Scholars of Distinction

The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction Award Program recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated self-directed students in:

  • Leadership
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
  • Theater Arts
To earn this recognition, students must complete required work in the Minnesota Academic Standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter and apply their knowledge to challenging projects. Students eligible for award consideration in leadership, mathematics, science, social studies, or STEM may be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school; homeschooled in grades 9-12, or enrolled in a Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program. Theater arts awards are limited to grades 11-12.

Intent to Apply
All students who wish to apply for a Scholar of Distinction Award in Leadership, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or STEM must complete the Intent to Apply.

Award Overview and Project Review Rubric
Read the Program Overview and Rubric documents for each award area for guidance in completing and submitting projects. The Theater Arts overview outlines how the application process is different for that subject area.

Award Allotment
Schools with student enrollment of up to 2,500 may submit up to six applicants per award category. Schools with student enrollment of 2,501-4,000 may submit up to ten applicants per award category. In the event the number of students interested in awards exceeds the proportional allotment per category, the school will be required to determine which applications will move forward for award consideration. Schools required to select applicants must complete the 2017-18 Scholars of Distinction Nomination List by March 12, 2018. 

Quality Standards, Rules and Regulations: New!
A new document addressing eligibility/limitations; collaboration/team projects; project submission format requirements; and the procedures for contact and school notification is provided in a document below. The changes are effective immediately.
  • Social Studies - Applied Geography Program Overview and Rubric - 3/12/18
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for Social Studies Scholars (Applied Geography) program.
  • Social Studies - Applied History Program Overview and Rubric  - 10/5/17
    Applied History, for purposes of the Minnesota Scholars of Distinction, is defined by the knowledge and skills that must be exhibited by the applicant.
  • Social Studies: Econimcs Program Overview and Rubric - 10/4/17
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for Economics Scholars program.
  • Social Studies: Civics Program Overview and Rubric - 10/4/17
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for Civics Scholars program.
  •  - 10/4/17
  • Mathematics Program Overview and Rubric - 10/4/17
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for Mathematics Scholars program.
  •  - 10/4/17
  •  - 10/3/17
  •  - 10/3/17
    Project consultants are available to answer student’s questions about their planned or ongoing Scholars project.
  • Leadership Program Overview and Rubric - 10/12/16
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for Leadership Scholars program.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Program Overview and Rubric - 10/12/16
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for STEM Scholars program.
  • Science Program Overview and Rubric - 10/12/16
    Project specifics, application instructions and rubric with scoring criteria for Science Scholars program.