Admissions Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6046
(800) 249-6412
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admissions@css.edu

Stephanie Johnson, Ph.D.
Honors Program Director
Tower Hall, Room 4103
(218) 625-4488
sjohnson2@css.edu

Honors Program

Honors Program Graduate at Commencement

Living and Learning Community

Launching fall 2019 for first-year honors students

Fast Facts: Honors Program

The Honors Program prepares civic scholars committed to the pursuit of knowledge that leads to ethical action in their communities and beyond. 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

Preparing Civic Scholars

The Honors Program prepares civic scholars committed to the pursuit of knowledge that leads to ethical action in their communities and beyond. Our courses are designed to challenge students intellectually for the purpose of becoming engaged in civic life beyond the walls of the classroom. We ask students to become responsible for their own education and to pay it forward by promoting quality of life for all people.

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.

Honors Living and Learning Community

Our living and learning community will bring together Honors faculty, staff and students within the first-year residence hall. Unique classes and aligned co-curricular activities all help produce a more intentional community that sets up Honors students for success.

Benefits of 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

If you are an accepted Honors student, join the Class of 2023 Honors Living and Learning Community Facebook page to connect with fellow honors students.

Program requirements

Qualifying for the Honors Program

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

  • Top 15 percent of high school class
  • ACT score of 26 or SAT score of 1240
  • GPA of 3.5/4.0 scale

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 courses may be used to fulfill many general education (Veritas) requirements at the College, so Honors Program requirements do not typically require extra classes. To be named a Webster Scholar at graduation and on his or her transcript, a student must complete the following requirements:

  • Twenty (20) credits of Honors coursework, eight credits of which must be at the 3000- or 4000-level
  • Four required courses that may also fulfill Veritas* requirements: Honors Dignitas, Civil Society and the Common Good, Civic Scholarship and Engagement and Vocation Capstone.
  • 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

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.

Honors courses fall 2019

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse HON 1111 - The Responsible Self

Click the following link to view descriptions for each section of Dignitas. Take note of the section number and instructor of the section you are interested in and then return here to determine the CRN. Dignitas section descriptions.

Expand and Collapse HON 2777 - Topics

Many Honors courses are unique offerings. HON 2777 topics courses are designed for first-year students and sophomores. Recent topics have been Art of Recycling and Environment and Society. Honors section descriptions.

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 4888 - Honors

Individual research projects will result in a thesis. Students will work under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required. Honors section descriptions.

Expand and Collapse HON 4999 - Independent Study

Students complete an independent study on a specific topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required. These independent study courses are individual offerings based on a student's particular area of interest. Honors section descriptions.

HON 1112, Sec. 001: And Dignity for All: Great Ideas CRN 60139, 4 cr.
Area Distribution for Honors: Fulfills DGN requirement
Dr. Thomas Morgan, TR 12:00-1:40p.m.
This is a continuation of HON 1111, Sec 001 from fall semester.

HON 1112, Sec. 002: And Dignity for All: Great Ideas CRN 60140, 4 cr.
Area Distribution for Honors: Fulfills DGN requirement
Prof. Sarah Brokke Erickson, TR 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This is a continuation of HON 1111, Sec 002 from fall semester.

HON 1112, Sec. 003: And Dignity for All: Great Ideas CRN 60390, 4 cr.
Area Distribution for Honors: Fulfills DGN requirement
Dr. Randall Poole, TR 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This is a continuation of HON 1111, Sec 003 from fall semester.

HON 1112, Sec. 004: And Dignity for All: Great Ideas CRN 60863, 4 cr.
Area Distribution for Honors: Fulfills DGN requirement
Dr. Audrey Devine Eller, TR 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This is a continuation of HON 1111, Sec 004 from fall semester.

HON 2777, Sec. 001: The Politics of Science in the United States
CRN 60907, 4 cr.
Veritas: VCNS
Dr. Jennifer Maki, MWF 11:45-12:50 p.m.
Seats: 15
The complexity of science and its place in American culture will be explored. We will consider the role of science in decision making, politics, and environmental issues. Within this framework, we will also examine the industry of science and how it can be inclusive or exclusive of individuals, primarily with regard to race and/or gender.

HON 2777, Sec. 002: And Justice for All
CRN 61189, 2 cr.
Cross-listed with PJS 2777
Veritas: VCPH, VCSS
Dr. Tom Morgan, T 3:50-5:30 pm
Seats: 12 HON; 3 PJS
This course is connected to the 2019-20 Alworth Peace & Justice lecture series, which brings nationally known scholars to campus around a common theme. This year's series will feature presentations on the idea of justice in the United States from four different perspectives. Students will read books written by the four lecturers and will be given an opportunity to meet and interact with them when they are on campus. Additional related readings may be required. This course can be taken both Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 for a total of four credits.

