The Honors Curriculum

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Drury’s honors program is designed to provide rigorous and innovative courses to intellectually ambitious students.  Honors courses enhance the interdisciplinary character of Drury’s Engaging Our World curriculum as well as a student’s major field of study. In addition, the honors senior colloquium and research project allows students to pursue in-depth study in an area of their own design, with the support of Drury faculty.

View the Honors Portfolio Requirement

Requirements for the Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree with Honors 

In order for a student who has been admitted the Drury University Honors Program to graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree with honors, the student must satisfactorily complete the following:

  • Earn a Drury GPA of 3.75.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 honors credit hours.
    • Complete Honors FUSE 101, Honors FUSE 102, HNRS 275, HNRS 301, or HNRS 302 (3 hours)
    • Complete a minimum of two additional honors seminars from the list below (6 hours total) (*must take one honor seminar in second year and one seminar in third year to remain in good standing in the program)
      • HNRS 275: Nature
      • HNRS 301: Great Ideas
      • HNRS 302: Great Conversations
    • Honors Option Contract (3 hrs.) (*300 or 400 level class only unless approved by Honors Director) 
    • HNRS 250: Honors Reading Seminar (1 hr.) 
    • Honors Project or Student-Faculty Research (3-6 hrs.) (*research is a two semester sequence, credit hour requirements depend on major) 
    • HNRS 410: Honors Portfolio (0 hrs.) 
  • Co-Curricular Requirements 
    • Present a paper at an academic conference
    • Attend one speaker/film/art/museum event per semester on campus after admission into program, spring or fall semester study abroad experience, or complete a foreign language through the second year or equivalent OPI score
    • 30 hours of community service after admission into the program
    • 2 Presentations at Spring/Fall Honors Symposiums or HNRS 250 Honors Reading Seminar leading
    • Present Honors Project at Spring Honors Banquet

Students can apply up to 6 credit hours of transferred honors course-work.


Honors Portfolio Requirement

Honors students entering Drury Fall 2016 or later will need to complete an approved Honors Portfolio as part of the honors degree. The Honors Portfolio has two purposes. First, it allows a student to document and highlight the good work they have accomplished through the program and provides a record of achievement. Second, the portfolios enable the honors faculty to review the quality of the Honors Program.

Students will use their portfolios to document how they met the learning objectives and graduation requirements of the Honors Program. The Honors Portfolio is introduced during the HNRS 205 Freshmen Honors Seminar and honors students are expected to update them throughout an honors student’s time at Drury. The final version of the portfolio, which documents a student’s honors project, will be submitted as part HNRS 410 Honors Portfolio and must be approved by the Honors Council. This course is taken during a student’s last semester.

View Overview and Checklist

The final Honors Portfolio must include:

  • Portfolio Statement and Overview
  • One assignment or project from every honors course, with a short reflective essay (between 150-200 words) about what was learned in that assignment. We encourage students to organize their portfolios by student learning outcomes and to include papers, power-point presentations, visual projects, short videos, or other kinds of assignments.
  • Offer examples or illustrations of how the student met the six learning goals of the Honors Program: Scholarship, Communication, Real-World Application, Holistic Understanding, Ethics, and Leadership
  • Honors Project components – prospectus or proposal, literature review, final paper, off-campus presentation.

The Honors Program encourages students to “document early and often,” saving assignments and projects from every semester. Honors students should also document attendance on Honors Program and Honors Student Association events. We also encourage students to include any significant learning or growth experience in their portfolio, even if doesn’t occur in an “honors” course. For example, many students will include study abroad, internship, and work experiences in their honors portfolios. In most instances, students will be creating electronic portfolios as websites. Students wishing to create a hard copy portfolio should speak with the Honors Director before proceeding.

The Honors Program reviews a student’s Honors Portfolio each year to evaluate a student’s progress in the program.

Here are some sample portfolios of current and recently graduated students to get a sense of what a portfolio can look like:

These students (and the rest of the honors students) will continue updating their portfolios throughout their time at  Drury. Check back in later semesters to see what our students are up to!

Honors Option Contract

Honors students who have completed a semester at Drury can transform a “regular” Drury class into an honors course thought the Honors Option Contract.

Download Honors Option Contract

The Honors Option Contract allows honors students to take a non-honors class for honors credit. Students who add an honors option to a class must design a research or creative project under the direction of that class’s instructor. Thus the option challenges students to become independent researchers in a manner that is not always possible in a regular class setting. Students who complete honors option contracts are expected to present their work at an Honors Symposium Day.

Students who want to add an honors option to a class should ideally get in touch with the instructor before the start of the semester, but definitely no later than the end of the first week of class. The student should suggest an idea for a project or ask the instructor for ideas. In either case, the instructor may need to lend some guidance in arriving at a workable proposal. Listed below are examples of the kind of work that might be suitable for an honors option.

  • analyze the works of a given group of philosophers;
  • compile an annotated bibliography on a specific topic;
  • view and analyze films on a particular subject, for example, early and late films of a Shakespeare play, such as Hamlet;
  • conduct experiments in the area of robotics, chemistry, or biology (the physics of a guitar; growth-factor gene in zebra fish, fruit fly gene, etc)
  • research a topic and write a paper using primary sources;
  • teach a unit or topic to the class;
  • conduct oral interviews on a specific topic and present findings in video or oral presentation.

A student who wants to add an honors option to a class should do the following:

  • discuss with the instructor the possibility of adding an honors option;
  • decide with the faculty member what the project will entail;
  • submit the proposal on the honors option form;
  • provide all the information that is requested;
  • obtain the appropriate signatures;
  • return the form to Richard Schur in 316 Pearsons Hall by the end of the second week of the semester.

Good Standing in the Program

Honors students must maintain a Drury GPA of 3.6 or higher, make regular progress toward their honors degree by taking a minimum of one honors class an academic year once they have been formally admitted into the program and meeting the co-curricular requirements. If they do not maintain these requirements, they may be placed on honors probation or dismissed from the program.