Harvey Scholars

The Harvey Undergraduate Scholars are vital members of the American Culture Studies community, serving as intellectual leaders and modeling innovative multidisciplinary research. They are asked to share their knowledge with the community in a variety of ways during their time as Scholars, including through involvement in a project or initiative that brings them into collaboration with others in the AMCS community. These projects should contribute substantially to the Scholar's learning AND to allow them to actively engage with and bolster the AMCS community (faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff). Please see our Project Opportunities page for more information.

Scholars also have special opportunities to interact with AMCS faculty and graduate students at monthly Americanist Dinner Forum events, and to participate tuition-free in AMCS's distinctive "On Location: Exploring America" travel-based seminar, which is offered every summer (AMCS 479). They may also serve as discussion leaders or TAs in AMCS courses, and - where appropriate, and with program approval - receive support for summer research, conference presentations or project-related travel.

For more information about eligibility and the application process, see the Eligibility and Application page.

Please also visit the Harvey Undergraduate Scholars directory page to see the current scholars.

Project Opportunities

Harvey Undergraduate Scholars are expected to participate in at least one of the following AMCS projects or activities for a minimum of two (2) semesters, preferably consecutively, during their tenure as a Harvey Scholar. These projects should contribute substantially to the Scholar's learning AND to allow them to actively engage with and bolster the AMCS community (faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff). In the right circumstances, this project can even fulfill the AMCS fieldwork requirement.

Scholars are welcome to participate in an existing project if a suitable arrangement can be made, or to propose something new based on their interests and/or current program needs. Existing opportunities include:

  • AMCS Social Media & Digital Projects: Assist in producing online content for one of the program's digital projects or online platforms and serve on AMCS's Digital Projects Steering Committee. Specific tasks could involve conducting interviews of faculty and students; recruiting members of the community to write features; developing social media content; editing material submitted for these projects; etc.
  • Undergraduate Community Building: Such options include participation in/leading Americana, AMCS's undergraduate student organization; proposing and executing community service or volunteer projects, social or academic events (talks, outings, or colloquia); fostering undergraduate-graduate student relations, through - for example - a collaboratively planned film series or academic conference; or contributing to AMCS's alumni outreach efforts.
  • Work supporting one of AMCS's Program Initiatives, which currently include Modern Segregation, Performance and Popular Culture, and American Intimacies. This work could take any number of forms, e.g. conventional or archival research, planning of events, assisting with the development of a web presence, etc.

All of these opportunities can be tailored to suit a given Scholar's interests and skills and schedules, and, in the right circumstances (including the outcome of a final reflection or project), earn the student 3 credits of fieldwork, thereby fulfilling the AMCS Fieldwork requirement. AMCS will provide various kinds of support for these projects, and would be glad to help students develop their ideas.

Students are encouraged to be creative as they imagine their role as a Scholar and the specific ways they wish to participate in the AMCS Community, and to ask questions if they have them.

Eligibility and Application


Eligible applicants must be AMCS Majors in their sophomore or junior year with a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or better and good standing in the program. If chosen, the individual will serve as Scholar for the remainder of his/her time in the program.

How to Apply

Interested students must submit the following application materials electronically to maire.murphy@wustl.edu, with the Subject Heading Undergraduate Harvey Scholars Award Committee by no later than December 1st.

  • Letter of application. Applicants should write a substantive letter of application that characterizes their academic interests, for example, issues studied in courses that they find compelling or questions raised by class projects that they would like to pursue further; describes their specific qualifications and reasons for investment in the Scholars program; and names a role/activity they wish to take on during their time as a Scholar. We can imagine student proposals such as a sketch of a contribution to an AMCS digital project (identifying subject matter and methodology), a film series (identifying potential themes and discussion points), or a summary of an L98 256: Imagining Interdisciplinary class session (including key questions and sample readings). We recommend that applicants talk to their AMCS advisor about reasons for interest, academic goals, and potential activity/role as a first step in preparing their application.
  • A writing sample. This should be a substantive academic paper (between 7 and 15 pages) written for an AMCS course that represents some of their best work in the program.
  • Names of two references. One of these should be the name of a person with whom they have taken an AMCS course (whether home-based or cross-listed) who can provide an assessment of the quality of their academic work and their aptitude to serve as an Undergraduate Scholar. The second individual should be able to comment on the applicant’s ability to take on a leadership role and organizational skills, as well as comment on their ability to work alone and in a team setting. Coaches, Faculty sponsors or members of a student or volunteer organization are good choices. The program will contact the individuals named (though students should notify their references in advance).
  • The program will contact the individuals named (though students should notify their references in advance).
  • For additional information or questions regarding this Award or process, please contact Máire Murphy at maire.murphy@wustl.edu or by phone at 314-935-7262.

Máire Murphy

Academic Coordinator, AMCS