Director: Dr. Gregory Bierly
Program Office: Holmstedt Hall, room 220
Web site: http://www1.indstate.edu/honors
The University Honors Program provides academically talented and motivated students opportunities to study, conduct research, and exchange ideas in a challenging and supportive academic environment. With this in mind, the Honors Program brings outstanding students and faculty together in courses that arouse curiosity, stimulate intellectual development, and expand understanding of a larger world. Through participation in the Honors Program, students enjoy the rewards of an enhanced undergraduate education.
At the heart of the University Honors Program are interdisciplinary courses that introduce students to a broad range of subjects and disciplines. These General Honors classes, all of which count toward fulfilling the University General Education requirements, foster active learning through exploration of great cultural traditions as well as special topics of current importance. In addition, a variety of departments throughout the University offer honors courses in many General Education areas. Independent study opportunities and the chance to earn honors credit through the Honors Conversion plan are also available, making participation in Honors an excellent complement to the major field of study of any student.
The program is open automatically to first-year students who, by reason of high SAT or ACT scores and high school graduation rank, 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.
Graduation from the University Honors Program
Students who maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (both overall and in Honors courses) and complete the basic program requirements are eligible to become graduates of the University Honors Program. To graduate in Honors, students must earn 18 semester hours of honors credit. Six of those hours must be in the Honors Core, courses that are designated as General Honors (GH) courses. The remaining 12 hours of credit may be earned in General Honors courses, departmental honors courses, or through the Honors Conversion plan. The University Honors Program does not require students to take a minimum number of 300/400 level courses to graduate in Honors. However, several honors courses are offered at this level so students may use them to help fulfill that ISU requirement. Upon completion of the Honors requirements, a student’s transcript will bear the inscription “Graduate of the University Honors Program.” Honors graduates also receive special recognition at the University Honor Day Convocation and at the University commencement.
Honors Core Courses
The Honors Core (designated as General Honors, or GH, courses) offers classes of broad general interest. From first-year courses in the great traditional cultures, to special topics courses in literature, the arts, and the sciences, these courses emphasize developing skills in critical reading, discussion, and writing as well as broadening knowledge. All of the Honors core courses count toward the ISU General Education requirements, and Honors students may take as many core courses as they choose.
During each semester of their first year, students usually select one 100-level General Honors course and one or more 100-level departmental honors courses.
Honors Courses in the Departments
Some departments offer Honors sections of courses for General Education credit. These are designated with an “H” after the course number.
In addition, nearly all departments offer upper-division courses for which students may earn Honors credit by special arrangement with the professor, the department chairperson, and the Director of Honors through the Honors Conversion plan. This plan allows students to develop a program of study that meets their individual educational goals. It is best if courses converted to Honors are 300- or 400-level courses in the student’s major. 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 the transcript indicates that the student had a special experience in the course and took the initiative to develop an individual program. Juniors and seniors who want to exercise this Honors Conversion option should see the Director of Honors for details.
Other Honors Program Options
Honors students also have the option in most departments to write an honors senior thesis, to do independent study or research for Honors credit, or to earn Honors credit for special internships. For details about these opportunities, see the Director of Honors.
Honors Program Opportunities
Each semester all Honors students may meet individually with a special honors advisor or the Director of Honors to plan their schedules and to 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: 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 and the Anne Bauer Jackson, M.D. Memorial Honors Book Scholarship.
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 both to challenge and to recognize students who are highly motivated and academically outstanding.