The Martín-Baró Scholars program is a yearlong living-learning community for first-year students at the University of San Francisco. Examine issues of poverty, social justice, and diversity while fulfilling five core requirements in a single comprehensive curriculum.

Engage with Food Justice in San Francisco

Explore a social issue in depth. This year, it's food justice and poverty in San Francisco. Put into action what you learn in class by combining classroom texts and assignments with community-engaged learning projects. Work with local nonprofits and community partners to deliver food justice in the city, too.

student holds up grapes in the Ferry Building

Live and Learn Together

Study and live with other first year students in Toler Hall. Martín-Baró Scholars cohorts typically range from 16-18 students allowing lots of individual attention and meetings with professors. We prioritize student growth and leadership (many students go on to leadership positions and earn awards). We meet leaders at City Hall and attend plays and events off-campus as a class.

Students in front of Lone Mountain

How to Apply

The deadline for application is Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

Fulfill Your Core Requirements

Earn 8 units of credit in the fall and 8 more units in the spring. Martín-Baró Scholars typically takes up half of your schedule each semester, allowing you to take two other classes each semester. We meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:45 a.m.-2:05 p.m. (with a break in between).

  • Oral Communication (Core A1)
  • Written Communication (Core A2)
  • Literature (Core C1)
  • Community-Engaged Learning (Core CEL)
  • Cultural Diversity designation (Core CD)

Core Curriculum

What You'll Be Working On

Readings will explore rhetorical, political, historical, and literary angles on food justice and poverty throughout the academic year.

Assignment Timeline
Neighborhood case study (teams of three research, visit a neighborhood, then co-write and co-present a final paper) Fall
Policy paper and speech of your choice Fall
“Rogerian” research project, paper, and speech of your choice Spring
Short literature-based responses (students choose one to expand) Spring
Community development project Spring

Who We’re Looking For

  • Team players with strong work ethic
  • Students with genuine interest in community-engaged learning
  • Students who are communicative with peers and professors
  • Students who challenge themselves and take research seriously
  • Exceptionally mature students of any major


David Holler

David Holler

Professor, Department of Rhetoric and Language

Kara Knafelc

Kara Knafelc

Instructor, Department of Rhetoric and Language