Jefferson Scholars Program
The Jefferson Scholars Program is a new, interdisciplinary program in the great books for highly motivated freshmen and sophomores in every college and major of the University. Taught by stellar faculty, often in small classes, and including extensive opportunities for discussion and practice in writing, it offers a way to meet UT core requirements while engaging in a sustained inquiry into fundamental questions and debates that have driven human history. On completing the program, students will earn the Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas, which will be recognized on their transcript at graduation.
An Education for Liberty
You are young, talented, and the world lies before you. No one else can decide for you how you should use the unprecedented freedom we enjoy in America. Reflect on what freedom is, when and why it is good, and how you might best take advantage of it.
An Education for Leaders in Every Field
Learn what great leadership is all about. Learn to ask the questions no one else is asking, but should be. Explore the deepest needs and passions that motivate people. Reflect upon where we should be going as a people, and what it might take to get us there.
An Education for Life
Have great conversations. Make friends with fascinating people. Think about what you really believe in, and what you really want to accomplish in this one life you have to live.
First semester: Justice, Human and Divine
CTI 304 The Bible and Its Interpreters (David Newheiser) carries UT Writing Flag
CTI 303 Classics of Political and Social Thought (Erik Dempsey) satisfies UT Social Science requirement
Together these two courses will examine some of history’s most profound reflections on good and evil, on human nature and the character of human excellence, on whether there is a God and what can be known about him, and on the principles that should guide our collective lives as political communities.
Second semester: Freedom, Ancient and Modern
UGS 303 Discovery of Freedom (Paul Woodruff) satisfies UT Signature Course requirement
HIS 317L Era of the American Revolution (Robert Olwell) partially satisfies UT American History requirement
These two courses will explore the meaning of freedom and the promises and challenges of self-government as they were first explored in the free city-states and the philosophical debates of ancient Greece, and as they were taken up in a new spirit by the people who made the American Revolution.
Third semester: Leaders and Leadership
GOV 312P America’s Constitutional Principles (Government department faculty) partially satisfies UT United States Government requirement
CTI 350 Masterworks of World Drama (Elon Lang) satisfies UT Visual and Performing Arts requirement
The third semester includes an intensive study of the US Constitution, the statesmen who formed it, and the vision of justice and liberty that it embodies, with selective study of the way these principles have played out in the nation’s history under leaders who have worked to realize the vision of the founding. Paired with this course will be a course studying major works of drama from antiquity to the present, with a focus on the theme of just and effective leadership.
A RICH INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITY
The Jefferson Center is a community of scholars and students who share a love of great books and thoughtful conversation. Jefferson Scholars will get to know professors over lunch and fellow students at coffee hours, informal book discussions, and organized outings to plays, classical music concerts, jazz clubs, and museums. A small stipend allows the scholars to begin building their own libraries of great books and to buy tickets to attend cultural events together. Both inside and outside of class, the scholars can thus enjoy the benefits of a small liberal arts college within a large university setting.