Components of the Program

Special honors sections of General Education courses

Certain sections of General Education courses are designated for Honors students and are recommended because of their smaller size and emphasis on fostering creative and independent thinking. Most students participate in five Honors sections of the twelve General Education classes required for graduation, mixing these courses with regular sections of other classes. 

Honors seminars on interesting and controversial topics

Seminars generally meet one hour per week and encourage students to explore topics not typically covered in a standard college course. Recent offerings include “The Psychology of Dreaming,” “Producing Shakespeare,” “Religion and Film,” “Debating Tax Policy,” and “Understanding Cancer.” These seminars are so popular that students often enroll in more than the three required for completion of the Program.

Social and cultural activities

Each semester, the Honors Program sponsors special events that bring students together to enjoy camaraderie with their peers. Students are encouraged, but not required, to attend these events that include dinners at faculty members' homes, weekend trips to Chicago, group outings to concerts and theatre, career preparation presentations, and evening discussion sessions.

Research or creative project

The Honors Program, having enhanced each stage of a student’s course of study, culminates in a capstone project. During the junior or senior year, each Honors student, in consultation with a professor in the major field, completes an individualized project that demonstrates excellence in the academic major.

The Honors Program has been carefully designed so that it will not lengthen a student’s course of study. While the Honors classes emphasize active learning, discussion, and interpretation, they do not require more work quantitatively and do not use a more demanding grading scale.