For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Emerging Scholars Program

The Emerging Scholars Program at Drexel is custom-built for the needs of today’s world. This two-year, competitive program is designed for students interested in the humanities and social sciences. It takes a holistic approach to the first years of college, allowing students to explore the liberal arts, while providing close mentorship and hands-on experiences to help guide them in choosing a major that’s right for them.


  • Two-year program for students interested in the humanities and social sciences
  • Admission is limited to 25 students per year
  • Living-learning Community: Students take courses together and live in the same dormitory
  • Custom curriculum introduces students to range of majors in humanities and social sciences
  • Travel and Community-Based courses are integrated into the curriculum
  • Co-op with a Non-Profit: Co-op experiences are arranged for the student during the second year

Program Details

Year 1: Explore the World. The theme of the first year curriculum is The World. Sample courses include Global Pop-Culture; America and the World; and Self, Society and Environment. Students are also able to participate in a travel-integrated course, which complements course material with an international trip over the summer.

Year 2: Discover Philadelphia. The theme of the second year is Philadelphia and sample courses include Communication and the City; the History of Philadelphia; Philosophy of Life and Death; Writing In and Across Disciplines; and the Scholarly Autobiography. Students also participate in a community-based course in which they learn side-by-side with community members—from prison inmates to hospice patients to low-income Philadelphians—gaining a richer understanding of course material and the experiences of their fellow citizens.

Co-op at a Non-Profit: Importantly, Emerging Scholars will also participate in Drexel University’s renowned Cooperative Education Program. A co-op position will be arranged for the student within a Philadelphia-based, non-profit organization during the second year. These experiences expose students to career options, strengthen their resumes and professional network, and support the worthy endeavors of community organizations.

Live and Learn With Your Peers. Students accepted into the Emerging Scholars Program will join a Living-Learning Community—they will take courses together with other Emerging Scholars and also share a dormitory.

By the end of the second year, students will be well prepared to declare a major that truly fits their career goals. If they decide earlier, they are invited to declare a major at any time, following the first year of the program.


Students interested in the humanities and social sciences, and who are still considering their choice of major, are eligible to apply. Applicants should be passionate students who want to become leaders in their field and community and who are interested in impacting the world through their work.


The program is competitive and only 25 students are accepted per year. To apply, please submit an essay on the following topic to the program director, Lloyd Ackert, PhD, at

Essay Topic

The Emerging Scholars Program at Drexel is designed to provide an intellectual space for students as they contemplate their place in academia and in society. Although these students are still deciding on their specific majors and career paths, they share a drive to succeed and to make a positive impact on the world. In an essay of 250 words, please use these values to discuss how your background and future interests make you an excellent candidate for this program, and how the program would help you attain your goals.