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The Honors Program

The Honors Program at Monmouth College is intended for a select group of well-qualified students and incorporates a variety of special courses germane to a liberal education; it is designed to reinforce and extend the perspectives of the General Education curriculum.

Offered in the Fall semester, the first course in the program is HONR 110, which gives special attention to critical thinking, the history of ideas, and the perspectives provided by various branches of intellectual inquiry. This course also provides information about student opportunities for study, research and travel; public service; and leadership roles on and off campus. 

Mid-program, students pursue in-depth examinations of the figures, events, movements, and ideas instrumental in shaping our world by taking two HONR 210 courses. Juniors are expected to account their service and leadership to the campus community thus far, and to make application for a competitive national scholarship or graduate program pertinent to their academic and service achievements.

Senior Honors students enroll in an independent study course, the outcome of which is a substantial interdisciplinary project or paper accomplished under the guidance of mentors from more than one academic field.

Application for the Program

A small number of exceptionally qualified students are invited to apply at the time of admission to the college. They submit an application essay, provide a writing sample and interview on campus with the program coordinator. Prior to the start of the academic year, qualified students will be invited into the Honors Program.

Students who visit campus for Midwest Scholars interviews will automatically be reviewed for the Honors Program based on their high school ACT/SAT scores class ranking and GPA, as well as their Midwest Scholars application and interview. If selected for the Honors Program, Midwest Scholar candidates will be invited into the Honors Program prior to the start of the academic year.

Admission to the Program

Honors students are also selected for the program in the Fall semester of their first year at Monmouth. Instructors of first- and second-year students in Introduction to Liberal Arts and foundation courses of General Education are invited to nominate candidates for the program. With or without nomination, however, any first-year student interested in the program—or any sophomore or sophomore transfer student—may solicit a confidential letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with his or her academic performance.

Typically, nominating letters and solicited letters of recommendation will address the student’s preparation in terms of intellectual capacity, written and oral abilities, and class participation. The letter may further provide a faculty member’s estimate of the applicant’s independence, initiative, and creativity. Applicants may request more than one letter of recommendation. Applicants are also asked to submit a formal essay, of 400 to 500 words, in which they review their expectations of the program and their motivations for applying.

Along with the essay, applicants should also submit a recent sample of their writing (e.g., an Introduction to Liberal Arts paper). At the time of review, the Honors Committee may also review applicants’ high school records and ACT scores. All application material should be submitted to the coordinator of the Honors Program.

Substitution for General Education Required Courses

For any student enrolled in the Honors Program who subsequently fails to complete it, the registrar will evaluate the student transcript upon student notification of discontinuance from Honors, and apprize the student of remaining General Education requirements for graduation.

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