A scholar is an academic who pursues learning, gaining mastery in one or more disciplines. Sometimes known as professional students, scholars distinguish themselves by their accomplishments: publications, research, teaching and inventing. For the person who wants to be a scholar, the love of learning is essential.

Read. A scholar is continually learning. Read everything you can in your field of study.

Conduct research. Scholars provide new knowledge, new approaches or methods or creative adaptations of existing knowledge.

If currently enrolled in college, participate in academic life. Do a research assistantship. Interact with faculty in your field and related disciplines. Join informal study groups to learn and discuss the subject with other students.

Gain more knowledge. Join professional associations and subscribe to their journals and newsletters. Keep updated on the current research and recent developments in your field.

Teach courses and mentor others. This is an excellent way to remember and grow in knowledge. You can discourse with others interested in the same subjects and receive feedback. Students often ask questions or require further explanation.

Seek evaluation by sharing your work. Present papers at professional associations. Conduct creative performances or exhibitions of work. Publish your research.

Keep learning. Scholars achieve awards, honors or public recognition. This is motivation to keep on working.


  • Libraries are a great resource for scholarly journals and subject specific magazines.

  • Although most scholars have advanced degrees and are affiliated with institutions of higher learning, it is possible to be an independent scholar and pursue your own lines of research. You may have to work harder to have your work published or find funding for research, but you will be able to pursue scholarship at your own pace.