Russell Scholars Program



The Russell Scholars Program (RSP) at USM is a diverse, inclusive learning community composed of students and faculty who work together through collaborative learning to achieve the students' academic goals. Around 50 first-year students are admitted to RSP every fall. They live together in Woodward Hall, the home of Russell Scholars.

Open to All

RSP is an academic community first. Regardless of your academic major, you are eligible to become a Russell Scholar as long as you are accepted as a degree candidate at USM. In RSP you take required core and/or elective courses you need for a broad education, in addition to your major field of study.

In the words of one student: “The Russell Scholars program gives me closeness of community with a large support group to assist academically.”

A Program for Success

RSP is not an honors program; it is a success program. RSP courses are taught by USM faculty in or near Woodward Hall, and faculty offices are located on the first floor of the dormitory. Russell Scholars take only a few of their USM courses through RSP. Most of their academic course work is completed outside of the program.

First Year and Beyond
The first year of college is the most challenging for most students, and RSP supports students in meeting that challenge. Many returning students choose to continue taking courses in RSP, but there’s no obligation to remain in the program after freshman year. Some students, however, remain active in RSP through their senior year and are recognized at commencement for graduating as Russell Scholars.

Creative Writing 2010.jpg


What Our Students Say About RSP 

"I met such a wonderful bunch of people so quickly. I really enjoy the classes. They're small, close-knit, and comfortable. RSP has made my first year at college unforgettable.” 

 Freshman, Undeclared Major
 Bangor, Maine

“I have enjoyed being a Russell Scholar because it has allowed me to meet people from diverse backgrounds and interests in a common setting and to maintain those friendships over the years at USM. It has been a fun way to experience college.” 
Senior Anthropology Major
Cornish, New Hampshire