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Freshman Registration 2022/23

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Jefferson Scholar Lounge

A Message from the Directors

Welcome to the Jefferson Scholars Program! Our program is just a few years old, but what it contains is something that has provoked, challenged, and inspired many generations of students seeking a liberal education: a first-hand, rigorous encounter with the great books that helped to make our world what it is, and that can equip you to face new challenges well.

The Jefferson Scholars Program will educate you as leaders and as citizens, but first of all, as human beings. Prepare to be startled, puzzled, and disturbed. Prepare to question what you think you know, but, also perhaps, to discover in your own minds the first stirrings of wisdom about things you may have thought no one could know. Prepare to listen, to take risks, and to enter into debates with your classmates, your professors, your books, and, not least of all, with yourselves.

There is a great deal of talk these days about the economic value of an education. You have perhaps also heard that UT Austin is a great party school. Learning how to think is always useful, and college should certainly be fun. But most of all, college should be a time to enjoy a precious kind of freedom, rare in human history, rare even or especially in modern day America, with all of our incredible busy-ness and networking and multi-tasking and start-ups and connectivity—and that is the freedom of true leisure. The ancient Greeks asked themselves what was most worthwhile in life, after we set aside the work we must do out of necessity and the play we need in order to relax from work, and their answer was: serious leisure, at the heart of which they put the pursuit of learning.

You will soon be arriving on the campus of a great university, a place where you can follow your curiosity about almost anything in the world, study it at the highest level, and discuss it with like-minded students. You have probably never been so free as you soon will find yourselves. Once all life’s responsibilities begin to crowd in on you after graduation, you may never be so free again. Make the most of it!

Our best,

Lorraine Pangle & Thomas Pangle

Fall 2022 Jefferson Scholars Activities and Events


Jefferson Scholars Program Fall Opening Lecture

“Free Speech and Liberal Education”

Lorraine Pangle, Co-Director and Professor of Government

Sunday, August 21, 5 pm, location Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302)

Thursday Lunch Seminar Series

Throughout the year we will have professors give short, informal talks over lunch on topics related to your coursework in the program. These will all be on Thursdays from 12:30 to 2, so please keep that time free in your schedule if possible.

Peer Mentors

As part of our effort to create a small-college learning experience within the large university that is UT, we would like to encourage all freshman Jefferson Scholars to take advantage of the opportunity to be paired with a peer mentor. Mentors are current Jefferson Scholars who will have a fund that they can draw on to take you to lunch, coffee, recreational events like hikes, Frisbee, and bowling, and cultural events on and off campus. You can choose your own mentor by visiting our peer mentor page. Click here to request a mentor  or email us at

Jefferson Book Club

The Jefferson Book Club meets approximately every 2 weeks for an informal discussion of a short work or selection from a great book. This fall the meetings will be held on Mondays at 5 pm.

Overview of Jefferson Scholars Coursework


The complete Jefferson Scholars Program consists of six related courses, leading to the Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. This sequence of courses, which can be completed in your first three semesters or spread out over as many semesters as necessary to accommodate the needs of your major, will serve several functions in your academic program.

First, the program gives you the foundation for a rich liberal education with an in-depth exploration of major questions, ideas, and books that have shaped the modern world. The program includes one course in each of these four areas:

  • ancient Greek philosophy and literature
  • the Bible and its various interpreters
  • the history of political philosophy
  • the founding principles of the United States and their subsequent development

Two electives on other great books of the Western and Eastern traditions complete the program.

Second, these same course will give you a coherent path through the UT core curriculum. Depending on your selections, you can satisfy the following UT Core requirements with your JSP coursework:

  • Signature Course
  • Social Science
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • US History
  • US Government

And you can fulfill the following flags requirements::

  • Writing
  • Global Cultures
  • Ethics
  • Cultural Diversity

Third, when you complete the six courses you will earn the Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas, which will satisfy the minor/certificate requirement for majors that require one, and will provide an additional credential for students in other programs. 

You can view the Certificate Plan and list of approved electives here:


Registration Information


Please show the following information to your academic advisor.

Registering for the Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas

When you come for orientation you should tell your advisor you will be working towards the Core Texts and Ideas Certificate. If your major program requires a minor or certificate, this will serve that function. Formal registration for a certificate is possible only after classes have begun, so at that time we will initiate the application for the certificate on your behalf and you will receive a secure academic note (SAN) from the registrar, prompting you to see your advisor to complete the process. Please contact your advisor as soon as your receive that SAN.

Selecting Courses

The Jefferson Scholars Program begins with a fall course on ancient Greek philosophy and literature and, for those with room in their schedule, a second course on the founding principles of the United States and their subsequent development. These courses are designed to complement one another, exploring the theme of liberty in the ancient and modern worlds, the character of human thriving,  and the place of reason or enlightenment in guiding human life. Since the courses address common themes from different perspectives, you are encouraged to take both together if you are able to.

