Lander College for Men offers a rigorous academic program, to challenge and motivate students. For those students seeking further challenge there are a number of Honors options open to them – the Honors Program, Honors Core and Honors Majors, as well as Integrated Honors Tracks in Health Sciences, Osteopathic Medicine and Pharmacy.
The Honors Program at the Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud offers superior students the opportunity to deepen and broaden their intellectual experience both in the College and in the Beis Medrash L’Talmud. Since Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud is institutionally committed to excellence in Torah learning as well as academic studies, its Honors Program builds on that dual commitment by enhancing the curriculum of both. Thus only students who have demonstrated superb achievement in Torah studies as well as academics will be considered for admission.
Goals of Program
The goals of the Honors Program are to cultivate advanced and sophisticated analytic, research and writing skills in academic studies and in limmudei kodesh, and to broaden student exposure to halakha and shas. The benefit of achieving these goals in limmudei kodesh is self-evident. In academic studies, those who complete the Honors Program will be better prepared for the rigors of graduate and professional education at the highest levels, and will therefore be more attractive candidates when applying.
Taken together, both elements of the Honors Program will challenge intellectually gifted students, encouraging them to think more deeply and probingly, to express themselves in sophisticated and more precise ways, and to discipline themselves to achieve the ambitious goals of which they are ultimately capable.
Course of Study
Major and Core Curriculum: Honors students will be required to enroll in specially designed honors sections of two crucial courses that are already typically part of the College’s Core Curriculum, English Composition II and Statistics. These honors courses will provide students with an enriched curriculum focused on advanced research methods and analytic skills. The Lander Core Curriculum also requires students to take at least one course in western history, one in Jewish history, and one in western literature. Honors students will be required to write research papers in each of these courses. Finally, all honors students will be required to complete a senior honors project in their major. The Honors Program can be combined with any major or a student pursuing a honors major (available in Political Science, Biology and Psychology).
Torah Learning: The enriched Torah learning component of the Honors Program requires students to learn 45 blatt of bekius over the course of the year in the mesechta studied during morning seder, with regular examinations. Bekius study typically takes place during night seder, which is required for all Beis Medrash L’Talmud students. Honors students must also participate in a weekly shiur in halakha, with regular examinations, and must write one chabura per semester in Hebrew, and deliver each chabura orally to fellow Honors Program students for discussion and critique.
Integration: All honors students will be required to complete a specially designed honors course called “Ethics and the Professions”. This course integrates the Torah and academic experiences by examining ethical issues raised by the professions from the perspectives of ethical theory, Jewish ethics and halakha. “Ethics and the Professions” leads students through an analysis of classical and Jewish ethical and halakhic texts, and surveys key applied ethical issues raised by the practice of a range of professions, including medicine, law, business and psychology. The course includes guest lecturers, who are invited to lecture in their particular area of expertise. Students are required to select and write an in-depth research paper about an ethical issue related to their intended profession. This course satisfies the Lander College for Men Core Curriculum requirement that all students must take at least one course in the liberal arts and sciences outside of their major.
The achievement of successfully completing the Honors Program appears on the student’s transcript, and enhances his college degree and his attractiveness to graduate and professional schools and potential employers.
Scholarships students who are admitted to the Honors Program receive a minimum of $10,000 per annum scholarship, which currently covers over 2/3 the cost of academic tuition. Scholarships may increase from that minimum, depending upon a variety of factors, including higher SAT or ACT scores, high school average, and performance during the interview and oral bechina.
Applicants to the program are expected to score a minimum of 1350 on the critical reading and mathematics sections of the SAT (or 30 composite scores on the ACT), earn a minimum 92 high school average in academic subjects and a 92 average in Jewish subjects, and demonstrate unusually strong gemara skills on an oral bechina (which, for students studying in Israel, can replace a lower Jewish Studies high school average). All applicants must also be interviewed by a representative of the Office of the Dean.
Students who wish to apply for the Honors Program must complete the basic application to the Lander College for Men, as well as an application to the Honors Program.
For those students who are not part of the Honors Program, but wish to further challenge themselves and enhance their diploma, there is the Honors Core Curriculum, as well as Honors Majors in Psychology, Political Science and Biology.
Honors Core Curriculum
The College offers an enriched Honors Core Curriculum, which provides students a deeper and broader exposure to the history and literature of western civilization, to Jewish history, and to central issues in the natural and social sciences than the standard core curriculum. Students who complete the Honors Core must also write research papers for courses in these areas, providing a more sophisticated preparation for graduate and professional school. The student’s diploma will read, “graduated with honors”.
The Honors Majors
The College offers an honors major in three subjects – Psychology, Political Science and Biology. Students majoring in Honors Psychology will have a diploma that reads “Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with honors”.