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Columbia MD, 21044
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312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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James W. Rouse Scholars Program

James W. Rouse Scholars LogoDiscover the Rouse Advantage

The James W. Rouse Scholars Program is a selective, challenging honors and leadership program for graduating high school seniors. For over two decades, this acclaimed program has prepared students for transfer to many of the nation’s most distinguished colleges and universities to complete the junior and senior year of their bachelor’s degree. 

Scholarship. Leadership. Partnership. Friendship.

As a Rouse Scholar, you’ll experience the advantages of a rigorous honors curriculum, expert advising, projects involving community mentors, leadership development, international travel opportunities, cultural and recreational activities, transfer partnerships with many prestigious institutions, and the support and camaraderie of a close-knit learning community.

To learn more, open the video clip below featuring Rouse Scholars describing the Rouse Advantage in their own words and check out the tabs for program details.

Learn how to apply to the Rouse Scholars Program

  • Eligibility

    Rouse Eligibility

    HCC reviews honors candidates from a holistic perspective. In general we expect successful candidates to demonstrate:

    • Challenging high school academic course load, including honors, GT, Advanced Placement, and/or International Baccalaureate coursework
    • A top student with a GPA of 3.2 or better
    • Earned a combined SAT of 1100 or better, or an ACT composite score of 25 or better

    Intellectual interests, extracurricular activities, including those outside of school are also considered.  Each applicant's essay, recommendations, and other indications of excellence are important factors in the selection process.

  • Curriculum

    Rouse Curriculum

    Rouse Scholars major in many different areas and have many different course requirements depending on their major. What all of their various majors share is a set of core course requirements (also called general distribution or distributive studies requirements at some institutions) that apply to all learning programs. These are the courses that Rouse Scholars take together in a challenging honors format specifically designed for them.

    The Rouse Core Curriculum

    Number of credits in parentheses:
    • ENGL-121H College Composition I: Expository Writing (Honors)(3)
    • ENGL-225H Introduction to World Literature (Honors)(3)
    • HIST-111H American History to 1877(Honors)(3) HIST-122H Western Civilization and the Pre-Modern World (Honors)(3)
    • HIST-123H Western Civilization and the Modern World (Honors)(3)
    • PSYC-101H General Psychology (Honors)(3)
    • PHIL-101H Introduction to Philosophy (Honors)(3)
    • FINE-200 Twentieth Century Art, Cultures and Ideas (Honors)(3)
    • BIOL-101H General Biology I (Honors)(4)

    (Rouse Scholars take all or most of these courses based on the requirements of their learning programs.)

    The Rouse Seminars

    Each semester, Rouse Scholars enroll in a one credit seminar (HMDV-150, 151, 250, 251).  Seminars focus on different areas of intellectual, professional and civic leadership, teamwork and personal development. The seminars also focus on transfer preparation and travel opportunities for students interested in studying abroad.

    Other Coursework

    In addition to the Rouse core curriculum, each student takes other courses required by his or her specific learning program. For example, all learning programs require math and science core courses - however, the math or science courses a students selects are based on the requirements or their specific learning program. The following options provide some examples of the additional courses students take depending on their major. Remember, there are many learning programs to choose from; these are examples of a few:

    (These are examples: Many other options are also available.)

    Liberal Arts Option:
    • General Education Core (3)
    • Oral Communication Elective (3)
    • Literature Elective (3)
    • Humanities Electives (6)
    • (6 credits of foreign language strongly recommended)
    • Arts and Sciences Electives (6)
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences Electives (6)*
    • Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues Core (3)
    • Science Core (7-8)*
    Business Option:
    • General Education Core (3)
    • BMGT-100 Introduction to Business and Organization (3)
    • ACCT-111 Principles of Accounting I (3)
    • ACCT-112 Principles of Accounting II (3)
    • CMSY-110 Software Applications for Micros (3)
    • ECON-101 Principles of Economics (Macro) (3)
    • ECON-102 Principles of Economics (Micro) (3)
    • SPCH-105 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (3)
    • MATH-138 Statistics (3)
    • BMGT-151 Business Law (3)
    • Arts and Sciences Electives (6)
    • Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues Core (1-3)
    • Science Core (7-8)
    Life Science Option:
    • General Education Core (3)
    • BIOL-101 General Biology (Science Core) (4)*
    • BIOL-102 General Biology II (Science Core) (4)
    • CHEM-101 General Inorganic Chemistry I (Science Core) (4)*
    • CHEM-102 General Inorganic Chemistry II (Science Core) (4)
    • Science Elective (Physics recommended) (4)
    • CHEM-201 Organic Chemistry I (4)
    • CHEM-202 Organic Chemistry II (4)
    • BIOL-200 Microbiology (4)
    • BIOL-201 Genetics (3)
    • BIOL-202 Genetics (1)
    • MATH-140 Calculus I or higher (3-5)
    • Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues Core (1-3)
    Mass Media Design and Production Option:
    • General Education Core (3)
    • Oral Communication Elective (3)
    • ARTT-104 Art History I (3)
    • ARTT-105 Art History II (3)
    • CMSY-129 Principles of Internet (3)
    • ARTT-109 Drawing I (3)
    • ARTT-112 Introduction to Digital Media (3)
    • ARTT-130/MASS-131 Introduction to Video I (3)
    • Select a concentration (track) in Television Production, Web Design or Multimedia Design (18)
    • Science Core (7-8)
    Computer Science, Engineering and Education Options:

    Courses may differ based upon computer science, engineering or education transfer options being pursued.

