Honors Curriculum

The Honors Program consists of several academic options.

Honors Program Member

To earn this distinction, students complete:

  • A minimum of 4.75 units of Honors credit (19 semester hours) with a grade of B- or better
  • At least one of the Honors courses must be at the 300/400 level

Honors Program Scholar

To earn this distinction, students must complete:

  • 6.50 units of Honors credit (26 semester hours), with a grade of B- or better, including an independent research component and/or an Honors 400-level Interdisciplinary Seminar

Honors Program Global Scholar

This highest distinction is earned by students meeting all Honors Program Scholar requirements who also complete a credit-bearing Study Abroad program.

Transfer Credits

Transfer honors credit may be applied to all distinctions, although at least 3.00 units (12 semester hours) must be completed at Elmhurst University.

Academic Requirements

Honors Courses

Here is an overview of the different types of Honors courses. For a listing of specific courses by subject area, search the course catalog in Self Service (find “Course Type” and select “Honors”).

Honors courses are limited in size—some cut across two or more disciplines. All are designed to engage students in their own learning process. Courses frequently draw upon primary sources as an impetus for discussion and incorporate writing as a learning tool. Some are experience-based, including Service-Learning and study away. Any study abroad course can receive Honors credit if prearranged through the Honors Program. These seminar-style courses are taken one per term for the first two years of college study. All courses fulfill Elmhurst requirements.

Honors Program students are encouraged to complete at least one January Term Honors elective. These include discussion-based courses on classical and contemporary issues, field and experience-based courses and international courses in a variety of locations.

This course affords students, working closely with a faculty member, to design an original research project appropriate to their major. Grant support is available. Recent examples include: scientific research on the treatment of breast cancer, marketing research on brand loyalty, philosophical research on just war theory, and psychological research on multi-tasking. Projects must be submitted for presentation at an external scholarly venue such as a professional conference, workshop and/or an academic journal.

This team-taught interdisciplinary course challenges students to conduct serious inquiry of complex issues. Students read and discuss texts and then design individual research projects related to the course theme and appropriate to their major. These projects must be submitted to an external scholarly venue such as a professional conference, workshop and/or academic journal. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing or consent of the Honors Program director or assistant director.

This seminar is offered in conjunction with the campus intercultural lectures held on campus each Fall and Spring Terms. The course focuses on ethical theories and their application to contemporary problems and issues. The class meets as a seminar for text-based discussions prior to each speaker’s visit. Students then have the opportunity to meet with each speaker after the lecture. There is a follow-up class the week following the lecture.

Students conduct a scholarly investigation of service through reading and discussing varied theories and applications of service design and by participating in a term-long service project for a minimum of 25 hours per term. Students maintain a detailed journal with their reflections for the 13 weeks of site placement. At the conclusion of the course, students compose an essay relating the experience to the readings and course goals. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of the Honors Program director or assistant director.

This course affords Honors Program students the opportunity to participate in scholarly discussions of selected texts in small groups with a faculty member and fellow Honors students. The course is conducted as three separate four-week sessions, each led by a different faculty member, representing a variety of disciplines. Faculty text choices are announced in advance, allowing students to select their texts and discussion leaders. At the conclusion of each session, students write a critical essay. Prerequisite: sophomore standing in the Honors Program or consent of the Honors Program director or assistant director.

Any study-abroad course can be converted to an Honors course. Contact the staff for details.

This course covers the structure/organization, functions, history and procedures of intergovernmental organizations, focusing primarily on the United Nations (UN). The course provides a first-hand opportunity to learn about the UN through participation in the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago during the week before Thanksgiving. Students are required to research a specific UN committee or agency, an international topic that will be considered by their assigned committee at the conference, or a UN member state. Open to non–Honors Program students with consent of the instructor.

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