Emerging Scholars Program

Central College's Emerging Scholars Program presents academically high-achieving students with the opportunity to grow as intellectuals within a community of their peers. The components of the Emerging Scholars Program give students the flexibility to explore a variety of disciplines while encouraging them to advance their knowledge within their discipline. Students who are accepted into the Emerging Scholars Program forge important mentoring relationships with faculty, and they practice taking the initiative to pursue their own intellectual interests. In addition to the strictly academic elements of the Emerging Scholars Program, members are invited to attend special cultural and educational events programmed for them throughout the year.

The capstone of the Emerging Scholars Program is the Senior Honors Thesis, a significant research project spearheaded by the student, and supervised by two faculty members. In addition to offering unique opportunities for in-depth study, the thesis allows students to distinguish themselves when applying for graduate school, fellowships, and employment.



Membership in the Emerging Scholars Program is by application only. Students who have a 3.5 minimum cumulative Central College grade point average are eligible to apply.

Students may apply after completing at least one semester as a full-time student at Central College; students must be accepted into the program at least three semesters prior to graduation. If the student falls below the 3.5 minimum GPA they must raise their GPA by the following semester to 3.5 or above to remain in the program.



For a student to earn an Honors designation on their transcript the following components of the Emerging Scholars Program must be successfully completed: 

Honors Seminars* group students together from a variety of disciplines to explore topics at an advanced level. In contrast, students may opt to add Honors Enrichment Credit* to courses in which they have special interest. In doing so, the student has the opportunity to work closely with a professor and pursue a topic in the course at an advanced level. A capstone experience, the Senior Honors Thesis is a year-long project focused on an area of special academic interest, often relating to the total educational experience. To complete this work, students choose and work closely with a faculty mentor to formulate, research, create, and present a comprehensive and cohesive project. Completion of these components culminates with a ceremony in which each student is formally recognized and presented with a medallion to wear at commencement.


*In addition to students in the Emerging Scholars Program, all students with a 3.5 GPA or entering freshmen with a 28 ACT and a 3.75 or who finish in the top 5% of their class are eligible to take Honors Seminars and Honors Enrichment Credits

The Emerging Scholars Program is coordinated by Dr. Ashley Scolaro, the Honors director. For more information, on any of the components of the Honors program, contact the Honors Director or send an email to honors@central.edu.