Faculty Scholars Program

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof.Duncan Ivison with students

What is the Faculty Scholars Program?

The Faculty Scholars Program is a new initiative designed to recognize the most outstanding students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and provide them with the opportunity to undertake three advanced units available exclusively to those enrolled in the program.

The seminars will take place over three consecutive semesters, beginning in Semester 1 of second year. The first two units will centre on the reading of important and influential texts across a range of concerns explored in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Faculty Scholars will study these texts – drawn from a wide range of cultures and time periods – and meet once a week for intensive discussions with their cohort and leading academics.

The readings and discussions from the first two units will help Faculty Scholars to shape individual research projects which will be the basis of the Program’s final unit in Semester 1 of third year in which Scholars will work one-on-one with an academic.


  • To provide an opportunity to study and discuss major books from different time periods and cultures that address enduring human questions
  • To provide intensive small-group teaching with an expert on a topic that they are passionate about
  • To broaden students’ exposure to the wide variety of types of inquiry in the humanities and social sciences
  • To enable students to grow as scholars and pursue their own research interests working one-on-one with mentors from academic staff across the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Upon the successful completion of their degree, those who have completed the Faculty Scholars Program will be listed as Faculty Scholars on their official transcript and testamur.


The program is based on prestigious programs at Chicago and Yale, but with a Sydney twist. Twenty-five students per year will be invited to become Faculty Scholars in their second year, based on their results in first year. The program is open to students enrolled in any degree administered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Entry into the Faculty Scholars program will be based upon a student’s overall WAM for their first 8 units of study undertaken in their first year at the University of Sydney. It will be expected that students will have received at least two High Distinctions in Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences units to be considered for the program. We are looking to include students from all of the Schools within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. A committee will select the final 25 students.

In order to remain in the program, Faculty Scholars will be obliged to maintain an 80% average. Students who do not maintain the minimum standard will be permitted to exit the program with credit for the units of study completed but will not be listed as Faculty Scholars on their final transcript and testamur.

The curriculum for the Faculty Scholars program will consist of two second year units, Ideas and Movements and Great Books, and the third year unit Research Project. Ideas and Movements will look at topics such as war, feminism, radicalism, nationalism, indigenous politics, alienation, and power. Great Books will examine great books from the classical to the contemporary age.

The best way for students to give themselves a chance of being selected for this exciting new program will be to receive High Distinctions for as many of their first year units as possible.

For more information about the program, contact the Director of the Program, .