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Becoming a James Scholar

Here's how you petition to become a James Scholar, depending on your year:

Incoming freshmen to the University of Illinois and the College of Business

Approximately 100 incoming freshman students (including freshman students in the College of Business Honors Program) will enter the College of Business as James Scholars based on an individual evaluation of their admissions application to the College of Business. All students admitted to the freshman class of the College of Business will be reviewed. The evaluation is based on high school class rank and standardized test scores, in addition to the individual reading of the application by the College of Business. Approximately, the top 15% of admitted students are invited as James Scholars. Notices are emailed and mailed to invited students in March.

Freshmen in the College of Business who do not enter as James Scholars

If you don't enter the College of Business as a James Scholar and you earn a 3.5 GPA (or higher) in at least 14 graded ILLINOIS credit hours, you'll be invited to petition to become a James Scholar nominee. The email invitation will be sent in late-January to eligible students who must then complete a petition at a James Scholar information session in early February. Please note - Graded hours do not include Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit, or Guided Individual Study courses. You must receive a letter grade for the class for it to count towards this requirement.

To complete the requirements to become a James Scholar, you must:

    AND
  • Earn a GPA of 3.5 for the spring semester in at least 14 graded ILLINOIS hours with a cumulative average of at least 3.5 for the freshman year.
  • Participate in the Sleeman Leadership Institute or an approved substitute.

The Office of Undergraduate Affairs will evaluate the James Scholar nominees during the summer after their freshman year to determine if they've qualified as James Scholars. If they qualify, students will be eligible for James Scholar benefits starting with the sophomore (2nd) year.

 

Sophomores (2nd year) in the College of Business who are not James Scholars after freshman year

All sophomores in the College of Business who aren't recognized as James Scholars may petition to become James Scholar nominees if they have a freshman year GPA of 3.5 (or higher) with at least a total of 28 graded credit hours. You must attend a James Scholar information session in order to fill out the petition form and learn more about the process. If you are eligible to petition you will receive an email from the Office of Undergraduate Affairs with information about the necessary requirements.

To complete the requirements to become a James Scholar, you must:

    AND
  • Earn a GPA of 3.5 for the fall semester in at least 14 graded ILLINOIS hours with a cumulative average of at least 3.5 for the freshman year.
  • Earn a GPA of 3.5 for the spring semester in at least 14 graded ILLINOIS hours.
  • Have cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Complete one of the following:
    • Participate in an international experience approved by the College of Business Office of International Programs.
    • Enroll in leadership certificate sponsored by the Illinois Leadership Center. Students must make successful progress toward meeting the requirements of the leadership certificate in the sophomore year as determined by the Illinois Leadership Center.
    • Tutor College of Business students for 40 hours in one academic year under the supervision of the College of Business Office of Undergraduate Affairs.
    • Successful participation in Illinois Business Consulting.http://www.ibc.illinois.edu/
    • Successful participation in OTCR (The Office for Technical Consulting Resources).
    • Successful participation in Student Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations (SCNO). hr@illinoiscno.org
    • Work as a research assistant for a faculty member in the College of Business.
    • Successful participation in the PwC Challenge competition by finishing among the top three teams or earning honorable mention by the competition judges.
    • Successful participation in the E&Y "Your World Your Vision" case competition by finishing among the top three teams or earning honorable mention by the competition judges.
    • Successful participation in the KPMG Global case study competition by finishing among the top three teams or earning honorable mention by the competition judges.
    • Serve on the student leadership team for the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership. academy@business.illinois.edu.
    • Serve on the Business 101 student leadership team.

The Office of Undergraduate Affairs will evaluate the James Scholar nominees during the summer after their sophomore year (2nd year) to determine if they have qualified as James Scholars. If they qualify, the students will be eligible for James Scholar benefits starting with the junior year (3rd year).

Transfer Students to the College of Business from another college on the Urbana-Champaign campus

If you're an ILLINOIS student who has earned James Scholar status for the academic year prior to your official transfer to the College of Business, your James Scholar status will transfer with you. Once you're in the College of Business, you must meet College of Business standards for James Scholar status.

If you're an incoming sophomore transfer student, you may petition to become a James Scholar if you enter the College of Business with at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and at least 30 transferable credit hours. College of Business sophomores who wish to be considered for James Scholar status must complete a nomination form available in the College of Business Office of Undergraduate Affairs by 5pm on the second Monday in September. Petitions are available in the College of Business Office of Undergraduate Affairs, 1005 BIF.

Transfer Students to the College of Business from another university or college NOT on the Urbana-Champaign campus

If you transfer to the College of Business from another university or college after freshman year, and begin in the College of Business as a sophomore, you may petition to become a James Scholar during the fall semester of the sophomore year. The deadline is 5pm on the second Monday in September. If you're entering the College of Business after two years in college (approximately 60 credit hours), you may petition to become a James Scholar in the College of Business if you've been a member of an academic honors program at the college you're transferring from. Academic honorary societies don't count as honors programs.

Maintaining James Scholar status

You must meet the yearly requirements to continue as a James Scholar. James Scholars and James Scholar nominees are evaluated each summer to determine if they will continue as James Scholars or be recognized as James Scholars. Because students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 each semester in at least 14 graded ILLINOIS hours, students will be dropped from the James Scholar Program at the end of the semester if they fail to meet the grade and credit hour requirements for continuing as a James Scholar.

Each spring James Scholars and James Scholar nominees will be asked via email to complete a form asking them to list the activities that they participated in to meet the James Scholar requirements. Students who fail to complete this online form may jeopardize their James Scholar status.

Students who have completed all the James Scholar requirements through the fall semester of their senior year (4th year) will be recognized at the May convocation ceremony with a James Scholar Medallion. There are no additional requirements for students who graduate early. Students who remain undergraduates for a 9th semester continue with James Scholar status in that semester with no additional requirements.

On rare occasions, students are allowed exceptions to the James Scholar policies. Students may submit in writing via email a plea for an exception. The request for an exception should be addressed to the Assistant Dean of Honors. The requests will be reviewed by a committee. Students will be notified of the decisions in July. Deadline for submitting requests for an exception is June 1.