The Honors Program


Honors Program

The Great Thinkers,
Their Great Books,
The Unparalleled Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

The Honors Program is based on the close reading and vigorous discussion of a curriculum of "great books" comprising what was aptly described by Matthew Arnold as "The best that has been thought and said."

Students in the Philosophy Bachelor’s Degree Program or Literature Bachelor’s Degree Program would benefit greatly from advanced study as students of the Honors Program. Our Honors Program brings students into contact with great works of such writers as Homer, Plato, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jefferson, Kant, Marx, Blessed John Paul II, and others. Both analytical reading and critical discussion in seminar format is the norm for Honors classes to air and give due attention to the ultimate questions of life.

The aim of these seminars is truth. Together, students and professors seek the truth through the writings of the great authors, examine their errors, and generally delight in the goodness of their mutual pursuit.

Thus, guided always by the teaching authority of the Church and the standards of a quality Catholic higher education, classes consider such questions as the nature of man, his place and purpose before God, the universe, and the community of men. We hope that this mutual pursuit will develop a community of scholars within which students will discuss, debate, ponder, write, and thereby, learn in the highest liberal arts tradition.

To graduate as an Honors scholar from Franciscan University, a student must successfully complete 32 credit hours of Honors work or the equivalent of eight 4-credit Honors seminars. This requirement is met by taking one 4-credit Honors seminar each semester for 8 semesters at the University. These Honors seminars satisfy the entire humanities and social science core and 4 of 5 courses in the communications core.

Admission Requirements

Students must complete an Honors Program application, they normally must present a cumulative high school average of B+ or its equivalent, and attain a score of 1220 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT. Ultimately, admissions are subject to the judgment and discretion of the Honors Program Admissions Committee.

QPA Requirements

Students are required to maintain an overall cumulative quality point average of 3.0. Failure to do so will make those students subject to dismissal from the Honors Program upon an evaluation by the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Honors students whose cumulative QPA drops below a 2.0 will be subject to immediate dismissal from the program upon an evaluation by the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Honors students are also required to maintain a 3.0 QPA in all Honors Program course work. Honors students who complete their honors course work with a QPA below 3.0 will receive all credit for each course but will not receive the Honors Scholar notation on their diplomas or permanent transcripts.

The honors student who consistently performs below 3.0 in honors courses will be subject to an evaluation by the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs to determine whether or not the student should continue in the Honors Program.

Transfer Students

Because of the growing number of transfer students to Franciscan University, we understand that all students who qualify for the Honors Program may not attend the University for a full eight semesters. The following provisions accommodate the needs of those students who desire to pursue the challenges of the Honors Program, but who will not complete eight semesters at Franciscan University:

Sophomores

Franciscan University students and transfer students who will remain at the University for at least six semesters may enter the Honors Program as sophomores, on the basis of availability if the following conditions are met: :

  1. The student must complete an Honors Program application.
  2. The student must show a general understanding of the course content of the previous two semesters.
  3. The student must have a cumulative QPA of 3.3 in previous college course work.
  4. The student must be approved for admission to the program by both the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Juniors

Transfer students who will remain at Franciscan University for at least four semesters and who have participated in a comparable Honors Program at their previous colleges or universities may enter the Honors Program as juniors on a space available basis, once the following conditions have been met:

  1. The student must complete an Honors Program application.
  2. The student must show a satisfactory understanding of the course content of the previous four semesters. The student may also transfer up to an equivalent of 8 semester credit hours of honors courses.
  3. The student must have a cumulative QPA of 3.3 in all previous college course work.
  4. The student must be approved for admission to the Honors Program by both the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Honors Students Studying in Gaming, Austria

Honors students who decide to study for a semester in Gaming, Austria, shall register for Honors GA, e.g., Hon 202 GA, etc. These students will be required to read the books assigned for the course independently and will write a final essay examination (2 hours, pass/fail) during the time for final exams in Gaming. The examination question will be provided by the Director of the Honors Program. The Gaming Program Director will mail the completed examination to the Director of the Honors Program in Steubenville for evaluation, and he will assign a pass or fail grade for the course based upon performance on the examination. This work will be counted as a four-credit class for purposes of the minimum number of credits that students are required to take in Gaming. Students will not be required to pay any extra fees or tuition for this procedure.

Since, as a norm, students study in Gaming during either the sophomore or junior years, three copies of each book required for sophomore Honors seminars, namely Hon 201 and 202, and for the junior Honors seminars, namely Hon 301 and 302, will be kept in the library in Gaming and will be available for student use. Students who elect to go to Gaming during their freshman or senior year will be required to provide their own course books.

Page 19 The total course load to be taken by the Honors student in the semester abroad program may be reduced to 12 credit hours plus the Honors course. Every honors student must take Seminar VIII (HON 402): The 20th Century on the Steubenville campus for credit.

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