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 honors courses, you will discuss ideas with a group of exceptional students, solve problems, serve the community, engage in intensive exploration of primary sources, or 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.

As an honors student, you will work closely with honors faculty from across campus and receive an extraordinary amount of guidance and mentoring. 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.”

Employers and graduate schools will value the skills you develop and experiences you gain. Success in the Honors Program will demonstrate that you can work independently, tackle difficult projects, solve problems, and be leaders. As an honor student, you will gain admission to top graduate schools and build a resumes that will impress future employers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do students do with their Honors Degrees?

Recent graduates from the Honors Program have received scholarships to attend graduate school at Columbia University, William & Mary University, Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington University School of Law, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota School of Law, University of Richmond School of Law, University of Toledo School of Law, Indiana University’s History Department, University of Pittsburgh’s Economics Department, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Missouri’s Library Science Program.

Other recent Honors Program graduates are working in a wide range of professional, business and artistic fields. Graduates from Drury’s Honors Program can be found in St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and many cities around the country.

Do I need to apply to become a part of the Honors Program?

Students can enroll in honors sections of FUSE 101 and FUSE 102  or HNRS 250 before getting accepted or being formally admitted into the program. To take additional classes in the program, students will need to apply and get formally admitted into the program. The Honors Admission Policy can be found here. Students can apply either before they start at Drury (and the acceptance decision will be based on high school grades and test scores) or after they enrolled at Drury (and then the acceptance decision will be based only on college grades). Students can apply to the Honors Program through the end of their second year at Drury. In special circumstances though, we will consider alter applications.

Can I apply to the Honors Program after I begin classes at Drury?


Does my choice of major affect my ability to complete the Honors Program?

We have students in all majors at Drury except for Nursing. We work closely to advise students how best to complete the Honors Program with their major.

Does it take longer to graduate with an Honors degree?

Most students can complete the requirements for the major and the Honors Program within the standard time for degree for that particular major. The honors degree requires 16-19 credit hours, depending on how your major handles honors research. For most honors students, some of the honors hours will be completed as part of the graduation and major requirements , leaving only 10-13 “extra” hours for the honors degree. Honors students are encouraged to seek advising through both their major department and the honors program to create a four or five-year plan. 

Does the Honors Program charge additional tuition or fees?

No. Honors students at Drury University pay the same tuition and fees as other students. Honors students can receive all other scholarships that Drury offers.

Do honors classes require more work than regular classes?

The difference between an honors course and a regular course is not about how much work is required, but the kind of issues discussed and the freedom honors students have in asking and answering their questions. Honors courses emphasize reading primary sources, class discussions and projects, and student research. While honors courses can be intense and require significant time, what defines a course as honors is its commitment to student engagement and ownership of his or her education.

Can I “create” my own honors classes?

Yes. The Honors Program at Drury University empowers students to work individually with faculty and transform a regular class into an honors class. We call this the “Honors Contract Option.” Students interested in creating an honors class should plan on talking with the faculty member prior to enrolling in the regular class. The honors student and the faculty member will create a plan for enriching the course. In most honors option contracts, the students will present their research or work at an Honors Symposium at the end of the semester.

Is the Honors Program just a bunch of classes?

No. The Honors Program is a flourishing community. The Honor Student Association is active in planning events. We have regular dinners with Drury faculty, take a trip in the Fall, attend cultural events together, and have a spring banquet in which we honor graduating seniors. Honors students work, study and play together.

Can I be a varsity athlete and complete the Honors Program at Drury University?

Yes, we have had numerous varsity athletes complete the program. Honors students are encouraged to be involved with all the activities Drury offers. One of the great parts about being an honors student at Drury is that a student does not need to choose between the Honors Program and other activities.

What is an Honors Course?

Honors courses offer students a deeper and more intense academic experience than traditional classes. They offer a “hands on” and “student-directed” approach to learning and demand that students take ownership over their education by posing questions, examining evidence, and joining the scholarly conversation about course topics.

In the Honors Program at Drury University, “honors” courses are not advanced classes that cover more material. Rather, they invite students to be active participants and partners with the faculty in intellectual exploration and knowledge creation. In most honors-designated classes, students read primary source texts from multiple perspectives, lead course discussion, and complete some kind of research or creative project.

