Special Academic Opportunities
Student Fellowships and Scholarships
The Office of Student Fellowships and Scholarships coordinates information on external awards for undergraduate and graduate study and provides support to students wishing to apply for these prestigious awards. In the past five years Ursinus students have received numerous highly competitive national awards including Rhodes, Fulbright, Watson, Udall, Goldwater, and Kemper awards. Details
Academic Honor Societies
Phi Beta Kappa: Phi Beta Kappa is a national academic honor society founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., on Dec. 5, 1776. The stated purpose of Phi Beta Kappa is to “recognize and encourage scholarship, friendship, and cultural interests.” The Ursinus College chapter, Tau of Pennsylvania, was approved on October 19, 1991. Composed of faculty members holding Phi Beta Kappa keys, the chapter confers membership on the basis of “high scholarship, liberal culture, and good character.” Election to Phi Beta Kappa is considered the highest academic honor for undergraduate students.
Cub and Key Society: The Cub and Key Society was founded in 1939 at Ursinus College to recognize the male leaders of the campus who have distinguished themselves through high scholastic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, and service to the College community. Election to the society is limited to second-semester juniors.
Whitian Society: The Whitian Society was founded in 1939 at Ursinus College by Dr. Elizabeth B. White, professor of history and dean of women. The society recognizes the achievements of women who have distinguished themselves through outstanding academic performance, in addition to leadership and service to the College. Election to the society is limited to second-semester juniors.
Discipline-Based Honor Societies
These include: Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society; Beta Beta Beta, an honorary society for the biological sciences; Chi Omega Lambda, the Ursinus chapter of Chi Omega Lambda, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology honor society; Kappa Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society; Modern Languages Honor Society, the Ursinus College modern languages honor society; Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society in neuroscience; Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society in economics; Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society; Phi Epsilon Kappa, the national honor society in health and exercise physiology; Pi Sigma Alpha, the national social science honor society; Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology; Sigma Iota Epsilon, the national honorary and professional management fraternity; Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society; Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society; Theta Chi, the Ursinus chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communications honor society; and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for the computing and information disciplines. Details
Arrangements have been made with the engineering schools of Columbia University and Case Western Reserve University to which a student may apply for transfer after completing three years of prescribed work toward a B.A. or B.S. at Ursinus College. Ursinus will grant the B.A. or B.S. after the student has satisfied the requirements for that degree, usually on satisfactory completion of the fourth year. The engineering school will grant the engineering degree, and Ursinus will grant the B.A. or B.S. on satisfactory completion of the fifth year. The student may participate in the Ursinus Commencement ceremony in the fourth year, provided requirements for that degree are complete. Transfer to other engineering schools (without formal affiliation) is also possible. Details
Pre-Health Advising Program
The Health Professions Advising Committee at Ursinus serves all students interested in pursuing careers in the health care field. The committee serves students interested in, but not limited to, medical school (allopathic and osteopathic), dental school, veterinary school, optometry school, and physician assistant programs. The Chair of the Health Professions Advising committee serves as the “health professions adviser” for all students until junior year, holds group meetings, and organizes speakers. Each junior is assigned an adviser from the interdisciplinary Health Professions Advising Committee. Advisers assist in revising personal statements, team up to provide “practice” interviews for students about to apply, and write up composite recommendation letters to send to medical schools. Details
Pre-Law Advising Program
The Pre-Law program provides support for those students considering a career related to the law. The Pre-Law program is directed by a coordinator assisted by pre-law faculty advisers from across the disciplines, including Biology, Business and Economics, Chemistry, English, History, Sociology, Mathematics and Computer Science Philosopphy, Applied Ethics and Politics, who are meant to serve as advocates and providers of information to students with whom they come in contact. No particular major provides the “best” path to a legal career. Students considering legal careers should choose majors and courses that can help them understand human experience while developing the reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning skills necessary for success in legal work. These skills can be obtained from courses in a wide array of departments in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Details
Students who are considering entering a school of theology or seminary after graduation are encouraged to discuss their plans with members of the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and with the Campus Chaplain. Most seminaries and schools of theology will accept students from any academic major. In general, a broad background in the humanities, arts, social science, and sciences is desirable. Also, students should check with their denomination for more specific details regarding entrance requirements.
Peace Corps Preparatory Program
The Peace Corps Preparatory Program prepares civic-minded students for international service with the Peace Corps or work in international development more generally. Students enrolled in this program are expected to complete coursework and engage in community service opportunities that reflect the Peace Corps’ focus on international development, practical experience related to its project areas, and foreign language study. Students who successfully meet the specific requirements established by their institution are more competitive Peace Corps applicants and receive a signed certificate of completion from the Peace Corps. Details
Foreign Language Integration Option (FL)
This program allows students to use their language abilities in courses outside the language departments. Faculty members in the disciplines who wish to make their courses available for the foreign language integration option decide, in conjunction with individual students and in consultation with a member of the modern or classical language departments, on the amount and type of language work involved. This work typically includes readings from books, newspapers or articles, or paper writing, and it substitutes for English language work.