McConnell Scholars Program

Applications due Dec. 15

Open to graduating Kentucky high school seniors. Application materials include an essay on leadership, resume and two letters of recommendation. Frequently Asked Questions »

McConnell Scholars

McConnell Scholars receive a four-year renewable scholarship to attend the University of Louisville where they are leaders on campus. Ten new Scholars are added to the program each year with a total group size of 40 students in the program at one time. Scholars continually earn top positions in student government and campus organizations and excel in a variety of academic programs at UofL, including majoring in the arts, engineering, music, pre-medicine, pre-law and political science, among others. Scholars must at least minor in political science at the University of Louisville.

Scholars share their experiences, research and creative writing on our blog. Our Readers' Choice Award honors one of these pieces each semester.

Enriching Opportunities Outside the Classroom

In addition to tuition scholarship awards, McConnell Scholars are given numerous enrichment opportunities outside of the traditional classroom, including:

  • a series of seminars, lectures and "great books" discussions each semester. Topics vary by year and have included Socratic-style seminars on topics ranging from dystopian literature to classics works on Western civilization. These sessions--led by UofL faculty and nationally-recognized experts, authors, professors and public officials--supplement the classroom curricula Scholars receive through their individual studies at UofL.
  • funded cohort-based travel to Washington, DC, and the People's Republic of China. The DC trip includes meetings with politicians, policy analysts and experts and visits to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Capitol and Mt. Vernon. The extended summer study to China, led by UofL political science professor Dr. Shiping Hua, allows immersion study of Chinese government at a Chinese university and travel to Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. Additional funding for individualized study and internships may be available.
  • 3,500 combined hours of annual community service. Projects vary by student interest, but recurring favorites include Project Warm, Kentucky Refugee Ministries and Habitat for Humanity. Scholars average 35 service hours per semester.
  • connecting leaders of today with leaders of tomorrow. For more than 25 years, the McConnell Center has welcomed political leaders and public servants to the University of Louisville. These leaders represent all levels of government and run the full political spectrum. Scholars have the opportunity to meet privately with such leaders, asking hard-hitting policy questions and receiving internship and career advice. Scholars also have access to the 250+ McConnell Scholar alumni network with a world-wide base of mentors in a variety of fields.
  • access to nationally competitive leadership opportunities. The Center is affiliated with other civic organizations and university programs, allowing McConnell Scholars opportunities to participate in leadership conferences. Affiliations include:
    • Harvard University's Institute of Politics' National Campaign. Learn more »
    • West Point's Student Conference on US Affairs. Learn more »
  • nationally-ranked moot court program. Coached by McConnell Scholar alumnus Sean Williamson ('11), our undergraduate moot court program, has been ranked in the top-20 programs nationally. McConnell Scholar Arsh Haque ('15) was named the top orator in the nation.