Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

WHAT IS A GEORGE H. COOK HONORS PROJECT?

A three-semester independent research project, conducted during your last three terms with the guidance of a faculty committee. The credits for the project itself range from 6.0 to 12.0. A George H. Cook project will fulfill the college's Experience-based Education requirement and, if appropriate, may also fulfill "research" requirements in your major. (Check with your advisor/Curriculum Coordinator.)

WHAT IS THE GEORGE H. COOK SCHOLARS PROGRAM?

The independent study project/coursework itself [11:015:497, 498 G H Cook Honors Prog (BA, BA)] is, obviously, the focus. But "the program" consists of 1) an informal mid-point presentation of your progress in your senior year; 2) a written thesis based on the project, which is kept in the Chang Library; and 3) a public defense of that thesis at the conclusion of the project.

Students who complete the program requirements are designated George H. Cook Scholars at graduation, the highest academic honor bestowed by the SEBS faculty.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?

Full-time students who have completed at least 24 credits at Rutgers University prior to their senior year. All juniors in the top 15% of the class are automatically invited in the fall to consider the program. But the program is open to any SEBS junior nominated by a faculty member confident in your ability to succeed in and benefit from a sustained, independent scholarly effort under his/her guidance.

WHAT IF I AM PLANNING ON GRADUATING IN JANUARY?

Every year, several students begin their projects in the spring and complete them in the summer/fall, by arrangement with the Director of the George H. Cook Scholars Program (Dr. Malcolm Watford).

CAN I DO MY RESEARCH IN THE SUMMER?

Most definitely. This is the reason you present your proposal at the end of the junior year. Many students begin their projects under the auspices of a summer research program/internship or by arrangement with their Project Advisor and complete the project/thesis during the academic year. They register for the program "as if" they were undertaking it during the academic year. Use of the January recess to focus attention to the project is also encouraged, especially now that you can stay on campus during that recess.

All students are advised to complete their literature reviews (background reading) over the summer, to maximize the time for actual research and the availability of faculty and facilities during the academic year.

WHERE AND WHEN SHOULD I GET MORE INFORMATION? HOW DO I APPLY?

From the Office of the Director -- 4 semesters before you expect to graduate. Information packets for the coming year are available in December of your junior year.

An APPLICATION form is included in the information packet, which is submitted to the Director (Dr. Watford). This form must be signed by your Academic (major) Advisor, to insure that participation in the program will not adversely affect your completion of graduation requirements. George H. Cook Scholar candidates should also submit (to Dean Ventola) the SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION form sent in February. George H. Cook Scholars are typically given merit awards for their final semester.

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