Honors Program

Design your education with our Honors Program.

You’ve achieved a lot in high school, right? Good grades, high scores on aptitude tests, lots of extracurriculars. As a visionary, or a poet, geek, explorer, designer, adventurer or experimenter, you know that one size does not fit all. The Honors Program is ready for you.

Program Overview

Stetson University is very proud to be celebrating the Honors Program's 60-year anniversary in 2018!

Faculty from all the colleges and schools of Stetson University designed an experimental curriculum to give students both the freedom and the guidance to discover a truly transformational education at Stetson University. We learned the value of self-direction in our own careers and research and want to support our remarkable students to seek the same.

As a result, Honors students participate in a highly intentional and integrated curriculum of dynamic, experimental coursework that favors student autonomy. Moreover, since students in the Honors Program are largely exempt from general education coursework, they can develop interests and explore new ones. Faculty mentors and your Honors peers commit to the spirit of academic exploration, leading to hands-on learning through internships, experiential learning and original research opportunities.

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Courses

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Benefits

Participation in the Honors Program focuses and enhances any area of study across the University. We also offer a variety of supports for careers and study post-graduation.

Overview

Honors students receive special funding for research, travel, and other academic endeavors; mentored community service opportunities; the opportunity to design your own major; the opportunity to design your own courses; exclusive meetings with distinguished campus visitors; student teaching; enhanced advising; and special distinction at Commencement.

Scholarship and Accelerated Curriculum for Business Majors

Honors Program applicants who plan to major in business are invited to compete for a nationally-competitive full-tuition award, the Business School Foundation Honor Scholar Award, valued at over $160,000. Once at Stetson, Honors students majoring in business are placed in the Honors Business Cohort. These students are afforded an enhanced and accelerated curriculum in Stetson’s School of Business Administration. These courses feature advanced teaching techniques in smaller classroom settings and emphasize experiential learning and flexibility.

Direct Admission to Stetson Law School

In 2016, the Honors Program signed a Direct Admissions Agreement with Stetson Law School, which provides: automatic admission for every Honors student (assuming the student has met graduation requirements); and tiered scholarships of up to 80% tuition depending on LSAT scores and GPA.

Post-Graduation

Honors students receive encouragement and support for national scholarships and fellowships from their distinguished faculty and make lifelong connections with fellow alumni.

Application Qualifications

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 who have completed their Associate's Degree with at least two years remaining to complete their traditional undergraduate 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. But, all decisions are under the final purview of the committee and the directors.

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.

Faculty

  • Michael Denner, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Stetson's program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, University Honors Program Director
  • Melinda Hall, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, philosophy, University Honors Program Co-Director
  • Matthew Hurst, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, finance, University Honors Program Business School Liaison

Career Significance

Honors alumni pursue careers as unexpected and novel as they are, including entrepreneurship in businesses of their own design and everything from medicine and engineering to organic farms and beekeeping. Due to excellent mentorship and support, alumni attend prestigious graduate programs and earn competitive fellowships to complete terminal degrees in their chosen fields.

Companies where alumni currently work

  • Edward Jones
  • The Magnet Theater, New York City
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • PSAV Presentation Services
  • ‎Lieber Institute for Brain Development
  • Geico
  • The Food and Drug Administration
  • TSO Life
  • IBM
  • Americorps
  • City Year

Colleges and universities where alumni attend graduate school

  • American University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Georgetown University
  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins Medical School
  • University of Washington-Seattle

Success Stories

Joseph Beery '16

The Honors Program at Stetson University began to shape my narrative the first day I set foot on campus. From the lifelong friends I made when I moved into the Honors House to the mentors I met through the program, I can with confidence state that I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for my participation in Stetson Honors. I selected my majors because of the professors I encountered through the Honors process, met my wife because of the connections I made in that first house, and I landed at Stetson’s College of Law because of the work the Honors directors committed to developing the Stetson-to-Stetson pipeline. I look forward to working with future students, encouraging them to capitalize on all that the Honors Program has to offer, and to the privilege of seeing the future success stories I know that the program will produce.

Tracy-Lynn Cleary '16

Getting into the Stetson University Honors Program was the deciding factor that brought me to Stetson. My freshman year, I lived in the Honors House and those friends that I made are ones that I will have forever. The entire incoming class of Honor Students became a close unit that supported each other through all our endeavors at Stetson. The Honors curriculum is focused around a Credo document that you must defend to graduate with the Honors Program in front of a committee of your choosing. The document is designed to make you soul search and evaluate the choices you made at Stetson and how they will impact your goals and ultimately, future. Life isn’t easy and certainly never simple. Being able to self-reflect and have strong supporters in the Honors Program Faculty are much of the reason I am where I am today. I think the Stetson Honors Program is the crown jewel on an already amazing University and I am so blessed to be a graduate of the Stetson University Honors Program.

Alicja Duda '15

Participating in the Stetson University Honors Program was an integral part of my personal and intellectual growth as a student. During my four years in the Program, I built lifelong mentorships with Honors Program professors, partnered with the Farmworkers Association of Apopka to present at the national IMPACT Conference on the historic and contemporary injustices that farmworkers endure - which inspired a community-based research project that I later presented at Stetson's annual Showcase Symposium - and engaged in critical self-reflection. Each of these experiences was unique spaces in which I could explore my own creative and intellectual agency, and ultimately fostered a lifestyle of active citizenship and critical thinking. These moments of growth did not happen on accident; they were the result of an intentionally crafted curriculum, carried out by faculty members who genuinely care about their students.

Sean Tamm '09

Calculus, Civil War History, Z Scores, and Plato's Allegory of the Cave. What do all of these things have in common? You will certainly encounter, and potentially draft an essay about, or be suddenly quizzed on all of these topics in college. Also, after college, odds are, you will never use these again. What's the point?

In college, you learn how to learn, and in the Stetson Honors Program, the faculty frame education this way. Instead of memorizing people, places, and things, and later asked to regurgitate this information verbatim, the Honors Program focuses on the more base elements of education, skepticism, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning. You debate, you are challenged, you are rebutted, you work through the deeper problems. These are transferrable business and academic skills that transcend the classroom to the real world.

As a financial advisor at Edward Jones, I utilize the Honors Program experience on a daily basis to convey complex ideas in a simple way, to interpret the way clients think about money, and to critically think about the best financial method to solve a problem. The Honors Program not only conveyed knowledge, but it built skills through experiential learning.