The Roosevelt Honors Program provides immersive and rigorous academic opportunities for students seeking an enriched undergraduate experience, featuring close faculty mentorship, multi-disciplinary approaches to inquiry and creativity, personalized curriculum, and experiential learning. Students who complete the Honors Program gain tangible distinction and preparation for graduate school, professional success, and life as socially conscious leaders.
In Honors, you will:
- Inquire, analyze, and synthesize using multiple disciplinary perspectives
- Design, conduct, and present original research and/or creative projects
- Apply coursework to an issue of civic importance
- Collaborate effectively with multiple constituencies
Students who complete the Honors Program will receive an Honors Program designation on their transcripts, upon graduation.
Every semester, the Honors Program offers courses in a variety of subject areas. These seminar courses, which range from 100-level CORE courses to boutique disciplinary courses at the 200- and 300-levels, provide Honors students seminar-style and learning-centered class experiences. A hallmark of all of these courses is academic rigor, and they also offer opportunities like travel, interdisciplinary projects, community-based learning, and engaged scholarship. Students take these courses to fulfill general education, major, and general elective requirements.
We provide focused curriculum in several areas:
Honors Tracks are fixed curricula managed by departmental faculty and advisors, requiring an application for admission. Contact department(s) for application materials.
- Finance CCCF Program: This two-year, 18-credit hour program provides undergraduate Finance students the resources, tools and guidance needed to successfully reach their career goals. It is a cohort-based, lock-step program. For more information please see the program page.
- Musical Arts: The Honors Bachelor of Musical Arts degree is a flexible interdisciplinary program in which students combine the study of music with another field. It is individualized according to students' interests and culminates with a senior project that melds students' work in music with the second discipline. For more information please see the program page.
Honors Pathways are not fixed curricula but must be constructed in consultation with departmental and Honors faculty and advisors.
- Biological, Physical, & Health Sciences: Honors science majors are permitted to take 50% of their pre-thesis required Honors credits in Honors seminars and 50% in science core and supporting sequence courses.
- Psychology: Honors Psychology majors may benefit from pursuing a recommended intensive Psychology Honors course sequence that includes: four Psychology Honors seminars and either Psychology 393 or Psychology 399 the penultimate semester before completing Honors 399 (mentored by Psychology faculty) in the final semester.
Application and Admission
Incoming and current students are welcome to apply; the application link is at the Honors Program website. Honors-ready students are curious and motivated, have strong academic records, and have at least three more semesters to complete at RU.
- For Fall semester start: February 01 through July 01
- For Spring semester start: October 01 through December 01
The Honors Program has Honors-specific transfer agreements with several Chicagoland community colleges’ honors programs and/or Phi Theta Kappa organizations. Applicants must have a 3.25 or higher GPA, an earned an associate’s degree, and a completed application to Honors submitted. Upon acceptance to RU Honors, students will benefit from reduced Honors requirements.
Students interested in the Honors Bachelor's of Musical Arts in the College of Performing Arts should visit and apply here. Students interested in the Honors Finance Track in the College of Business should visit and apply here.
Any Honors student who is also in the McNair Scholars Program will earn 3 of their required Honors credits upon completion of their McNair requirements.
The number of semester hours a student has applied toward their degree at the time of admission to the Honors Program determines the number of needed Honors credits. Exceptions granted to transfer students from partnering community colleges, and for McNair scholars. All curriculum requirements can be fulfilled with Honors seminar credits; contracts are optional. Students with 75 or more hours are ineligible to join Honors, but can petition for an exception at the time of application.
|Credits applied when admitted to Honors||Required Honors credits||Curricular contract credits (optional)||Co-curricular contract credits (optional)||Required thesis credits|
Ways to Earn Honors Credits
Required Courses & Seminars
All Honors students must complete an Honors seminar their first semester following acceptance into the program, and also complete the following courses:
Honors Research Pro-seminar (HON 398, 1 credit): Research seminar required for students 1 or 2 semesters prior to enrolling in HON 399: Honors Senior Thesis. Focus on developing and improving research skills. Specific content topics will vary from term to term, and attend to ongoing learning, expectations, and research goals of Honors students.
Honors Thesis (HON 399, 3 credits): The Honors Thesis, a 3-credit course that students register for with faculty mentors their final semesters, is dedicated to the craft and execution of research. In consultation with their mentors, students articulate research questions, develop and execute research and writing plans, and create a substantial scholarly or creative text. In addition to completing the research project, students participate in an oral defense for the RU community.
Some programs offer or require a capstone course that fulfills the thesis requirement. Students in these majors must still take HON 398, the thesis prerequisite.
