The Honors Program is intended to benefit students of high ability, encouraging them to expand and amplify their educational experience, to integrate their learning, to seek and respond to intellectual challenge, and to think critically and clearly.
The Honors Program offers a flexible program of study, designed for outstanding students, including seminars, honors courses, and special programs to encourage students to learn, to serve, and to achieve excellence.
Entering first-year students who qualify based on high school records, including class standing, grade-point average, and achievement scores, may be offered a place in the program or invited to apply by the director of the Honors Program. Students who have completed at least one semester at John Carroll, and transfer students who have an outstanding academic record, can also apply for admission to the program. Contact the director of the Honors Program for details of the admission process.
Once admitted to the program, students are expected to maintain active participation in the program and to demonstrate a commitment to high academic standards and intellectual growth. Progress towards completion of honors requirements will be subject to periodic review.
Honors Program Requirements. To graduate from the Honors Program, honors students must satisfy the following requirements.
1. First-Year Honors Colloquium (HP 101). This team-taught interdisciplinary seminar is required of all entering first-year students. Specific topics vary. Students who enter the Honors Program after the first year may take HP 101 or substitute another Honors course for the First-Year Honors Colloquium.
2. Honors-designated Courses. An honors student must take at least six “H” courses: at least two must be above the “intro level” (i.e., 100-level); and at least three must be from three different divisions of the Core. It is strongly recommended that at least one of these courses be a 300-level (or above) course. These “H” courses are normally three-credit courses; only one two-credit “H” course may be applied to this requirement. One-credit courses do not count as one of the six “H” courses.
“HP” classes and seminars at the 200, 300, or 400 level may replace one or more of the required “H” courses. However, HP 101 and 450 may not replace one of the “H” course requirements. One Honors Option course may replace one of the “H” course requirements. Specific guidelines and procedures for the Honors Option are available from the director.
“H” and “HP” courses may satisfy part of the University Core or major, minor, or concentration requirements as well as part of the requirements for the Honors Program, and thus may serve two purposes.
3. Additional Competency. To demonstrate that they have built a broad perspective from which to reflect on the world and its needs, all honors students must complete an additional competency beyond their major program. This requirement may be met in a number of ways: through a second major, a minor, or a University-recognized interdisciplinary concentration; through a semester or more of University-approved study abroad credit (twelve or more credits); through a year of language (six or more credits) beyond the intermediate level; or through a year of calculus (from the sequence MT 135H-136H-233 or equivalent). At least one-half of the credits used to meet this requirement must be met through course work at John Carroll University or an approved study abroad program.
4. Senior Honors Requirement. Students must complete a senior project with a faculty advisor and submit it to the Honors Program for approval. Students may register either within a department or for HP 450 (Senior Honors Project). Students should normally register for HP 450 (or its equivalent) in the fall semester of their senior year. Guidelines for proposals and procedures are available from the director.
5. 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 are permitted wide latitude in their choice of courses and 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 are encouraged to create their own majors (e.g., bioethics, history of world religions, Japanese studies, neuroscience, 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 must also be approved by the director of the Honors Program and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
For further details on the requirements and privileges of the Honors Program, please consult the Honors Program director, or visit our website at www.jcu.edu/honors.
“H” COURSES. These courses are special sections of classes taught within departments. Such courses are open to all students who meet course prerequisites, not just honors students. These courses usually are smaller in size, approach the topic from a slightly different perspective, draw upon more original sources, and provide a unique opportunity to engage in learning with an instructor. The particular courses will be announced in the semester schedule.
101. HONORS COLLOQUIUM 3 cr. Interdisciplinary and team-taught, with instructors from two different disciplines bringing their expertise to bear on a focused topic. The colloquium develops critical thinking and oral and written communication skills. Normally taken in the spring semester of the first year. Required for all honors students.
290. HONORS SPECIAL TOPIC COURSE 1-3 cr. Cross-listed with a course taught in a particular department. When a departmental course seeks a broader audience or approaches a topic in an unusual manner that may be of particular interest to honors students, it may be cross-listed with the Honors Program. Subject announced in the semester schedule.
291. JUSTICE & DEMOCRACY IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT 3 cr. Interdisciplinary course taught by two or more faculty from different disciplines. Specific topics vary by semester.
299. HONORS PRACTICUM 1 cr. For students on the Student Honors Advisory Council. Students will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and evaluating Honors Program-sponsored experiential learning activities in Cleveland and nearby areas. A commitment of 50 hours of activities for the semester is expected. Students are required to submit a final paper documenting and evaluating their activities and making recommendations for future Honors programming. May be taken for credit a maximum of two times; credit does not apply toward any specific degree requirements.
300. HONORS SPECIAL TOPIC SEMINAR 1-3 cr. Interdisciplinary seminar that focuses on a particular topic not ordinarily covered by established departmental seminars or courses and draws on relations among a variety of fields. Subject announced in the semester schedule.
390. HONORS SPECIAL TOPIC COURSE 1-3 cr. Cross-listed with a course taught in a particular department. When a departmental course seeks a broader audience or approaches a topic in an unusual manner that may be of particular interest to honors students, it may be cross-listed with the Honors Program. Subject announced in the semester schedule.
391. HONORS INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Independent study of a specific topic, approved by the director of the Honors Program.
450. SENIOR HONORS PROJECT 3 cr. Independent study project under the direction of a faculty advisor. Approval of the advisor, the director of the Honors Program, and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is required prior to registration. Forms and procedures are available from the Honors Office and the website.
490. HONORS SPECIAL TOPIC COURSE 1-3 cr. Cross-listed with a course taught in a particular department. When a departmental course seeks a broader audience or approaches a topic in a manner that may be of particular interest to honors students, it may be cross-listed with the Honors Program. Subject announced in the semester schedule.