curf - Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships



In the College

“Learn everything. Later you will find that nothing is superfluous.”
– Hugh of Saint-Victor

The Integrated Studies Program (ISP) is the freshman curriculum for Benjamin Franklin Scholars pursuing degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Deeply rooted in the liberal arts tradition of acquiring and applying expansive knowledge, this residential academic program invites highly-motivated students to examine complex themes through the integration of multiple academic disciplines and methodologies.

Students are guided through the semester by some of Penn’s leading faculty. By investigating the same ideas under three distinct lenses, drawing simultaneously from the humanities, social sciences and sciences, students sharpen their focus on the similarities—and differences—between the disciplines’ habits of mind. Three lectures per week in the different subjects culminate in a wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary discussion, exploring how multiple ways of thinking can be brought to bear on complex questions.

Those accepted into the program will take two core courses, one in the Fall and another in the Spring of the freshman year. Each is a two-credit course and makes up half of a typical freshman’s academic course work. See the syllabi for the upcoming Fall 2014 (coming soon) and Spring 2015 courses below.

ISP is inspired by the College’s General Education Curriculum, and fulfills a part of the College’s General Education requirements. ISP/BFS students will choose any major they like, from among over 50 available to College students.

ISP students live in Riepe College House where learning, collaboration and community strengthen their shared experience.

Fall 2014 Syllabus, “Representations of Reality”


Spring 2015 Syllabus, “The Order of Things”


“No single discipline, method or perspective can answer all questions by itself or give us sufficient knowledge of any complex problem…” -Penn President, Dr. Amy Gutmann

© 2014 University of Pennsylvania

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