The St. Mary’s Honors Program curriculum spans eight courses, beginning and ending with philosophy and including courses in the social and natural sciences, aesthetics and theology. To complete the “academic marathon,” each Honors Scholar undertakes a senior thesis demonstrating the ability to conduct original research at an advanced level.
Beyond our curriculum, we offer a stimulating variety of activities ranging from plays and concerts to community service projects and social events, often in collaboration with our student organization, the St. Mary’s University Society of Honors Scholars.
The great majority of our graduates go on to pursue further studies in medicine, law and other professions. We estimate that more than one-third will eventually earn doctoral degrees (M.D., Ph.D. or J.D.) in their chosen fields.
In addition to the challenges, outreach opportunity, and taking the same classes with your cohort, there is also a financial incentive. The Honors Program provides a scholarship guarantee of up to $22,000 per year plus the opportunity to be a work study student. Students also have the opportunity to stay in the Honors Living and Learning Community, where they live with other Honors Scholars.
Incoming students who are not selected for the Honors Program have another opportunity to join the program after the fall semester of their freshman year. If they achieve a 3.85 GPA or higher after their freshman year, they will be invited to apply to the program. Many of the Honors Scholars graduate with honors (summa, magna or cum laude), win the Presidential Award and hold student leaderships positions on campus.
The Honors Program is focused on holistic development. It makes sure you have the critical-thinking skills you need to be successful in the outside world.
– Ashley Thomas, Biophysics major and Honors Scholar
To be considered for the program as an incoming freshman, students must have a high school GPA and a minimum SAT super score of 1250 or ACT super score of 27. Once students are in the program, they must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in their first year and a minimum 3.25 GPA after their freshman year.
Richard Cardenas, Ph.D.
Honors Program Director