Some of our Baker-Nord Scholars were profiled in the Winter 2020 Art|Sci Magazine. For their perspectives on the program, you can read the article here.







Q: What is the Baker-Nord Scholars Program? 

A: The mission of the Baker-Nord Scholars program is to help humanities students identify their academic passions and pursue their life goals by integrating incoming students into the life of the Humanities community at CWRU. The program offers our Scholars the experience of a small liberal arts college within the setting of a world-class research university. It is intended to supplement their experience within the department of their future major and to foster interdisciplinary connections across the campus and the community.

We work towards that mission through a four-part approach:

  1. creating a fun and collaborative environment
  2. helping our students network with one another and with regional experts
  3. exploring the best humanities resources on and around campus
  4. facilitating conversations about each Scholar’s long-term personal and professional goals


Q: Who are the Baker-Nord Scholars?

A: The Baker-Nord Scholars are a community of talented undergraduate students who are interested in the humanities. First-year students do not have to declare a humanities major in order to participate in the Scholars program. There are typically 25 students in each class year of the Baker-Nord Scholars, for a total of about 100 new and returning students. For a list of our recent scholars, click here.


Q: What benefits do the Baker-Nord Scholars receive?

A: In addition to being part of a fun community, there are some exclusive perks for students who participate in the Baker-Nord Scholars program:

  • HUMN-101
    The Humanities Colloquium is designed just for you! Only first-year Scholars may register. The goal is to give  you a leg up on the daunting processes of finding your academic passion and pursuing your professional goals.
  • Special Events
    Humanities-101 is just the start of your career as a humanities scholar at CWRU. Throughout the year, you will have special opportunities to meet with visiting authors and guest speakers, as well as front-row access to all of our Humanities@Work programming, which helps you explore meaningful internships and careers.  The Scholars also have special access to the best resources on and around campus, including professor-guided introductions to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland History Center.
  • Research Stipend
    During their third- or fourth-year, each Baker-Nord Scholar is eligible for a $500 stipend to support research or travel related to their their humanities major.
  • Individual Advising
    Our Associate Directors serve as the designated academic advisors for each Baker-Nord Scholar. The Scholars also have access to the advising resources that CWRU assigns to all incoming students, including their Navigator and SAGES Instructor. While the Baker-Nord Center’s staff is happy to help with all sorts of questions, our specialties include:

    • Registration advising for humanities and social science courses
    • Career and professional advice
    • Options for double-majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences
    • Identifying the best routes for pre-medicine, pre-law, and pre-graduate studies

Eligibility and Requirements

Q: Who can become a Baker-Nord Scholar?

A: The Baker-Nord Scholars program is by invitation only. Students get invited by the Office of Admissions if they are identified as one of the most promising humanities scholars within their entering class.


Q: What are the requirements for incoming students after they are invited to join the Scholars?

A: In May/June, Scholars need to accept their offer within the CWRU Admissions portal.
In July, Scholars need to register within SIS for the 1-credit course HUMN-101, “The Humanities Colloquium.”


Q: Will the HUMN-101 class be too challenging for my first semester?

A: No, the class is meant to be a fun and relaxing experience. HUMN-101 is an ungraded, 1-credit course. There are no textbooks, and we don’t have much homework. The emphasis is on experiential and collaborative learning — which simply means that you will get out and discover new resources and ideas, while practicing your networking and team-building skills.


Q: Do incoming Baker-Nord Scholars need to declare a humanities major?

A: No, you don’t need to worry about declaring any major right now! You have two years to explore all of the disciplines at CWRU, and you aren’t under any obligation to major in a humanities department. For now, the only commitment that you’re making is to take the one-credit HUMN-101 class.

Our past Baker-Nord Scholars have gone on to major in a wide range of academic disciplines. While most Scholars end up choosing a major in one of CWRU’s humanities departments, some choose only to minor or double-major in the humanities, or even to only take additional humanities courses as electives.


Q: If I decide to leave the Baker-Nord Scholars, will it affect my financial aid?

A: No, participation in the Baker-Nord Scholars program has no impact on your financial aid. The program also not attached to any scholarships that you might be receiving. Students who decide not to continue on as Baker-Nord Scholars and/or humanities majors simply transition to no longer being eligible for the benefits listed above.

Learn more about the Humanities @ CWRU

Q: What are “the Humanities?”

A: The humanities are the academic disciplines that study history and culture. At CWRU, the humanities are anchored in nine departments within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS):  Art History, Classics, English, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theater.

Collectively, these CWRU departments offer more than three dozen undergraduate humanities majors and minors.


Q: What is the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities?

A: The Baker-Nord Center supports students and faculty in the arts and humanities. Our staff is led by our Director, Dr. Michele Tracy Berger, and Maggie Kaminski, our Administrative Director. Click here to learn more about the mission of the Baker-Nord Center, and here if you’d like to read more about our team!