Honors Program

Scott Boltwood, Director

The Honors Program, epitomizing the college motto, "Increase in Excellence," recruits students who want an academic experience even more challenging than the traditional Emory & Henry College experience. Upon enrollment, this select group of students is offered competitive academic, co-curricular, and service opportunities. Honors Scholars take their academic and/or artistic interests to exceptional levels of achievement both in and out of the classroom. 

Honors Scholars work closely with the Director of the Honors Program during the advisement process in order to select courses and extracurricular experiences that will help them to achieve their goals. Honors courses are noted on the college transcript, and Honors Scholars with thirty semester hours of Honors work on their transcripts receive additional recognition upon graduation. New first-year student applicants and students wishing to transfer to Emory & Henry College who are interested in the Honors Program should contact the Office of Admissions.

Requirements for admission to the Honors Program: For consideration, applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and either 1250 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT. Exceptions may be made for applicants who exhibit an extraordinary talent in a specific discipline but otherwise do not meet these minimum requirements. Eligible students will be invited to interview for admission to the Honors Program. Following the interviews, a select number of students will be offered admission to the Honors Program based on test scores, high school GPA, letters of recommendation, and interview performance. A committee of faculty members and current honors students, chaired by the Honors Director, will make recommendations for invitations to the Honors Program to the Provost.

Emory & Henry College students with outstanding academic performance (GPA of 3.5 or above) in their first year may apply for in-course admission to the program. The Honors Director will invite qualified students to apply for admission to the Honors Program during the spring semester of the first year. Each qualified applicant will participate in an interview process. Following the interviews, a select number of students will be offered admission to the Honors Program based on Emory & Henry GPA, letters of recommendation, and interview performance. A committee of faculty members, chaired by the Honors Director, will make recommendations for invitations to the Honors Program to the Provost. The number of in-course scholars admitted may vary from year to year, depending on the number of returning scholars.

For continued participation in the Honors Program, a minimum GPA of 3.5 is required at the end of each academic year. A student who falls below 3.5 may petition the Honors Director for a probationary semester. The student will then be required to exhibit adequate progress to continue as an Honors Scholar beyond that semester. Students who fail to demonstrate adequate progress toward the minimum program standard GP A and/or the completion of the requirements for an Honors diploma may be removed from the program on recommendation of the Honors Director (in consultation with the Honors Steering Committee) and confirmation by the Provost. Students who are deemed ineligible for an honors project at the beginning of their senior year will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Curriculum components: The Honors Program builds on the strengths of common requirements, special colloquia, independent Honors projects and theses, and traditional courses. Special sections of core courses are tailored to the needs of the Honors Scholar, and students may petition for Honors credit in regularly offered sections of 300- or 400-level courses. Offerings include core requirements (up to 13 semester hours), Honors thesis (6-8 semester hours), and Honors-enhanced courses and/or colloquia (up to 18 semester hours). A minimum of 3 semester hours of the Honors-enhanced courses should be taken in a discipline outside the primary major.

Honors sections of Core Curriculum courses are indicated by an HR after the course number and are normally open only to Honors Scholars. Under certain circumstances, students with excellent academic records may be admitted to honors sections (with the permission of the instructor) even if they are not members of the Honors Program. Honors sections build on the strengths of the traditional courses with more depth, more complex ideas, more challenging projects, more engagement with state-of-the-art technology where appropriate, even greater emphasis on communication skills, more discussion of applicable theories, and more preparation and class participation. Students enrolled in Honors courses are expected to take a greater share in the responsibility for designing and selecting course materials. The Honors Core Curriculum requirements are Core 100 (3 semester hours), Core 200 (3 semester hours), and Core 300 (3 semester hours).

Honors projects and course enhancements: All students in the Honors Program are expected to complete Honors projects within their majors during the senior year. Upon application to the Honors Director and the Provost, students may complete an interdisciplinary honors project that draws upon multiple academic disciplines. Honors committees for interdisciplinary honors projects should include faculty from each relevant discipline as well as the Honors Director.

In addition, smaller projects in Honors may be completed in the context of independent study courses with Honors contracts or special topics courses with Honors contracts. These courses may include courses in the major, a special field of study, or colloquia in special topics. Honors-enhanced courses include an in-depth project or projects to be worked out in association with the instructor of a course in a major or area of strong interest. Projects include but are not limited to the expansion of a course assignment or assignments, the presentation of results of the project in a public forum, and/or additional assignments that allow students to delve more deeply into the subject of the course. Honors credit is offered only to students who make a grade of B or above in any Honors-enhanced courses. Students who make below B do not receive Honors designation on the transcript. Approval of the course instructor, Honors Director, and Provost is required for each Honors-enhanced course. The paperwork for Honors-enhanced courses should be filed with the Honors Director no later than the end of the drop/add period for the term in which the course will be completed. Students are responsible for assuring that paperwork noting the successful completion of an honors enhancement is filed with the Honors Director at the conclusion of each semester.

Service component: Students work together during the first year as a cohort to complete a common service project. Each year after that, every student is required to contribute approximately two hours a week to an appropriate service activity that has been approved by the Honors Director. For off-campus service projects, the Appalachian Center for Civic Life will be consulted.