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Polemikon Honors

The Polemikon is an opportunity:

To teach 
To develop a passion 
To present one’s work to an audience of teachers and students 
To pursue fair-minded critical inquiry

There are many academic challenges that are put before the graduating class of Pacifica. These challenges are met with creativity, talent and determination. For those seniors wishing to graduate with honors, one more challenge is available to them. This challenge is the Polemikon, a research project which culminates in an oral presentation in front of the student body. The Polemikon is the capstone of a four-year study of a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. It begins with a question and then becomes a thesis providing the basis for a course of study. The students then develop their thesis into an argument that is supported by substantial research. Students wishing to graduate with honors must apply to the Polemikon before the end of their first semester. Their research topic must be approved and a faculty advisor is assigned to them. Over the course of the second semester, the students are required to meet with their advisor to check their progress. The faculty advisor then sets benchmarks that the students must meet or they will be disqualified. Oral presentations are done in May. Students are assessed on several criteria: quality of research, meeting the goals set by the advisor, oral presentation and quality of analysis.

Prerequisite: Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.7.


The Senior Research Project

Polemikon Honors Logo


This title comes from the Greek, meaning “the trumpet signal for a charge into battle.”


The Senior Research Team
These students are the group who apply for an honors designation and provide support for each other in the process. The term is Greek for “an elite unit or the leading part of a military formation.”

Prodromus / Prodrome

A Student in the Project
This title describes a student that is engaged in the Senior Research Project. It is a Greek word meaning “someone who has run ahead.”


The Process and Product
From the Greek word for “Excellence, Distinction, Virtue and Valor,” this word describes how the students prepare (with diligence, creativity, and perseverance and what their results are: excellence and distinction).