The Capstone Scholars Program provides a unique blend of learning and living experiences. It takes students on a personal journey of self-discovery while providing academic and social opportunities.
A recent Capstone Scholar, Alyssa Trenery, says "I can honestly say that the Capstone Scholars Program has significantly enhanced my college experience. Through Capstone I was able to make some of the best friendships of my life, receive valuable advice from the outstanding Capstone Scholars staff, get involved in a number of activities on- and off-campus, and learn more about myself."
How do students become Capstone Scholars?
Students are invited into the Capstone Scholars Program as incoming freshmen, based on the information they submit in their application for admission. No separate application is required, and Capstone is open to all majors. All accepted students who apply by the December 1 deadline are given consideration, and Capstone Scholars are usually notified of their admission into the program in early March. Students admitted into the program for fall 2018 presented midrange SAT scores of 1340-1410 (critical reading and math sections only), midrange ACT composite scores of 29-31, and very strong high school GPAs.
What's life like as a Capstone Scholar?
Our Capstone Scholars will form a close bond by taking some courses, like our award-winning University 101 class, together. They'll also participate in the four pillars of the program: Academics, Leadership, Social, and Service. A variety of activities are planned each semester that support the pillars, such as Capstone Conversations with a faculty member, service activities at local non-profits, and even special Study Abroad opportunities.
Where do Capstone Scholars live?
Capstone Scholars enjoy the "suite" life in two of our residences, Capstone Hall and Columbia Hall. The halls are adjacent to each other and near many academic buildings where students will have their classes. Students can also study or relax in their own home away from home, the Capstone Study Shack. The study shack has areas for collaborative study, a full kitchen, and wireless access. It's also home to a favorite Capstone tradition, Hot Cookie Friday.
Can Capstone Scholars study abroad?
Capstone Scholars can and do! Through special Study Abroad programs, students often spend their spring break and Maymester abroad. Locations and courses are often selected based on student interest. Recently Capstone Scholars traveled to Nicaragua for service learning in international healthcare, experienced sustainable living in Iceland, and went on journey of self discovery in Spain and Morocco.
What special opportunities exist for Capstone Scholars?
Many offices across USC have special programs set up just for Capstone Scholars. Scholars can participate in the emerging leaders program with the Office of Leadership Programs. This eight week program provides students the tools they need to lead on campus.
The USC Career Center has partnered with Capstone Scholars to provide the Experiential Education grant, which can be used during the summer and major semester.
Capstone Scholars can compete for a $2,000 grant through the Study Abroad office to help fund study away trips during the Maymester and summer terms.
The Office of Undergraduate Research provides an exclusive Magellan Apprentice grant of $1,000 that can be used to fund research across any discipline.