The Honors College Choice
College is about choice. Serious students choose environments that challenge them in class and out. They aren't just going through the motions so they can get into law or medical school, or to begin a career. They want to understand what history has to do with today, what philosophy has to do with physics, and what music theory has to do with preschool teaching.
Learning occurs in our seminar-style classes, but also in the art studio, science laboratory, during an internship, studying abroad, over coffee with a professor, or simply hanging out in your room with friends.
Whatever it takes - majors, minors, and cross-disciplinary study
Take your time in choosing a major (or two). For many students one field isn't enough. Biology and music. History, political science, and environmental studies. Economics and Asian studies. Math and religion. Neuroscience and African Diaspora studies. The choices are all around you at the Honors College.
St. Mary's professors are actually excited when students opt out of a standard major to create their own student-designed major. They'll work with you on what matters to you. In your sophomore year, as you are finishing general education requirements, you work with an advisory committee of faculty members to design a program that is all your own. Click here for more info on student-designed majors
Minors and Cross-disciplinary Study
An honors education transcends the boundaries of a traditional discipline. Many St. Mary's students take a minor in a second field or in a cross-disciplinary study program.
St. Mary's Projects
An honors education culminates for most students in a St. Mary's Project-a year-long project created with the help of a faculty mentor. An SMP may be a research project or a creative expression in the arts. It may include components of internships, study-abroad programs, and other experiential formats, as well as reflect traditional research skills.
The possibilities are limitless. A documentary film on politics and music in Mexico City, field study of bird nesting behavior in Bermuda, evaluation of summer camps for children with disabilities, or essays on the iconic blonde woman in American pop culture. Search for examples in your areas of interest.
Get ready for graduate school or a career.
An honors college education prepares you for the future. St. Mary's has the highest graduation rate among public colleges and universities in Maryland. More than 60% of St. Mary's students enter graduate or professional school at places like Cambridge University, England; MIT, Stanford, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Yale.
St. Mary's makes sure you have the resources you need to be successful.
- Internships promote career exploration while enhancing the skills acquired from an honors college education. Overseas internships give students the skills to work effectively within a multitude of cultures.
- The pre-health sciences and pre-law advisory committees advise students throughout their four years at St. Mary's, write letters of recommendation, and help keep track of application requirements and deadlines.
- Students choosing to begin their careers immediately after St. Mary's are not only successful (two-thirds enter fields directly related to their studies), but are helped by the Career Development Center (CDC).
Can't wait? Read the descriptions of the hundreds of courses in the College Catalog.
A professor for every 12 students--98% who hold doctorates.
Professors who love to learn ... and love to teach. You get to do more than listen to them lecture at you. Debate with them. Work and publish together. Have lunch with them. Count among your friends and advisers professors who've been National Book Award winners and poet laureates, written speeches for the U.N. secretary general, sculpted pieces for BWI-Thurgood Marshall and Reagan National airports, and made national news for research in biology or psychology - to name a few.
Dig in... It's your education.
Your studies can take you anywhere you want, including in one of our signature study abroad programs in Oxford, England; Alba, Italy; Shanghai, China; and The Gambia in West Africa. Incorporate your travels into your St. Mary's Project or an internship. Conduct field research in Maya mountain rainforest and Caribbean waters off Belize. Produce a new folk history journal for independent study credit.
The choice is yours...
to be intellectually challenged in class and out. To be surrounded by other students and professors who are just as inquisitive as you are. To be immersed in possibilities. To be yourself, all of the time. That's what it means to be at one of the top 100 liberal arts and sciences colleges in the nation. You don't have to have it all figured out before you get here. The choices are all around you.