James Graham Brown Honors Program

Individuals in the James Graham Brown Honors Program are challenged to be virtuous scholars, who, over the course of a lifetime, hold the honorable traditions and habits of well-rounded thinkers, leaders, and citizens.

High school seniors of exceptional academic ability are eligible to apply for admission to the James Graham Brown Honors Program. Students accepted into the program can receive full-tuition James Graham Brown Honors scholarships, and they participate in a special program of honors seminars, community experience, and the opportunity for advanced research (a fellowship) in their majors under the direction of honors professors. Students in the honors program have the opportunity to develop professional relationships with faculty and join a community of students striving for excellence in and out of school.

Interested students may obtain an application form from Catherine Sherron, Ph.D., director of the honors program. Contact Sherron at 859-344-3387 or email her at sherroc@thomasmore.edu.


Minimum qualifications to be considered for the honors program are:

  • an ACT score of 28 or SAT score of 1240 (critical reading + math);
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.5;
  • a completed application which includes:
    • three letters of recommendation (attesting to academic merit and character);
    • written essay;
    • resume highlighting community service.

The Honors Committee selects applicants of the highest scholastic ability based on their grades, writing, letters of recommendation, as well as outstanding character and personal qualities. The honors program is focused on building leaders, citizens, and scholars, so honors students must demonstrate excellent character and interpersonal skills. An on-campus interview will be conducted for all finalists.

The Honors Committee makes appointments at the end of each spring semester to fill vacancies in the program created by graduating honors students.


Students accepted into the JGB Honors Program are Thomas More Scholars and must maintain a high quality of performance in written material, personal communication, and critical judgment in all areas. They must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better (rounding up is not permitted). Students who do not maintain quality performance or exhibit major deficiencies of character will be removed from the program, subject to the appeal procedures of the University.

Each semester, Honors Students must:

  • Register for a full-time program of at least 15 credits
  • Fulfill at least one of three Honors Commitments (see full descriptions below)
    • Honors Seminar (3 credits)
    • Community service
    • Fellowship project (optional; for seniors)
    • First year students may count their First Year Seminar towards their honors obligation during their first semester.
  • Throughout the year, honors students are expected to participate in honors program activities such as a welcome luncheon, weekend Honors Retreat, lectures, career development workshops, and cultural outings.

By graduation, and to be considered for a fellowship, honors students must:

  • Have completed at least two honors seminars
  • Have completed at least one year (90 hours) of community service

Honors Seminar

Honors seminars are classes exclusive to honors students. Seminars are taught by a variety of professors from differing academic areas to provide opportunities for honors students to discuss, debate, and appreciate ideas outside of their major.

Past seminar topics include:

  • Urban Ecology – Dr. Shannon Galbraith-Kent; Biology
  • Abnormal Psychology from a Clinical Perspective – Dr. Kathie Langen; Psychology.
  • Games and Mathematics, Infinity and Beyond – Dr. Robert Riehemann; Mathematics..
  • Playing with Shakespeare or What You Willed – Prof. James Schuttemeyer; English
  • Reefer Madness: The Role of Piracy and Black Markets in Global Perspective–Dr. Luis Sierra; History

Community Service

To fulfill the service requirement, students must complete one full year (90 hours) of service. This service does not count as academic credit, but allows honors students to experience meaningful involvement in the local community.

Students may choose how and where they fulfill their community service, subject to the approval of the honors faculty. All members have the option to serve as tutors and mentors at a local elementary school for one hour/week.

Past Honors Students have:

  • Tutored at River Ridge Elementary School
  • Volunteered at Ronald McDonald House, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the Special Olympics
  • Participated in Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Programs


Rising seniors who have completed their honors seminar and community service requirements may apply for a fellowship. If approved by the Honors Committee, the student will work with a professor within their field of study to develop and complete a fellowship. Depending on the student’s major, their fellowship may be a research project, thesis, or capstone creative work.

Students who complete a fellowship are awarded a special diploma at graduation recognizing the completion of the fellowship.

Past fellowship topics include:

  • This History of Park Hills: From Founding to Incorporation – by Iris S.
  • Bias in the Media – by Steve J.
  • Ambiguity and Chaos: Unreliability in Literature – by Andrew T.
  • Aesthetics and Videogames – by Jon S.
  • Website Development for Thomas More College’s Office of Advancement – by Tandy H.
  • The Harvest is Abundant: Women Religious in the Heart of the Church – by Elizabeth R.
  • The Effect of Oral Tolerance on the IL-17 Response – by Michael S.
  • The Vinedresser: A Novel – by Tony O.
  • Perspectives on Affirmative Action – by Peter O.