Honors Program

Honors Program Graduate at Commencement

Fast Facts: Honors Program

  • Classes are designed for high-achieving students who desire an advanced level of inquiry
  • Students learn through dynamic, thought-provoking discussion and through co-curricular activities that engage students intellectually
  • Classes are often interdisciplinary, challenging students to examine topics deeply and to view ideas and problems from multiple perspectives
  • Coursework emphasizes communication skills by requiring students to write, discuss and present both formally and informally
  • Faculty encourage students to develop the habits of mind and heart that prepare them for lifelong learning and to apply knowledge to contemporary questions and uncertainties
  • Students are not required to take additional classes but can use Honors classes to fulfill many of the College's general education (Veritas) requirements

Program Requirements

Qualifying for the Honors Program

If you meet two of the following three criteria upon application to The College of St. Scholastica, you will be invited by letter to interview for the Honors Program:

  • Rank in the top 15 percent of your high school graduating class
  • Post a minimum score of 26 on the ACT or 1240 on SAT
  • Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale

Interviewing for the Honors Program

A successful interview with the Honors Director is required for admission to the Honors Program. If you wish to participate in the Honors Program, but do not meet two of the three criteria for admission, you may still apply by contacting the Honors Director for an interview.

Graduating from the Honors Program

To be named a Webster Scholar at graduation and on his or her transcript, a student must complete the following requirements while at the College:

  • Twenty (20) credits of Honors coursework, eight credits of which must be at the 3000- or 4000-level
  • Honors 1111 and 1112 courses, four credits of which may apply toward the 20 credits of Honors coursework
  • A minimum grade of a "B" for all 20 Honors credits 
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 for all College coursework upon graduation.

Transfer students are required to take an alternative course to Honors 1111 and 1112 and may be approved for a reduced credit requirement in Honors.

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a major or minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse HON 3800 - Applications of Game Theory

Explores the principles of game theory, which provide a powerful framework for analyzing strategic interaction among individuals and groups in a variety of different settings. Strategic interactions occur when individuals interact with each other, have competing interests, and the outcome depends upon how each individual behaves. In this course we examine the conditions under which cooperation is desirable and what policies make cooperation more likely. A fluency with high school algebra is assumed.

Expand and Collapse HON 4500 - Gods and Monsters:

This course explores the turn to religion and the supernatural, as well as concerns of youth in American popular culture since the early 1990s. Whether one examines the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel or enormously popular films such as The Matrix trilogy and Dogma, there has been a virtual explosion of angels, monsters, vampires, and aliens in American film, TV, and literature. Beginning with a critical and historical look at some of the precursors to the recent aesthetic and cultural articulations of religion and the supernatural - from Mary Shelley's 19th century Gothic novel Frankenstein to the horror films of James Whales in the 1930s and 1940s - questions are raised about the contemporary fascination with the supernatural alongside path-breaking work in the history of religions, media studies, and cultural studies. Honors section descriptions.

Expand and Collapse HON 4600 - Global Issues After 9/11

This course offers students the opportunity to engage in historical reflection on 9/11 and its aftermath. Toward this end, we will trace recent debates in the history of religions, cultural anthropology and political philosophy on the nature of religious and cultural differences, the scope and impact of American imperialism, war, and transnational peace and justice movements. As the tragedy of 9/11 and the "war against terror" should make crystal clear, the challenge of living humanely and justly in the world today demands a different kind of political ethic--one that persistently values the place of difference and otherness in understanding (and perhaps transforming) the utter violence of the modern and postmodern worlds. The course's objective is to come to a clearer understanding of the radical implication of modern Western forms of power, knowledge and history-making in this very violence. Honors section descriptions.

Expand and Collapse HON 4650 - The Book in the Fifteenth Century

Study of the history of the book in the west with a focus on the 15th century, which saw the transition from the manuscript to the printed book. An exercise in experimental archaeology, the course centers on material aspects of book production from calligraphy, illumination, and sewing to typesetting, printing, and binding. Students learn basic book production skills and collaborate to produce one manuscript book and a limited run printed book. Additionally, students individually investigate aspects of the history of book production and contribute reports to an anthology of studies that accompanies the manuscript and printed books.

Expand and Collapse HON 4885 - The Holocaust

The course involves examination of the Holocaust and its meaning for subsequent generations through an analysis of key source materials, memoirs and interpretations. Critical for an understanding of the Holocaust is the experience of victims, perpetrators and bystanders. Honors section descriptions.

For Further Information

Contact the Honors Program Director, Dr. Stephanie Johnson at sjohnson2@css.edu.

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  • "CSS honors courses have provided me a forum to develop as an intellectual, but more importantly, have also encouraged me to discuss and formulate my own perceptions on countless crucial matters of human existence."

    – Josh Robak, '17

  • "The honors program has improved my analytical thinking, problem-solving and writing skills. Beyond that, it has encouraged me outside of my comfort zone and into classes that I wouldn't otherwise take. As a result, I'm not only a better student, but also a better human being and social justice advocate."

    – Alexa Lee, ’17

  • "I've loved being in the honors program. It opened me up to things I never expected I would be so interested in. I decided on a theology and religious studies minor because of the interesting honors religion classes. That would never have entered my mind without this program"

    – Megan Brennhofer, '16