About the Program
Learn more about the McConnell Scholarship
The McConnell Scholars Program is a rigorous and prestigious academic program for a select group of interdisciplinary undergraduate students majoring or minoring in political science at the University of Louisville. Over the course of four years, McConnell Scholars meet a variety of national, state and local leaders and study with some of the finest faculty in the nation. All McConnell Scholars have a strong passion for leadership, scholarship and service.
Only 10 graduating high school seniors from Kentucky are awarded the McConnell Scholarship and admitted to the McConnell Scholars Program.
See the World: Travel as a Scholar
Students travel to Washington, D.C., meeting with politicians and their staffs, policy analysts, and experts. Visits to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, and Mt. Vernon are part of the traditional itinerary. Scholars also venture to the People's Republic of China for an extended summer study abroad program. In addition to studying Chinese politics and government at a Chinese university, McConnell Scholars travel to Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. Additionally, Scholars annually gather at a Kentucky state park for a leadership retreat, exposing Scholars to the diversity of the Commonwealth.
A Distinguished Legacy: Connecting Leaders of Today with Kentucky's Leaders of Tomorrow
For the past 20 years, the McConnell Center has welcomed numerous political leaders and public servants to the University of Louisville. These leaders represent all levels and branches of government and run the full political spectrum. McConnell Scholars meet privately with these leaders, asking hard-hitting policy questions and gaining insight into Washington politics and advice about internship and career paths.
Former speakers have included the U.S. President and Vice President, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, heads of state, foreign ambassadors and U.S. cabinet members.
Liberal Arts Education: A Lifetime of Learning
Scholars regularly take part in liberal arts seminars and "great book" discussions. Topics vary considerably and have included sessions on "The Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter" as well as "Augustine's Confessions" and "Plato's Republic." Outside of the Program, Scholars excel in a variety of disciplines including the arts, engineering, music, pre-medicine, pre-law, and political science, among others.
Service: Giving Back
Scholars participate in about 400 hours of community service each semester. Projects vary annually, but recurring favorites include Halloween at the Zoo, Project Warm and Habitat for Humanity.
Moot Court: Continued Success at Regional and National Competition
Limited to McConnell Scholars, moot court students engage theoretical and legal constructs in simulated appellate court cases. Students spend a semester researching, writing and practicing their oral arguments. Scholars have consistently ranked in regional competition and have competed at the national level.
Networking: Over 200 Alumni
Over the past 20 years, the McConnell Scholars has welcomed over 200 leaders into its alumni network. Scholars have access to this world-wide base of mentors and experience.