Students listening to their professor in class.

Honors Program

Scholarship, Leadership, and Servanthood

At Anderson University, the Honors Program encourages its members to build a community and grow together during their undergraduate studies. Each semester, students take one discussion-based course together, which bonds them as a cohort while simultaneously meeting liberal arts requirements. Students in our honors program have the benefits of early move-in and orientation as freshmen, access to our Honors Lounge in the library, additional advising from our co-directors, and opportunities to conduct individual research with faculty members. In addition to this community and support, our honors scholars receive a $500 scholarship each year in addition to any other merit-based scholarships for which they may qualify. Outside of their classrooms, our honors scholars are engaged in campus activities, including service and leadership roles. Scholars are athletes both on intercollegiate and intramural teams as well as dancers, musicians, leaders in student government, and participants in events. Students in our honors program are among the most engaged on campus, with the support to excel in all of the areas about which they are passionate.
Admission to Program

We have two main routes for entry into the program.

  1. Attend Academic Honors Day if invited and able. This event takes place in November each year.
  2. Fill out the application and include a résumé and letter of recommendation. We will consider any interested students. Successful applicants have achieved combined SAT math and critical reading scores of 1200 (or equivalent ACT scores) and GPAs of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

The Honors Program is a cohort-based program. Freshman enrollment in the program is competitive and by invitation. The applicant’s file is reviewed by the Faculty Selection Committee and includes the applicant’s transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and an interview at Academic Honors Day. Successful applicants have achieved combined SAT math and critical reading scores of 1200 (or equivalent ACT scores) and GPAs of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Program Requirements

The Anderson University Honors Program provides an intellectually enriched learning community for highly motivated students. While the Honors Program is not a formal major or minor, students enrolled in the program must complete a series of Scholars courses. Scholars Courses Honors Scholars enroll in one Honors course per semester during the freshman through junior years. Each of these courses will be taken together as a cohort, and all meet Liberal Arts Core Curriculum areas required for Anderson University students. Honors courses are not designed to be more difficult or more work than other liberal arts courses. Instead, they are discussion-based and focused on intellectual and spiritual development. Many of them are team-taught and/or interdisciplinary. Senior Scholars Honors Projects The Senior Honors Project is an intensive original research project under the direction of an academic mentor. During the first semester of their senior year, Honors Scholars will work on an honors project of their choice, with a presentation of the projects in the second semester. The first semester of the senior year, Honors scholars take the Honors senior seminar, to help them plan their project and practice discussing it with an outside audience. Upon graduation, honors scholars will have completed 23 credits within the curriculum of the Honors Program. Seventeen of these credits are applicable to the university’s Liberal Arts Program curriculum.

I came into the Honors Program at Anderson anticipating a challenging program with which to supplement my academic experience. What I did not expect was the quality of relationships I’ve formed with both the students and faculty involved in the program. —Lauren Householder, history and political science

The Honors Program here is a chance for students to challenge themselves. It is not an environment that is meant to break the best student but rather facilitate the growth of those who desire to become leaders, both academically and relationally. —Todd Baden, accounting

Teaching in the Honors Program has made it possible for me to interact with highly motivated students from disciplines outside of my own. Gifted students from outside of the natural sciences approach the concept of scientific progress in ways that sometimes surprise me and often compel me to examine more closely my own notions. This is liberal arts education at its best. —Dr. Daniel Ippolito, Professor of Biology

Mission and Objectives
Honors Program Mission Statement The Honors Program at Anderson University is devoted to fostering within its honors scholars a passionate dedication to intellectual inquiry and spiritual development so that they may serve as vibrant leaders in their professions and in their communities.

