Interdisciplinary Program Director: Emily Esch
The Honors Program gives students opportunities to enroll in Honors versions of Common Curriculum courses and to engage in independent thinking, research, and writing. Select and invitational, the Honors Program is open to entering first-year students by recommendation of the admission committee and the director of Honors. Well-qualified students may also enter the Honors Program at the sophomore level by submitting an application to the Honors Program in the spring semester of their first year.
Each semester, Honors courses are offered to fulfill Common Curriculum requirements: Honors First-Year Seminar, Mathematics, Fine Arts, Social Science, Natural Science, Theology and Humanities, as well as upper-division Theology and the Ethics Common Seminar. In addition to regular Honors courses, Honors Reading Groups (under Honors 270 and 370) provide students with an opportunity to discuss great books of mutual interest with a professor and small group of classmates beyond the usual classroom.
Students in Honors may also earn 4 Honors Option credits by contracting with instructors of Common Curriculum or departmental courses to supplement normal course work with an additional reading, research or writing project. The Honors Option requires the approval of the Honors Director. In exceptional circumstances, students may be allowed to earn 8 credits. Students interested in an Honors Option should contact the Honors Director. Students are encouraged to plan Honors Common Curriculum courses and the senior project into their four-year plan of study carefully, especially if they intend to study abroad.
To graduate with "All-College Honors" students must earn 32 credits or more in honors courses, including 12 credits in 300-level courses and achieve at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA. With the approval of the Honors Director, an Honors Option may be used to fulfill 4-8 of the 32 credits required. For students who enter the program in their sophomore year or who spend a semester abroad, the 32 credit requirement is reduced to 28 credits with 8 credits in 300-level courses. In this case, only one Honors Option may be used to fulfill 4 of the 28 credits required.
To graduate with "All-College Honors with Thesis or Departmental Distinction" one of the required Honors courses must be the Honors Thesis, along with the 0 or 1-credit Thesis Proposal course. If an A or H is earned, the citation will be "All-College Honors with Departmental Distinction."
First-year Honors students need to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year to remain in the program. Sophomores must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 each semester to remain in good standing. Juniors and seniors must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing.
Students normally take one Honors course each of the eight semesters they are enrolled for a total of seven courses plus the senior Honors Thesis. However, students who want an additional challenge are encouraged to take two or more Honors courses in a given semester.
First year: Honors FYS 100 and 101 and/or Honors Philosophy (H250).
Sophomore year: One or two 200-level or 300-level courses each semester.
Junior year: One or more 200- or 300-level course each semester or an Honors Option. In addition, Honors 396 in the fall or spring semester.
Senior year: Honors 398 in the student's major field (normally in the first semester of a student's senior year) and an additional 300-level honors course or an Honors Option.