2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]

University Honors Program

Director: Dr. Gregory Bierly
Program Office:Rhoads Hall, Mezzanine Level
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/honors
E-mail: honors@indstate.edu

The University Honors Program is composed of classes and experiences designed to enrich and maximize students’ education. As a member of this program, students participate in a core of small and powerful classes, taught by faculty specifically selected for their expertise and devotion to academic excellence. The Honors Program director and faculty work closely with each student to design a program of study that enhances their academic major and provides the best possible preparation for professional development and advanced study. Benefits of being an Honors student are many, and include dynamic classrooms with peers seeking the same level of depth in their education; supportive faculty mentors; interdisciplinary courses that feature various and exciting perspectives on world events, culture, and history; high-powered experiential learning, including undergraduate research and internships; scholarly travel and field trips in the United States and abroad; special assistance with scholarships and job opportunities; priority registration; and honors housing.  


The mission of the University Honors Program is to prepare gifted, highly motivated students to gather, process, and integrate knowledge at an advanced level.

To this end, the objectives of the Indiana State University Honors Program are to:

  • Facilitate engagement with faculty and fellow students in intellectual discourse both inside and outside the classroom, thus building a community of learners;
  • Provide opportunities that enhance leadership skills through experiential learning and community involvement;
  • Expose students to great works and ideas, innovative approaches and diverse perspectives from the past and present and from their own and different cultures, in order to nurture their ability to think broadly and deeply and to solve problems with imagination, empathy, and confidence;
  •  Prepare students to become leaders in their work and communities, to become lifelong learners, and to be active engaged citizens of their country and the world.

Honors Program Opportunities

Each semester all Honors students meet individually with a special honors advisor or the Director of Honors to plan their schedules and discuss their academic programs. This special advising opportunity, beyond the regular advisement offered in a student’s major, is a hallmark of the program and is highly prized by Honors students.

Because of their strong academic backgrounds, Honors students typically qualify for special scholarships offered by ISU to outstanding students including: President’s Scholarships and Alumni Scholarships, awarded on the basis of class rank, scores on the SAT or ACT, and interviews; Academic Scholarships; and Dean’s Scholarships. All students holding these scholarships find a welcome academic home in the Honors Program. Some scholarships are available only to ISU Honors students. These include the Richard J. Brett Memorial Scholarship for Study Abroad; the Anne Bauer Jackson, M.D., Memorial Honors Book Scholarship; and the Rebecca Johnson Scholarship for Nursing Students. The Honors Program also encourages students to seek special national and international scholarship opportunities.

The Honors Program encourages camaraderie among talented students beyond the classroom walls. Honors housing and informal activities such as parties and field trips offer the chance to foster relationships. Honors students may choose to live in Rhoads Hall, which is reserved for Honors students and others on academic scholarships. The Honors Student Association sponsors events such as field trips, group attendance at plays and concerts, and discussion groups; in association with Rhoads Hall, it arranges many social events and service projects. Honors students are also encouraged to participate in honorary societies, student government organizations, and service learning opportunities.

These and other advantages of the University Honors Program combine to both challenge and to recognize students who are highly motivated and academically outstanding.

Honors Conversion

Nearly all departments offer upper-division classes for which students may earn Honors credit by special arrangement with the professor, the department chairperson, and the Director of Honors through Honors Conversion. This mechanism allows students to develop a program of study that meets their individual educational goals. When courses are taken for Honors credit using this option, the ”H” designation is added to the course number on a student’s permanent record. The appearance of the “H” on their transcript indicates the student had a special experience in the course and took the initiative to develop an individual program. Students who want to exercise the Honors Conversion option should see the Director of Honors for details.


The University Honors Program is open automatically to first-year students who, by reason of high grade point average (3.7 or higher on 4.0 scale), test scores (1100 or higher SAT verbal and quantitative, 24 ACT), or high school graduation rank (top ten percent of graduating class), have demonstrated outstanding academic aptitude and achievement. Students transferring to or already enrolled at Indiana State who have demonstrated superior scholastic ability are also eligible. All students who believe their academic work merits consideration for entrance into the University Honors Program should contact the Director of Honors.

The University Honors curriculum features a core of classes that immerses students in the great ideas and works of human civilization and equips them with the tools to think critically, analytically, and with the ability to integrate and synthesize across disciplines and concepts. Students culminate their academic development in Honors with an Honors thesis.

In addition to completing the Honors core, students specialize in Honors through one of three elective concentrations designed to allow more substantial exposure and experience in sub-areas that are aligned with the program’s mission. In each case, the Honors core is intended to provide the tools, rigor, and context (analytical, seminar framework, and interdisciplinary understanding) to frame the elective path that follows. The Honors senior seminar/thesis is intended to challenge students to conduct a research project that integrates the strands of expertise developed through the Honors core, minor, and their major program.

In order to complete the Honors Program, students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative grade point average, a 3.0 grade point average in the Honors Program, and complete the Honors core, thesis, and one of the four elective concentrations below. 

Common Core (12 credits)




   (to be taken after completing the other courses in the Core plus 12 credits in the student’s selected concentration.)              

NOTE: Students who complete the University Honors Program curriculum have satisfied the following Foundational Studies requirements:

  • Social and Behavioral Science
  • Literary Studies
  • Fine and Performing Arts
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Upper Division, Integrative Electives

Elective Concentrations (students must complete one of the following):

CONCENTRATION ONE: Leadership and Civic Engagement (19-23 credits, credits required vary according to certification or minor)

In order to complete the leadership and civic engagement concentration, students must earn:

American Humanics Certificate 


Civic Leadership Minor 

CONCENTRATION TWO: Global Perspectives (24 credits)

The global perspectives concentration is designed to allow students to better immerse themselves in other cultures by mastering a foreign language, or to strengthen their global perspective through a structured multidisciplinary experience. Study abroad is an essential and integral component of the global perspectives concentration.

To earn the global perspectives concentration, students must complete the following:

International Studies Minor 


Language Studies Minor 

Students enrolled in the global perspectives concentration must take a study abroad experience, which may be counted toward the international studies or foreign language minor for up to 6 elective credits.

CONCENTRATION THREE: Honors in the Major and/or Foundational Studies (18 credits)

Concentration three allows students to embrace more challenging experiences in their major and the Foundational Studies Program by completing department classes designated as Honors sections or converting 300/400 level classes for Honors credit. Honors Conversion entails a contract between an individual student, an instructor, and the Honors Program to determine a suitable enhancement to course content that justifies Honors credit for that class. For example, a student enrolled in ENG 339, Women’s Poetry, might convert that class to ENG 339H through the addition of an assignment(s) or project(s) that raise the level of challenge of the course.

To complete Concentration three, students must earn 18 credits of Honors through course combinations from any of the following categories.

Note: students may satisfy this requirement with courses from any one, two, or all three categories, according to their preference, needs, and advisement):

Liberal Studies/Foundational Studies: PSY 101H and other Liberal Studies courses designated as or converted to Honors courses.

Major courses: Upper division courses (300/400-level) designated as or converted to Honors courses in the major.

Study Abroad: Courses taken through a study abroad program approved by the Honors Program.

Programs designate which classes are scheduled for, and earn Honors credit in a respective major, in consultation with the Director of the Honors Program and the University Honors Program Advisory Committee.