Honors Program

Why Honors?

The Honors Program is designed to help you develop your talents and explore your interests with a community of likeminded students and faculty. In every Honors course you will read and write intensively, discuss ideas with a group of exceptional students, and perform original research that may lead to a conference presentation or even a publication. We believe such study is a reward in itself. But the intensive nature of the Honors program is also excellent preparation for graduate school, professional careers, and for success in a world that is sure to become more complex as time passes.

Honors instructors are selected on the basis of their success as teachers and their distinction as scholars. Experts in their respective fields, they are passionate about their subject matter and deeply committed to their students. The Honors faculty performs the roles of mentors, collaborators, and intellectual “coaches.”

The courses taught by Honors faculty are seminars. That means they are discussion-based small classes capped at 15-18 students and usually open only to those in the program. Expectations for reading, writing, and discussion are high; you can expect to be truly challenged by your classroom experience. You can expect a lot in return. Honors courses not only offer study in a depth beyond that which is ordinarily possible, they are designed to be enriched experiences. In any given class, you are likely to attend a cultural event, listen to an outside expert on the topic, become involved in a community activity, or even take a road trip.

The Honors curriculum and its requirements are outlined in much greater detail elsewhere on this website. In addition to coursework, however, the Honors program offers a wide range of activities outside the classroom, including:

  • workshops designed to help you prepare for graduate schools and for your senior thesis;
  • regular trips to area cultural events, including concerts, plays, and art exhibits
  • a colloquium series in which recognized scholars from across the country lecture on important issues of the day. When circumstances allow, special lunches and other gatherings are organized to allow students to converse with these visitors in a less formal environment.