All Jefferson Scholars should begin with a course on Ancient Greece. Unless you are in a special program that requires its own Signature (UGS) Course, you should choose the following course, preferably one of these sections that have been reserved for Jefferson Scholars:

63605   UGS 303          The Challenge of the Greeks               T Th 2-3:30, F 1-2       Stauffer

63610   UGS 303          The Challenge of the Greeks               T Th 2-3:30, F 2-3       Stauffer

63615   UGS 303          The Challenge of the Greeks               T Th 2-3:30, F 3-4       Stauffer


Or, if you are in the CNS JSP FIG, you will be registered for this section:

63595   UGS 303          The Challenge of the Greeks               T Th 2-3:30, F 11-12   Stauffer


If you are in a special program that requires its own Signature (UGS) Course or cannot fit the above into your schedule, you should register for one of the following small sections of our other introductory course, in which seats have also been reserved for you:

29790   CTI 301G        Introduction to Ancient Greece           TTH    9:30-11am        Fallis

29795   CTI 301G        Introduction to Ancient Greece           TTH    11-12:30pm     Fallis


If you cannot fit any of the above into your schedule, you may register for the large lecture lecture section of the same course:

29785   CTI 301G        Introduction to Ancient Greece           MWF   10-11am          Rabinowitz


If your schedule permits a second JSP course, please enroll in one of the following, all of which have seats reserved for you:

38365   GOV 312P      Constitutional Principles: Core Texts   TTH    8-9:30am          Brennan

38370   GOV 312P      Constitutional Principles: Core Texts   MWF   9-10am            Futscher

38375   GOV 312P      Constitutional Principles: Core Texts   MWF   10-11am          Mead


In choosing your courses, please keep Thursdays from 12:30 – 2 free in your schedule if possible, since we often schedule events for Jefferson Scholars then.



A Message from Academic Advisor Megan Mckay

Hello Jefferson Scholars!!  Congratulations on being accepted into the Jefferson Scholars Program, and welcome to the University of Texas at Austin. We look forward to having you this fall.

To reserve space in the courses you have selected, please fill out the Google form that I will email you a link to the week before your orientation session—and please let me know if you have any questions at all.

Megan Mckay, Academic Advising Coordinator
Department of Government and Jefferson Center
1 University Station A1800, BAT 2.102
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas, 78712

Course Descriptions


CTI 301G Introduction to Ancient Greece

This course introduces students to the history, the culture, the religion, and above all the thought of the ancient Greeks. The material for this course will consist almost entirely of primary sources. We will begin with a unit on Greek history in which we will use passages from Thucydides and Herodotus to try to see what was unique about the Greeks and what they saw as unique about themselves. We will then study closely some of the chief literary and philosophic works of ancient Greece, including Homeric Epic, tragedies, and Platonic dialogues.

UGS 302 Classical Philosophy and Literature

An introduction to the philosophy and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, including Homer's Iliad, some of Plato's dialogues (including the Republic), Aristophanes' Clouds, selections from Aristotle's Ethics and Politics, Cicero's On Obligations and On the Laws, and selections from Virgil's Aeneid and Plutarch's Lives. The course will include two historical simulations from Reacting to the Past, one set in ancient Athens at the time of Socrates' trial, and the other in ancient Rome in the aftermath of Julius Caesar's assassination.

UGS 303 The Challenge of the Greeks

This course will study works of ancient Greek historians, statesmen, tragic and comic dramatists, and philosophers to explore abiding questions and issues of human existence as they first emerged in the brilliant, tumultuous world of ancient republicanism. We will focus especially on the challenge that philosophic rationalism and science posed to traditional conceptions of justice and religious belief, and the ways in which philosophic thinkers defended their claim to provide the best guidance for life.

CTI 304 The Bible and Its Interpreters

A study of basic religious texts, this course includes both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, examined from various perspectives (including comparative, historical, philosophical, and literary), with emphasis on the fundamental questions and ideas raised in those texts. The course seeks to develop a wide-ranging familiarity with the Jewish and Christian Bibles and with the dominant modes of ancient, medieval, and early modern biblical interpretation. Readings include an extensive range of primary sources, including both the Scriptures themselves and some of their most influential exegetes.

GOV 312P Constitutional Principles: Core Texts

This class is a study of the basic principles of American political life: democracy, equality, and liberty. Through a close reading of core texts of the American political tradition, we will attempt to see how these ideals took hold in the US, what arguments were made on their behalf, and what possible pitfalls there are for a society dedicated to those ideals. In exploring the theme of equality in America, a substantial unit will study the theme of slavery and race in America and the writings of African-American thinkers.