Honors Student Experiences

Portrait of Laura Brasier.

“The Honors Program gave me the opportunity to network and collaborate with other honors students and peers that, while important now, will only increase in importance as we all continue on our chosen career paths. From freshman year, I was immediately invited into a classroom that encouraged curiosity and free-thinking as an honors student. The senior honors project gave me the chance to work closely with my professors that are professionals in the field and hone necessary skills that will prove crucial in the future.”

Laura Brasier 2019

Portrait of Allison Smith.

“The Honors Program pushed me to follow dreams I had deemed unattainable, especially since I transferred into the program my junior year. Yet, by the time I graduated, I was able to do three field research experiments, get into graduate school, and obtain a job with the National Park Service.”

Allison Smith 2019

Portrait of Lexie Brewer.

“I was initially drawn to Drury’s Honors Program because of its flexibility. I worked with the professors of my most interesting classes to determine how I could dig deeper into the material. To me, the honors program never felt like additional “work” because the content was always intriguing and engaging. The most rewarding part of the honors program is the senior capstone project. My professors all worked with me every step of the way to make the workload manageable and the final product achievable. I presented my work at a regional conference (where I received a best paper award), the honors banquet, and a trustee’s luncheon. This semester I am beginning the research process once more for my Master’s Thesis. I feel well prepared and excited for a process that I am already well familiar with thanks to the Drury Honors Program.”  

Lexie Brewer 2017

Portrait of Swapnaneel Nath.

“Joining the Drury University Honors Program was one of the best decisions I made in college. My honors projects enabled me to have in-depth, one-on-one interactions about fascinating topics with several faculty members, many of whom provided valuable guidance and reference when I applied to graduate school.  The program will very likely set you apart from your competition.”

Swapnaneel Nath 2017

Portrait of Jasmine Chuah.

“Being a part of the honors program opened up so many doors to enriching experiences from networking with professionals to proactively interacting within a community of scholars. It has given me a sense of confidence to tap into my strengths and also the willingness to learn from others. Looking back, I am not sure if my time at Drury would be that dynamic had I not been a part of this family.”

Jasmine Chuah 2017

Portrait of Austin Ross.

“The Honors Program allowed me to broaden my academic interests during my undergraduate career. Literary exploration, opportunities to branch out in different fields of study, and my final research experience as part of the program have given me a greater appreciation for scholarship and left a lasting impression on my education.”

Austin Ross 2016

Portrait of Chanel Deschamp.

“I am extremely proud and grateful to have been part of the Honors program. Being an Honors student has challenged me to go beyond my intellectual boundaries, enabling me to grow as a student and a person. As a result, I have gained confidence and respect. Becoming a member of both the Honors program and the Honors Student Association has made me feel closer to the Drury community, enriching my college experience. I will always be grateful to Dr. Robertson and Dr. Schur for allowing me to be part of such a great program at Drury University!”

Chanel Deschamp 2016


Portrait of Sadie Ford.

“The Honors Program has been an excellent experience for me at Drury. As a new student, it provides an invaluable outlet for creativity, learning, and individual interests beyond the usual requirements of your first or second year experience. Moreover, the program enables a certain freedom of study from year one to your final year at Drury that I found to be liberating and challenging in turn. Overall, the Honors Program at Drury proved overwhelmingly positive for my development as a student and as a person.”

Sadie Ford 2016

Portrait of Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer.

“The Honors Program is really tailored to what students want to explore, giving them opportunities to develop their academics outside of the classroom in a focused way.  I’ve enjoyed working with many professors on a more personal level and challenging myself to go beyond the standard curriculum.  I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to work on more extensive creative, theoretical, and “big picture” projects that have helped me grow and develop in my field. It’s really about taking ownership of your learning, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and producing high quality work that reflects who you are and what you’re passionate about.” 

Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, 2015

Portrait of Alexis Dutt.

“What I think is most valuable about the Drury Honors Program is that every student is going to have a completely unique experience. The Program started with the First Year Honors Seminar, which introduced me to a community of students that shared my passion for knowledge. From there, however, I was able to cater my curriculum to fit within my interests.”

Alexis Dutt, 2015