Russell Scholars Program

Russell Scholars Course List


Program Requirements

To graduate as a Russell Scholar, a student must successfully complete five RSP seminars and six RSP Learning Community Labs, the final lab to be taken during the senior’s Spring semester. Students who are not taking RSP Lab who wish to earn service-learning credit must register for RSP 400 Independent Study with the instructor’s permission.

    Course Title Credits Core Designation
RSP 100 College Writing (3 credits) College Writing
RSP 101W Creative Writing (3 credits) Creative Expression
RSP 103 First Year Seminar: Culture, Community & the Environment (3 credits) Entry Year Experience
RSP 110 Learning Community Laboratory (1 credit)  
RSP 111 Learning Community Laboratory (1 credit)  
ANT 204 The Gulf of Maine (3 credits) Science Exploration
RSP 210 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)  
RSP 211 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)  
RSP 299 Seminar: Literature & the Arts (3 credits) Cultural Interpretation
RSP 310 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)  
RSP 311 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)  
RSP 325 Into the Wild: Environmental Thinking 1960-present  (3 credits) Ethical Inquiry
RSP 400 RSP Independent Study (1-3 credits)  
RSP 401 Community Service Internship (1-3 credits)  
RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar (3 credits)  
RSP 410 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)  
RSP 411 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)  

Core Curriculum Requirements

Many Russell Scholars courses will satisfy the USM Core/General Education requirements. Students should consult with their mentor concerning the use of additional Russell Scholars courses to satisfy additional Core curriculum requirements.

Departmental Major

Russell Scholars courses are not intended to be counted toward the number of credits that departments require for graduation as a major. Students enrolled in the Russell Scholars Program should consult with their departmental advisors concerning the use of Russell Scholars courses to satisfy departmental major requirements.

Core Curriculum

Most Russell Scholars courses satisfy USM Core/general education requirements. 

RSP students take only a fraction of their USM courses through the Russell Scholars Program. Russell Scholars courses are intended to be used to satisfy only USM Core, or general education requirements, or electives toward graduation. The RSP Core curriculum is made up of primarily humanities-based and social science-based courses. RSP students must take all other core requirements outside of RSP. Since all RSP courses are either core or elective courses, no RSP course is intended to satisfy any credit requirements toward any academic major.

Course Descriptions

RSP 100 College Writing
This course introduces students to the style and standard of writing expected of them in college. Students read expository writings grouped around a theme and use the ideas they encounter to develop and refine analytical essays in response. Emphasis is placed on building the skills of critical analysis and the writing process, specifically reading, drafting, rereading, revision, editing, and proofreading. Students are encouraged to integrate ideas from RSP Seminar into class discussions and individual essays, when appropriate. At the end of the semester, an RSP 100 student will be able to engage with complex readings and compose analytical essays that focus on a central theme using language that is relatively free of sentence-level error. Fulfills the College Writing Core curriculum requirement. Prerequisite: college readiness in writing. Fall semester. Cr 3.

RSP 101W Russell Scholars Creative Writing
Taught as a writing workshop, Creative Writing focuses on three genres of writing: short fiction, poetry, and memoir. Students will produce several draft works in each genre, receive feedback from their instructor and class members, and produce a final revised piece in each genre. The course emphasizes personal style, voice, structure, and revision, with some emphasis on mechanics. Participation in class discussion of student work and short published works is a major part of the course. The course meets once a week, and students must exercise the self-discipline necessary to work independently outside of class. Fulfills the Creative Expression Core curriculum requirement (CE). Cr 3 .

RSP 103 Russell Scholars Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment
All first-year Russell Scholars and transfer students with fewer than 24 credits are required to take this course. This course will utilize scientific and humanistic anthropological theories and understandings to explore contemporary issues and dilemmas concerning the environment. It will consider values and approaches of different cultures in order to better understand the current problems of environmental damage and pollution, population growth, lifestyle impacts on ecology, ethnic conflict, and other threats to cultural survival and ecological balance. The seminar will attempt to analyze contemporary problems locally and globally, and to explore possible resolutions to these problems. An example of cultural types will be examined, including forager, agriculturalists, and industrial nation-states, in terms of their relationship with and values about the environment. Fulfills the Entry Year Experience Core curriculum requirement (EYE). Cr 3.

RSP 110 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
This forum for all Russell Scholars will convene bi-weekly in an informal environment to address topics such as campus issues, current events, and student interests. Russell Scholars Lab also takes students out of the classroom by integrating field trips to enhance the learning experience. Cr 1.

RSP 111 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 111 is a continuation of RSP 110. Cr 1.

RSP 210 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 210 is a continuation of RSP 111. Cr 1.

RSP 211 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 211 is a continuation of RSP 210. Cr 1.

RSP 299 Russell Scholars Seminar: Literature & the Arts

This course examines the process of artistic creation, problems of representation, and correspondences between art and life. We will consider several questions: What is the role of the artist? How does art reflect and embody community? Do successful works of art exemplify popular aesthetic values or do they challenge those standards? What is artistic literacy? What are the ethics of looking? How does art matter? Students will visit gallery spaces, attend local artistic productions, and practice their own creative expression. The class will engage in a collaborative performance piece at the end of the semester. Writing for the course will include critical reviews, analytical responses to arts theory and ideas, and a variety of creative writing projects. Fulfills the Cultural Interpretation Core curriculum requirement (CI). Cr 3.

RSP 310 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 310 is a continuation of RSP 211. Cr 1.

RSP 311 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 311 is a continuation of RSP 310. Cr 1.

RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar: Community and Commitment
This capstone seminar will bring together the framework, principles, and experiences of four years in the Russell Scholars Program to prepare graduating seniors to become lifelong learners with a commitment to the common good. Drawing upon the lessons of identity and community, and other themes of the Russell Scholars Program, this classroom and field-based seminar will explore such questions as: What is the common good? How can we be at home in the world? How can we live within and beyond the tribe? What is our responsibility in the world? What does citizenship in the 21st century mean? How do we develop critical habits of mind? This seminar will include a significant service-learning field experience in a community setting. Cr 3.

RSP 410 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 410 is a continuation of RSP 311. Cr 1.

RSP 411 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 411 is a continuation of RSP 410. Cr 1.

Visit the Undergraduate Catalogs for up to date information on Core curriculum requirements and courses.