Benjamin Franklin Scholars

Where humanities meet engineering.

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you're dead and rotten, either write things worth reading,or do things worth writing.

- Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Scholars is a dual degree program between the College of Engineering and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students completing the program receive a Bachelor of Science in an engineering discipline or computer science and a bachelor’s degree in humanities or social sciences. The program provides students with a unique opportunity to integrate a solid base of knowledge in technology or science with a broad humanistic and social perspective.

The Degree Program​

Benjamin Franklin, driven by a deep curiosity and a passion for problem-solving, moved effortlessly between the worlds of business, communication, politics and technology.  The Benjamin Franklin Scholars program seeks to produce people with that same spirit for the 21st century. 

The Benjamin Franklin Scholars program, sponsored jointly by the College of Engineering and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, allows a select group of highly motivated students to simultaneously pursue bachelor’s degrees in both engineering and humanities or social sciences, giving students broad training that uniquely equips them for the challenges of today’s world. Scholars can combine any major in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (plus economics) with any major in the College of Engineering. This program, now entering its 25th year, has produced men and women who use their engineering training in a broad range of settings and jobs: in industry, in academia, in government, working as engineers, lawyers, physicians and policy analysts, among others.   

In addition to the courses required for the two majors, students in the program are required to take two courses specifically designed for (and limited to) Franklin Scholars: 

  • The Franklin intro course, STS302H, Science, Technology and Human Values, usually taken in the first semester freshman year, is an introduction to an examination of technology from a humanistic and social scientific perspective.
  • E497, the Franklin Capstone, is a group project looking at technology with significant humanistic and social scientific implications. 

The program has dedicated scholarship money associated with it, and students who have completed the Franklin intro course, have CODA’ed into their Engineering and CHASS majors and who have a 3.0 or above GPA are generally eligible for scholarship support.  The time required to complete both degrees depends on a variety of factors, including incoming AP credit,  semester course load, use of summer school, and CHASS degree sought.  The program can be completed in 4-5 years, with five years being typical. 

The program has a component, the Franklin Council, run by the students. The council arranges a wide variety of social, service and academic events throughout the year.

Contact, Dr. Ross Bassett, BFS Program Director, or check the Franklin Program’s FAQ page for more information.