Foothill College Logo Contact Us     Directory     A-Z Index

Watch a two-minute video to learn about the program.
Humanities Department
Humanities Mellon Scholars


The deadline to apply has been extended.

Note: The application still says the deadline is June 14 but you can submit yours through July 14.

Click to apply now for the program. The extended deadline is July 14.

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 Foothill College, you will earn a Certificate of Achievement in Humanities, complete university transfer requirements and take courses that fulfill the degree requirements of your major.

In addition, the program offers each participating student

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.


Why 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.

When he introduced the iPad 2 in March 2011, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said of his company's success:

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.

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.

What are the Humanities?

group of students outsideThe 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.s

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.

What is special about the Humanities Mellon Scholar experience?


As a Humanities Mellon Scholar, you will have a designated faculty mentor to help guide you through your first two years of college.

Learning Community

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.

Off-Campus Group Activities

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.

Paid Internship

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.

Building at USFWhat happens after I transfer?

The Humanities Mellon Scholar Program covers your time at Foothill College.

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.

Eligibility & How to Apply at Foothill College

  • Minimum 2.4 GPA
  • Eligibility for ENGL 110, ENGL 1A, ESL 25 or ESL 26 and MATH 105.

Students who don't meet these requirements are still encouraged to apply. You can be selected as a pre-Humanities Mellon Scholar, with guaranteed admission once you are eligible.

  • Attend a Humanities Mellon Scholars information meeting at the Foothill Main Campus on Wednesday, June 7, from noon-1 p.m. in Room 3404.
  • Questions? Please contact program director Dr. Falk Cammin at

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, June 14.


© Foothill College • 12345 El Monte Road • Los Altos Hills • CA 94022 • Established in 1957    Accreditation    Privacy Policy