Honors Program

The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Honors Program is an intellectually-stimulating academic program in an intimate, small-college setting, open to select high-ability students each year. Admission to the Honors Program is a privilege achieved by those who demonstrate exceptional academic skills and leadership potential.

Ready to put your extraordinary talents and curiosity to the ultimate test? The SMWC Honors Program will give you the vehicle and the open road to surpass your expectations. Our tradition of innovative teaching and learning begins with the special benefits and resources we provide each year to qualifying students.

Demanding courses, stimulating discussions, international study, and research projects will challenge your intellect and enhance your education. You’ll be able to tailor your academic program to your wants and needs. You can also pursue valuable scholarships to support your goals.

Our distinctive experiences for self-expression, leadership, and service will prepare you for graduate school, a professional career, and most importantly, life.

Both in and out of the classroom, our vibrant, supportive learning environment will help you interact and share ideas with other bright, motivated students and mentoring professors. You’ll be part of a close-knit, dynamic community from your first day on campus. By the time you graduate with an honors diploma, you’ll discover that you achieved more than you ever thought you could.

Honors Program Mission

The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Honors Program attracts and challenges select students to achieve the highest standards of academic, professional, and personal excellence. It offers an enriched curriculum that broadens cultural awareness, deepens knowledge, enhances creativity, sharpens research and writing skills, fosters leadership, and empowers students to make significant contributions to the global society.

For More Information

For further details about the Honors Program, please contact Kathryn Myers.

Program Focus

The program focuses on three areas to help you realize your potential in college and beyond:

  • challenging academics
  • campus involvement
  • community service

As an Honors student, you will grow into a young adult who finds their voice and makes a difference.

Your experience in the Honors Program will broaden your cultural awareness, deepen your knowledge, enhance your creativity, and sharpen your research and writing skills. You will be empowered to make significant contributions to today’s global society. As an Honors student, you will study with some of our most engaging faculty members in an academic environment that allows you to interact with many of SMWC’s most gifted students -- just like you!

This year’s Honors students are some of SMWC’s brightest first-year pupils; they came highly recommended by their mentors and teachers. The class boasted an average grade point average of 3.78, an average SAT (critical reading and math) of 1180, and an average ACT of 27. As a member of SMWC’s Honors Program, you will study alongside and interact with this gifted group of students! Scholarships are available for students accepted into the Honors Program.

Learning Outcomes

Stemming directly from the mission statement, the SMWC Honors Program prepares students to meet five major learning outcomes. All coursework and co-curricular activities will address one or more of these outcomes.By participating in the SMWC Honors Program, you will:

  • understand complex local and global issues and communicate informed opinions
  • utilize advanced knowledge and expertise within your discipline to generate creative solutions top problems
  • conduct scholarly research and share results with appropriate audiences
  • lead, promote, and actively participate in projects that effect positive change
  • exhibit the highest standards of personal and professional integrity

Ethics Bowl Academic Competition Team

Honors students are eligible to become members of the Ethics Bowl competition team that competes in the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl.  In this competition, approximately 30 teams prepare 15 cases to dialog on a random selection of six.  In the Ethics Bowl match, a moderator will question two teams, one defending team and one opposing team, on each case.   After the defending team has answered the question, the opposing team will comment on the defending team’s answer. The defending team then responds to the opposing team’s commentary. After the judges evaluate both teams on their performance, the teams reverse roles for the next round and the next case.  The SMWC team competed for the first time in the 16th Annual Central States Regional Ethics Bowl during the 2014-15 academic year.  Our team of two sophomores and one freshman competed against teams fielding junior and senior members and we placed 7th out of 24 teams.  We represented the smallest college/university and were the only all-female team present.  In November 2015 we fielded two teams against a field of 27.  Again, we were the only all-female teams and the youngest with mostly freshmen and sophomores.  Our new team of four placed 17th.  Last year’s team of three placed second this year and received a bid to the National Ethics Bowl in February 2016 in Reston, VA.  Picture yourself part of next year’s team!

For More Information

For further details about the Honors Program, please contact Kathryn Myers.

Admission to the Honors Program

In order to be considered for admission, you must first complete our free online application and be admitted to SMWC.

Admission to the Honors Program is based on academic achievement and potential. High school students earning an Indiana Academic Honors Diploma or completing an advanced college preparatory curriculum in another state are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program.

  • Deadlines: The Honors Program has a competitive, rolling admission review process. Students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Transfer students with a minimum of 15 credits and at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA will also be considered for admission to the Honors Program, and the Honors Committee will examine transfer student applications on an individual basis using college/university grades in lieu of SAT/ACT scores and high school GPA.  Transfer students who are admitted to the Honors Program will be required to complete all of the curricular and co-curricular requirements.

For More Information

For further details about the Honors Program, please contact Kathryn Myers.


  • WC100: Into and Out of the Woods honors section
  • TH200: Theology honors section
  • HN200: Honors Seminar (1 hour)
  • WC4xx: (Choice of 3) honors section
  • HN400: Honors Seminar (1 hour)
  • General Studies honors section
  • General Studies honors section

Volunteer Hours

  • Students must accumulate 100 clock hours of volunteer service during their time at SMWC.


  • Students must accumulate 16 points for participation in activities such as clubs, sports, and class officers during their time at SMWC.

Cultural Events

  • Students must attend 20 cultural events (including 5 off campus) such as plays, art shows, literary reaadings, museums, and chorale performances during their time at SMWC.

For More Information

For further details about the Honors Program, please contact Kathryn Myers.