Leeds Scholars

About Us

The Leeds Scholars Program (LSP) is a selective honors, leadership development opportunity for undergraduate students within the Leeds School of Business. This program provides a rigorous academic community of peers, mentorship opportunities with upperclassmen & business professionals, a merit scholarship, global enrichment, as well as specialized advising and professional development.

Additionally, Leeds Scholars participate in co-curricular enrichment programming that advances their global/social awareness, cultivates innovative thinking, and affords them the experience to become top business, academic, and community leaders. Through this program, scholars collaborate with other high-performing students and professionals to solve problems inside and outside of the classroom.


Connect with other top scholars and gain unprecedented opportunities!

Program Elements

First Year

Orientation Retreat and Seminar

The entire first semester is spent orienting Leeds Scholars to opportunities and resources at CU and Leeds and introducing them to the core elements we believe every business leader will need. This semester you will be participating in a weekly non-credit seminar that will give exposure to opportunities on campus and the critical skills we want you to acquire in your time in the program.

In early September, the Scholars will be travelling to Denver for an orientation retreat where they will get to know each other as well as learn about civic leadership. During this “Business in the Community” weekend students gain exposure to Civic Leadership through an in-depth look at how corporations impact their local communities and the intersection between the public and private sectors.

Global Experience

In the second semester, our students will participate in a BADM 1260, a 2-credit Global Experience Course that gives them an introduction to international business and also prepares them for their group global experience.

First Year—Summer Global Trip

Following their Spring semester in their first year of Leeds Scholars, the students will take a 7-10 day trip abroad as a group. This trip will be integrated with the Global Experience Course and will give students exposure to global business/markets, different cultures, and give them an understanding and appreciation for different geopolitical systems.

Funding your Global Group Trip: As part of the Leeds Scholars program, each student will receive up to a $4,000 of Opportunity Funding to be used throughout their four years to assist with additional opportunity costs. We recommend that $2,000 of this total fund toward their Group Global Trip and then save, raise, or seek out the additional funding needed for this trip. This will allow students up to an additional $2000 for other experiences in their four years. (All Opportunity Funding must be used in the form of a scholarship toward your CU Tuition bill.)

2nd/3rd Years

Mastermind Intensives

In the 2nd and 3rd years of the program, Leeds Scholars will participate in 1-3 day intensives delivered by experts, “masters” in specific fields or skills. We want our students to gain exposure to and practice in the following critical skills areas:

  • Critical Thinking/Group Problem Solving
  • Innovation/Creativity/Collaboration
  • Project Management
  • Communication
  • Cutting-edge technical business skills
  • Business Planning/Research
  • Emotional Intelligence

Students will have multiple opportunities to participate in Masterminds in each of the above topics, and will be required to participate in one of each category during these two years.

Examples of the Mastermind Intensives might include:

  • • A two-day critical thinking and group problem solving training by the company that currently helps to train US Intelligence agents.
  • • A public speaking and interpersonal communication training through an improvisational comedy group.

2nd/3rd Year Project

During the students’ 2nd or 3rd year in the program, a Leeds Scholar must participate in a Leeds Leadership Outreach Project. This requires that the Leeds Scholars work together in a group to either better the Leeds School in some way or to serve as a community partner between the school and another organization. Each year the students will be presented with potential partnership organizations or they can work to define their own project.

4th Year

Senior Project

All Leeds Scholars complete and present a yearlong senior business project. This project will be overseen by a professional/faculty member and afford the students a “real life” opportunity to create a business, project, organization, or program. To fully understand “business” we feel our students need to experience creating something from scratch. We give our students the support and resources they need to fully develop the business plan and implementation strategies.

Additional Elements: All Four Years


The LSP strongly believes in the importance of mentorship, both gaining mentorship and serving as a mentor. Incoming freshman to the program, are teamed with an upperclassman peer mentor who exemplifies outstanding leadership in the university and community. In later years, Leeds Scholars are mentored both through young alumni of the Leeds School of Business and by more seasoned professionals in their area of interest. As seniors, scholars have the opportunity to be peer mentors themselves to younger Leeds Scholars.


The Leeds Scholars Program wants all of its scholars prepared to be global business leaders. In the first year in the program students participate in the Global Experience Class and Group Global Trip. We want to ensure every student continues to develop themselves as a global citizen and business professional. Therefore, each Leeds Scholars is required to participate in an Individual Global Expedition. This Global Expedition can be: 1) an international professional internship (either abroad or locally with an international focus); 2) a study abroad program in business; 3) an individually designed international leadership experience.

