College of Liberal Arts

The Foundation Scholars Program


What is the Foundation Scholars Program (FSP)?

The FSP is an academic transition program for highly motivated first-year students. The Foundation Scholars are a diverse body of Liberal Arts students with varying career interests and academic majors. They bring a demonstrated record of academic achievement and are strongly motivated to maintain a tradition of academic excellence at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Foundation Scholars Program is designed to help students:

  • Maintain higher GPAs than students not connected to a support program such as Foundation Scholars

  • Graduate at higher rates

  • Learn about and apply for academic awards

  • Actively participate in undergraduate research, service, spirit organizations, and honor societies

  • Enter graduate programs in law, medicine, pharmacy, and various liberal arts research fields at prestigious institutions

Why the Foundation Scholars Community?

Academic Development

Balance between small and large courses

A balanced approach to course sizes helps first-year students adjust to UT Austin’s learning environment.

Linked courses

Foundation Scholars will be able to enroll in courses alongside other FSP students with similar academic interests. The relationships students develop in these courses often go beyond the classroom, enabling Foundation Scholars to build long-term friendships and study partners. Examples of linked courses include:

LA 101

LA 101: Liberal Arts Planning and Pathways is a one-hour pass/fail course designed exclusively for first-year students in the College of Liberal Arts. In sections taught by FSP staff and restricted exclusively to Foundation Scholars, students will learn what it takes to become a successful Foundation Scholar and Liberal Arts student.

Reserved seats in required first-year core courses

Registration is easier when you are a Foundation Scholar because the FSP reserves space in hard-to-get core courses with the best faculty, such as psychology, government, a UGS signature course, economics, social science, and history.

Signature course

All Foundation Scholars will have a reserved space in an engaging first-year seminar during their first semester which will provide a strong academic foundation.

Personal Interaction


Foundation Scholars will enjoy the support of an upper-division peer mentor during their first year in college. Foundation Scholars mentors are talented and high-achieving upper-division students who assist Foundation Scholars with any academic or personal challenges they may face as they transition to college. The student to mentor ratio is typically 5:1. Mentors will meet with their mentees either individually or in groups on a weekly basis. Mentors are well-trained and supervised by FSP staff.

Academic advisor

The Foundation Scholars advisor is a specialist in the courses and policies of the College of Liberal Arts and is available exclusively to assist Foundation Scholars with the guidance they need to make informed academic decisions. As the FSP’s full-time dedicated staff member, the advisor will be a constant resource for students in the FSP.

Complimentary tutoring at Sanger Learning Center

Foundation Scholars will be provided with content-based one-on-one tutoring at the Sanger Learning Center, compliments of the FSP. The rate for this service would otherwise be $14/hour.

Supplemental activities

The FSP will host an assortment of extracurricular activities for Foundation Scholars, including a fall semester kick-off event and an academic recognition banquet.

Eligibility for Academic Excellence Awards

Foundation Scholars who complete 30 hours (24 hours in-residence) during their first full academic year and who earn a minimum 3.0 GPA are eligible to receive up to $1000 in Academic Excellence Awards. Students who earn a 3.5 GPA or better are eligible to receive up to $1500 in awards.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Latisha McCray, M.A.
Program Coordinator
Foundation Scholars Program
College of Liberal Arts
305 E. 23rd Street
CLA 1.304
Austin, TX 78712