About Marian Scholars

Immaculata High School’s invitation-only Marian Scholars Program, named in honor of Mary, the school’s patroness, best positions our most academically talented students for admission into the most competitive universities. In addition to following a highly advanced honors and AP curriculum, these students work with faculty mentors on specialized research projects and presentations, and receive co-curricular enrichment through excursions, seminars, and speakers.

Becoming a SCHOLAR


This fall Immaculata’s AP Seminar, a joint effort of the English and Theology departments, will be offered to all 11th and 12th grade Marian Scholars (a program which best positions academically talented students for admission into the most competitive colleges) as its pilot group. In the future the AP CapstoneTM Program will include both AP Seminar and AP Research, and be offered to a broader group of potential students.

This year the students will explore contemporary topics, both local and global, connected to human dignity issues such as immigration, the environment, technology, the disenfranchised, and diversity. Using Catholic Social Teaching as the foundation, the teachers will facilitate and empower the students to conduct college level research through various lenses. Using articles, research studies, and scholarly journals, as well as foundational and philosophical texts, students will tackle complex questions, understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints, interpret and synthesize information, and construct, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. The power of this program is that the research and topics are student driven, teaching them to discern accurate and authentic data and facts.

Qualifying 8th grade students will be invited to apply to Immaculata’s Marian Scholars program, based on results of the Diocese of Metuchen’s High School Placement Test. Upon applying, a panel of Immaculata faculty and administrators will review the applicants’ essays and qualifications, and ultimately determine the selection of Marian Scholars.

Program Details


Key to the success of the program, which debuted in 2014, is the strong faculty mentoring relationship. Representing every academic department, the faculty mentors are an invaluable source for our scholars. The student-mentor partnership allows students to explore topics that interest them and lets the teachers share and support their passion. In their role as mentors, the teachers guide the students in their research, enhance their presentation skills, and build their confidence. Additionally, this year we will introduce the Senior-Freshman mentoring initiative in which the Seniors gain leadership and coaching skills while the Freshmen benefit from their peers' experiences.


Enrichment through guest speakers and field trips is an integral part of the Marian Scholars program, as it provides sophisticated exposure to cultural and scientific topics. The Marian Scholars have attended seminars given by an internationally recognized expert on juvenile diabetes, an established playwright with productions currently being performed nationwide, and others. The students also participated in a trip to witness a live surgery, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, and attended a Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of Much Ado About Nothing.

Research Symposium

Each year, the Immaculata Marian Scholars program crescendoes to a bright climax on an April evening, as our Marian scholars gather to present their academic year’s worth of research to parents, teachers, and future scholars in a unique format specifically designed to highlight each scholar’s work. Depending on scholar-level, students are required to prepare a formal speaking presentation, ‘Prezi’ visual aid, or a poster presentation. Recent scholarly research includes the following topics:

  • NJ Artificial Coral Reef System
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Athletes overcoming effects of Type 1 diabetes
  • Ambient Backscatter
  • Maladaptive daydreaming
  • Rifts in the deaf community
  • Photojournalism in the 1930's
  • Robotics Prosthetics arms
  • History and modern applications of number theory
  • The Vietnam War's impact on American youth
  • Child labor and the right to education
  • Advancements in the field of Forensic Pathology
  • Falling Water House: Genius of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Saints from Stephen to John Paul II
  • Decoding of the Enigma Machine
  • Coat Color in Canis and Canis Familiaris
  • Current and Future Use of Holography
  • Effects of Music on Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

Please direct any questions regarding the Marian Scholars Program to the Immaculata Admissions Office at admissions@immaculatahighschool.org

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  • 240 Mountain Avenue
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  • Somerville, NJ 08876
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