The Nitze Scholars Program

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The Nitze Scholars Program curriculum is designed as a more enriching and challenging means of attaining a quality liberal arts education in depth and breadth. It encourages individuals to be intellectual risk-takers while collectively maintaining the high academic standards expected in a selective program of talented students.


  1. Breadth and Depth of General Study. Successful completion of 128 credit hours (44 upper-level), the same as for all St. Mary’s College students, including specific requirements for graduation in an approved major.
  2. Grades. The attainment and maintenance of a 3.50 cumulative GPA, so that the student is eligible for graduation with Latin honors. Furthermore, all of the course requirements listed below must be completed with a grade of C or higher.
  3. Advanced Proficiency. Demonstration of satisfactory completion of advanced proficiency in at least two of the following three proficiency areas. (Students not satisfying the advanced proficiency in mathematics or in foreign language must satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement in those areas.)
    1. Writing: Either ENGL 201—Advanced Composition, ENGL 270—Creative Writing, or ENGL 395—Topics in Writing
    2. Mathematics: MATH 151 – Calculus
    3. Foreign Language: One four-credit course in a foreign language at the 200-level or higher. This requirement may be satisfied through intensive foreign language study taken during a study-abroad program that has been previously approved by the Nitze Scholars Program director and foreign language faculty. The latter will evaluate the student’s level of competency upon return to St. Mary’s College.
  4. NITZ 180: Leadership Seminar I. Successful completion of the first-semester seminar on some aspect of leadership. (This satisfies the College’s first-year seminar requirement.)
  5. NITZ 181: Leadership Tutorial. Successful completion of a two-credit tutorial on leadership.
  6. NITZ 280: Leadership Seminar II. Successful completion of a second-year leadership seminar, linked to a study tour abroad sponsored by the Nitze Scholars Program.
  7. In addition to NITZ 180, successful completion of four credit hours in each of the following six areas:
    • Mathematics
    • Natural Sciences (with a laboratory)
    • Social Sciences
    • Arts
    • Cultural Perspectives(NITZ 280 satisfies this requirement)
    • Humanistic Foundations
  8. Liberal Studies Breadth. Successful completion of a breadth of liberal studies which follows the spirit of the St. Mary’s College Core Curriculum requirements, as well as state regulations for public institutions, but is developed by the individual student. This will include at least 12 credits of coursework, none of which satisfies any other Scholars Program requirements and which, ordinarily, will represent no fewer than three different and distinct disciplines. Moreover, none of the 12 credits can be required for the student’s major, unless the student is majoring in more than one discipline.
  9. Senior Portfolio. Completion and approval by the Scholars Committee of a portfolio reflecting on the student’s educational goals and attainment at St. Mary’s, both in the curriculum and in co-curricular activities. Though developing the portfolio is an ongoing process, it must be submitted for approval during the student’s final term.
  10. St. Mary’s Project. Successful completion of an eight-credit St. Mary’s Project.
  11. Proof of academic dishonesty in any course constitutes a serious breach of Scholars Program ethics, and severe penalties will be levied against any student found guilty of such behavior (as defined in the Student Handbook), including loss of all College-funded merit scholarship support, probable dismissal from the Scholars Program, and possible suspension/expulsion from the College.


NITZ 180. Leadership Seminar I (4F)

This course examines a theme relating to leadership, a thinker who has written about leaders, or a thinker who has served as a leader. Leadership has many varieties, and the topic of this seminar will be determined by the instructor. Open only to those in the first semester of the Nitze Scholars Program.

NITZ 181. Leadership Tutorial (2S)

This variable topic course focuses on some aspect of leadership both to supplement the Leadership Seminar I and to build on some of the issues raised by the year's Nitze Senior Fellow. Open only to those in the second semester of the Nitze Scholars Program.

NITZ 280. Leadership Seminar II (4F or 4S)

This course examines some aspect of leadership in an international context. Depending on the instructor, this course could focus on a historical period involving another culture or on a contemporary issue with international dimensions. This seminar is offered once each year, and concludes with a one- to two-week study tour to an appropriate international destination. Open only to those in the second year of the Nitze Scholars Program.