Skip to main content
UScholars Students at an Event

UScholars connects undergraduates of all years and majors, as well as faculty mentors and alums, like-minded in their interest in traversing the path-breaking terrain of independent research. 

Advising and Mentorship 

The UScholars Faculty Director, Academic Coordinator, Faculty Council, and Graduate Fellow serve as resources throughout a student’s tenure in the program. 

By the end of sophomore year, each UScholar begins working specifically with a Faculty Research Mentor, a standing member of the Penn faculty (with tenure or in tenure-probationary status: Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor) who guides the student’s original research project. 

Peer Mentor Groups (PMGs) 

All UScholars participate in Peer Mentor Groups (PMGs). Each sophomore is paired as a Peer Mentor with a member of the incoming UScholars cohort (or a newly accepted current student) within their general field of study (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, biomedical sciences, business, and engineering). Within this framework, as new students continue through their subsequent years, each student will be part of a PMG consisting of a senior, a junior, a sophomore, and a first-year student – as well as alums.   

PMGs encourage each other to attend UScholars events and workshops, particularly in support of other group members presenting their research at Friday Lunch Talks, Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) Research Expos and Symposia, and other on-campus opportunities. They also plan social activities, which can be as low-key as a study break or as substantial as an exploration of Philadelphia and should routinely involve collaboration with other PMGs to foster cross-disciplinary interaction. 

PMGs support each other, whether acclimating new students to the program or refining one another’s broad interests into specific research questions. Students at all levels develop solidarity and reciprocity as they share their knowledge and experience of research on campus. Ultimately, PMGs advance a principle UScholars value of collaborative cross-disciplinary intellectual exploration and conversation.