CNS Honors Programs

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
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Project ends on May 11, at 09:00 AM CDT
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Honors Programs

College-wide honors allow students to take full advantage of the richness and resources of one of the largest and most productive science colleges in the world.

Who we are

The CNS Honors Center was created in 2013 to support the educational aspirations of some of the country’s most promising science students at one of the world’s leading research universities. The Center’s mission is to expand the College’s capacity to serve extraordinary students—and foster extraordinary student achievements—through a diverse portfolio of world-class honors programs. Dean’s Scholars (DS), Health Science Scholars (HSS), and Polymathic Scholars (PS) have been designed to appeal to students with different aptitudes and goals. Each, however, gives talented and motivated students unprecedented access to rigorous courses, authentic research opportunities, outstanding faculty, innovative degree plans, dedicated advising, and community-building event programming. The programs are designed to increase individual student attention and promote exploration of academic, cultural, and social interests through small intellectual communities of scholars. 

Collectively DS, HSS, and PS serve about 600 students.

Dean’s Scholars students are highly interested in conducting research during their time in college. Many attend graduate programs post-graduation, and enjoy in-depth opportunities to connect with top scientists through the program.

Polymathic Scholars are students with many interests, who are passionate about science as well as subjects outside of science. Students follow their curiosity and go into a variety of fields post-graduation. Polymathic Scholars students create their own field of study with a minor, which is also the topic of their thesis. 

Health Science Scholars (HSS) students are heavily involved in community service and volunteering and know they want to pursue a career in the medical field.

What we do

Each program is designed to foster faculty-student collaboration and to promote exploration of academic, cultural, and social interests.  In addition to their regular coursework, freshmen take a two-semester seminar taught by their program's faculty director. Most semesters thereafter, students join with those in the other two programs in small, learning-for-learning's-sake weekly seminars on a wide range of topics. In their final year, students are supported by the CNS Honors Center in their thesis writing experience. 

Our student leadership panels work to enhance the experience of CNS Honors students by arranging lunches with faculty members, planning social and academic events, such a field trips and class registration socials, and bringing distinguished faculty and community members to campus to interact with students in small-group settings

Your donation will increase the opportunities we have
 to teach, inspire and enrich each other.

The CNS Honors Center supports programming that spans all three programs, 

allowing students to deepen their sense of community through both academic and social opportunities. 


If you would like to give directly to the Dean's Scholars endowment, please go to

Choose a giving level


Polymathic Scholars

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Polymathic Scholars by giving $10


Medical School Visits

In 2022, 25 Health Science Scholars went on a medical school visit.


Deans Scholars

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Deans Scholars by giving $40


Research Presentations

84 students presented their research at the CNS Honors Thesis Symposium last year


Friday Lunch

$100 funds a Friday lunch


HSS Community Service

Health Science Scholars contribute a minimum of 200 hours of community service


Distinguished Scientist

$1,000 brings a distinguished scientist to campus for guest lectures


CNS Honors Applications

Each year, CNS receives approximately 3,500 applicants to our honors programs


Overnight Trip

$8,000 funds an overnight trip

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