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The College of St. Scholastica

We ask students to become responsible for their own education and to pay it forward by promoting quality of life for all people. Honors students:

  • Employ critical thinking in the pursuit of knowledge across disciplines and beyond the walls of the classroom
  • Construct persuasive and civil arguments while considering diverse viewpoints
  • Formulate a framework for ethical decision-making
  • Evaluate effective models of community engagement that promote human flourishing

Embracing a life of learning

Students in the Honors Program love discussing ideas without fearing intellectual debate. Honors students listen respectfully, consider diverse viewpoints and adjust their own ideas through critical exchange with others. They understand the relationship between intellectual labor and building better and stronger communities. They embrace a life of learning that leads to meaningful work in the world.

Minor in Civic Studies

Honors students have the choice of earning a minor in Civic Studies through their Honors coursework or choosing only electives. The minor in Civic Studies is available only to Honors Program students and adds a nationally recognized credential to the program. As an interdisciplinary minor, it will complement any major at the College by educating students to reflect critically on and engage thoughtfully in civic life and to become agents for civic change. Civic engagement is a core element of the curriculum.

The minor curriculum educates civic scholars who understand their individual potential to shape the multiple environments surrounding them for the good. It prepares students to think and act together across differences for the improvement of society — including the dismantling of oppressive and unjust systems.

Honors Living and Learning Community

Our optional living and learning community brings together Honors faculty, staff and students within the first-year residence hall. Living on the same residence floor, attending unique classes and participating in aligned co-curricular activities all help produce a more intentional community that sets up Honors students for success.

Benefits of a Living and Learning Community

  • A community of classmates and study group partners with similar academic interests to help boost your grades. Special events and activities built around your interests
  • Access to faculty and staff that can advise you and network for future opportunities
  • Proximity to honors students for informal study sessions in the dorms

The Honors Program pushed me to think more deeply, ask more questions, and develop a more holistic education.


Program Details

Program Requirements

Qualifying for the Honors Program

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

  • ACT score of 26 or SAT score of 1240 and high school GPA of 3.5/4.0 scale; or
  • High school GPA of 3.8/4.0 scale if you applied as test-optional
Interviewing for the Honors Program

A successful interview is required for admission into the Honors Program. If you wish to participate in the 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 program

Honors students may choose to earn the academic title of Webster Scholar at graduation, a minor in Civic Studies, or both. Additionally, Honors courses may be used to fulfill many general education (Veritas) requirements at the College, so the program and minor may not require extra classes to complete.

To be named a Webster Scholar at graduation and on their transcript, a student must complete the following requirements:

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

To earn a minor in Civic Studies, a student must complete the following requirements:

  • Twenty credits of Honors (HON) coursework, eight credits of which must be at the 3000- or 4000-level, including:
    • HON 1111 and 1112: Dignitas, four credits of which apply to the minor;
    • Four credits from the 2000-level HON course cluster “Civil Society and the Common Good”;
    • Four credits from the 3000-level HON course cluster “Civic Scholarship and Engagement”; and
    • Civic Scholar Capstone (two credits)
    • Six elective HON credits
Transfer Students

Transfer students may be approved for a reduced credit requirement to graduate as a Webster Scholar. They are required to complete an alternative course to HON 1111 and 1112 to earn a minor in Civic Studies.


More information about coursework will be provided soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enroll in an Honors course?

Students who have been admitted to the Honors Program and who have registered for Honors Dignitas can enroll in any Honors course. Students must complete Honors Dignitas to continue to participate in the program and enroll in future courses.

How many Honors courses do I need to take?

Traditional first-year students are required to complete 20 credits of Honors courses, at least 8 credits of which must be at the upper level (3000- and 4000-level courses). With the permission of the Honors Director, transfer students may graduate from the Honors Program by completing 16 credits, at least 8 credits of which must be at the upper level.

How do I graduate from the Honors Program?

To graduate from the Honors Program and be designated a Webster Scholar, students must complete the required number of credits, including at least 8 at the upper level; earn a B or better in all of those required credits; and have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA at the time of graduation. Graduating with “Latin” honors is a separate designation and does not require participation in the Honors Program. Any student with the appropriate GPA may graduate with Latin honors.

What is a Webster Scholar?

Webster Scholars are those students who have completed the requirements for the Honors Program and who are graduating from the College. They are named for Lee Webster, a founding member of the Honors Program faculty who died of cancer during the 1996-97 academic year. We hope that his love of learning will be passed on to students in this program.

What recognition do I get for completing the Honors Program?

In addition to the title of Webster Scholar, a permanent transcript notation designates completion of the Honors Program requirements. Honors Program graduates receive special recognition by having their names set apart in the commencement program, wearing medallions and walking first at the graduation ceremony.

How are Honors courses different?

Honors courses are small, discussion-based seminars and students are often engaged and excited to exchange ideas. Honors courses emphasize essays, project or presentations rather than exams. Course topics are interesting and focused, and professors typically take an interdisciplinary approach to the topics.

How do I gain admittance to the Honors Program, and when can I enter?

Prospective students who meet one of the following criteria will be automatically invited to interview for the Honors Program: 1) ACT score of at least 26 or SAT score of at least 1240 and a high school GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale; or 2) a high school GPA of 3.8 on a 4.0 scale if you apply as test-optional. You must then successfully complete an interview with the program director and register for Honors Dignitas to be admitted. Transfer students will be invited to interview based on their previous college GPA. Current St. Scholastica students who did not qualify for the program when matriculating or who chose not to take Honors Dignitas may request an interview from the director for approval to enter the program via the Civic Studies minor. Such students must take an additional Honors course to reach the required 20 credits.

Do I have to take an Honors course every semester?

No, as an Honors Program student, you choose the semesters in which you want or need to take an Honors course. You can take multiple Honors courses in any semester.

Are there ways to get Honors credits outside of regular courses?

If an Honors Program faculty member is willing to advise you for an independent study, then you may use one toward the program requirements with the director’s approval.

Are Honors courses “instead of” or “in addition to” my regular course work?

All St. Scholastica students are required to complete general education (Veritas) courses in multiple disciplines: history, literature, religious studies, philosophy, natural science, social science and fine arts. Honors courses can be used to fulfill these requirements, so they can be taken “instead of” some courses rather than “in addition to.” Each Honors course has a Veritas designation.

How long do I have to complete the Honors Program Requirements?

When you graduate from the College, usually in four years, you must have completed your Honors Program requirements.

Can I complete my major and the Honors Program?

Yes, the Honors Program complements any undergraduate major at the College. Often, students complete a double major or complete a major with a minor in addition to the Honors Program. If you use Honors courses to fulfill your general education (Veritas) requirements whenever possible, then you should not have to take many elective credits in the Honors Program to complete successfully.