Martín-Baró Scholars Program

The Martín-Baró Scholars Program is a yearlong living-learning community intended for first-year students at the University of San Francisco. Now completing its twelfth year, the program integrates five core requirements into a single, comprehensive curriculum that examines issues of poverty, social justice, and diversity.

Using the City of San Francisco as an experiential springboard, students develop their abilities in observation, discussion, analysis, and writing through a multidimensional lens. Students will be proactive in engaging with the societal problems they examine by doing significant service with one community partner for an entire academic year.


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Engaging with Social Justice in San Francisco

This year the central focus of the Martín-Baró Scholars Program is on social justice in San Francisco. To engage with this challenging subject, we will combine our classroom texts and assignments with a service-learning project, alongside the Faithful Fools, an amazing live/work community based in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. After getting to know our partners and ourselves as a cohort, we will be co-creating a documentary film. As Sam Dennison of the Faithful Fools describes our project: “We will ask people of all walks of life—from the city streets to city hall, from entrepreneur to CEO, from homeless to landlord: ‘How do you envision a Just Society? What will you see and know? How will you live differently in that Just Society?’ And we will produce from all those interviews a short documentary film to show on campus, at churches, submit to film festivals, and anywhere else you can imagine.” See more information on the service project

Students who successfully complete the Martín-Baró Scholars Program curriculum earn 8 units of credit in the fall, and 8 more units in the spring. MBS typically takes up half of your schedule each semester, allowing you to take two other classes each semester.

Students who complete MBS with a passing grade will earn the following cores:

  • Oral Communication (Core A1)
  • Writing Communication (Core A2)
  • Literature (Core C1)
  • Service-Learning designation (Core SL)
  • Cultural Diversity designation (Core CD)