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Liberal Arts Honors

The Junior Fellows Program

Who are the Junior Fellows?

A small group of up to thirty-five talented and energetic juniors and seniors selected on the basis of their intellectual ability, the quality and promise of their proposed project, and their enthusiasm for discussion.

Who may apply?

Any qualified student from any program on campus who will have completed 60 hours prior to the fall semester and who have two years left at UT. Junior Fellows normally have a GPA of at least 3.7, but outstanding students whose abilities are manifested in other ways should not hesitate to apply. Although administered by the College of Liberal Arts, the program is open to all qualified students on campus. Many students from outside Liberal Arts are members.

What does a Junior Fellow do?

Three things: (1) Each Fellow works on an independent research project under the direction of a UT faculty member, making at least one presentation of that project to the group as a whole; (2) Fellows are required to attend meetings of the group, held every other Thursday from 5 to 7 PM during both the fall and spring semesters. Besides project presentations, meetings feature discussions led by eminent scholars from on and off campus; and (3) Fellows have the opportunity to participate in field trips, seminars, and academic activities.

What are some examples of Junior Fellows' projects?

"The Effects of Metabolism on Hummingbird Flight Characteristics"; "The Myth of the Texas Cowboy: A Photo-documentary”; "Anna Freud and The Hampstead War Nurseries: History, Social Policy and Children"; "A Comparative Analysis of the U.S. and Chinese Health Care Systems"; "Pricing the Internet"; "An Analysis of Socio-demographic Profiles of Gunshot Wound Patients"; "A Film Documentary of the Evolution of Tap Dance in America"; "The Experience of German Communities in Central Texas during WWI and WW2."

How do I find a project topic?

Think back over your coursework, independent reading, and other activities in which you have been involved. Explore some idea that caught your interest but that you did not pursue at the time. To help you work through the possibilities, write down a few paragraphs about the topic. Do some general background reading to familiarize yourself with it, so that you know how manageable or involved the topic might be. Talk to faculty in the related fields for sources and information on your topic's place in their disciplines. Avoid topics that are too broad ("The Future of Education in America") or almost impossible to research ("Assessment of Saddam Hussein by Non-Baath Iraqi Citizens").

Is it possible to earn academic credit for work done as a Junior Fellow?

Yes, by enrolling in the appropriate conference course with the supervising professor. For example, Humanities and Plan II majors usually use their senior theses as their Junior Fellows projects. Students pursuing Special Honors in their major use the honors thesis number. Other non-honors courses are also available, for example ARH 376, E 367C, CH 475K, RTF 336. Fellows should register for the course that is approved by their advisers, fits into their degree plans, and has the right format for the chosen topic.

Where can I find out more about this program?

Application materials may be obtained from the Junior Fellows Program page or the Liberal Arts Honors Office, CLA 1.204, telephone 512-471-3458.