Student reading a book outside the CURF Center

Undergraduate Research Scholars

Invitations to join or apply to specific scholar programs are made at the time students are admitted.  Students can also apply directly to designated programs at the end of their first year of study.  

Benjamin Franklin Scholars

Benjamin Franklin Scholars are selected based on their deep engagement in the liberal arts and sciences, both as a broad foundation of knowledge and as engines of change in the world.

University Scholars

The University Scholars program promotes long-term, original, independent undergraduate research while facilitating innovation, conversation, and collaboration among faculty and students across academic disciplines.

Integrated Studies Program

Students accepted into Benjamin Franklin Scholars (BFS) who are also enrolled in the College engage in a unique liberal arts and sciences education. It begins with a special first-year curriculum, Integrated Studies, which surveys the broad territory of the arts and sciences and continues into the sophomore, junior, and senior years with an open invitation to participate in a wide array of BFS seminars. Scholars choose among these advanced-topic seminars according to their interests, with minimal prerequisites, and from a wide variety of fields.

The Joseph Wharton Scholars Program

Founded in 1988 as part of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars program, the Joseph Wharton Scholars Program was designed to emphasize the importance of breadth in the liberal arts and sciences within the framework of a business education.

Nursing Undergraduate Honors Program

Students enrolled in the School of Nursing who are selected for the Nursing Undergraduate Honors Program (NUHP) are simultaneously designated Benjamin Franklin Scholars. NUHP develops the next generation of nurse achievers—scholars, leaders, and researchers—by promoting intellectual rigor, academic excellence, and outstanding achievement. NUHP looks for highly motivated, inquisitive students who thrive on challenge, want to take more intellectually stimulating courses, and wish to contribute to knowledge and practice via scholarship and research. NUHP Scholars meet with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to create an individualized plan of study and are required to take at least three BFS seminars while at Penn (see above).

Clark Scholars within Penn Engineering

Clark Scholars Program, funded through a gift from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, provides financial support for engineering students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated financial need. Students enrolled in the cohort-based program will pursue a rigorous engineering curriculum, take at least 1-2 business courses, participate in community service and leadership seminars, engage in research internships and seminars, and interact with faculty leaders in the field. By combining engineering, leadership, business skills and service learning, the Clark Scholars Program aims to foster engineer-leaders dedicated to civic engagement and the public good. Penn will aim to enroll the first cohort of ten students in the fall of 2018.

Rachleff Scholars Program within Penn Engineering

The Rachleff Scholars Program offers Penn Engineering undergraduates the opportunity to gain valuable research experience with standing faculty and to join a community of peers who share an interest in research and scholarly inquiry.

Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Molecular Sciences

Students in the Vagelos Scholars Program in Molecular Life Sciences are interested in the molecular view of life and plan to pursue research careers in science, pure and applied, including medicine.

We encourage students and candidates to contact program participants. Current students (peer advisors) in the Vagelos Molecular program who can provide insight and one-on-one interactions can be contacted at

Civic Scholars

Penn Civic Scholars commit to four years of civic service and scholarship with close faculty mentorship and receive recognition at graduation. Through a sustained and connected approach, Penn Civic Scholars engage in community service or social advocacy work, special pro-seminars, summer internships, selected courses, and capstone research projects aimed at public policy recommendations.