Once admitted into the Sheedy Family Program, students can choose to apply for the Scholars track in the fall of their junior year. The Scholars track is designed for students who seek a more research-intensive experience in the Sheedy Family Program — likely students who envision graduate school in their future, or whose career preparation demands an in-depth analysis of a specific topic within the intersection of business and the liberal arts. Sheedy Scholars will hone interdisciplinary research skills and develop expertise on their subjects of choice.
At the core of the Scholars track is the Senior Thesis. Sheedy Scholars work closely with faculty advisors to craft a research project that draws together skills, methods, and knowledge from the fields of business and the liberal arts. The final product depends upon the project and field: it may be an academic research paper or something more public facing, like a long-form journalism piece, community event, or museum exhibit.
The scale of the Senior Thesis requires a year or more of planning, writing, and revising. To complete their projects, Sheedy Scholars register for thesis writing hours or courses — usually 3 credits per course — in both the fall and spring semesters of their senior year. In most cases, they register for these credits through their majors or primary departments.
Additionally, Sheedy Scholars register for a 1-credit "Sheedy Program Honors Thesis" course (ALSF48001) each semester of their senior year. For this course, they meet with their cohort and the program directors every other week for goal setting exercises, accountability checks, writing instruction, and peer review workshops.
Sheedy Scholars will have access to the same opportunities as participants in the general program plus additional resources to build their research portfolio. Such resources include:
- Research funding up to $1,000 per scholar, upon approval. To access these funds, scholars will need to submit a budget of expenses and a rationale for approval. Access to these funds will not prohibit students from applying to other, university-wide sources of research funding, such as grants through the Institute for Study in the Liberal Arts or the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.
- Research-intensive mentoring from faculty affiliated with the Sheedy Family Program. Students will choose a faculty advisor to supervise and guide their project. Prof. Blaschko and Prof. Hedlin will also be available to offer feedback and support.
- A cohort of Sheedy Scholars, who can offer accountability and support throughout the writing process. Sheedy Scholars can expect to meet with their cohort at least biweekly for progress check-ins and group writing sessions.
The application for the Sheedy Scholars program opens annually on October 1 and closes on October 31. Applicants will receive decisions in early November. The cohort will meet for the first time in December to talk through the timeline for the thesis project.
The application, available via Google Forms, requires the following:
- A project description, including the methods and disciplinary resources you’ll use and an account of how you’ll bring the study of business and the liberal arts to bear on one another. This can be a tentative project description; you are not locked into the project you describe here. We’re more interested in assessing the scope, originality, and feasibility of your thinking.
- A short essay responding to the question, “How will completing a research project of this scale and on this topic fit into your overall career goals?”
- A statement outlining the kind of resources or support you will need in completing your project. If you know the name of the faculty member with whom you intend to work, you’ll have the option of including that, too. (Make sure you ask them first!)
- The name and email address of a faculty recommender (either your advisor or someone who can attest to your aptitude for academic work).
- A commitment to taking the year-long thesis writing course and attending regular (approximately monthly) Sheedy Scholars cohort check-ins.
To be eligible for the Scholars Track, students must be in their junior year and either have a GPA of 3.5 or higher or secure a letter from their advisor recommending them for the program.
Note: The application process for the Scholars Track is separate from the general Sheedy Family Program application.