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Honors Program

Life Examined. Life Experienced.

If you are seeking a personal, intellectual, and social challenge and a distinguishing feature on your résumé, the IU Honors Program will enhance both your undergraduate experience and your post-graduation prospects.

Why Join the IU Honors Program?

  • Experience a selection of unique classes and seminars that dive deeper into engaging topics in a small-section, multidisciplinary setting
  • Engage with the community in co-curricular and service learning events and projects
  • Develop friendships and working relationships with students and faculty from a wide range of majors and disciplines
  • Priority registration for classes every semester
  • Honors advising, including additional references/recommendations for internships and graduate school applications
  • Honors committee certificates of achievement awarded at spring honors convocation
  • Honors courses and Honors Program completion identified on student transcripts
  • Commencement program recognition for seniors who completed the Honors Program

Those are good reasons, but our students’ own words put it best.

Emma Bischoff

Emma Bischoff '21


My time as an honors student allowed me to branch out into other disciplines and become a well-rounded student. My classes allowed me to explore topics I would not otherwise have been able to and exposed me to many new ideas. If you enjoy learning, you will have a great time being a part of the IU honors community!

Caitlin Paterson

Caitlin Paterson ’20

Business Management and Accounting

As a student who came into my undergraduate experience with plans to attend law school, I knew that I needed to find a school that would teach me how to think critically and research effectively. The Honors Program has provided me with those opportunities. I feel prepared for law school.

The Immaculata University Honors Program embodies and promotes the highest ideals of an Immaculata education. Inspired by the IHM charism and the University mission, the Honors Program offers a dynamic education focused on the theme “Life Examined, Life Experienced.”

Grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts, the Honors Program cultivates examination of the experience of personhood and community; develops creative, independent, critical, and responsive thinking; nurtures leadership and service for the common good; fosters cross-cultural dialogue and awareness; and facilitates a community dedicated to multi-disciplinary scholarship. The Honors Program pursues these goals within the context of a learning community marked by peer support and vibrant social interaction.

Through study in the College of Undergraduate Studies Honors Program, students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key texts and ideas within the Liberal Arts tradition that illuminate personhood and community in the following disciplines: History, Literature. Philosophy, Theology and Social Sciences
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify, clarify, and resolve intellectual, ethical, and social problems
  • Design and conduct high-quality research using multi-disciplinary methods
  • Communicate effectively through oral, visual, digital, and written modes/formats
  • Collaborate productively with others in the achievement of a shared goal
  • Demonstrate an understanding of interdependence between local and global communities

First-time freshmen: Invitations to the honors program are extended to high school students who meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • SAT score of 1160 or better;
  • High School GPA of 3.50 or equivalent
  • Top 20% of high school class

Students whose high school GPA falls slightly under 3.5 may self-nominate and apply to the Honors Program Committee for acceptance into the program.

First semester freshmen and second semester freshmen: First semester freshmen and second semester freshmenwho have achieved a 3.5 cumulative GPA will also be invited into the program. Students who wish to enroll in the honors program but whose cumulative GPA falls slightly under a 3.5 may self-nominate and make formal application to the Honors Program Committee for acceptance into the program.

Transfer Students: Invitations are extended to freshman and sophomore-level transfer students who have completed 24 credits with a GPA of 3.50. Students who have completed fewer than 24 college credits must meet the same criteria as first-time freshman applicants. Honors courses completed at other institution (with at least a B average) will be accepted for credit in the Immaculata Honors Program.

Transfer Students (entering IU with an advanced number of credits): Students who transfer into Immaculata in their junior year and who have little chance of completing the formal honors program will be invited into the Honors Congress, an affiliate honors program. Membership in the Honors Congress gives students access to all honors courses, programs, extra- and co-curricular activities, and priority registration for classes.

