Like our students, our faculty consider participation in the University Honors Program to be a privilege. As an honors student, you will learn from the most dynamic teachers and researchers at the University who are committed to sharing their knowledge and intellectual passion with you both in your honors courses and in personal, informal exchanges outside the classroom. Their fields of expertise span a wealth of disciplines and approaches, from medieval history and ancient languages to astrophysics and contemporary politics. Learn more about our faculty .
To graduate "With Honors," students must 1) take at least 45 credit hours of honors courses, or about one third of their total academic courses; 2) engage in at least one "Beyond the Classroom" experience (study abroad, internship, research, or service learning); and 3) complete a senior thesis. Most students in fact take significantly more honors courses than required. To graduate "With Honors," students must also maintain a sliding GPA, which goes from as a freshman to at graduation. (The average GPA in the Honors College last year was above .) Students who fail to maintain the minimum GPA or who do not make satisfactory progress toward graduating "With Honors" are placed on probation and given guidance toward improving their grades.
Instead of attempting to fix the rank of every individual student by minute divisions on a scale of a hundred as formerly, five grades of scholarship were established and degrees were conferred upon the graduating classes according to their grades. If a student was found to be in the first or lowest grade, he was not considered as a candidate for a degree, though he might receive a certificate stating the facts in regard to his standing; if he appeared in the second grade the degree of . was conferred upon him rite; if in the third, cum laude ; if in the fourth, magna cum laude ; while if he reached the fifth grade he received the degree summa cum laude . The advantages of this course, as stated to the trustees by the president, are that it properly discriminates between those who, though passing over the same course of study, have done it with great differences of merit and of scholarship, and that it furnishes a healthy incentive to the best work without exciting an excessive spirit of emulation.