An MLK Scholar, young Black man, looking into the distance as he stands infront of a mural of the Obamas.

An MLK Scholar during a domestic travel colloquium, Washington DC


"Everyone in the community has a role to play in transforming our community. Everyone must ask themselves, what is at stake in these times?”

-Bree Newsome, Filmaker and Activist


The First Year

MLK Scholars are selected for the program at the time of admission and join a cohort of approximately 60 fellow student social and academic leaders. A few staples of the first year experience include:

  • Program Seminar- All incoming MLK Scholars are enrolled in a fall seminar (SAHS-UE2). This Seminar introduces first-year Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars to the study of social justice in the United States through the historical lens of the Civil Rights Movement and the contemporary exploration of human rights.
  • Researching Social Justice- Scholars will be introduced to research opportunities and resources, including the Program Faculty Associates. During the seminar, each student will identify a research topic in social justice of interest, furthering its development through travel coloquia.
  • Travel Colloquia- Unique domestic or international travel programs tied to the curriculum and learning in the first-year seminar course and fully funded by the MLK Scholars Program. International travel, in particular, is designed to work in tandem with New York University's commitment to global learning and cooperation.

Over the years, travel colloquia to domestic locations have included Alabama, Atlanta, Georgia, the Gullah Islands, New Orleans, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C. International locations have included Australia, Brazil, Ghana, Greece, Israel, Morocco, Paris, Peru, Senegal, and Spain.

Sophomore-Senior Year

As MLK Scholars progress through their collegiate journey, they will continue to engage as a cohort, deepening their commitment to our values through regularly scheduled cohort meetings, continued civic engagement across local communities, and leadership development opportunities within and outside of the MLK Scholars program.