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Why Join Honors?

Audra Dial, Honors College GraduateThe Honors College curriculum is core of classes and experiences designed to enrich and maximize your education. As a talented and motivated student in the Honors College, you will participate in a core of small and powerful classes, taught by faculty specifically selected for their expertise and devotion to academic excellence. The Honors Dean and faculty work closely with each student to design a program of study that enhances the student's academic major and provides the best possible preparation for professional development and advanced study. The benefits of being an Honors student are many:

  • Small, dynamic classrooms with peers that are seeking the same level of depth in their education as you.
  • Supportive faculty mentors that will work hard to stimulate your curiosity, expand your understanding of the world, and help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
  • Interdisciplinary Honors courses that feature various and exciting perspectives on world events, culture, and history
  • High-powered experiential learning, including undergraduate research, internships, special seminars, and projects
  • Scholarly travel opportunities, including international studies in exciting locales such as Paris, Rome and Segovia
  • Field experiences in the U.S. to historic landmarks, museums and cultural events
  • Special assistance with scholarships and job opportunities in your major
  • Priority registration and Honors housing
  • Upon completion of the curriculum you will be recognized at a formal reception and at graduation, where your transcript, diploma, and academic apparel will publicly acknowledge your academic achievements

Honors Curriculum

The Honors curriculum features a core of four classes that immerse 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. As a part of that, the Honors senior seminar/thesis is intended to challenge the student to conduct a research project that integrates the strands of expertise developed through the Honors core, minor and the student's major program. The four Honors core classes satisfy a block of seven Foundational Studies categories, allowing Honors students to move more quickly through those requirements.

  • General Honors (GH) 101: Honors Seminar: Contemporary Issues
  • General Honors (GH) 201: Introduction to the Great Works
  • General Honors (GH) 301: Honors Junior Seminar
  • General Honors (GH) 401: Senior 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:

  • Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Global Perspectives
  • Honors in the Major and/or Foundational Studies

To graduate from the Honors College, students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative grade point average, a 3.0 GPA in the Honors curriculum, and complete the Honors core, thesis, and one of the three elective concentrations. The Honors curriculum is designed to work with any degree program by overlapping with Foundational Studies requirements and major classes.

Honors Housing

Pickerl Hall and Burford Hall are the primary Honors residence halls for incoming Honors students. Honors students are not required to live in Honors housing; however, choosing to reside in an Honors living-learning community gives Honors students opportunities to develop friendships and form study groups with peers from all different majors in the Honors College. 

Benefits of living in Honors housing include:

  • Living with and around other Honors students
  • An Honors Resident Assistant (RA) lives on each floor
  • Private bathrooms
  • Central air conditioning
  • Quiet hours on each floor
  • Floor lounges for studying and hanging out
  • Programming space for Honors events
  • Close proximity to the Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede Plaza and the ISU Fountain, and the Sycamore Dining Hall
  • A short walk from most classroom buildings

For more information, including floor plans, please visit the Residential Life website: Pickerl Hall  •  Burford Hall

Leadership & Involvement

There are a number of ways for Honors students to get involved in the Honors College! These are opportunities that you can choose to be part of based on the amount of time you have to invest and your interests. We hope that you will choose to be an active member of the Honors community by attending events, helping to plan them, and/or serving as a peer mentor.

  • Honors Council - The Honors Council is a student group that develops and facilitates many of the social and philanthropic programs we offer for Honors students each semester. The Honors Council annually hosts a Fall Picnic and a Halloween Party, participates in ISU's Homecoming, coordinates volunteer opportunities and career preparation workshops, and invites campus and community guests to speak with the Honors students. They also welcome ideas for other events and service projects from the Honors student body.
  • Honors Peer Mentors - Honors Peers Mentors are enthusiastic and experienced Honors students who mentor incoming and current Honors students during the fall semester, actively recruit prospective Honors students and promote participation in the Honors College, and organize orientation activities for new Honors students.
  • Study Abroad - All Honors students who study abroad will earn Honors credit for courses taken abroad. Honors credit earned abroad counts toward completion of the Honors curriculum. In addition to spending a semester abroad, Honors students may also elect to participate in shorter study tours. These trips typically span 1-3 weeks and are often connected to material in an Honors course.
  • Guest Speakers - Honors students often have special access to the nationally recognized professionals who visit ISU for the University Speaker Series. Examples include Jeffrey Toobin of CNN; Robert Osborn of Turner Classic Movies; Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies; and civil rights activist Andrew Young. Additionally, the Honors College hosts a speaker series of campus and community guests. Past speakers have included ISU's President, Terre Haute Judge Craig McKee, Merlin Holland (grandson of playwright Oscar Wilde), poet Matthew Brennan, and author Alissa Nutting.
  • National Honor Societies - Honors students are often eligible to become members of prestigious national and international honor societies, such as Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), and Golden Key International Honour Society. Members in such societies often have access to additional scholarship resources, a national network of peers, and leadership opportunities in the local chapters.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Incoming freshmen may be competitive for a variety of Indiana State University scholarships (including President's and University Honors scholarships), which are awarded through ISU's Office of Scholarships:
  • The Office of Scholarships has compiled a list of scholarship resources that may be helpful for both prospective and current ISU students who are searching for additional funding:
  • There are several awards offered by the Honors College to assist current Honors students during their sophomore, junior, or senior year: the Richard J. Brett Memorial Scholarship for Study Abroad, the Anne Bauer Jackson, M.D. Memorial Honors Book Scholarship, and the Rebecca A. Johnson Honors Program Award.