean in a specific discipline, or piggyback on a common theme found in the Engaged Learning Series). During the first two years, all students will enroll in WSU 1560 entitled, Research, Creativity, and Exploration among the Disciplines, be a research assistant for their mentor, participate in monthly seminars to explore ways to build on their educational experiences (e.g., community-engaged learning, study abroad, research seminars, Engaged Learning Series), and participate in group activities such as parties, community service activities, or community-based research. In the third and fourth years, Scholars will undertake an individual project chosen by the student in consultation with their faculty mentor and will have an opportunity to disseminate their work at the end of the fourth year. Continuation in the Scholars program is conditional on meeting the minimum criteria set forth below and recommendations of faculty mentors.


Research Assistant Scholarships

Year 1: $1000 scholarship ($500 each semester)

Year 2: $1000 scholarship ($500 each semester)

Year 3: $1000 scholarship ($500 each semester)

Year 4: $1000 scholarship ($500 each semester)

Minimum Scholarship Requirements

  1. Maintain a full-time course load (at least 12 credit hours)
  2. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  3. Earn a C or higher in WSU 1560 (required course during first-semester of the first-year) entitled Research, Creativity, and Exploration Among the Disciplines.**
  4. Enroll in a one-credit hour research assistantship course during the spring semester. Dr. Therese Grijalva will provide course details and enrollment information. The course will be held bi-monthly, every other Thursday at 4:30 pm.
  5. A letter of reappointment from a faculty mentor: the faculty mentor will comment on the Scholar's commitment, responsibility, and motivation.

*The scholarships will be in addition to any scholarships earned or research grants awarded. Institutional funds granted to a student cannot exceed 150% of financial needs. Scholarships amounts exceeding cost of student tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for classes may be subject to tax, which shall be the responsibility of the student.

[1] Individual student-mentor relationship may be changed to ensure optimal engagement.

Application Process


Year 1:
The Scholars will attend two orientation seminars per semester, which may include attending a seminar as part of the Engaged Learning Series. During the first year (fall semester), Scholars are required to enroll WSU 1560 entitled, Research, Creativity, and Exploration among the Disciplines, a general education course designed specifically for WSU Research Scholars. In this course, the scholars will be exposed to research methodology and creative endeavors, earning the students 3 credit hours towards two general education requirements: Social Science and Humanities & Arts. WSU 1560 will be taught by at least two faculty members who have expertise in either research methods (i.e., social sciences, etc.) or arts and humanities (e.g., creative/written arts, etc.). While taking this course, students will interview professors about their research or creative processes. During the spring semester of the first year, the Scholars will take a one-credit research assistantship course which will provide research assistant ideas and expectations for year 2.

Year 2:
Each Scholar will be assigned a faculty mentor who does research in an area that potentially overlaps with the student’s interest.[1] The scholars will work closely with faculty mentors as research assistants (RAs) designed to introduce students to specialized fields or research methods. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, RAs may engage in directed readings or conduct research. With the aid of a faculty mentor, students will begin to explore ideas for their research or creative endeavor project and identify needs for funding the project. If appropriate, a student will apply for an undergraduate research grant to begin their research during the spring and summer semesters. Additionally, the scholars will mentor first-year scholars, offering peer support and advice.

Year 3:
Beginning in the third year, all students will undertake an individual project chosen by the student in consultation with their faculty mentor. Additionally, the scholars will mentor first and second-year scholars, offering peer support and advice. The scholars will identify funding needs to complete their independent work and given opportunities to apply for undergraduate research grants. Additionally, the scholars will continue to mentor incoming scholars, offering peer support and advice.

Year 4:
In the fourth year, the scholars will continue with their project and continue to mentor other scholars. The scholars will be given opportunities to disseminate their work. Additionally, the scholars will continue to mentor incoming scholars, offering peer support and advice. The Scholars Program will host a couple of gathering events including beginning-of-year and end-of-year celebrations. During the second semester of every year, we will meet and enjoy pizza every other Thursday at 4:30pm, and sometimes we will meet to do fun activities.

Scholars will track all their activities in this program to build a co-curricular academic transcript in addition to their academic transcripts.