University Honors Program
The mission of the University Honors Program is to help academically gifted students achieve their fullest intellectual potential, preparing them to enter a world acutely in need of their talents. The program offers motivated, intellectually curious students a unique educational experience that integrates curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning in both interdisciplinary study and the students’ major discipline, engaging them in a rigorous and dynamic course of study that complements and enhances their non-honors learning.
Entry into the University Honors Program is offered to academically gifted incoming students and to students who apply to the Program after their first year of study at the Mount. Students applying from outside of the University are required to hold an overall GPA of 3.75 to enter and must maintain an overall GPA of 3.4 to remain in good standing and graduate from the program. Students in the Honors Program who have a 3.75 semester GPA or higher for the previous semester may enroll in a 6th course for no extra charge.
Honors students are required to enroll in Honors sections of the following core requirements:
Students with unavoidable scheduling conflicts may request a waiver from the Honors Director to take a non-honors version of one of the above required courses. However, successful completion of the Honors Program requires that at least 15 credits of their core requirements be Honors courses. For this reason, while current students may apply to the Honors Program, students typically do so during their first or second semester.
Additionally, all Honors students must complete the 4-credit Senior Honors Project (HP 470 and HP 471) that consists of a senior research project or thesis that serves as the capstone experience of the Program. Students present their work to the campus community during the SPARC Festival of their senior year. This project often serves as a powerful transition to graduate school or to a profession. Students who plan to graduate a semester early must notify the Honors Director by the prior December of their intentions so that all deadlines can be adjusted to allow completion of the Senior Honors Project and graduation in December.
The University Honors Program promotes an atmosphere of collegiality among its members through a series of socials, dinners, lectures, and field trips. The University Honors Program also encourages students to offer their talents to the University and local community through service programs.
Mount St. Mary’s encourages students to participate in credit-based and other experiential career opportunities so that they can explore professional interests and apply academic learning to various work environments. Internships give students the opportunity to practice work skills, to reflect on the relationship between work and study in on- and off-campus settings, and to represent the university in meaningful, professional work. Students seeking an internship can begin by meeting with the staff of the Career Center, or by seeking guidance from a potential faculty sponsor.
Any student possessing 45 or more earned credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and not on disciplinary or academic probation may seek to register an internship for academic credit. Students who have declared their major, received permission from respective academic officials, and meet the above standards can also seek registration for credit-based internships.
A student must read the Internship/Experiential Education Policies and Guidelines and then complete a Learning Agreement form in order to apply for credit-based internships. The Learning Agreement must be approved by the student’s faculty sponsor, department chair, site supervisor, and internship coordinator in the Career Center. Students may apply for one internship outside their major department. Approval for non-major internships must be approved by the faculty sponsor from the department the student has selected, by that department’s chair, and by the dean of their college/school. Students may take up to 12 credits in internships, though departments may limit the number of hours of internship credits that can be applied toward a major. With the exception of Education internships (student-teaching) by the Division of Education, all internships are processed through the Career Center. Students are expected to complete 40 hours of work per credit hour earned. Students can find the guidelines and procedures, important deadlines, and the Learning Agreement form at www.msmary.edu/credit-internships.
Students also have the opportunity to apply for semester-long internships through the Mount In Washington Internship Program and International Internships. Please contact the Career Center for more information.
Institute for Leadership Ethics, Achievement and Development (iLEAD)
iLEAD, a direct report department of Equity and Success, serves the Mount community by offering leadership training, practicum and service experiences through various credit bearing avenues: LEAD 485 , via Tiers I, II, III, COMM 125 , SOC 220; Academic society and certification: National (Honor) Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi; and Certificate of completion through Emerging Leaders Series.
It accomplishes these feats by working in supportive coordination with all sectors of the campus: academic, student life and seminary.
LEAD 485 is a practicum for academic credit of various designs that offers leadership training, (a part of which includes Title IX), through academic departments, student life and fitness. Additionally, it can encompass leadership training sessions with academic clubs, organizations, and Learning Services’ top-tier mentors. An iLEAD facilitator works with a departmental or organizational facilitator. One, two or three credits are assigned respectively to 40, 80 or 120 hours training and practicum/mentorship time, usually one credit, one semester at a time. A maximum of 3 credits overall can be award for this program. An expectation occurs with students participating for personal training certification. These receive two credits for the anatomy/physiology and practicum part of the course and one credit from iLEAD training.
Summer sessions offer current Mount students and visiting students an affordable opportunity to catch up on classes missed, to retake a class to get a better grade, to get ahead in order to graduate a semester or two early, or to lighten their load for Spring or Fall. The University offers two summer sessions of five weeks each as well as one eight to ten week session.
The Mount offers a variety of core courses, and some major and elective courses in a fast-paced, compressed format. Many courses meet in the evening to allow students to hold daytime jobs on campus or in the area. In addition, a growing number of courses are offered online to allow students to take a class anywhere they have a reliable internet connection. In addition to courses, students can take summer internships for credit and enjoy a regular rotation of study abroad programs.
Campus housing and dining are available to summer students at a significant discount from Fall and Spring rates. For more information about summer sessions and the summer schedule, visit www.msmary.edu/classexamschedule, or call the Registrar’s Office at 301-447-5215.
Students are encouraged to pursue foreign study as a valuable complement to their education on campus. Generally, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is needed to qualify for study abroad. A wide range of foreign study opportunities is available, especially to students with proficiency in a foreign language. For more information, contact the associate provost.
Mount Foreign Study
The University sponsors foreign study semesters in Dublin, Cuenca (Ecuador), Florence and Prague, as well as short-term sessions (during summer and semester breaks) in Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, France and Austria. Mount faculty join native professors in providing a wide range of cultural activities and courses directly linked to foreign history and culture.
Other Study Abroad Options
The University also maintains affiliations with the American Institute for Foreign Study. It is formally affiliated with the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies and Instituto Universitario de Sevilla, in Seville, Spain.
Enrollment in foreign study semesters at affiliate programs (the Center for Cross Cultural Studies, the Instituto Universitario de Sevilla) and the Mount St. Mary’s University Foreign Study Program fulfills the senior year-in residence requirement.