Welcome to Renaissance Scholars

“Our ideal is to help students develop the kind of intellectual flexibility needed for life in the 21st century that the best thinkers of the European Renaissance displayed” With the words above as a backdrop, President Steven B. Sample launched the USC Renaissance Scholars program in the year 2000.

The Renaissance Scholars program honors students whose broad interests help them excel academically. Like Leonardo da Vinci, who was equally adept in the arts and the sciences, Renaissance Scholars are students whose majors and minors are from widely separated fields of study.

About Renaissance Scholars

Undergraduate students at USC have the flexibility to pursue academic study in disparate fields. This curricular freedom allows students to select a major and a minor (or two majors) in widely separated fields of study. USC has a comprehensive array of undergraduate majors and minors that span the arts and humanities, the social and natural sciences, and the professions. In fact, the range of undergraduate minors is the broadest of any university in the country.

To recognize students who excel in two or more unrelated disciplines, the University has established the Steven and Kathryn Sample USC Renaissance Scholars Program.  The program was endowed in the name of former University President Steven Sample, who founded the program in 2000, and his wife Kathryn, upon the President’s retirement in 2010.

How to become a Renaissance Scholar Undergraduates can combine a major in history with a minor in business, or a major in engineering with a minor in cinema, or a double major in physics and classics, or majors and minors in scores of other pairs of disparate fields.

The objective is not just breadth in the conventional sense - not just well roundedness. Rather, the objective is breadth with depth, and the extraordinary release of intellectual energy that often occurs when two widely separate fields of thought are brought together in the same mind. Students educated in this way will be especially well prepared to confront the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. All USC undergraduates are encouraged to pursue this honor.

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Office of Undergraduate Programs University of Southern California

Undergraduate Programs
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