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What is the Humanities Mellon Scholars Program?

This program is designed to get you ready for transfer in two years with a strong foundation in the humanities. The Humanities Mellon Scholars Program is a learning community intended to expose a more diverse population of students to the advantages of a humanities-infused education.

As a Humanities Mellon Scholar at De Anza, you will earn a Certificate of Achievement in Humanities, complete university transfer requirements and take courses that fulfill the degree requirements of your chosen major. In addition, the program offers each participating student

  • A designated faculty adviser
  • paid internship for two academic quarters
  • Financial help for textbooks and other course material
  • Workshops and social events

The program prepares you to meet the eligibility requirements for transfer into the University of California and California State University systems. It also guarantees admission for up to 20 students a year to the University of San Francisco (USF), who will each be eligible for up to $20,000 in scholarships. At USF, you can choose among specific pathways that will allow you to graduate with a bachelor's degree in two years.

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this program responds to a growing need for professionals who are skilled not only in the tools of their trade but also in the habits of innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. 

Apply Online

The Humanities Mellon Scholars program is now accepting applications for fall 2019.

  • The deadline to apply is June 15.

Submit the online application

Why should I become a Humanities Mellon Scholar?

In a recent survey, more than 90 percent of employers said the capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems is more important than a job applicant’s undergraduate major. Studying the humanities is a powerful way to develop these abilities.

A Certificate of Achievement in Humanities, combined with the experience gained through paid internships, will demonstrate that you have developed the intellectual and interpersonal skills that employers seek. No matter what major you choose, the Humanities Mellon Scholars Program will help you meet challenges and create opportunities.

"It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough ... It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing."

- Apple CEO Steve Jobs, introducing the iPad 2 in 2011 

What are the humanities?

The study of humanities is an academic discipline that draws on literature, music, art, architecture, history, philosophy and other forms of human expression to trace humanity’s search for life's meaning.

Courses in the humanities investigate how artists and thinkers have grappled with the big questions – such as what it means to be human, what it means to be happy or what it means to live a good life. These classes can help you understand how the concepts of knowledge, reality, imagination and the nature of beauty contribute to a sense of the world and to human experience.

The study of humanities is key to the development of informed global citizens who navigate the complexities of our modern world in a socially responsible manner and contribute wisely to society.

students around table as woman points to whiteboard

What is special about the experience of being a Humanities Mellon Scholar?

As a Humanities Mellon Scholar, you will have a designated faculty mentor to help guide you through your first two years of college. Your mentor will meet with you individually, and you will also join other Humanities Mellon Scholars in workshops and social events.

You will take the five courses that lead to the Certificate of Achievement in Humanities as a member of a learning community, allowing you to enjoy the social camaraderie and a network of support among classmates while you sharpen your study skills.

Additional activities – such the Foothill De Anza Mellon Scholars Student Conference, the USF Humanities Symposium and USF campus visits – will help you further refine your academic skills and goals.

Another distinctive feature of the Humanities Mellon Scholar Program is the paid internships related to your interests. For two quarters, you will have the opportunity to apply the skills and practices developed in your coursework in a professional environment. As a paid intern, you will explore career opportunities, network with professionals and contribute to meaningful work.

Internship placements may include museums, theaters, non-profit community organizations, educational projects or music and film production companies. You will gain insight into your internship organization while also benefiting from the experiences of other Humanities Mellon Scholars. 

What happens after I transfer?

building with stone staircase at USF campus

The Humanities Mellon Scholar Program covers your time at De Anza. You may continue your affiliation with the program by transferring to the University of San Francisco. At USF, you will be eligible for an annual scholarship of up to $10,000 in addition to any other financial aid you may receive.

USF students in the program are also eligible for research assistant positions, paid summer internships, course materials, conference travel funds and a special Mellon Scholars graduation ceremony.

Who is eligible and how do I apply?

De Anza students must have a GPA of at least 2.4. Once selected for the program, you must demonstrate eligibility for LART 211, READ 211 + EWT 211, ESL 5 or ESL 6 and MATH 114 based on the regular college placement assessment.

Students who are admitted to the program, but who do not yet place into the above courses, will be pre-Humanities Mellon Scholars with guaranteed admission once they are eligible.

For More Information

Please contact Falk Cammin, program director, at 650.949.7442 or

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