Aug 07, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors Program

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The Honors Program is designed for high-achieving students who approach the liberal arts and sciences with excitement and an appetite for engagement. Honors students will conduct genuine inquiry and collaborative learning, often across disciplines, and will engage their world meaningfully.


Through multidisciplinary and collaborative coursework, honors students respond to the significant challenges confronting the next generation of scholars. The honors courses both within the General Education curriculum and beyond it are consistent with the students’ academic abilities, preparation and goals. The courses resonate with any academic major or minor and provide opportunities for students to discover their intellectual curiosities, to engage in community service, to develop critical thinking skills, and to excel in oral and written expression.

Although faculty may propose to teach a special topics course or to designate a General Education course, favorable consideration is given to courses that cohere to one or more of the following descriptions: multidisciplinary, collaborative teaching, travel/co-curricular activities, and reading and writing intensive. Classes range in size from 5 to 20 students. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, honors students are encouraged to complete an Honors Distinction project during their final year.

Honors Students can:

  • Register for classes first
  • Live with other Honors students in a residence hall living-learning center (freshmen)
  • Take an unlimited number of credit hours (with advisor approval) and not pay an overload fee
  • Count Study Abroad credit toward honors graduation requirement


To graduate with honors, a student completes at least 19 academic hours in the Honors Program. A one semester hour community service project for Honors 310 must be completed prior to graduation. Students may enroll in three to six hours of honors credits designated for General Education and may be eligible to enroll in a maximum of 3 hours of honors credits for an Honors Distinction project. An honors student may apply no more than six hours of honors credits transferred from accredited institutions toward the completion of the Honors Program. Honors students are allowed to take up to two (2) Honors courses or sections pass/fail in completion of Honors Program requirements.

A minimum 3.25 GPA overall and a 3.0 GPA in honors courses is required to remain qualified for graduation from the Honors Program. Graduation from the Honors Program is recognized during the graduation ceremony and indicated on the final transcript and the diploma.


Eligible students must demonstrate academic achievement with at least two of the following minimum standards:

  1. 3.6 high school GPA;
  2. 26 ACT or 1200 SAT or 2800 GED;
  3. 3.6 Columbia College GPA;
  4. Thirty transferrable semester hours with a 3.6 GPA.

Eligible students gain entry into the Honors Program after review of the honors program application and review by the Academic Honors and Awards Committee and Honors Program Director. Home-schooled or other nontraditional schooled students are eligible for admission to the Honors Program upon presentation of appropriate ACT, SAT or GED score and demonstration of scholarship in high school level academic coursework. Any student may petition for admission to the Honors Program if the student has completed a minimum of 30 hours of academic credit at Columbia College with a cumulative grade point average of 3.6.

Transfer students with prior college experience must have 30 semester hours of credit with a minimum GPA of 3.6 or higher on a 4.0 scale to apply for admission to the Honors Program. International students who qualify are eligible for the Honors Program.

Required Coursework:  
  COLL 133H - General Education Foundations Seminar 3 hrs
  HNRS 310 - Honors Service  1 hr
  PHIL 330 - Ethics  3 hrs
  Total: 7 hrs

Elective Coursework:

  Honors general education 0-6 hrs
  Honors courses that meet major requirement 0-6 hrs
  Honors Topics 0-6 hrs
  HNRS 340 - Schiffman Honors in Society Lecture  3 hrs
  Study Abroad 1-3 hrs
  Guided research, including Distinction 3 hrs
  Total: 12 hrs
Total: 19 hrs

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