Program Services

The Fiat Lux Scholars Program provides:



During the academic year, the Fiat Lux Scholars Program offers workshops on a variety of topics benefitting  all undergraduate students. Workshops are presented by Fiat Lux Scholars Program staff or in collaboration with other campus departments. These workshops will optimize the scholar's learning and provide them with general college survival strategies. Scholars are able to gain more in-depth knowledge of specific topics, meet other students, learn about on-campus resources and much more.   

Study Sessions

First year scholars within the program are required to attend Fiat Lux Study Sessions, however, they are open to all Fiat Lux scholars to attend. Study Sessions offer students an opportunity to develop good study habits, form study groups, learn from each other and receive academic support from Academic Scholars when available. Study Sessions are held during various hours for the scholars throughout the week.

Fiat Lux Counselors

Scholars have the opportunity  to meet one-on-one with a Fiat Lux Counselor. Regular and frequent interaction with the Fiat Lux Counselors is encouraged and required. During these meetings, a scholar's academic progress is reviewed and Fiat Lux Counselors ensure they have the support needed  throughout  the semester to be successful. Scholars are able to ask any question and have a safe place to be able to discuss any concerns they may have related to academics , personal and social life, and/or career options. 

Faculty Receptions

In collaboration with Housing and Residence Life, Fiat Lux Scholars Program hosts Faculty Receptions. Faculty Receptions are held monthly for students participating in the Fiat Lux Scholars Program Living-Learning Community. The goal of the receptions include:

1.   To connect students with faculty members outside of the classroom;

2.   Te help develop networking and communication skills; and

3.   To provide a friendly atmosphere for students to explore courses, majors, research opportunities and careers with faculty members.


USTU 010 Introduction to Undergraduate Studies

USTU 010 is a First-Year Success course that meets once a week and includes interactive lectures and small-group discussion sessions focused on topics related to navigating campus life and strategies for effective learning at UC Merced. Reflective writings and engagement in activities  that promote self-empowerment and academic success play key roles in this course. This class is based on the On Course textbook, which has been used by hundreds of thousands of college freshmen across the United States in recent years. The course is intended to help students better understand and respond to the demands and expectations of higher education. Fiat Lux Scholars are able to enroll in one of the two restricted sections of USTU 10 only available to Fiat Lux Scholars. Fiat Lux staff members teach the Fiat Lux sections of USTU 10. 


Living Learning Community

Incoming first-year Scholars will have the opportunity to reside together in the residence halls in the Fiat Lux Living Learning Community. This is a requirement of all first year Scholars within the program. The goal of the community includes:
  • Assistance in a successful transition to college
  • Establishment of relationships with peers pursing a common goal of success in higher education
  • Connection with campus resources, staff, and faculty members who are critical partners to student success.

* Note: The Fiat Lux Scholars Program does not have the ability to move individuals from the waitlist to have a contract acceptance letter.  If you have any questions, please contact us at