- First Year: “Finding Your Passion.” First-year students who join the Honors Program at Saint Peter’s enroll in the one-semester Honors Writing Composition Course (Cm-120-Hp), in which they hone their writing, speaking and research skills. Like all students at the University, Honors students must fulfill the University’s core curriculum requirements, and Cm-120-Hp counts for both core and Honors credit. Honors students may then begin to take core and introductory courses of their choice in the Honors Program curriculum, in such subjects as art, literature, history, philosophy, theology, business administration, natural sciences, and social sciences. While Cm-120-Hp is an accelerated composition course, Honors students in this class join all first-year students at Saint Peter’s in the Common Reading Program, which is part of the First Year Experience at Saint Peter’s University. Then, Honors Program events and the STEP UP Freshman Workshop Program both provide first-year Honors students with information essential for success–including advice for choosing courses, study experiences, academic majors and career paths.
- Sophomore Year: Local and Global Citizenship. Honors sophomores are encouraged to serve others and gain valuable experience in the world at large. Credit earned through the Washington Center Internship Program, foreign study through the Center for Global Learning, internships arranged through the Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning, or other alternative methods may be applied to Honors, upon approval of the director. Students are encouraged to engage in some approved service learning experience. If students wish to study abroad, it is imperative that they discuss their plans in advance with the director.
- Junior Year: Pulling it All Together. Honors students explore the research process in the spring semester of their junior year, as they formulate ideas for their senior thesis in the hybrid seminar Honors Methods of Research (Hp-390), organized by the Honors Program Director and held in the Bastek Honors House. They utilize the academic resources of Saint Peter’s and other research institutions–plus each other’s feedback and support–as they learn what it takes to produce an extended academic project of their choice.
- Senior Year: Charting Your Future. Seniors delve deeply into their chosen fields and effectively prepare for graduate studies while composing the Honors Thesis Project (Hp-492)–an intensive original research project performed under the direction of an academic mentor. The written thesis is completed over the course of the first and early second semesters of the senior year, with an oral defense of the thesis in the second semester. Theses, which must be approved by the Honors Program and the student’s major department, usually apply toward both major and Honors credit. Honors juniors and seniors considering their academic and professional futures are strongly encouraged to consult with the Center for Graduate Scholarship and Professional Studies and the Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning.
While Honors provides academic enrichment for highly motivated students, it is not a formal major or minor. In order to graduate with Honors (“in cursu honorum“), and to have this distinction designated on their transcript and diploma, students must complete a minimum of 30 credits (= 10 courses) designated as Honors courses. This includes:
8 Honors-designated courses / special study experiences = 24 credits
1 Research Methods seminar = 3 credits
1 Honors Senior Thesis independent study = 3 credits
10 Honors Courses = 30 credits
Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.4 to remain in good standing. Honors students dropping below the minimum will be granted a one-semester grace period to restore their good standing in Honors.