Scholars Program

Students in classes at the Honors level at Villa Maria generally take multiple Honors and Advanced Placement courses. However, for students who seek deeper academic challenge and the pursuit of learning at the highest academic level, the Villa Scholars Program offers opportunities beyond the usual coursework.

Goals of the Scholars Program

  • To foster a love of learning for its own sake
  • To develop strong critical thinking and analytical skills
  • To stimulate an area of high interest with research and scholarship
  • To develop at a higher level a focus of STEM or the Humanities, rounded with knowledge of the Fine Arts

Qualifications for the Scholars Program

The Scholars Program is by invitation based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated cognitive aptitude, intellectual curiosity, and a thirst for learning
  • Receipt of an academic scholarship to Villa Maria Academy
    (Scholarship recipients are not required to be in the Scholars Program)

Program Requirements

Maintenance of a 3.8 cumulative GPA (aligned with requirement of National Honor Society, Lumen Chapter)

  • Selection of your Scholar focus – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) or Humanities.
  • Participation in Freshman Scholars Seminar and Sophomore Scholars Seminar. These seminars meet once a cycle.
  • Completion of the Freshman Scholars team project.
  • Completion of the Sophomore Scholars independent project. This project should align with a Scholar focus and their personal interests and passion.
  • Participation Junior and Senior year in enrichment activities, trips, and experiences.
  • Fulfillment of Villa Maria’s graduation requirements, with the additions and modifications noted below.

Course of Study

STEM FocusHumanities Focus
The 1 credit graduation requirement in Fine Arts may be fulfilled in any of the following ways by a Scholar student:

  • AP credit in the Fine Arts: Music Theory, Studio Art, or Art History.
  • Participation for at least 4 semesters in Dance Company. Audition is required.
  • Participation for 3 semesters in Villa’s Theatrical Production & Design class. (Scholars are waived from the usual Freshman Fine Arts requirements of Studio Art 1 or Intro to Art, and Music Appreciation unless these are needed as prerequisites for a desired AP in the Fine Arts.)
The 1 credit graduation requirement in Fine Arts may be fulfilled in any of the following ways by a Scholar student:

  • AP credit in the Fine Arts: Music Theory, Studio Art, or Art History.
  • Participation for at least 4 semesters in Dance Company. Audition is required.
  • Participation for 3 semesters in Villa’s Theatrical Production & Design class. (Scholars are waived from the usual Freshman Fine Arts requirements of Studio Art 1 or Intro to Art, and Music Appreciation unless these are needed as prerequisites for a desired AP in the Fine Arts.)
Opportunity for AP Biology in freshman year.Opportunity for AP World History in Freshman year.
7 credits between math and science.
  • 3 credits in mathematics.
  • 3 credits in science.
  • 1 additional credit in math and/or science.
At least 2 of these credits must be from AP courses, with at least one in each math & science.
7 credits between Social Studies and World Language
  • 3 credits in Social Studies
  • 3 credits in World Language -1 additional credit in Social Studies and/or World Language
  • Opportunity to study two world languages.
At least one of these credits must be from AP courses.
Of the 1 credit required in Technology for graduation, a programming element must be included. Of the 4 credits required in English for graduation, at least one of these credits must be at the AP level.
One Senior year semester in Theology must be at the Honors level. Students may take Honors Apologetics, or Honors or Dual Enrollment World Religions.One Senior year semester in Theology must be at the Honors level. Students may take Honors Apologetics, or Honors or Dual Enrollment World Religions.

Program Features

  • The Freshman and Sophomore Scholars Seminars are for Pass/Fail credit.
  • Scholars Program participants earn AP weighting for Honors English 1 for successful completion of the Freshman Scholars curricula.
  • Scholars students will receive personal academic planning support and attention. Each will meet one-on-one with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction to plan out her course of study through her four years at Villa Maria.
  • Scholars students will earn a special Scholars diploma, which the transcript will note. Scholars will receive special recognition at both Honors Convocation and graduation.