James Graham Brown Scholars Program

Individuals in the James Graham Brown Scholars 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 Scholars Program. Students accepted into the program can receive full-tuition James Graham Brown scholarships, and they participate in a special program of Brown Scholars seminars, community experience, and the opportunity for advanced research (a fellowship) in their majors under the direction of Brown Scholars professors. Students in the Brown Scholars 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 apply for the Brown Scholars program HERE.

Minimum qualifications to be considered for the scholars program are:

  • a cumulative GPA of 4.0 or a composite ACT/SAT/CLT score of at least 29/1330/90 respectively (Thomas More has instituted a test-optional policy for first-year applicants and therefore added a GPA-only option for eligibility).
  • Acceptance into Thomas More University;
  • Completed and filed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA);
  • Completed application submission. See instructions link above for details. Materials include:
    • online application form HERE
    • three letters of recommendation;
    • essay on the assigned topic;
    • two-minute audio or video self-interview; and
    • chart listing significant community service.

The Brown Scholars 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 scholars program is focused on building leaders, citizens, and scholars, so scholars students must demonstrate excellent character and interpersonal skills. An on-campus interview will be conducted for all finalists.

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

Students accepted into the Brown Scholars Program hold the title of 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, Brown Scholars must:

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

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

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

Scholars seminars are classes exclusive to scholars students. Seminars are taught by a variety of professors from differing academic areas to provide opportunities for scholars 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

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 scholars 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 scholars faculty. All members have the option to serve as tutors and mentors at a local elementary school for one hour/week.

Past Scholars 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 scholars seminar and community service requirements may apply for a fellowship. If approved by the Scholars 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.