The Honors Experience
The honors program offers an innovative curriculum of structured, mentored courses and experiences that are designed to enrich students' learning and produce a community of promising and thoughtful scholars who are prepared and competitive for national fellowships and grants, graduate and professional scholarships and career opportunities.
The program's curriculum offers opportunities including:
- Special funding for research, travel and other academic endeavors
- The opportunity to design your own major
- The opportunity to design your own courses
- Special distinction at Commencement
- Exclusive meetings with distinguished campus visitors
- Enhanced advising
- Encouragement and support for national scholarships and fellowships
- Student teaching
Students within the program elect a major field for concentration and take courses from that curriculum. They often pursue a minor and, in many cases, a second major. The honors program curriculum enables most students to complete their general education and major requirements more efficiently. Because honors program students live together, take many of their courses together and participate in a range of activities outside of class together, they feel a strong connection to the program, to the university and to each other.
Honors First-Year Seminar: "Enduring Questions" (HON101) The seminar undertakes a critical comparative study of an important and enduring question, chosen by the honors program students and faculty every three to five years. Texts from across disciplines will be used to present ideas that have had significant impact on the present. The course includes experiential components that will integrate philosophy, religion, politics, literature and art. As part of the course, students plan an honors project (undertaken independently in the spring semester), and begin work on credos and proposals for the honors stipend. HON101 is taught by professors from different academic disciplines.
Honors Project (HON102) Students complete the scholarly, creative or community-service projects designed in HON101, and present these projects at Stetson Showcase, the university's celebration of student scholarship.
Honors Workshop (HON201) This course focuses on the building and refining of three student-generated texts: the credo, the honors stipend proposal and the group syllabus for the honors tutorial (HON202).
Honors Tutorials (HON202) Small (five to seven students), student-designed interdisciplinary and creatively engaging courses, led by university faculty. Prerequisite: HON201.
Honors Junior Seminar (HON301) In their junior or senior year, students participate in a seminar focused on the question, "What does it mean to lead a life that matters?" The seminar is coordinated with the major lecture series on campus and prepares students for their honors oral exam with faculty by substantively revising the credo.
Best Books Club (HON401, 402) Modeled after Stetson University's Book Feasts, the best books club will meet twice per semester over a meal to discuss books chosen by the graduating honors cohort. The course is required of all seniors, but is open to all honors students. A faculty member coordinates these meetings, and when possible and appropriate, community members or visiting scholars and experts will join the discussion.
Honors Oral Examination and Credo Presentation (HON499) Required for all students during the semester immediately before graduation.
The honors program currently accepts applications from entering first-year students during the spring of their senior year in high school, and from transfer students with at least two years remaining to complete their degree.
Most participants are invited to apply on the basis of their overall academic credentials. However, because strong candidates do occasionally slip past the selection process, any student is eligible to apply for the program.
While every application is considered on its overall merit, most candidates will present SAT scores of 1325 or better, with a minimum of 600 on each side; a solid academic curriculum for all four years of secondary school; plus a class rank in the top quintile. The admissions committee pays particularly close attention to the writing sample, as well as evidence of active and creative commitment to scholarship.
- Sean Tamm '09 (finance) - Investment Advisor at Edward Jones in Ormond Beach, Fla.
- Michael Hodges '09 (English, economics) - Pursing a Ph.D. in English at University of Washington- Seattle
- Amanda Price '10 (molecular biology) - Studying Human Genetics at Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Hannah Chapman '10 (international business, Russian studies, political science) - Fulbright scholar, now back in the United States at the University of Wisconsin working towards a Ph.D. in political science in the post-Soviet era
- Ryan Napier '10 (English) - Pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Yale School of Sacred Music after teaching English in Hong Kong for a year
- Bimini Wright '10 (theatre arts, Russian studies) - Studying acting at Esper Studios in Manhattan, working for "I Wear Your Shirt" doing e-marketing including YouTube videos and live streaming shows
- Caity Peterson '11 (biology) - Outstanding U.H.P. senior, outstanding senior in the biology department, College of Arts and Sciences commencement speaker, went abroad to work on an organic farm
- Michelle DuCharme '11 (digital arts/sound) - Technology Specialist at PSAV Presentation Services