Dean’s Scholar Program Policy with regard to Majors and Degrees

A Dean’s Scholar must have a major approved by a University of Delaware academic department or college. When a Dean’s Scholar’s individual program of study crosses two or more traditional disciplines, that program must provide the same depth in a discipline that is achieved in an existing major. Sometimes, the Dean’s Scholar will earn an existing major, having requested modifications only in the general college requirements. Often, the “spirit” of an existing major is fulfilled even though some course substitutions are made. In cases where the “spirit” of a major is fulfilled, the Dean will request that the department in which the traditional major is offered allow the Dean’s Scholar to graduate with that major on the transcript.[1]

It is often the case that Dean’s Scholars have more than one major and one or more minors. Sometimes a master’s degree is earned in the course of a Dean’s Scholar Program. If a student wishes to earn a Master’s Degree, the student must apply and be admitted to a master’s degree program no later than the first semester of the senior year.

Enhanced Degrees

A Dean’s Scholar may earn an Honors Degree or Honors Degree With Distinction in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Health Sciences; and the College of Education and Human Development. Students must meet all of the requirements for the Dean’s Scholar Program and all the University’s generic requirements for the Honors Baccalaureate Degree and Honors Baccalaureate Degree with Distinction. Honors courses approved for the student’s program by his or her designated Dean’s Scholar faculty advisors count toward fulfillment of the requirement for Honors courses “in the major.” The Degree With Distinction may be earned by Dean’s Scholars in any college or major. The computation of the major grade point index for Dean’s Scholars working toward a Degree With Distinction will be based on courses designated as “major” courses by the Dean’s Scholar’s faculty advisors. The grade point index in the Dean’s Scholar’s major must be 3.500 or higher to qualify for the Degree With Distinction.

Changes in Program Subsequent to Acceptance as a Dean’s Scholar

It is likely that a Scholar’s individual program of study will undergo some changes from the set of courses submitted with the student’s application to the program. Any such changes are to be made in close consultation with the student’s committee of Dean’s Scholar program faculty advisors, who must approve the changes on a “Dean’s Scholar Change-in-Program Form.” This form is submitted to the student’s assistant or associate dean for approval. If the student intends to fulfill the “spirit” of an existing major, the chairperson of the department offering that major must also approve the changes.

Dean’s Scholar Clearance for Graduation

For a Dean’s Scholar’s senior check out, the associate or assistant dean of the student’s college will review the student’s record in comparison with the student’s most recently updated proposal and will certify to the Registrar’s Office that the student is cleared for graduation.

[1] Within the college of Arts and Sciences, when the Dean’s Scholar’s program of study does not closely resemble an existing departmental major, then the Scholar will graduate with a major in Liberal Studies. When the liberal studies major is used, it is given a content title to be recorded at graduation on the transcript, e.g., “Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, with primary emphasis in [list areas].”


What Colleges offer the Dean's Scholar Program?

The Dean’s Scholar Program is available in all colleges.


What evidence is needed to begin such a program?

This evidence may include, but is not limited to, excellent grades at the University of Delaware, as well as information from instructors and advisors that indicates extraordinary motivation, insight, and ability.