Emerging Scholars RAP Fall 2014

Emerging Scholars is a signature Residential Academic Program (RAP) developed in collaboration with Undergraduate Advising and Commonwealth Honors College, for under-served, under-represented, and first generation college students. This is an opportunity for students who have not yet been admitted to the Honors College to be immersed in an academic year long community, living and learning together as a cohort, and who will take advantage of the resources available to succeed at UMass Amherst whether they join the Honors College or not.  All Emerging Scholars courses are small to encourage critical thinking and intellectual engagement.  Invited students will demonstrate/indicate their interest by completing an online application. This program serves students of any discipline - with or without a declared major.

The program is for students with or without a major and is available by invitation only.

When you join this RAP you will...

  • Enroll in an honors level Gen Ed class AND a specialized RAP seminar during both fall and spring semesters (see fall semester course descriptions below).Easily transition into the Honors College upon completion of your first semester with a 3.4 or higher GPA and successful application.
  • Have special mentoring opportunities.
  • Receive personalized academic advising.
  • Make connections to helpful support programs and cultural centers.
  • Attend academic, social, and cultural events including faculty talks and field trips.


Fall 2014 Semester Course Descriptions

RAP Seminar

Honors 195C: Emerging Scholars First Year Seminar: This seminar is designed to ensure that students begin their tenure at the University by understanding the process and strategies that will be invaluable in helping them maximize their potential. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking, social and cultural skills, questioning skills, and comprehension in making sense of the educational institution, their career goals and their quality of life. Students will have the opportunity to: 

  • work collaboratively
  • meet with a cross section of faculty and staff and understand the value of advising, networking and mentoring
  • engage in dialogue and writing across their differences and  similarities as well connecting to their courses
  • begin using the library resources and learning research skills
  • understand how the Commonwealth Honors College can be beneficial to them

General Education Class

"Acting Fundamentals: Finding Yourself Onstage" Theater 190EH: (Gen Ed AL): This course introduces the basics of acting technique and is suitable both for students with no previous theater background and for those who are experienced performers. Key to our work is building an ensemble that encourages each participants ability to trust their impulses and connect fully to the body as the instrument of creativity. Through studio work, reading and writing students will:

  • Learn how to create a truthful physical life       
  • Explore the steps to take when approaching a role
  • Incorporate knowledge and discoveries into exercises and scene work
  • Develop habits to serve as a foundation for creative practice


"Intro to Sociology"- Sociology 110H (Gen Ed SBU): This course is designed as an honors level introduction to the discipline of sociology. Sociology is the scientific study of the social behaviors of people, groups, and societies. Sociologists typically study human social aggregations of all kinds, including both micro level (e.g., face-to-face social interaction and family dynamics) and macro level (e.g., multi-national corporations, governments, and population dynamics) forms of social phenomena. Students in this course will be exposed to introductory materials spanning an array of sociological topics (including culture, social networks, family, organizations, and demography, to name a few) through the use of in-class lectures, introductory and advanced level readings, discussion, assignments, and supporting films.


If you have been invited to apply to Emerging Scholars and you are accepted, please follow the outlined procedure to hold your spot.  Be sure to visit the How to Join page on this website to see the process and important timelines you must follow to become a member of this fantastic program!

"The friends I made through the RAP are still my best friends today, three years later."    


Fall 2014

ALL Emerging Scholars students will enroll in the following classes:

"Emerging Scholars First-Year Seminar"- Honors 195C (1 credit)


"Intro to Sociology"- Sociology 110H (Gen Ed SBU), 4 credits


"Acting Fundamentals: Finding Yourself Onstage" Theater 190EH: (Gen Ed AL), 4 credits


"College Writing"- English Writing 112H (Gen Ed CW), 3 credits

Spring 2015

Seminar to be determined


A designated section of "Ideas that Change the World" Honors 291A: (Gen Ed I), 4 credits


Students will live together in Melville Hall in Southwest area of campus. 


Pamela R. Marsh-Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost & Dean

This website is part of Undergraduate Advising & Learning Communities. We provide undergraduate students a variety of opportunities and services designed to facilitate the best academic experience possible. 609 Goodell Building, UMass Amherst.

UA&LC Units: Undergraduate Advising, Residential Academic Programs, Domestic Exchange Programs, Five College Interchange