The Castle Scholars Honors Program at Manhattanville College seeks to challenge high-achieving students and encourages them to explore new areas of interest beyond the usual intellectual parameters during their entire undergraduate career. This highly selective program limits admission to the top ten percent of each incoming class. Castle Scholars Honors Students benefit from rigorous, intellectually stimulating, interdisciplinary seminars, all of which are taught by our full-time faculty. Castle Scholars can also apply for special funding to complete independent Honors research and creative projects, allowing them to design, implement, and achieve the ambitious goals they set for themselves.
The Castle Scholars Honors Program offers students of exceptional ability a broader and more intensive program of study than the usual college curriculum. It provides motivated students in any major field with challenging, cross-disciplinary courses that encourage their academic and personal growth. Participation in the Castle Scholars Honors Program encourages intellectual exchange among students and faculty and fosters independent initiative in academic and creative realms. Castle Scholars are well prepared for success in graduate and professional schools as well as in the professional world.
Honors seminars are the core of our program. Manhattanville’s most engaging faculty offer innovative and often interdisciplinary seminars that are limited to 15 students, a format that ensures in-depth discussion and exploration of the subject matter. In addition, many of our seminars incorporate experiential learning through trips into New York City and other sites in the tri-state region. These classes provide high-achieving students with the opportunity to explore areas within and outside of their intended major, and all of them fulfill at least one of Manhattanville College’s General Education Requirements.
Our Honors students also learn how to become effective leaders and give back to the Manhattanville community by organizing Human Rights Awareness Day each fall, and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Fair each spring. For Castle Scholar Irena Curanovic (class of 2016), organizing Human Rights Awareness Day “provided an opportunity for personal and professional growth. In planning this event with a group of people, I think we all learned leadership skills, teamwork, and how to be better global citizens.”
We also provide funding for selected Castle Scholars to complete ambitious research and creative projects. Recently funded projects include:
Authenticity in literature – David Nielsen, English
Testing Leptospira biflexa susceptibility to salt and osmotic stress – Polin Petkova, Biology
Effects of green tea on preventing Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Mariah Bigaud, Biology
Anti-biofilm activity of pomegranate extract against the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis – Charlene Caoili, Biology
DEET effectively repels the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, in a novel ex vivo bioassay – Philip Meade, Biology
Native and European interaction during the Pequot War – Denise Martinchek, History
Democratic Transitions in Myannmar – Alexis Moore, History, International Studies, and Asian Studies
Break the First Impression? – Shuzi Meng, Psychology
CSCH 3080 Senior Capstone (1.5 credits): Coordinated by the Honors Program Faculty, students will participate in a formal program evaluation of a college-wide program and will share the results of their research at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Fair.
In addition, Castle Scholars must:
Earn a grade of B or better in Honors courses in order to receive Honors credit
Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or higher
Participate actively in the Castle Scholars Honors Program by attending at least two events per semester
Remain in good standing in their non-academic activities
Be positive role models for academic integrity
The above information provided serves as a guide, which will be updated periodically.
Current information about degree program requirements can be found in the official College Catalogs.
Welcome Event - Wednesday, September 21, 3pm-4pm, Honors Commons
Dinner at the President's Cottage for First-Year Students - Monday, September 26, 6pm
Diversity Workshop (co-sponsor with Reimagining Our Campus Culture) - Wednesday, October 5, 6:30pm-8:30pm, West Room
Honors Advising Sessions - Wednesday, October 12 at 3pm, and Thursday, October 13 at 2pm, Honors Commons
"Artivism Expo" (co-sponsor with Reimagining Our Campus Culture) - Wednesday, November 2, 7:30pm-9:30pm, Berman Lobby
Mentoring by the Castle Scholars Director and Faculty Committee members
Access to the Honors Commons student lounge and study area in the library
Recognition at college-wide awards ceremonies
Recognition of successful completion of the program on college transcripts and on all printed graduation materials
Manhattanville College’s Castle Scholars Honors Program is the college-wide honors program. Admission into the program is competitive and selective, as the program accepts less than 10% of each incoming class.
Applications for Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students:
Incoming first-year students with a demonstrated record of achievement based on the following criteria are eligible to apply:
A combined SAT score of 1160 or greater (critical reading and math), or an ACT score of 25 or greater
A high school GPA of 3.4 or greater
An exceptional record of extracurricular activity or unique achievement
If you have achieved two or more of the above, or if you feel strongly that the Castle Scholars Honors Program is right for you, please apply to join us. Applications include a required essay, described below.
Transfer students with up to 60 credits may also apply; students who have been enrolled in Honors courses at other institutions should consult with the Castle Scholars Honors Program Director regarding approval of transfer courses towards completion of the Castle Scholars Honors Program.
Manhattanville College is distinguished by its longstanding commitment to issues of social justice, and our Castle Scholars are campus leaders who reflect and uphold Manhattanville's proud tradition of ethical action and socially-responsible service within campus, regional, national, and global communities. After reading the essay prompt below, which features a quotation from one of Manhattanville's most distinguished educators, please answer the question in an essay of 400 to 600 words, reflecting on an experience that put you on a path of intellectual, ethical, and/or social development, making you an ideal candidate for our Castle Scholars Honors Program:
In her talk given to alumnae on Class Day in 1938, entitled “Principles versus Prejudices,” Mother Dammann, President of Manhattanville College, said the following: “Prejudices also come from narrowness of outlook, from not knowing enough, from having a limited education. (…) Whereas the more we know of man’s doing and thinking throughout time and throughout the world’s extent, the more we understand that beauty and goodness and truth are not the monopoly of any age nor of any group nor of any race.”
In your essay, describe a moment when you came to understand the importance of taking a moral or ethical stand on a particular social issue and/or when you came to recognize a significant social problem or injustice that you felt compelled to help correct. This moment may involve a person, place, culture, or text (book, film, play, etc.).
Deadlines and Acceptance
Honors applications for incoming Fall 2017 first-year students are now open. To apply, please email your essay to email@example.com, in PDF format. Please be certain to include your last name in the file name. The priority deadline for this essay is February 1, 2017. We review and accept students on a rolling basis, and early applications will receive priority consideration.
Following a review of all application materials, the Castle Scholars Honors Program Committee will then invite selected students to join the program. Accepted students will be placed in an Honors First Year Program seminar comprised of incoming Honors students.
Applications for Continuing Students:
Continuing students who have earned at least a 3.6 cumulative GPA at Manhattanville by the end of their second semester are eligible to apply for admission to the program. Students may apply up through the first semester of their junior year.
Applications for sophomores and first-semester juniors will be emailed to the entire undergraduate listserv and are processed at the beginning of each fall and spring semester.
Fall 2016 applications for sophomores and first-semester juniors were due on September 12, 2016. Spring 2017 applications for sophomores will be distributed at the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester.