The Haas Scholars Program was founded in 1997 through the generous vision of Robert and Colleen Haas. Each year, twenty highly qualified, academically talented undergraduates with financial need come together to build a supportive intellectual community during their final year at UC-Berkeley. Haas Scholars come from all walks of life and every major on campus, but they are united by their desire to strive for excellence--both in their individual academic pursuits, and as an interdisciplinary cohort. (International students and undocumented students are welcome and encouraged to apply.) Applicants are evaluated primarily on the merit and originality of their proposal for an independent research or creative project that will serve as the basis for a senior or honors thesis. Once selected, Haas Scholars receive close mentoring from members of the UC-Berkeley faculty, seminars and workshops to assist them in the research and writing process, the opportunity to present their work at a professional conference, and up to $13,800 each in financial support. Haas Scholar alumni have gone on to become leaders in their respective fields, including academia, medicine, law, industry, the arts, and public service.