Seeking something beyond a traditional major? These Baylor programs are for you
Baylor is annually ranked among the best universities in the nation, with 140+ highly regarded baccalaureate programs. But even that’s not enough for some students, who are looking for something extra rigorous (and perhaps something that crosses the borders of more traditional majors).
For such Bears, Baylor offers three distinct scholar programs — Business Fellows, University Scholars, and Science Research Fellows — that let students mix traditional business, liberal arts or science programs to offer extra opportunities:
Launched in 2007, the Baylor Business Fellows program allows students to blend a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with other fields of study that apply to their interests. For example, a student could major in economics and minor in studio art. Or, one could focus on accounting while minoring in religion.
“This flexibility within Business Fellows allows me to take control of my education,” says Tempe, Ariz., junior Caleb Skinner. “I feel like I’m taking classes that interest me and will benefit my career.”
The program highly encourages students to study abroad and learn different languages. These aspects set BBF grads a part from other applicants in the workforce. Many students use this major to combine a business degree with pre-med or pre-law degrees, setting them up for a dynamic career in the future.
The University Scholars program is designed for those seeking a liberal arts education covering two or more subjects, usually in completely different schools of thought. Affectionately called “USchol,” the program is an extension of Baylor’s Honors College, and is highly competitive; it currently represents approximately 2% of Baylor’s incoming class, and often includes National Merit Finalists.
“I’ve always been interested in a lot of different subjects, so I’d looked forward to college as a time to explore varying topics,” says Spring, Texas, sophomore Abigail Reed. “USchol made it possible for me to study music and math — two things I’m super passionate about — in a challenging, thoughtful way. This is truly my dream education and will (hopefully) lead to a dream job.”
University Scholars allows students to work with faculty advisors and faculty mentors to create a specialized course of study that reflects each student’s academic interests and professional goals. Students within this program are strongly encouraged to pursue both depth and breadth of study across the sciences and humanities, and are required to complete an exit interview and senior thesis.
Science Research Fellows, established in 2017, offers a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary major that provides Baylor students an academic foundation for successful research in the sciences — including (but not limited to) anthropology, biology, chemistry, geology and physics.
“Science Research Fellows gives me individualized mentorship and guidance to make my career goals a reality. I absolutely love research, and with this degree, I’m able to dedicate my time to it while also collaborating with like-minded peers,” says Brooklyn, N.Y. sophomore Sai Sagireddy. “I’m currently studying biology, medical humanities, and corporate innovation. I envision a career involving both patient care and research.”
Science Research Fellows are guaranteed research opportunities with faculty throughout their time at Baylor and are required to join a research lab to conduct their own projects. Ideally, these students aspire to continue their work at the doctoral level. This selective major only admits 10 students each year.
Each of these programs are admissions-based — you can learn more about that process here, here and here — but that selectivity offers such special perks as smaller class sizes and specialized help from renowned faculty. These programs are just another way Baylor’s academic opportunities set our students’ experience apart from other schools.
Sic ’em, Bears!