Application Essay

Essay Requirements and Guidelines:

The Aquinas Scholars Honors Program is firmly committed to active student participation in class discussions that involves both extemporaneous speaking and serious intellectual reflection. All Honors Scholars participate in Honors Seminars, 2-credit courses focused on presenting ideas from different disciplines. Often these seminars are only 15 students working with two faculty members. Typically, students prepare a written response to readings for each session. In addition, pairs of students often present material to the seminar participants each week.

Recent pairs have featured a psychologist and philosopher, a political scientist and an economist, a biochemist and a theologian, or a business lawyer and a French language faculty member. 

As part of your application to the Honors Program, we would like you to write a minimum 500 word double-spaced essay in which you:

  • Propose an interdisciplinary seminar course for the Aquinas Scholars Honors Program.
  • Imagine that you are a UST faculty member. Suppose that you and another faculty member are designing a new seminar proposal for consideration by the Aquinas Scholars Faculty Board. 
  • Be sure to identify which disciplines are collaborating and the way(s) your two disciplines illuminate aspects of the topic, question, or issue your seminar will address. 
  • Create a seminar that you think will be interesting and engaging for Honors students and one that clearly identifies the contributions the different disciplines make to the study a topic or question. 
  • Be sure to explain both why the seminar ought to be offered and what kinds of topics, issues, subjects, and questions will be studied and discussed in the seminar. 
  • Support the importance of the topic or its interdisciplinary aspect by using one or more references to a book or article—with appropriate style of citation (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style).

For a description of previous seminars offered, go to www.stthomas.edu/aquinasscholars/seminars/

CRITERIA FOR AQUINAS SCHOLARS ESSAY

The application essay for the Aquinas Scholars Honors Program will be judged on the following criteria:

FORM:

  1. The organization of the essay.
  2. The clarity of the essay.
  3. The correct use of English grammar and spelling.

CONTENT: 

  1. The quality of the ideas presented in the essay.
  2. The creativity/feasibility of the proposed seminar.
  3. Source/support for the ideas and seminar (i.e., an article, book, website, etc.).
  4. Description of the interdisciplinary contributions of each faculty partner.
  5. The overall quality of the essay