Honors Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am worried that taking honors courses may be too much work or negatively impact my GPA. Why should I join the program and should I be overly concerned by the coursework?

A. As stated on the Benefits of the Program page, students receive scholarships, early registration privileges, and many other benefits.  The program works to enrich its students’ college experiences and provide opportunities to help students reach their academic and professional goals. While the program does require some additional work, most students, who meet the application requirements and are admitted to the program, are more than capable of completing the work successfully.  The benefits are many.  Don’t be intimidated; the program will work with each student to foster success.

There are several ways students can earn the credits required (18 hours) to receive an Honors Diploma.

These include the following: 

  • all honors-designated courses (such as H100, H399, etc.)
  • any honors section of an existing course (such as the honors sections of intro to psychology, intro to microeconomics, etc.)
  • any course that has been “converted” by the student into an honors course can be counted towards the required 18 hours of credit.

To “convert” any course, eligible students must meet with the instructor of the course they would like to “convert” to seek the instructor’s approval. After receiving approval, students must complete an honors contract, which includes a brief description of the additional requirement(s) necessary to convert the course. The contract must then be signed by the instructor and student and should be returned by the student to the Honors Program by the end of the second week of classes. Contracts may be found on the Honors website. 

Contracts are sent out by the program at the start of each semester. They may also be found on the Honors Program website (by clicking the Good Standing Requirements tab).

If you have been directly admitted to the Honors Program and do not wish to apply for an Honors Housing Scholarship, you do not need to complete an application. However, directly admitted students who would like to apply for a housing scholarship should complete the application

In addition to maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.3, students take eighteen credit hours of honors coursework. Typically, this is one honors course per semester. In addition, honors students attend three honors events and complete ten hours of service each semester they are enrolled in the program. The service can be completed on or off campus, including in the student’s hometown at any nonprofit organization.

The programmatic requirements are not onerous. They are meant to provide a qualitatively different experience for high-achieving students who will become future leaders in their fields and communities. For example, honors students do not take “extra” coursework. Through a course conversion process, students are able to convert required classes in their major field of study. This process allows students to work closely with professors in their field to alter existing requirements. As a result, students receive honors credit for such courses converted on their permanent transcript. 

Likewise, the service and events requirements are also not difficult. They are intended to foster community and networking opportunities for honors students. Indeed, the Honors Program works with students to identify activities that are meaningful to each of them.