The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program is an invaluable educational experience. Students engage with ideas, texts, and course material which come to constitute a lasting intellectual foundation and framework. Honors students may work in almost any field of their choosing or continue graduate research at the highest levels. While pursuing our curriculum they have special opportunities to benefit from many cultural activities in New York: important theater productions on Broadway and elsewhere , concerts at the most important musical venues, visits to the top art and historical museums of New York, and special lectures by visiting scholars and artists. They also have the opportunity to participate in special honors summer courses taking place overseas in which they move forward in their programs and general education while getting to know interesting places and cultures from all around the world.
In the first year of the program, honors students participate in specially designated sections of the required courses that all Yeshiva College students take during the first year to satisfy their writing requirements, First Year Writing Honors (FYWH), and First Year Seminar Honors (FYSM). In those freshman Honors sections, students are expected to develop intellectual sophistication through intensive writing, research, and analysis.
Besides the first year writing courses, students choose at least six additional honors electives from a variety of academic disciplines. These courses may be in their specific majors or minors, courses with which they satisfy general education requirements of the college, or elective courses to expand their interests.
Most students who are part of the program are supported by generous merit scholarships. Those scholarships last for as many years as students are enrolled and remain in good standing in the program. In order to do so, students need to maintain an average GPA of 3.4 or higher, and take at least TWO honors courses in each academic year (our summer honors courses may be included among those courses). Simultaneously, each student must maintain a comparable level of excellence in Judaic studies.
The culmination of the honors program is a senior honors thesis, in which a student, over the course of several semesters develops an independent research project and works directly with a faculty mentor. Details about the thesis project’s scope, procedures, etc, may be found here. Honors theses explore a broad range of topics in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, Judaic studies and the arts, and in recent years, several have been devoted to creative writing and musical performance. It is not uncommon for students to present the fruits of their research at both academic conferences and in published form in respected scholarly journals.
Overall, students must spend at least three full years and complete at least 108 credits in residence.
Recommendations written for an honors student from administrators and faculty members are virtually guaranteed to be exceptionally strong, and the student's diploma specifically confirms his graduation both from the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program and Yeshiva College.