HON 2777, Sec. 003: Law and Economics
CRN 61192, 4 cr.
Veritas: VCSS, VCPH
Dr. Bob Hoffman, MWF 10:30-11:35 a.m.
Seats: 15
The best description of topic of Law and Economics is the one given by David Friedman, whose book will be our main text for the course:
"You live in a state where the most severe criminal punishment is life imprisonment. Someone proposes that since armed robbery is a very serious crime, armed robbers should get a life sentence. A constitutional lawyer asks whether that is consistent with the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. A legal philosopher asks whether it is just.

An economist points out that if the punishments for armed robbery and for armed robbery plus murder are the same, the additional punishment for the murder is zero-and asks whether you really want to make it in the interest of robbers to murder their victims.

That is what economics has to do with law. Economics, whose subject, at the most fundamental level, is not money or the economy but the implications of rational choice, is an essential tool for figuring out the effects of legal rules. Knowing what effects rules will have is central both to understanding the rules we have and to deciding what rules we should have."

HON 3777, Sec. 001: Art and Protest
CRN 60686, 4 cr.
Cross-listed with ART 3777
Veritas: VIFA
Prof. Sarah Brokke Erickson, TR 10:00-11:40 a.m.
Seats: 12 HON; 3 ART
This course examines socially engaged visual art through historical and contemporary lenses. Looking at a range of works from the art of John Heartfield and Kathë Kollwitz in response to war in Germany to anonymous contemporary artists commenting on systems of oppression like The Guerilla Girls and Banksy, students will employ critical analysis through reading and discussion. Examining how or why art could be considered "an instrument of war," as Picasso so famously intoned, will be a primary focus as students culminate their studies through researching a contemporary issue and creating work in response.

HON 4420, Sec. 001: Film and Literature
CRN 61190, 4 cr.
Veritas: VIFA
Dr. Tammy Ostrander, MW 1:00-2:05 p.m., T 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Seats 15
Film and Literature focuses on how storytelling evolves from a written text to a visual and auditory one. When adapting a written text to a film form, the storyteller loses some tools, but gains many others. What decisions must a filmmaker make to adapt a written text to film form? How true to the original written text must a filmmaker stay for "authentic" storytelling in a differing art form? The course covers both literature and film as an art form, not just a narrative structure. We will read a variety genres and forms - novels, short stories, graphic novels - and view the resulting film adaptations. Typical selections have included Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, "310 to Yuma," World War Z, "The Man in the Bomb Suit"/The Hurt Locker, "Eisenheim the Illusionist"/The Illusionist, and Chocolat. This course is appropriate for a general audience i.e. not just bookworms and film geeks.

HON 4777, Sec. 001: The Poetry Collection
CRN 61191, 4 cr.
Veritas: VILI
Prof. Ryan Vine, MW 3:30-5:10 p.m.
Seats 15
We know that the unit of thought for the poet is the poem, but what do we make of a whole book (or collection) of poems? How do the best of them become more than a collection, more than simply the sum of their parts? By what magic does each poem in a collection stand together and alone? What do we learn, or more importantly experience, of the primary emotional concept of the collection? It's these questions and more that we'll ask of the following prize-winning books: Denise Duhamel's Kinky; Maurice Manning's Laurence Booth's Book of Visions; Sharon Old's Stag's Leap; Claudia Rankine's Citizen; Matt Rasmussen's Black Aperture; Patrick Phillip's Boy and Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead.

HON 3999: Independent Study
Days and times to be arranged, 0-4 cr.
Students complete an independent study on a specific topic under the supervision of a faculty member, based on a student's particular area of interest. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required.

HON 4888: Thesis
Days and times to be arranged, 0-4 cr.
Individual research projects will result in a thesis. Students will work under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required.

HON 4999: Independent Study
Days and times to be arranged, 0-4 cr.
Students complete an independent study on a specific topic under the supervision of a faculty member, based on a student's particular area of interest. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required.

*Interdisciplinary Course Option - Honors Program
Some Honors courses fulfill the traditional General Education areas (history, literature, fine arts, social science, philosophy, religious studies, natural science, analytical reasoning). However, many courses will be identified as "Interdisciplinary" (IDS) courses, the content of which spans more than one academic discipline. Students and their advisors decide on an appropriate General Education area each IDS course will meet.

A minimum of 20 credits of regular General Education courses must be taken. Students must enroll in the Writing and Oral Communication components of the General Education Program. Students should review what General Education courses are required for their majors and minors before selecting Honors courses.

For more information, please contact the instructor or Dr. Stephanie Johnson.

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  • "The St. Scholastica Honors Program has pushed me to think more deeply, ask more questions, and develop a more holistic education. I appreciate the Honors Program's unique offerings which encourage the rigorous pursuit of lifelong learning."

    – DyAnna, ‘19

  • "Being in the Honors Program has fed my curiosity and opened my mind to new and complex ways of thinking. Exploring topics in an interdisciplinary way has made me better student, both in the classroom and in life."

    – Abigail, ‘19

  • "The Honors courses that I've taken have been some of my favorites classes at St. Scholastica. I get to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, who are just as interested in learning the material as I am. The discussion-based format that many of the Honors classes follow allows me to easily participate, while still hearing other students' thoughts and perspectives that I never would have considered on my own."

    – Alyssa, ‘19