Honors Program

Program Overview

The Honors Program offers qualified and interested students an enriched and challenging alternative to their General Education Program and an opportunity for intensified independent research or creative work in their major concentration.

University Honors

Honors Courses in the General Education Program (GEP) or in individual majors are intellectually rigorous and may be taught by more than one faculty member, each from a different department of the University. Honors faculty are selected by the honors director working closely with the Honors Committee and department chairs. Graduation with University Honors requires successful completion of eight honors courses. These become part of the student’s regular program and the Honors Program imposes no additional courses. Students must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to receive University Honors.

College Honors

College Honors is a mandatory senior thesis or capstone experience that all Honors students must complete successfully in order to receive University Honors. College Honors is awarded to those students who have completed a two semester independent reading/research thesis or capstone project in the senior year, under the supervision of a faculty mentor. An oral presentation of work is required of all candidates for College Honors pursuing the thesis option, who make the arrangements for this presentation with their faculty mentor and their department chair. Interdisciplinary projects involving the student’s minor as well as major are encouraged, but these require the specific written approval of the Honors Director and the Department Chairs of both the student’s major and minor. Whether senior thesis or capstone experience, College Honors will satisfy two of the eight Honors requirements for completion of University Honors. In order to be eligible for College Honors, Honors students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 in all course work at the end of their junior year and must be on track for the completion of their eight required Honors courses for University Honors. The Honors Program, upon the completion of academic review of Honors Program juniors, will establish a list of all students who meet these eligibility requirements.

College Honors may be offered to non-Honors students who have a minimum 3.5 GPA. This will be at the discretion of the department in which the thesis or capstone experience will be conducted. College Honors is an optional experience for non-Honors students.   

Membership in the Honors Program

Membership in the Honors Program is by invitation of the Honors Director prior to the student’s first year at the University. Occasionally, interested non-Honors students may enroll in Honors courses with permission of the Director and instructor.

Honors Recognition

Successful completion of the requirements for University Honors and College Honors thesis or capstone project, is noted on the student’s academic transcript.

Honors in the GEP

Many Honors courses can be used to satisfy one of several university GEP requirements. Students must notify the Registrar’s office, the Honors Program, and their academic advisor which GEP requirement is being satisfied by which course. This must be done in writing.

Students are encouraged to consult with the Honors Director or Associate Director to assure that their course schedules are arranged in such a way as to integrate the fulfillment of University requirements with those of the Honors Program.

College Honors Requirements

To receive College Honors credit, a student must undertake two consecutive semesters of research/study culminating in a senior thesis or capstone project. These two courses may be counted toward the eight course Honors requirement. To be eligible for College Honors, a student must have a 3.5 GPA.

College Honors Thesis: A Description

Individual departments and interdisciplinary programs may determine their own College Honors experience by requiring either a two semester thesis or a two semester capstone experience, or in some cases offering students a choice of thesis or alternative capstone. Honors students completing College Honors should consult their major departments/programs to determine the required College Honors experience, whether capstone or thesis. Specific requirements, procedures, guidelines, and timelines for capstone projects will be supplied by the departments/programs. 

Departments requiring the College Honors thesis should follow these particular guidelines. The Thesis should be original in its conception and analysis. This may mean the discovery of new knowledge, the reinterpretation of standard methods, theories and assumptions, or the formulation of data produced from fresh investigations. The College Honors Thesis should be the result of serious research, original thinking and a clear understanding of the context in which this research is conducted. The College Honors Thesis may take many forms: traditional narrative/analysis, in-depth study of specific texts or themes, empirical research, practical applications or a creative/inventive endeavor. Students submitting a proposal for a College Honors Thesis should provide evidence of background knowledge and requisite skills before they begin their work. The final result will be shared in an oral presentation, as well as in a written thesis, and should place the specific topic in a broader scholarly context by demonstrating familiarity with the authoritative literature and research on the subject.

Projects involving empirical research should develop a coherent hypothesis, and test it professionally and systematically. Length may vary according to each subject; however, it is expected that the College Honors Theses will be substantial in scope, length, and bibliography, and that it  will be documented in accordance with the standards of the relevant discipline and include an abstract, title-page, table of contents, introduction, notes and bibliography. The final copy of the thesis should be clean, readable, and grammatically consistent and correct.