Objectives In keeping with its stated mission, and with its overall commitment to the goals and ideals of Christian liberal arts education, the Anderson University Honors Program seeks to develop a cohort of scholars with demonstrated capabilities in the following areas:

  • Global understanding and engagement – honors scholars will demonstrate an awareness of major cultural, social and political issues within the United States and in the world;
  • Creative problem-solving – honors scholars will demonstrate an ability to identify and analyze problems and propose solutions from both discipline-specific and integrative perspectives;
  • Clear expression – honors scholars will demonstrate a high degree of clarity and sophistication in their written and oral forms of expression;
  • Aesthetic awareness – honors scholars will demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the arts and humanities as expressions of culture and of one’s experience of the world, leading to heightened aesthetic sensitivity and personal involvement with the arts and humanities;
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the environment – honors scholars will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of the natural world and of human interaction with that world;
  • Vital Christian ethical practice – honors scholars will develop and express their Christian values through academic study and service within the university community and in the broader world.

Ideals and Design of the Honors Program Anderson University is committed to the highest ideals of Christian higher education. As an integral part of that commitment, the Honors Program seeks to prepare students of demonstrated achievement for leadership in a range of fields of endeavor. Within this context, our scholars will be challenged to cultivate the life of the spirit, maturing in the virtues of integrity, justice, and generosity. The Honors Program provides a series of small discussion-based interdisciplinary courses that satisfy particular liberal arts program requirements. These courses, as well as close interaction with faculty and peers, offer intellectually challenging experiences that will stimulate and refine the skills of clear expression, acute analysis, critical thinking, and imaginative problem-solving. In the freshman and sophomore years of the Honors Program, scholars will participate in four integrative courses, designed to enrich understanding of the humanities while creating a small community of students dedicated to Christian scholarship. In their third and fourth years, honors scholars may pursue opportunities for international study and travel, service to the church and community, and independent study in partnership with faculty mentors. Upon completion of this four-year program, the honors scholars will receive special recognition at commencement and on their transcript.

Honors Curriculum

Semester I – The Scholar in the Academy Honors scholars enroll in a 5-credit section integrating a 2-credit English writing requirement with a 3-credit Western Civilization component. The course encourages historical investigation and writing on a common theme, and will fulfill requirements for Section F3 and W3 of the AU Liberal Arts Program. Honors Scholars will also receive mentoring from the Honors Program co-directors and support from their Honors cohort during their freshman year, so the F1 Liberal Arts Program requirement will be waived for Honors students. Semester II – Scholar as Servant Leader Honors scholars enroll in a 2-credit seminar course focusing on the theme of the “Scholar as Leader.” The course will assess different ways by which one may function as a leader, while providing students various opportunities to serve in active leadership roles. This course fulfills the Speaking Intensive requirement of the AU Liberal Arts Program. Semester III – The Scholar as Natural Scientist Honors scholars enroll in a 4-credit science course examining the nature of science, the history and philosophy of science, and scientific techniques and practice. The course fulfills requirements for Section W2 of the AU Liberal Arts Program. Semester IV – The Scholar as Citizen of the World Honors scholars enroll in a 3-credit course that examines the bridges and barriers among various cultures of the world through a historical analysis. This course fulfills section W7 of the AU Liberal Arts Program as well as fulfilling the need for one of the two required writing intensive (WI) courses. Semester V – Justice and the Good Society Honors scholars enroll in a 3-credit social science course that investigates societal structures and concepts of justice arising from such structures. This course fulfills the requirements for Section W5 of the AU Liberal Arts Program. Semester VI – Christ & Culture This 3-credit hour course is organized as a seminar in historical theology that considers the various relationships between Christians and their culture. This course fulfills the W1 Component of the AU Liberal Arts Program. Semesters VII and VIII– The Honors Senior Seminar Honors scholars enroll in a 1-credit senior seminar fall semester of their senior year. The honors senior seminar serves as a capstone course for the honors program. During the first semester, the student works on an honors project, to be presented in the second semester. This project is an intensive original research project under the direction of an academic mentor. The honors project may also serve as a senior project required by the student’s major.

Honors Lounge

Every Honors Scholar enjoys key access to the Honors Lounge on the second floor of the Nicholson Library, a space complete with computer facilities, Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, and microwaves. Here, Honors Scholars can study, talk, and fellowship. The Lounge remains open and available until midnight on weeknights during each semester and during finals week.