Program Structure


The McCollough Program is a 20-hour minor with a service component and a residency program.   As a first-year program participant the student must live in Ridgecrest South Residential Community with other McCollough scholars.  This allows each student to be a part of the living-learning community that will enrich and enhance student academic and social experience while in college.  This is a requirement for all first year McCollough Scholar Program participants.

The required credit hours are broken down in the following way:

Convocation Courses

McCollough Scholars begins and finish with a 1 credit hour convocation course, in the Fall Semester of the first year and in the Spring Semester of the third year. This is a series of weekly talks by leaders in the medical field. McCollough Scholars will gather to listen to a speaker and discuss cutting-edge research.  (2 credit hours)


There is a two-part Foundations course in the Fall and Spring Semesters of the first year in the program. (6 credit hours)

Foundations 1 – What is Medicine?

The practice of medicine is as old as civilization. This course studies fundamental questions relating to the shifting conceptions of health and disease, and how that affects our conception of physicians, remedies, mental sickness, and societal responses to sickness. The course focuses on three basic questions: (i) what is illness?  (ii) how medicine changes society? and (iii) how culture interprets medicine? We will answer these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective incorporating history, philosophy, religion, anthropology, and literature.

Foundations 2 – Is a better medicine possible?

This course continues the interdisciplinary study of the practice of medicine by focusing on three questions: (i) Can medical judgement be improved? (ii) What does race reveal about medicine? and (iii) How medicine conceives of aging and death?  The first question requires a study of the psychological and sociological factors that affect medical judgement.  We will also learn basic reasoning skills and methods for evaluating complex inferences.  The second question will be studied by focusing on the complex interplay between culture, race, and medicine.  The final question focuses on the multifaceted personal, interpersonal, and organizational questions relating to aging and death.

Elective Seminars

McCollough Scholars will take 3 elective seminar courses in their second and third year from a selected list of courses taught by departments in the College of Arts & Sciences. (9 credit hours)

Capstone Seminar

McCollough Scholars will take a 3-credit hour capstone seminar. (3 credit hours)

Read the course descriptions here.

Selection Criteria

There is a separate application and interview process for the McCollough Program.  It will include letters of recommendation, an essay on a specific topic, GPA requirement, a competitive ACT score, and strong evidence of resiliency.  Learn more about the application process here.