James Millikin Scholars Program


While the Millikin Honors Program is a complete four year honors experience which includes opportunities for independent research and creative work, some students are driven to and capable of engaging in additional fully independent and novel scholarship or creative pursuits.  Established in 1974, the James Millikin Scholars Program (JMS) is a highly selective program designed to facilitate the activities of these exceptional students.  Any Junior with a cumulative GPA  of 3.3 is invited to apply (see admission requirements below).  All students accepted into the JMS program are guaranteed up to $500 in project funding.  This funding can be used for project expenses, travel to present the work at conferences, etc.  Additional funds may be requested based on availability and merit.  All James Millikin Scholars must present their completed project at the James Millikin Scholars Conference, which is typically held the Saturday after Celebration of Scholarship, in April.  Alternative arrangements will be made for James Millikin Scholars who graduate early.

Admission to the James Millikin Scholars Program

Typically students apply for JMS during the fall of their third year at Millikin University.  However, accommodations regarding the timing of the application process may be made for transfer students, students who plan to graduate early, students who are studying abroad, or student teaching.  Accommodations are granted at the discretion of the Honors Director and the Honors Committee.  All applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better on a 4.0 scale.  

Applicants must present a well-developed and faculty approved preliminary proposal for a independent research or creative project.  Applicants will select and work with a project advisor, who should be a full-time Millikin faculty member. The proposed project must be significant and fully distinct from any other work the applicant has done or will do for academic credit. Each year, approximately 10-15 students will be accepted into the James Millikin Scholars Program, but only high-quality proposals will be accepted.  Proposals will be reviewed by the Honors Director and Honors Committee, which retains full discretion for the acceptance or rejection of a proposal.  

Proposals should be at least 1,000 words and include:

  • A clear statement of the research question(s) or creative project theme.
  • A clear statement of the significance of the question or theme.
  • A literature review that provides specific background knowledge on the topic.
  • A thorough examination of the proposed research or creative activity and the expected goal or outcome.
  • A statement of methodology which demonstrates a clear understanding of the discipline appropriate methods and how they are related to your proposed project.
  • A detailed budget of expected expenses, if applicable.

    Program Goals

    The JMS program shares the fundamental learning goals of the Honors Program.  The primary difference is that James Millikin Scholars are expected to produce novel and independent scholarship or creative products.  Furthermore, the JMS product should be made available for assessment by external stakeholders.  (This could be accomplished through publication, presentation at a conference, or public performance or exhibition.)  Upon completion of the JMS Program,

    • James Millikin Scholars will understand and apply diverse discipline specific research methods or creative or scholarly processes and knowledge.
    • James Millikin Scholars will create novel & independent scholarship or creative projects.
    • James Millikin Scholars will understand and communicate the significance and outcomes of independent & unique scholarship or creative activity to the honors and University community with oral and written presentations.
    • James Millikin Scholars will have the opportunity to make creative or scholarly products accessible for evaluation by external stakeholders.

    For More Information

    Dr. Michael Hartsock, Honors Director