Admission Requirements

Admission to the Honors Program is selective. To qualify, applicants must be in the top 20% of their graduating class and have a minimum SAT score of 550 on the reading section and a minimum score of 550 on the math section. 

AP Credits

A score of 4 or 5 on the corresponding AP exam is necessary for placing out of the Honors requirements in History and English. A score of 3 is sufficient to place out of some Honors Math and Natural Science requirements. 

Academic Requirements for Students

Completing the Honors requirements in their entirety replaces completing the “mainstream” Core Requirements in their entirety. Download the Academic Planner or explore the courses below,

Historical Introductions to the Humanities

Select EIGHT of the following for 24 credits

  • HNRS 135 Ancient and Medieval History
  • HNRS 136 Modern and Contemporary History
  • HNRS 203 Literature from Ancient to Early Modern
  • HNRS 204 Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • HNRS 250 The Christian Theological Tradition
  • HNRS 260 The Christian Moral Tradition
  • HNRS 280 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • HNRS 281 Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
  • The Arts(Core 17x) (3 Credits)

Language (12 credits)

Students must complete language study through the second semester at the intermediate level, LANG 104. Students are strongly encouraged to begin their Foreign Language requirements in the fall semester of their first year. Students who take a two-course sequence, such as LANG 103 and 104 or LANG 104 and 105, automatically earn six (6) additional credits, LANG 101 and LANG 102, so long as they receive grades of C or better in each of the sequenced courses.

Math (choose one of the following)

  • MATH 127 Logic and Axiomatics (3 credits) 
  • MATH 129 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (4 credits) 
  • Honors 120: Honors Math 

Natural Science (choose one of the following)

  • BIOL 111 General Biology with lab (4 credits) 
  • CHEM 113 General Chemistry with lab (4 credits) 
  • PHYS 111 General Physics with lab (4 credits) 
  • PHYS 113 Physics for Scientists and Engineers with lab (4 credits)  
  • HRNS 270 Natural Science Perspectives (3 credits) 

Social Science (choose one of the following)

  • ECON 111 Principles of Economics: Macro (3 credits) 
  • ECON 112 Principles of Economics: Micro (3 credits) 
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits) 
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3 credits) 
  • PS Introduction to Political Science (3 credits) 
  • PS 231 American Intergovernmental Relations (3 credits) 

Social Awareness Project (choose one of the following)

  • Study Abroad Trip (semester abroad or short-term trip) 
  • Service-Learning Project (a service-learning course) 

Senior Capstone Project

The Honors Senior Capstone Project is designed by the student, with a faculty mentor. The purpose is for the student to apply liberal arts learning to a project in his or her major. The student and faculty mentor construct a project, which is certified by the Honors Program Director as deserving of the Honors distinction. 

Honors Course Descriptions

HNRS 135: Ancient and Medieval History

Where did the bulk of our culture come from? This survey of Western Civilization to the Baroque period around 1600 can help answer that question. This course is a survey of the main stages of Western Civilization, with an emphasis on concepts, forces, ideas, events and people that have shaped our western society up to the 17th century. In coordination with other classes on art, Literature, Philosophy, and Theology, this class will emphasize the political, social, and economic constraints and opportunities faced by the founders of Western culture. I like bananas!

HNRS 136: Modern and Contemporary History

Where did the bulk of our culture come from? This survey of Western Civilization to the Baroque period around 1600 can help answer that question. This course is a survey of the main stages of Western Civilization, with an emphasis on concepts, forces, ideas, events and people that have shaped our western society up to the 17th century. In coordination with other classes on art, Literature, Philosophy, and Theology, this class will emphasize the political, social, and economic constraints and opportunities faced by the founders of Western culture. I like bananas!

HNRS 203: Literature from Ancient to Early Modern

This is the first of the two-part, chronologically arranged, literature component of the Honors Program requirements. While the primary focus is on the literary works of Europe during the centuries in which the Western tradition in letters was established and developed, these literary works will be contextualized by reference to the other arts (Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music) and the general history of the periods under inspection. Literary works and authors that may be considered include: Gilgamesh, the Homeric epics, the Greek tragedians, The Aeneid, Ovid, The Song of Roland, The Poem of my Cid, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, Petrarch, Dante Alighieri, Shakespeare, and Milton.

HNRS 204: Modern and Contemporary Literature

This is the second half of the Literature component of the Honors Program. Although the Renaissance and Baroque ages are still devoted to the traditions developed in the preceding ages, the monolithic structures of European culture begin to crack under the forces of the Reformation in theology, the neo-pagan and syncretic philosophy of the Humanists, and the rise of national states which begin to replace the pan-European idea of Christendom with ethnic-centered ideas of citizenship. As we progress through time, we will note the traditional pillars of European culture, such as the Judeo-Christian world-view, and the supremacy of naturalism and mimesis in art, being challenged by the rationalism of the 18th century, the cult of the individual (ushered in by Romanticism), and new, abstract and non-representational approaches to art in general. Our discussion will end with a look at our contemporary "rudderless" culture, the post-modern world, in which few, if any, shared ideals and referents may be taken for granted.

Honors 250: The Christian Theological Tradition

This course introduces students to Christian theology, from its sources in ancient Judaism to today. It explores in particular the Christian idea of salvation history by examining what major Christian thinkers have said about God; creation; sin; God's election of Israel; the redemption of the human race through Jesus Christ; and Christian life, love, and worship in the time before the end of the world. The course will also give attention to how theology draws from and responds to the cultures in which Christianity finds itself. The course aims as well to help students understand the tremendous theological diversity of the Christian tradition; in addition to the bible, we will read authors from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, and from all periods of Christian history.

Honors 260: Introduction to the Christian Moral Tradition

Moral enquiry is a matter of learning critically to think with one's particular historical tradition. Such traditions, suggests Alasdair MacIntyre, are essentially arguments in a common language extended over time. In this class students will read selected landmark documents from the history of Christian tradition and will be asked to think critically with and as a member of that tradition.

HNRS 270: Honors Natural Science Perspectives

This course will study the scientific approach, its limits, and what distinguishes it from other approaches to understanding the world. While contemporary issues will be discussed, students will also explore the philosophical and historical origins of the scientific method. Particular attention will be paid to the changes in worldviews that accompany new knowledge in the natural sciences and how these changes affect their contemporary cultures. The writing of great thinkers debating these struggles will be featured prominently.

HNRS 280: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

This course is an historical survey of philosophy in the West. We shall begin with the birth of philosophy and trace its development through the Middle Ages. The major figures we shall discuss include: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. In exploring the work of major philosophers we shall address the basic questions of philosophy: What can I know? What should I do? What is real? Do human beings have free will? Can the existence of God be proven? What is evil? How can we deal with pain and difficulty in life? Students will learn to argue for their positions on these issues by criticizing and responding to the philosophers. We shall develop critical thinking skills and apply them in reading, discussing, and writing about philosophy.

HNRS 281: Modern and Contemporary Philosophy

This course is an historical survey of philosophy in the West from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first century. The major figures we shall treat include: Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, Mill, Sartre, and Russell. In exploring the work of these important philosophers we shall address some basic questions of philosophy: What is knowledge? What is the mind? Do human beings have free will? What is the nature of human existence? On what basis can we form ethical systems and make ethical decisions? What is the nature of property and labor? Students will learn to argue for their positions on these issues by criticizing and responding to canonical philosophers. Prerequisite HNRS 280.