The Honors Program requires the completion of 18 credits:

  • FYE 110: Honors First Year Experience (3 cr.)
  • ENG 117: Honors Composition (3 cr.)
  • ENG 299: Advanced Composition (3 cr.)*
  • HON 401: Honors Colloquium (3 cr.)**

Two Honors electives, selected from core or major requirements (6 cr.)***

*An additional Honors elective can be substituted for ENG 299, at the discretion of the Honors Program Director

**HON 401 requires completion of a guided research project and presentation of that research at a subsequent public academic forum (usually the SEPCHE Honors Conference). In the event a student is unable to complete HON 401 in the fall of their third or fourth years, the requirement can be satisfied by HON 400, an independent research project completed in coordination with a faculty advisor. The research presentation requirement from HON 401 applies to HON 400 as well.

***In exceptional circumstances, a Student Generated Honors Option (SGHO) may allow a students to engage in guided research within a core course or a course required by their major. Coordinated with the support of the course instructor and approved by the Honors Subcommittee, the SGHO allows students to pursue more in-depth study within the framework of a larger course. Students seeking to fulfill an honors course requirement through an SGHO are required, in the semester immediately prior to taking the course for an SGHO option, to consult with the course instructor and develop an abstract/proposal for the guided research (contact the Honors Program Director for details). The SGHO Abstract must be submitted for review and decision to the Honors Program Subcommittee at least four weeks prior to the semester in question. This option is available only to Junior/Senior Honors Program students, and each Honors Program student may complete only one SGHO.

The following table provides a suggested sequence for how to complete the program in a three-year sequence. However, individual scheduling needs and course offerings will at times vary the sequence. It is possible to complete the program in three years or extend completion into a fourth year.

  • First Year (9 Credits)
    • Fall: ENG 117, FYE 110
    • Spring: ENG 299 or HON elective
  • Second Year (6 credits)
    • Fall: HON elective
    • Spring: ENG 299 or HON elective
  • Third Year (3 credits)
    • Fall: HON 401

All honors courses are identified on student transcripts.

Fourth year honors courses: Many students will complete the honors program by the end of junior year; therefore, the fourth year provides ample time to complete off-campus study programs, student teaching, senior seminar papers, etc. However, if students have not completed the honors program during their junior year, they can continue their honors courses in senior year

Requirements for inclusion in the Honors Congress: Earned cumulative 3.5 GPA and submission of a formal application to the Honors Program Subcommittee.

Formal induction into the Honors Program and Honors Congress will occur during Immaculata’s annual CUS Honors Programs.

Students in the Honors Program and members of Honors Congress are required to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

Students are free to withdraw from the Honors Program if the need arises. A student will be put on probation if his/her GPA falls below a 3.5. Probation will be lifted on a case-by-case basis by the dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies in conjunction with the Honors Program Committee. To receive recognition of Honors Program completion on the transcript, Honors students must graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater; if a student falls below that GPA but has earned a GPA of 3.5 or greater in Honors program courses, the Honors Program Committee may approve an exception on a case-by-case basis.

Course descriptions can be found in the department listed after the course title. Courses are changed or added periodically.

Sample courses previously approved and offered include:

  • CCS 335 HON: Global Studies
  • COM 211 HON: Media and Love
  • COM 338 HON: Political Communication
  • ECO 313 HON: The Great Economic Debate
  • EDU 291 HON: Schools and Society
  • ENG 216 HON: World Literature
  • ENG 330 HON: Twisted Sisters: Brontës
  • FNU 213 HON: Current Issues in Nutrition
  • HIST 214 HON: Refugees
  • HIST 300/PSY 300 HON: The Holocaust
  • MATH 223 HON: God, Universe, & Math
  • MUS 300 HON: Women in the Performing Arts
  • PHI 314 HON: Asian Thought
  • PHI 341 HON: Mythos and Logos
  • PSY 327 HON: Positive Psychology
  • SOC 360 HON: Culture and Gender
  • THE 332 HON: Christian Faith and Economic Life
  • THE 336 HON: Faith and Culture

Upon successful completion of the honors program requirements:

  • Students are recognized and receive certificates of achievement at the spring honors ceremony;
  • Students benefit from priority registration in spring and fall semesters;
  • HON is listed before course numbers on student transcripts;
  • Completion of the honors program or honors congress is noted on the student’s transcript.

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