Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements that I have to complete to graduate with Bascom honors?

During their time at Maryville, Bascom Honors students must:

• maintain a 3.3 cumulative g.p.a.
• pass two (2) Honors Colloquia (0.5 credits each)
• complete seven (7) Honors Seminars with a B- or better (may include 2 honors contracts ONLY when necessary)

Program Planner for students enrolled prior to FA19

Program Planner for students enrolled starting in FA19

What are the honors students at Maryville like?

Bascom Honors LogoThey are curious, high-achieving students who had often had previous positive experience with honors curriculum and want to continue that experience at the university level. The students are incredibly bright and they are dedicated to using their time in college to learn as much as possible about themselves and about the world. These are not the students who just want to do the minimum to earn a degree. Instead, our honors students want to be productive, educated citizens and therefore are using their time at Maryville to learn as much as they can about themselves and their world.

Are honors classes harder than non-honors classes?

Honors classes are designed to be completely different than non-honors classes. The professors are more focused on seminar-style and discussion-based teaching techniques. Many honors students say they really enjoy the class discussions and the intellectual community that they find in their honors classes. In honors classes, students read and talk about the “big questions” of a discipline, as opposed to focusing in one on area of content or skill.

What is a typical honors class like?

Every honors class is different, but to give you an idea of what we offer in the honors program, here is a list of recent course titles. Here is an article about another recent course, which focused on pandemics and global infections. Recent classes have focused on art and archaeology in Greece, Superheroes in Literature, American Biographies, The Portrayal of the Law in Film, Energy in America, and Social Media.

If I do the honors program, can I still graduate in four years?

Yes, absolutely! We work hard to ensure any major at Maryville is able to complete the honors program along with their major requirements.

How can I apply?

If you are interested in applying, contact Alden Craddock at

Can I join the honors program after I arrive on campus?

Yes. Maryville students may apply internally if they have GPAs of 3.5 or higher.

I am a transfer student. How can I take part in the honors program?

Transfer students with a GPA of 3.5 may also apply to join the program. We do not allow students to transfer in honors credit from another university’s honors program.

How much does it cost to join the honors program?

There is no fee for the program.

If I am interested in reading more about the role of honors programs at universities, where can I look?

“What is honors?”

– by the National Collegiate Honors Council
This article is a general article articulating the importance of honors curricula at the university level.

“Gifted education: The role of honors programs at the college level”

by Joan Digby
This article is written to aid parents of prospective honors students understand the important role honors programs have in the life of a college student.

“Honors in 2025: Becoming what you emulate”

by Craig Cobane
In this article, Cobane presents an image of his view for what the trends are in honors education and the ways in which he sees honors programs evolving over the next decade.

“Honors in Practice”

This is a link to the National Collegiate Honors Council’s archive of their Honors in Practice articles. These articles discuss contemporary thinking in honors university education.

History of Maryville’s Bascom Program

Mother Marion Bascom, RSCJ founded the Bascom Honors program in 1939 to offer an opportunity for students to challenge themselves academically and personally. She drew from her own experiences as a student at Oxford University in the 1930s. At Oxford, she found a philosophy that encourages and supports close mentorships between instructors and students. Mother Bascom wanted to bring that same philosophy to Maryville through the Bascom Honors Program. For more information about Mother Bascom, please read the article in Maryville Magazine about her excellent and important work.