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James Monroe Scholars Program

Monroe Scholar Orientation

Monroe Scholars demonstrate intellectual depth, curiosity, concern for community and devotion to learning for learning’s sake. Fewer than 10% of admitted W&M undergraduates receive this prestigious designation.

The program’s mission is to support a community of scholars who demonstrate strong academic drive and pursue diverse intellectual passions through mentored research and internships. This highly motivated peer group encourages each other to continue to be exceptional students.

What are the Monroe Scholar benefits?

The newly renovated Monroe Hall (reopening Fall 2024) will feature comfortable gathering spaces for students to connect. 

Pathway to mentorship: Close connections drive Monroe Scholars at W&M

The James Monroe Scholars Program provides students with valuable avenues to link with fellow students and faculty members as they embark on distinctive research and scholarship opportunities.

Summer Research Funding

Summer Research Funding

The research funding Monroe Scholars receive can be used to study an interest in any field and enable students to build skills for future research projects. Scholars can apply to receive $1,000 during their first summer. All scholars are guaranteed $3,000 during the summer after their sophomore or junior year. Recent first-year summer research project topics have included:

  • Bridging the Gap: A Collection of Poetry Inspired by Conversations with Children
  • Determining the Relationship Between Terrestrial Noise Pollution & Underwater Ecosystems
  • Effective Use of Color in Educational Scientific Illustration
  • The Right to be Forgotten: Internet Privacy in the U.S. & China
  • Video Game Developers and Diversity: How do Players Identify with Character Customization
William & Mary James Monroe Scholar Caroline Cashman

Graduate School Preparation

“I used my freshman research grant to research how ranked choice voting methods can be analyzed using linear algebra. I know that the research I've been able to complete as a part of the Monroe program will be vital in preparing me for graduate school and a career in math research.”

— Caroline Cashman ’26, mathematics major from New Jersey

Monroe Housing

Home to over 120 first-year students, Monroe Hall is located near the Sunken Garden and close to the Sadler Center as well as several academic buildings. The newly renovated residence hall will re-open in fall 2024 as a hub for Monroe Scholars to live and learn together. Common spaces on each floor feature contemporary furniture and finishes, modernizing the interiors of the historic residence hall.

First-year Monroe Scholars are not required to live in Monroe Hall but have the option to select Monroe Hall as their first choice during “Early Room Selection.”

William & Mary James Monroe Scholar Seneca Ricewoolf

Supportive Community

“Living in Monroe Hall pushed me to be a better student and community member. I would often come back to the dorm intending to spend some time alone or procrastinate on homework. Instead, I was greeted with friendly faces in the kitchen and the offer of a study buddy or freshly baked treat. This unexpected meeting place and culture of academic flourishing encouraged me to work hard and do it together.”

— Seneca RiceWoolf ’25, self-designed social policy and environment & sustainability double major from Maryland

Becoming a Monroe Scholar

Incoming first-year students are automatically considered for admission to the program. Undergraduate Admission elects first-year students who demonstrate intellectual depth, curiosity, academic passion and care for the community through their application to William & Mary.

Once on campus, transfer students and first-year students who were not initially selected to join the program and plan to complete a summer research project may apply to become a Monroe Scholar as part of the Charles Center Summer Research Grant process.

Monroe Scholar Career Outcomes

Monroe Scholars major in nearly everything at W&M. From here, they can go anywhere. Scholars also have exclusive access to a Monroe Scholars group on One Network, where W&M community members share industry highlights and find networking and mentorship opportunities.

  • 52 %

    Entered the workforce

    of 2022 and 2023 Monroe Scholar graduates

  • 23 %

    Went on to professional school

    of 2022 and 2023 Monroe Scholar graduates

  • 22 %

    Went on to graduate school

    of 2022 and 2023 Monroe Scholar graduates

Meet Monroe Scholar Alumni

Monroe Scholar graduates are well known for their scholarship and character. Last year, two Monroe Scholars received top awards at graduation. Many of our alumni are doing great things, here are just few:

Would you like to learn more?

Monroe Scholars Program
Program Questions
  • Contact: Kate Patterson, Undergraduate Research Program Administrator
  • Office: Blow Hall 267
Admission Questions
  • Phone: 757-221-4223
  • Location: 116 Jamestown Road
Ask a Monroe Scholar