    The Rouse Program's academic advisors work closely with students to select coursework according to each student's interests, program and transfer plans

    *Honors Options available


    Each Rouse scholar is assigned to an academic advisor who specializes in the program's requirements, requirements specific to each major and transfer preparation. Advisors work closely with each student to select coursework that fits their individual interests, requirements and transfer plans.

  • Transfer

    Rouse Scholars' Transfer Institutions and Special Partnerships

    Where are Rouse Scholars accepted as they prepare for transfer from HCC to complete their junior and senior year? The answer is that Rouse Scholars are accepted to many of the finest institutions in the nation!

    Special Partners

    The James W. Rouse Scholars Program enjoys special partnerships with the following colleges and universities. These partnerships are known as articulation agreements. Rouse Scholars who transfer to these institutions enjoy specific benefits.

    • American University
    • Catholic University of America
    • College of Notre Dame of Maryland
    • Dickinson College
    • The George Washington University
    • The Johns Hopkins University
    • McDaniel College
    • Shippensburg University

    HCC also has many other articulations available to all students.  Learn more about other transfer opportunities for HCC students.

    The following is a sampling of the many colleges and universities that have accepted graduates of the Rouse Scholars Program.

    • American University
    • Bennington College
    • Boston College
    • Boston University
    • California State University, Long Beach
    • Catholic University
    • College of Charleston
    • College of Notre Dame of Maryland
    • Dickinson College
    • Flagler College
    • Florida State University
    • Fordham University
    • The George Washington University
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Howard University
    • Indiana University of PA
    • The Johns Hopkins University
    • Loyola College in Maryland
    • Mt. Holyoke College
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • Rhode Island School of Design
    • Ringling School of Art and Design
    • Rochester Institute of Technology
    • San Francisco State University
    • Shippensburg University
    • Smith College
    • St. Mary's College
    • Syracuse University
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
    • University of Charleston
    • University of Delaware
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Honors Program
    • University of Maryland, College Park - Honors Program
    • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • University of South Florida
    • University of Vermont
    • University of Virginia
    • Washington College
    • Washington University at St. Louis
    • Wentworth Institute
    • Western Kentucky University
    • Yale University

    The Rouse Advantage

    Rouse Scholars have gone on to medical school, MBA Programs, divinity schools, law school, and masters and doctoral programs. And they have entered a very broad range of fields, including the entertainment industry, education, engineering and so many more. Wherever ‘there’ is for you “You can really get THERE from here in the Rouse Scholars Program”!

  • Travel

    Rouse Travel Opportunities

    Would you like to:

    • study international business in Hong Kong, one of great global business centers?
    • study history, literature or music in London home to many of the world’s greatest writers, theaters and historical events?
    • learn more about ancient civilization in Rome?
    • hone your Spanish skills in Spain?
    • design your own travel experience, something truly different and maybe even “once in a lifetime”?

    Rouse Scholars have some very unique opportunities to travel near and far. Opportunities to travel individually, in a group, or with a friend are all available.


    The Rouse Scholars Program has two weekend retreats a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Retreats take place in locations in the region that offer a wide variety of recreational activities. Retreats are an opportunity for Rouse freshmen and sophomores, faculty and staff to learn more about one another and form the friendships and associations unique to the Rouse Scholars Program.

    National and International Travel

    Rouse Scholars have the world at their fingertips!  Possibilities for national and international travel include:

    • The James W. Rouse Scholars Program-Dickinson College Summer Study Abroad Program: HCC and Dickinson College, one of the nation’s leading institutions in international education, have formed a special partnership to provide summer study abroad opportunities for Rouse Scholars. Our students have been able to join Dickinson students at such study abroad destinations as China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Scotland and Spain where they also experience life on an ongoing basis in another culture. Scholarships are available to ensure that such terrific opportunities are possible for all interested and qualified Rouse Scholars.
    • The James W. Rouse Scholars Program–College of Notre Dame Summer Study Abroad and Travel Program: HCC and the College of Notre Dame also have a special partnership to provide summer study and travel abroad opportunities for Rouse Scholars. Like Dickinson College, the College of Notre Dame is also renown for its international programs.  The Rouse-CND study and travel partnership compliments our partnership with Dickinson College very well in terms of destinations, time frame and focus. It also offers opportunities for students who do not want to study over the summer, but would like to travel to international locations with others in a small group. Examples of College of Notre Dame destinations include Cuba, England, Ireland, Mexico and Turkey. Scholarship opportunities are possible for Rouse Scholars.  (Please note:  The College of Notre Dame is a women’s college; however, summer study and travel is open to male and female students.)
    • The Schulte Travel Fellowship: The Schulte Travel Fellowship provides funds for HCC students to plan their own travel or study abroad experience in January or during the summer. Students submit an application outlining their travel plans and a budget explaining what they hope to achieve. Schulte Travel Fellowship recipients have used funds to travel to Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, Japan and London and to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Schulte funds may also be used for study abroad opportunities, including Rouse-Dickinson, Rouse-College of Notre Dame and HCC classes and trips.
    • HCC Travel: HCC offers many other travel and study abroad experiences to places like China, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Bermuda, and other destinations. These opportunities are available to all qualified HCC students, including Rouse Scholars.  Scholarships are available. Visit the International Education site to find out more about HCC's travel opportunities
    • Other:  HCC’s International Education Office can also help you find other travel and study abroad opportunities through universities American and international universities and organizations.


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