Scholars Program

Scholars Program is dedicated to improving intellectual life on campus by providing enriched academic challenges and learning opportunities to highly motivated and academically talented students.

What is the Wartburg Scholars Program?

The Scholar's Program is what Wartburg College calls its Honors program.  The program admits 30 first year students.  Students apply from High School and students are notified as of their acceptance by the end of April.  Although this program is not tied in with Wartburg College's Scholarship awards, it is often these students who qualify to apply to the Scholars Program.

What are the advantages of the program?

Students in the program take special classes and have special opportunities for study and travel.  Most importantly, this program lets you get to know like-minded students.  The classes have limited enrollment, flexible content and students have open opportunities to study what intrigues them.  Additionally, the program provides off-campus study opportunities in a variety of places, like Paris, San Francisco and Denver.

There are also social activities planed by and for the students.  Activities have included movie nights, special dinners, hockey nights, and canoeing down the Cedar River.  Many of the activities take place in our Scholars House to which students have special access privileges.  Most importantly, as a member of the Scholars Program, students get to decide what they want to do.

What do Scholars have to do?

Students in Scholars take the same amount of coursework as everyone else, but often these courses encourage more open-ended studies.  Students finish the program by accumulating six honors courses and finishing a Senior Honors Project.  Coursework can include
  • SCH 101 First-Year Scholars Seminar
    • Springboard to liberal arts with special emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of the liberal arts. Topics will vary. Fulfills IS 101 requirement.
  • SCH 255 Scholars Seminar: Thesis Preparation
    • Examines various topics from an interconnected point of view with an emphasis on thesis preparation. Fulfills fourth Interconnected requirement for students participating in the Wartburg Scholars Program.
  • Senior Project
    • Students complete the project with a faculty adviser during their last year on campus.  Often this is the project developed in SCH 201.  Students are encouraged to take independent study credit during the term they are finishing their project.
Additionally, students can take course credit for the Scholars travel seminar which often occurs during the Winter Break.  Past travel seminars have gone to London and Paris, Rome, and San Francisco.
Students accumulate the remainder of their credits by contracting with faculty in their courses for honors credit.

Students also qualified to participate in the Wartburg West Sophomore study program where students live and take courses in Denver, Colorado.

The Scholars Program features:
Small seminar classes.
A distinguished speakers series.
A sophomore-year program of lectures, concerts, and performances.
Student involvement in designing courses and activities.
A variety of social and travel opportunities.
A student-designed senior project.

Curricular Elements:
First-year seminar – The New York Times Bestseller List and the Liberal Arts
Second-year seminar – student directed and designed, this course prepares students to take the first steps towards their Senior Project. First-year and third-year seminars replace IS 101 and IC requirements of the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education.
Student-designed and faculty-approved senior project with a focus on any discipline or disciplines.
Advanced placement for students who can offer convincing evidence that they have already achieved outcomes for course requirements of the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education or in specific disciplines.

Co-Curricular Elements:
Second-Year Symposia – designed and organized by Wartburg Scholars and open to the campus community – involving attendance at a specified number of lectures, concerts, recitals, exhibits, readings, plays, films, convocations, faculty presentations, etc., followed by discussion
Wartburg Scholars Lecture Series, featuring two public lectures a year by distinguished speakers who will be available for dialog with Wartburg Scholars
Service to the campus community, offering special opportunities for dialog and discussion, tutoring programs, presentations, and performances
Dinners, field trips, conferences, service projects for Wartburg Scholars
Special recognition for students who participate in the program and meet specified guidelines


Application Requirements

1. Graduation in the top 10 percent of your high school class OR an ACT composite score of 26 and above OR nomination for the program by an individual familiar with your intellectual promise.

2. A completed application, which includes an essay and an interview with the Program Committee.

NOTE: Upper-class and transfer students who have earned a college grade point average of 3.5 or above or who have been nominated may also apply.

Click here to apply to the Scholars Program