Ongoing Reflection

E-Portfolio: The E-Portfolio is an online hub where each individual Leeds Scholar collects, documents and reflects upon their breadth of experiences. Not only does the ongoing development of one’s personal e-portfolio enhance the cumulative value of various experiences, but serves as a basis for one-on-one personal and professional development from a Master Teacher.

Individual Coaching

Leeds Scholars receive ongoing coaching directly from the Leeds Scholars staff and faculty for both professional and personal development. This happens both through the seminar series in a more formal setting and then more individually through reaction to their ongoing E-portfolio reflection and individual needs.

Scholarships and Grants:

Each Leeds Scholar participating fully in the program receives a $1000/year base scholarship for each year they participate in the program and remain in good standing. Additionally, students will have the ability to apply for Opportunity Funding up to $4000. This funding can be used toward additional enrichment experiences such as our Group International trip, an individually designed international project, taking an unpaid internship, or other opportunities that might not otherwise be available to the student.

Additional Expectations & Partnerships

Academic Excellence

Leeds Scholars are selected for their past academic performance and will be expected to maintain that quality of excellence throughout their Leeds Scholars experience. In order to receive funding from the program, a Leeds Scholars must maintain a 3.3 GPA. (Students will be given a full Academic Policy when they enter the program.)

Leadership Role/Involvement

Leeds Scholars are selected for their involvement in their high schools and communities. We feel that our students will be the most successful if they continue to work on their leadership and professional development skills and engage with CU and Leeds in ways that are meaningful to them. This doesn’t mean just learning about these qualities but also putting them into action.

Leeds Scholars are required to do the following:

Professional Preparation

  • Student must actively participate in the Professional Development partnerships that Leeds Scholars has with Career Connections and the Professional Mentorship Program.
  • Professional Experience: A Leeds Scholar must complete a professional internship during their time in the Leeds School of Business.

Culture of Participation and Leadership

Leeds Scholars must show participation in student groups and organizations outside of our core program.

  • They must actively join and participate in one additional extracurricular within the Leeds School of Business in their Freshman/Sophomore years.
  • They must show some “leadership” to their chosen student organizations in their Junior/Senior year. (This does not mean the student has to hold an official office within the organization but rather that they are demonstrating an effort to better the organization, pilot a project, spearhead an initiative, etc.)

Partnerships and Opportunities

Additional enrichment opportunities will be offered to each Leeds Scholar throughout their time in the program. These will vary by the year but will always serve to develop each student as a professional, a leader, and a community supporter. We ask that our students take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible past the required two per semester.

No cost development opportunities:

  • Leeds School of Business Career Connections: Career Connections offers specialized workshops for our students and one-on-one mentoring for students.
  • Professional Mentorship Program (PMP): The PMP program offers specialized workshops to our students on how to best utilize mentors. Additionally, the Leeds Scholars staff works closely with PMP staff in the placement of all our 3rd year LS students with professional mentors for their final two years at CU.
  • Gold Board Young Alumni Board: The Gold Board works with the LS program to provide our 2nd year scholars with young alumni mentors. This near to age, professional mentorship offers a unique experience for our students.
  • Speakers: Leeds Scholars works with other Honors and Leadership development programs to organize and host speakers on diverse leadership and enrichment topics.
  • Diverse Scholars Program (DSP): LS works with DSP to jointly support our overlapping student population.

Additionally, the Leeds Scholars Program wants each of its students to seek out development experiences that focus on their areas of interests, and skills they wish to develop. In order to promote this continued learning, Leeds Scholars have the chance to apply for “Opportunity Funding” that supports these experiences.


Application Criteria

Students can apply to the Leeds Scholars program as entering freshman to the Leeds School of Business or rising sophomores in the Leeds School of Business.

Scholars are selected based on academic achievement, demonstration of citizenship/character, leadership ability/community involvement, and professional development/passion for business.

Application Elements

In order to be considered for the Leeds Scholars Program, you must submit the following by March 1, 2014:

NOTE: If you are applying to the Presidents Leadership Class on campus, please email leedsscholars@colorado.edu. This application can be used as a replacement for the Leeds Scholars application. You will still be required to submit a letter of recommendation, transcript, and the Leeds Scholars essays; however, the rest of the application will not be required.

Applications should be submitted online. If submitting an online application presents a difficulty for you, please email or call Jennifer McDuffie at 303.492.6490.


Leeds Scholars

Hear from three students who have had success with the Leeds Scholars program.


Kelly Fowler
Program Director of Recruitment & Scholarship
Koelbel S210L
Al Smith
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs
Koelbel 212
Angela Thieman-Dino