Designed to support motivated and gifted students who seek greater academic challenges, the Honors Program provides the opportunity to pursue customized academic pursuits through an accelerated course of study. Incoming students in grades 9-11 are eligible to apply. The application process consists of submitting a personal statement and letters of recommendation, completing an entrance exam, and being interviewed by members of the Honors Program Oversight Committee.
Each student in the Honors Program has an advisor to guide the student through the program and help develop an honors plan that combines the requirements of the program with the intellectual interests of the student through coursework, independent studies, teacher mentorship, research and internships. An evening seminar discussion series focusing on a combination of books, selected readings and essays, and student work is led by the Chair of the Honors Program Committee. A series of informal evening seminars gives Honors Program students a chance to interact with a range of experts and speakers in a direct and meaningful manner.
Throughout the high school years, and particularly in the senior year, Honors Program students develop courses of study that reflect their interests and academic pursuits. These courses of study may be individual or team-based; built on the model of the faculty member as the “professor” and the student as the “grad assistant”; designed for producing work for submission to publications; or a combination of academic research with the Center for Excellence in which a student is involved.
In addition, Honors students may partake in unique internship opportunities that enable them to see their area of interest in actual practice. These may take place during the school year, or as an “immersion” experience during school breaks. All Honors students are also involved in a service learning project during their senior years. Working with a faculty sponsor, senior Honors students embark on a 500-level course for a minimum of one term. The project combines previously learned academic material with an extensive commitment to community service beyond the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School campus.