About the Honors Program

About the Honors Program

Mission

The Honors Program is a reading and seminar discussion program that immerses students in the Great Books as a supplement to the University's cores and majors. This interdisciplinary program fosters critical thinking, models ethical decision-making, promotes awareness of the liberal arts tradition, and broadens awareness of culture. Completion of the program distinguishes students for further education and employment.

Goals

Students who complete honors seminars will have a reading knowledge of the texts assigned for the course. Students who complete honors seminars will develop critical reading and discussion skills.

Description

The Honors Program is a Great Books reading program for students with high academic credentials. The program includes a 5-semester reading series, special topics classes, and the Honors Project. The reading courses meet once a week in a small seminar format to discuss one of the texts from the semester's list. The program's students are an eclectic group of traditional and non-traditional students from many majors and countries. The program affords students study abroad opportunities (as appropriate), early course registration, credit toward two (2) classes in the core (see below), exemption from IDS reading circles, club opportunities, better discussion and reading skills, and small seminar environment.

Admission

Entering freshmen with a high school GPA of 3.2 (on 4.0 scale) and an SAT of 1100 (or comparable ACT score) may apply to the program. In addition, all United World College (UWC) students may apply. Further, faculty, administrators, staff, and Honors Program students may nominate already enrolled students, who are in good standing, for the program. Interested students may also seek admission by contacting one of the Co-Directors of the program. Current MU students, who are nominated or interested and have a cumulative 3.0 GPA, will be considered for admission after an interview with a Co-director or the submission of an essay indicating the reasons for their interest in admission.

Eligibility

The program recruits students who are recommended by Honors Program students, faculty, staff, and administrators; who attended UWC schools; and are Presidential Scholars. Students must pass each reading seminar. In addition, students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain active in the program. Students with a lower GPA may continue in the program for one semester on probation at the discretion of the Co-directors. Students dismissed from the program may appeal in writing to the Honors Program Advisory Board.

Signing up for Reading Seminars

The HON 1010-2020 reading seminars may be taken in any order. However, HON 3010 is reserved for the 4th or 5th semester as it requires students to make comparisons with texts from the other seminars.

Non-reading Seminar Classes

  • HON 2000 SPECIAL TOPICS (1 s.h. or 3 s.h.): An elective course enriching the five-semester reading seminar program through selected events or additional readings. The precise content varies. The course can be repeated as the course title changes. This course is offered as needed. Permission of the course instructor is required.
  • HON 4010 HONORS PROJECT (1 s.h. or 3 s.h.): Capstone project in which a student integrates the Honors Program, core, and major. The 3 s.h. version of the course is a research project and presentation; the 1 s.h. version of the course is a directed reading seminar accompanying the student's capstone project in his/her major. Prerequisites for the 1 sh and 3 sh courses are successful completion of the five reading seminars, permission of the program co-directors, and a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA. This course is offered as needed.

Success in the Program & Completing the Program

Students must pass each reading seminar. In addition, students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain active in the program. Students with a lower GPA may continue in the program for one semester on probation at the discretion of the Co-directors. Students dismissed from the program may appeal in writing to the Honors Program Advisory Board. Students must successfully complete all reading seminars and the senior project to be designated "Honors Program graduates." (Students who successfully complete the seminars but not the senior project are recognized at graduation and on their transcripts as "Honors Program reading seminars graduates.")

Grading & Graduation Points

A - carries 4 quality points per semester hour and is included in calculation of GPA
P - carries no quality points per semester hour and has no effect on GPA
F - carries 0 quality points per semester hour and is included in the calculation of GPA

Benefits

Core Credit & Exemption

Honors Program hours count toward graduation.  Students who successfully complete the 5 reading seminars receive 10 s.h. credit toward graduation.

Students who successfully complete the five reading seminars receive 6 semester hours of academic credit in the General Education curriculum. They may apply these 6 hours in any two of the following four general education requirement categories: 1) global perspective elective; 2) humanities; 3) social science; or 4) liberal arts elective. 

Students who successfully complete one reading seminar are awarded one semester hour of credit for the IDS Reading Circle requirement. 

In summary, students who successfully complete the 5 reading seminars replace 7 semester hours  of General Education credit with the reading seminars.  Thus, Honors Program students take only 3 semester hours more than other students.

Other Benefits

Our students regularly say that the program improves their reading ability and critical thinking, improves their academic "confidence," and improves their sense of the diversity of their "global world." Our alums in graduate programs often claim that the program helped prepare them for that endeavor.

Pre-registration

Students who are listed on an Honors Program reading seminar or senior project roster may pre-register with the seniors. Students should advise their advisors that they need early appointments.

Travel Abroad

Students who have successfully completed 3 of the reading seminars are eligible to apply for ½ funding for a $3000 (approximate) trip. Students who have successfully completed all 5 of the reading seminars are eligible to apply for full funding for a $3000 (approximate) trip. Travel must occur before graduation. Other restrictions and requirements may apply. Students should consult with a Co-director for more details.

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