Scholars Program

The Catholic Memorial Scholars Program offers our strongest students the opportunity to grow intellectually and expand their academic horizons in ways not typically available to students until college. Based on models used by many colleges and universities for their honors programs, it is multi-disciplinary in nature while still affording students some room for academic specialization.

Scholars Program Elements


Members participate in weekend and evening activities meant to complement and reinforce the ideals of the program. These include field trips, lectures, museum visits, concerts, plays, and special guest lectures or seminars. Fifteen to 20 events are planned throughout the year, and students participate in a minimum of five of them each year.

Senior Capstone

The capstone course is meant to be the culminating and integrating experience of a student’s time as a member of the Catholic Memorial Scholars Program. Its design will allow students to deeply explore an academic topic of interest and significance to them personally while providing the structure to ensure that the effort maintains an appropriate level of academic rigor.
Students formulate their topic and develop their project plans in conjunction with their Scholars Program Faculty Advisor according to the schedule provided. While projects may take on a variety of forms, including a research essay, music, art, drama, or other product, every capstone project includes an academically-focused research paper that provides a thorough examination of the topic under consideration.


Throughout the school year, students develop original research questions, complete in-depth research, and write an essay explaining their findings. At the end of each academic year, all participants have the opportunity to share with each other and the entire school community the work they have accomplished during the year through presentations at the Scholars Colloquium.


Aside from their normal coursework, and through the cornerstone of the program, the Scholars Seminar, students are exposed to a wide array of unique and challenging ideas. Content is drawn from, among others, the fields of Music and Art; Literature and History; Math, Science, and Technology; and Language and Culture. With a focus on reading, writing, and discussion, the seminar is designed to make students think rigorously and communicate confidently about what they learn. The seminar is team-taught by rotating faculty.

Scholars Program Themes

Sample Seminar Topics

List of 45 items.

  • An Analysis of Orientalism

  • The Art of Photography

  • Precisionism

  • The Tuskegee Airmen

  • A Comparison of Baroque Music and Beboz Jazz

  • The Invented Languages of J.R.R. Tolkien

  • A Journey into the Soul – “The Heart of Darkness”

  • “Just Mercy” – Fairness in Our Justice System

  • How Do We Increase Empathy in Society?

  • The Leadership Style of Pope Francis

  • Making Sense out of Suffering

  • “Once More to the Lake” by E.B. White

  • Privacy in the Age of Big Data

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Nature”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Self Reliance”

  • Rock Music, the Working Class, and our Democracy

  • Romanticism in British Literature

  • SNL and Presidential Political Satire

  • “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

  • A Study of “The Odyssey” and the Homeric Question

  • The Spirituality of the Music of U2

  • What Makes Good Food “Good”?

  • The Age of Enlightenment: From Faith to Reason

  • Defining Scholarship – Emerson’s “The American Scholar”

  • Ernest Hemingway – Excerpts from “The Sun Also Rises

  • Galileo and the Church: The Struggles Between Science and Religion

  • National Parks in America: Bringing Awareness in the Centennial Year

  • “The Palace Thief” – An Analysis of Academic Integrity

  • The Progressive Era and Its Impact on Modern American Politics

  • A Study of Romanticism through Music, Art, and Literature

  • What Exactly Is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition?

  • What’s So Great About “The Greatest Generation?”

  • Writing Workshop – Why We Write and How to Improve It

  • Confirming Values/Conforming Values – The Impact of Conformity

  • Designing America – Fredrick Law Olmsted and the Birth of Landscape Architecture

  • Do the Arts Matter Anymore Now that LeBron is Going to the Lakers?

  • An Examination of Antiheroes – Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty, and “The Final Problem”

  • How do Science Fiction Short Stories Critique Actual Society? – “Flowers for Algernon”

  • How Do We Measure Character? – “The Road to Character” by David Brooks

  • The Introduction and Influence of French Cooking on American Cuisine

  • Is Copying Always Cheating? From Led Zeppelin to Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • The Local vs National Paradox - A Study of Perceptions of Local vs National Institutions

  • Why Can’t Security Agencies Connect the Dots? - Is the Concept of Intelligence Failure Real?

  • Zero Days: How the Stuxnet Worm Changed the Game in Cyber-security

  • Labor Rights and Children: A Comparison of the Lawrence Bread and Roses Strike and the Market Basket Strike of 2014

About Us

Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.


235 Baker Street
West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132
Phone: 617-469-8000
Fax: 617-325-0888