Curricular and Co-Curricular Contracts
Contracts permit students the opportunity to earn Honors credit outside the standard Honors seminar structure. All contracts and their resulting work must demonstrate advanced rigor and inquiry, consistent with Honors Program outcomes. All contracts must be reviewed and approved by the Honors Program by our stated deadlines. After one invalid or incomplete contract, students cannot earn any more contract credits. Students are eligible to complete contracts after they have successfully completed at least 1 Honors seminar.
Curricular (2-3 credits): Must be completed in courses in a student’s major and minor at the 200-level and higher. These contracts, designed by the student and approved by their professor(s), should demonstrate significant student effort and challenge to produce high-quality work and a deepened understanding of course materials consistent with Honors Program outcomes. Courses of record will be converted to Honors courses for degree and program credit. Contract invalid if the work is not complete or course grade is below a B-.
Co-curricular contracts (1-3 credits): Allow students to earn Honors credit independent of coursework, where they engage in projects and activities that support and enhance co-curricular learning consistent with Honors Program outcomes. All co-curricular contracts should be submitted prior to beginning the activity, and must result in a culminating project submitted for review and approval by the Honors Program. Attached only to activities for which students are not receiving credit or compensation. Co-curricular credits only count for Honors, and do not earn college credit.
Community Engagement Program
Students can earn 1 credit a semester for up to 3 semesters by being engaged in the communities of Honors, the university, and the metropolitan area. They attend and reflect in writing on events that complement and nourish their academic and Honors studies. Students must adhere to strict deadlines, and after one invalid or incomplete attempt, students cannot use this option to earn credit again.
Students must take their first Honors seminar the semester following admission to the Honors Program, or they will be deactivated from the program. In order to maintain Honors membership, students must remain active in the program, defined by taking 1 – 2 Honors courses (including completing contracts) and seeking Honors advising each semester. Two consecutive semesters of Honors inactivity results in Honors deactivation (including loss of Honors benefits). Students may petition to re-join, though may be expected to complete the number of Honors credits required at their first application.
As part of their adequate progress, all incoming first and second semester freshmen Honors students will take: Honors 101; English 102 (Honors); and an Honors Ideas course (9 credits total).
Any Honors courses in which a student earns a B- or lower will not count toward Honors progress. Honors seminar or contract courses in which students receive lower than a B- may count toward graduation requirements, but cannot count toward Honors requirements, including participation.
All students should expect and plan to take HON 398 in their penultimate semester, and HON 399 their final semester (does not apply to Honors Finance).
Honors students who leave the university for more than three semesters and need to be readmitted to the university will also need to re-apply to Honors.
Grades and Performance
Students must also, for adequate progress:
- Earn B- or higher in all Honors coursework (any grades lower than a B- may count toward other degree requirements, but cannot count as Honors credit)
- Maintain 2.7 or higher institutional overall GPA
- Be able to achieve a 3.0 institutional overall GPA upon graduation
We expect Honors students to succeed at high levels in their coursework. While the minimum grade permitted for Honors credit is a B-, for a student to earn the Honors designation upon graduation, they must earn a 3.0 GPA or higher, demonstrating that they have succeeded beyond the minimum threshold.
Honors Probation Policy
Honors student probation occurs when a student’s overall GPA falls below 2.7 (B-):
- Once on probation, student has up to two terms to achieve an overall GPA of 2.7 or higher, or earn a term GPA of 2.75 or higher.
- A student on probation must demonstrate, with evidence, efforts to improve by using university student support services (advising, tutoring, etc.).
- Honors probation, distinct from RU Academic Standing, does not appear on a student’s transcript.
- Honors students who are on university probation have one semester of Honors probation before deactivation from the Honors Program. Honors students on academic suspension will be immediately deactivated from the Honors Program, but can petition to rejoin (adhering to earlier admission requirement criteria).
Students in the Honors Program receive supportive, supplemental advising, and are provided: charting Honors progress; supporting and planning academic and personal development; and mentoring (academic. personal, and professional). We keep you abreast of RU and outside opportunities, including scholarships, internships, jobs, and conferences. We help you understand the relationship between your academic and post-bachelor’s goals, and offer support and feedback.
Assigned academic, faculty, or program advisors will provide advising as it relates to all of your degree requirements (except for Honors).
Graduating from the Honors Program
In order to receive the Honors Program designation on a final transcript, a student must:
- Be admitted to the Honors program and complete their designated number of Honors credits.
- Receive B- grades or higher in Honors coursework.
- Earn an institutional overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Complete and present an Honors thesis (HON 399).