The EPIC Scholars Program develops a diverse network of engineering and computer science leaders who advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in the engineering and computer science professions.
Applications for the 2023-2024 Cohort have closed. If you are wondering about the status of your application, be sure you have checked the email address included on your application (often your crimson.ua.edu account). If you missed the application deadline or were not selected for the incoming cohort due to the limited seats, know that there are cocurricular opportunities and programming hosted by the EPIC Scholars Program that are open to students in STEM disciplines and/or in the Honors College.
The Engineering Positive and Intentional Change (EPIC) Scholars Program is an intentional, small, cohort-based Honors program for engineering and computer science students. This partner program grants both a minor in Engineering Positive and Intentional Change and the University Honors designation at graduation.
EPIC aims to recruit, engage, retain, and graduate a diverse group of engineering and computer science students with a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and to being leaders, advocates, and agents of positive and intentional change in service to their chosen profession, to their community, and to society. The program encapsulates the following elements:
The recruitment and admissions process will be holistic and will consider incoming Freshman applicants who plan to pursue an engineering or computer science degree, in accordance with UA’s test-optional processes. A maximum of 2 cohorts of 19 students will be admitted per year.
A common book will be integrated into EPIC courses and other programming each year. The common books will be selected by a faculty oversight committee and may be of general interest/application or specific to a focused theme for a given year.
EPIC Scholars will engage with invited speakers, from within and outside the UA community, with local, national, and global perspectives.
Juniors and seniors in the program will mentor and support freshmen and sophomores, including introducing them to others on campus and connecting them to partners within the broader local and regional communities.
All freshman in the program are strongly encouraged to live in Paty Hall as part of an EPIC Living-Learning Community (LLC). Exceptions to the EPIC LLC housing requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Some EPIC Scholars will be recruited to serve as live-in leaders, or Resident Advisors, for the EPIC LLC. Paty Hall also has a faculty-in-residence apartment, which may be used by a faculty member engaged in the EPIC Scholars Program.
Since the EPIC Scholars Program is an Honors Partner Program, it is critical that EPIC Scholars hold a 3.5 or higher GPA to maintain their Honors attribute and graduate with the University Honors Designation. In the event that a student’s GPA drops below this threshold, EPIC Scholars can still graduate with the minor if all coursework is successfully passed and completed. Paty Hall will not only be the home of the EPIC LLC; it is the home to the College of Engineering Living-Learning Community. Therefore, in addition to unique support programs through the EPIC Program, EPIC Scholars will also have full access to the myriad of support and social programing available through the Engineering LLC.
A key element in the EPIC Scholars program is strong, focused community engagement and service programs. These programs will connect EPIC Scholars with others from across the UA campus who are actively engaged in the community, including the Student Community Engagement Center and the Center for Service and Leadership.
Upon completion of the EPIC Scholars Program, students will demonstrate their ability to:
The following progression and recognition programs are designed to acknowledge achievement, mark advancement through the program, and engage alumni and others:
Freshman or sophomore students in the program are mentored by juniors and seniors. Freshmen will be welcomed in the program as EPIC Apprentices each fall. Freshmen and sophomores will be recognized for their accomplishments during Honors Week each spring.
Junior or senior students in the program mentor EPIC Apprentices and are mentored by graduates of the program. Juniors will be recognized as new EPIC Scholars each fall, and juniors will also be recognized for their accomplishments during Honors Week each spring.
Graduates of the program mentor EPIC Scholars and are champions for positive and intentional change. Graduating Seniors will be recognized for their accomplishments and inducted as an EPIC Fellow during Honors Week each spring.
Graduates of the program will be recognized advocates and agents of positive and intentional change. New Distinguished EPIC Fellows will be recognized during Honors Week each spring.
Honorary EPIC Fellow– Individuals who do not graduate from the program but are recognized advocates and agents of positive and intentional change are given an honorary status. New Honorary EPIC Fellows will be recognized during Honors Week each spring.