Procedures and Deadlines

In mid-February of their junior year, candidates planning to write a College Honors thesis should contact the Director of the Honors Program, who will arrange to have them meet members of the senior class working on College Honors Thesis projects. These sessions will be administered either by the Director or the Associate Director of the Honors Program, and the focus will be on the requirements, preparation and contents of the various theses. By April 15 of their junior year, students should confirm with the Director of the Honors Program their intention to pursue the College Honors thesis. The College Honors application is available online at www.sju.edu/honors. They will be expected to outline a general area of research and to name a primary mentor for the project. They will also be required to attend one of the oral presentations being given by senior students towards the end of the semester, and to select their mentor for the College Honors Thesis. Students will be expected to remain in touch with their mentors throughout the summer months as they conduct preliminary research into their topics. By September 1, each student must submit a College Honors thesis proposal contract, which can be obtained online at www.sju.edu/honors. This form, which will outline the work load, general objectives and schedule of meetings to be held during the semester, should be signed and approved by their mentor. By October 1, each candidate should also select a second reader for the thesis, after consulting with their mentor. The second reader should be from a different department, who has a compatible interest in the thesis topic. The second reader will serve to offer advice, criticism and suggestions throughout the process of the College Honors Thesis. By November 15, a joint meeting including the Honors Director or Associate Director, the College Honors thesis candidate, the mentor and the second reader should be arranged. At this meeting, the student will provide a clear progress report of the work completed and an outline of what lies ahead.

A first draft of the entire project must be presented to the mentor for critical review by March 1 of the senior year. By April 20th, the student must submit a final draft to his/her mentor, to the members of the examination committee consisting of at least two additional faculty members (including the second reader), normally from the disciplines in which the research has been carried out, and to the Honors Director. An oral presentation of the project to the examination committee and the Honors Program Committee will occur sometime before the end of the final examination period. The members of the examination committee are asked to sign a copy of the project which will indicate that the student has passed the oral exam. The grade for the entire research project will be determined by the mentor. A copy of the signed, completed project is to be filed with the Honors Director and the appropriate department chair before recognition can be given at graduation.


  • Corabi

Associate Director

  • Sorensen

Undergraduate Major

Honors Courses

The following courses are taught as honors courses. See the course description of the catalog for further information. When courses other that those with the HON designation are offered as honors courses they will be so noted in the Banner registration module. 

HON 150Epic Tradition in Literature3
HON 300Community Engaged Scholarship3
HON 301
HON 302
Modern Mosaic I
and Modern Mosaic II
HON 303
HON 304
Reason Revolution Reaction I
and Reason Revolution Reaction II
HON 305America:Myth/Images/Real I3
HON 307
HON 308
Math Models in Chemistry I
and Math Models in Chemistry II
HON 309Pens/Guns:Litr Road Am Civ War3
HON 310Womens Writing as Emancipation3
HON 311Paradoxes, Prob & Proofs3
HON 320Honors:Elections of 20123
HON 390Decending Tower: Commnty Rsrch3
CLA 320Golden Age of Rome3
CLA 321Anc World Sexuality & Gender3
DSS 200Intro to Information Systems3
DSS 210Business Statistics3
DSS 220Business Analytics3
ENG 319Postmodernism3
ENG 416Rebellious Women Writers3
LIN 340Communication in Soc Contexts3
LTT 461Franco-Afro-Caribbean Story3
MAT 132Math of Games & Politics3
MAT 139Mathematics, Culture & Society3
MGT 121Organizations in Perspc Honors3
MGT 361Introduction to Law Honors3
PHL 258The Authentic Self3
PHL 336Violence and Non-Violence3
PHL 356Religious Diversity3
PHL 357Uses & Abs of Jesus in Modrnty3
PHL 434Existentialism3
PHL 438Kierkegaard, Mozart & Desire3
PHL 442Nietzsche,Wagner,Cult ofGenius3
POL 320Injustice & the Law3
REL 241Islam3
SOC 287Sex, Gender & Family in Cults3
THE 359Religion, Violence & Terrorism3
THE 370Special Topics in Theology3
THE 384Jews/Chr: Theologies Compared3