Wayne Morse Scholars FAQ

When can I apply for the Wayne Morse Scholars program?
Applications open in spring each year. 

Is this a scholarship?
No. This is a highly competitive honorific program that does not provide significant funding. There are small stipends to support your practicum, scaleable based on need. In-person participation throughout the program is essential.

Who is eligible? 
Students from any discipline who have at least two full years remaining in their undergraduate program. That usually means students who will be sophomores or juniors in Fall Term.  

What if I’m a senior?
Generally seniors are not eligible. However, you may participate if you have at least two full years left in your undergraduate program.

Who should apply?
Any student who feels passionate about politics, policy, legal issues, social justice, or public affairs. No previous experience in these areas is necessary. The application committee looks for a track record of service or a demonstrable commitment to causes.  

There is no specific GPA requirement, though the committee does look for students whose academics are strong enough that additional obligations will not become a liability.

Can I apply more than once?
Absolutely! The committee attempts to select Scholar cohorts that balance a diversity of qualities. If you are not a top candidate one year, you certainly may be the next year.

What is the time commitment? 
The time commitment associated with the Wayne Morse Scholars program is relatively low, however there are a number of events and programs that are mandatory. Continued participation throughout the program is essential to maintain Wayne Morse Scholar membership.

Mandatory elements of the program include:

  1. Two required courses: a 4 credit course in the first year and a 2 credit course in the final year.  
  2. Lunch meetings on the first Friday of each month during the academic year.
  3. Trainings -- usually two or three per year, beginning with an orientation in Fall Term.
  4. One field trip per year.
  5. A practicum experience for your second (and third) year in the program. This can include a relevant job or internship, a service project, or an honors thesis.
  6. Participation in a poster session to present on your practicum.

What will I get out of this? 
First and foremost, you will get a community of passionate, engaged, intellectually curious colleagues with whom you can build a rapport and a durable connection that will carry on after you have graduated. You will get to dig deep into questions about democracy and citizenship; you will get practical career-focused training; you will meet thought leaders—elected officials, scholars, journalists, activists—who can serve as connections in a whole range of fields; and you will receive one-on-one mentoring.

What kind of references do I need for my application? 
You will need brief statements of support from two people, at least one of whom is an academic reference.  The statements need to be no longer than one paragraph. They can be entered via a link from the application which you can send along to your recommenders.