An orange program titled "Syracuse University Scholars Reception" rests on a black cushioned chairSyracuse University Scholars - FAQs

Can a school or college nominate a student who transferred to Syracuse University?

Yes. The student should have a clear record of achievement at Syracuse and a copy of the student’s transcript from the previous institution must be part of the nomination portfolio.

Can a school or college nominate a student graduated in December?

Yes. The student should be willing and able to participate in the May Commencement ceremonies.

If a student is dually enrolled in two (or more) colleges at Syracuse, which school or college should submit the nomination?

Students may be nominated by only one school or college. In the case of dually enrolled students, it is the responsibility of the schools and colleges to discuss with each other, and with the student, which unit will submit the nomination. The student's portfolio should include representations of their work in both colleges in order to provide a comprehensive picture of their academic achievements.

How does the selection committee define "outstanding academic achievement" when evaluating candidates for Syracuse University Scholar?

Every student who is nominated for University Scholar by their school or college is stellar. Outstanding academic achievement is a nuanced characteristic that can be demonstrated differently within various fields of study; however, in all cases student must exhibit:

  • Outstanding academic achievement through independent research or creative endeavor within the classroom, laboratory or studio
  • Evidence of notable intellectual growth and/or innovation in their disciplinary field
  • Contributions to the academic environment and endeavors of the school, college and university

Leadership and service activities will only factor into the selection process when they are directly linked to the student’s academic work or interests.

Who should write letters of recommendation for University Scholar nominees?

The candidate must submit three letters of recommendation: two letters of recommendation must be from Syracuse University faculty (including one from the nominee’s primary faculty mentor); the additional letter may come from a recommender either within or outside the University. Letter writers should know the candidate well and be able to explain in detail, and with examples, why the candidate demonstrated “outstanding academic achievement” as described above. It is not necessary for each writer (except for the primary faculty mentor) to address all of the criteria; a writer can and should focus on the area or way in which s/he best knows the nominee.  If a candidate has more than one major, or a minor that is central to their academic work, they should try to submit a portfolio of letters that will represent the breadth of their academic activities.

How should schools and colleges ensure that their candidates submit the most comprehensive and well-written portfolios?

The school or college selection committee should encourage their nominees to use the resources available to them, including faculty or staff advisors and counselors who can assist the nominee in developing the most comprehensive and appropriate portfolio. The materials submitted should demonstrate and reflect the nominee’s full body of work and attributes.