(Freshman and Sophomore Years)
|Freshman Year (2 credit hours)|
|EPIC 101 EPIC Freshman Seminar I (1 credit hour)
This first course provides the opportunity to form an identify as an EPIC Scholar and connect with other EPIC Scholars. Students are introduced to new ideas and different viewpoints through respectful and inclusive discussions and explore how engineering and computer science relates to complex societal issues of our times. Prerequisite: Admission into the EPIC Scholars Program
|EPIC 102 EPIC Freshman Seminar II (1 credit hour)
This course continues the discussions from EPIC 101, focusing on the students further developing their identity as an EPIC Scholar, exploring their self-perception, identifying their own inherent biases and how such biases can limit their scope of impact as future engineers and computer scientists. Prerequisite: EPIC 101.
|Freshman Year Student Learning Outcomes:
|Sophomore Year (5 credit hours)|
|EPIC 201 EPIC Sophomore Seminar I (1 credit hour)
Students practice being part of a larger community of engaged scholars, including focus on how to promote positive and intentional change. Students will gain experience collaborating as a transdisciplinary team and develop of a set of team norms assuring greater levels of respect and inclusion. Prerequisite: EPIC 102.
|EPIC 202 EPIC Sophomore Seminar II (1 credit hour)
Students investigate a wide variety of complex, transdisciplinary social issues and explore how such issues can have longitudinal and disproportionate impacts on society or sectors of society, including within the context of the engineering and computer science professions. Prerequisite: EPIC 201.
|UH 205 Social Foundations of Community Engagement (3 credit hours, HU)
As a “prelude” to service learning, students will understand the philosophical structure of “public goods” (e.g., education, health care, housing) and how they relate to specific needs in public spaces which are used for the betterment of communities. Students will explore the possible causes of political, educational, social, and economic inequalities as well as the benefits, responsibilities and limits of the service response to public problems. The course provides a basic understanding of what the purpose of “public goods” are and how society actualizes these currencies. Prerequisites: EPIC 201 and EPIC 202 with concurrency, or UH 200 with concurrency.
|Sophomore Year Student Learning Outcomes:
(Junior and Senior Years)
|Junior Year (2 credit hours)|
|EPIC 301 EPIC Junior Seminar I (1 credit hour)
Students examine moral, legal, and ethical issues related to respect, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, including those specifically associated with the engineering and computer science professions. Prerequisite: EPIC 202.
|EPIC 302 EPIC Junior Seminar II (1 credit hour)
Through case studies and design exercises, students explore how the engineering design process may be affected if engineers and computer scientists lack an understanding and representation of the full diversity of society.
Prerequisite: EPIC 301.
|Junior Year Student Learning Outcomes:
|Senior Year (3 credit hours)|
|EPIC 401 EPIC Honors Senior Thesis I (1.5 credit hour)
Students propose and initiate a team-based, transdisciplinary senior thesis project that will include soliciting a diversity of perspectives, promoting a culture of respect, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, and sustainable and ethical solutions to complex social issues. Prerequisite: EPIC 302.
|EPIC 402 EPIC Honors Senior Thesis II (1.5 credit hour)
Students complete and present the results of a team-based, transdisciplinary senior thesis project that includes integration of a diversity of perspectives, promotion of a culture of respect, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, and advocacy of sustainable and ethical solutions to complex social issues. Prerequisite: EPIC 401 with concurrency.
|Senior Year (Program) Student Learning Outcomes:
(9 credit hours)
NOTE: The majority of these elective courses, in addition to the required UH 205 course, bear core designations (W, FA, HU, or SB) and these hours are already integrated within each disciplinary flowchart as part of the core curriculum requirements. See your academic advisor or contact Dr. O’Harra for a list of currently approved electives or to petition for a new course to be considered. No more than 6 credit hours of electives may be at the 200-level.