Honors Program (HP)

The Honors Program at John Carroll University cultivates a community whose members embrace gaudium de veritate – joy from truth – and lead lives devoted to learning. Honors Program graduates lead and serve in the world by sharing their intellectual gifts and love for learning with others. The program sets four goals for its curriculum, with graduates characterized by excellence in:

  1. Critical and integrative thinking.
  2. Active engagement within and beyond the classroom.
  3. Reflection and discernment in the Ignatian tradition.
  4. Effective and eloquent communication.

The first and second Honors Program curriculum goals particularly support the University learning goals related to developing students’ “integrative knowledge of human and natural worlds,” “habits of critical analysis and aesthetic appreciation,” and ability to “apply creative and innovative thinking.” The third curriculum goal supports the University learning goals related to developing students’ ability to “cultivate a habit of reflection” and “practice mature decision making and care for the whole person.” The fourth curriculum goal supports the University learning goal to “communicate skillfully in multiple forms of expression.”

The Honors Program offers a curriculum specially designed around high-impact pedagogies that suit outstanding students. The three components of the curriculum include Honors-specific Core courses (the “Honors Core”), an individualized sequence of goal-oriented experiences (the “Honors Pathway”), and a mentored research project (the “Honors Capstone”).

Entering first-year students who qualify based on high school records, including grade-point average, standardized test scores, strength of high school curriculum, demonstrated writing skills, and co-curricular engagement, may be invited to apply by the director of the Honors Program, but any prospective student may apply for admission into the program.

Students who have completed one semester at John Carroll, and transfer students who have an outstanding academic record, may also apply for admission to the program. Interested students should contact the Honors Program director for details of the admission process and visit our website at http://sites.jcu.edu/honors.

Once admitted to the program, students are expected to maintain active participation in its activities and to demonstrate a commitment to high academic standards and intellectual growth. Progress towards completion of honors requirements will be subject to annual review.

Honors Program Requirements. To graduate from the Honors Program, honors students must satisfy the following requirements.

  1. The Honors Core. Includes HP 101 (see description below), Honors-specific sections of courses fulfilling the Jesuit Heritage component of the University’s Integrative Core requirements, COMM 125, and AR 101: Advising. Specific to the Honors Program Core requirements, students must also complete HP 290 and HP 348 (see descriptions below). These courses are open to Honors students only and are identified with an “H” after their course numbers.
  2. The Honors Pathway. Students work with advisors and the Honors Program director to identify, meet, and reflect on experiences that fulfill the Honors Program goals and support individual students’ discernment process. In completing the Honors Pathway, students are expected to demonstrate excellence in depth of scholarship and engaged learning. For more information, please visit http://sites.jcu.edu/honors.
  3. The Honors Capstone. Includes HP 349 and HP 450 (see descriptions below). Three-credit departmental capstone may apply toward HP 450 with director’s approval. Students design, complete, and disseminate an independent research or creative project with a faculty advisor and submit it to the Honors Program for approval. All Honors Program students must complete HP 348 and HP 349 before they may enroll in HP 450 or its departmental equivalent. Guidelines for procedures are available online and from the director.
  4. Superior Scholarly Achievement. Students must show an overall record of superior scholarly achievement, usually demonstrated by a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

With the guidance of faculty and academic advisors, honors students are expected to take an active role in planning their academic programs. To facilitate such planning, honors students may, upon recommendation of the director of the Honors Program, be exempted from 3-12 hours of selected Core courses by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, honors students may create their own majors (e.g., bioethics, history of world religions, Japanese studies, Western European political economy). Such self-designed majors must have a coherent focus, be well conceived, and explore areas not within the normal range of majors. They also must be approved by the director of the Honors Program and the appropriate dean.

Further details about Honors Program requirements and privileges are available from the director of the Honors Program or its website (http://sites.jcu.edu/honors/).