About the Honors Program at Roosevelt University
The Roosevelt Honors Program provides immersive 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
- Successfully complete required Honors credits
- Maintain GPA of 2.5 or higher, and graduate with a 3.0 or higher
- Complete and present Honors Thesis (HON 399)
Application and Admission
Incoming and current students are welcome to apply; the application link is at the Honors Program website. We review applications on a rolling basis. While there is no minimum GPA requirement for admission, we recommend:
Current students: 3.5 or higher
Incoming freshmen: 3.25 or higher
Incoming transfer: 3.5 or higher
Roosevelt's Honors Program has Honors-specific transfer agreements with the Honors Programs and Phi Theta Kappa chapters at Harper College, College of DuPage, and Moraine Valley Community College. Under this agreement, Honors or Phi Theta Kappa transfer students who have earned their associate's degree are granted automatic admission to Roosevelt's Honors Program and get six of their required Honors credits waived. This ensures an easy path toward completing the Roosevelt Honors Program. Transfer students must formally join the RU Honors Program to participate in this agreement. A 3.25 GPA upon graduation is among the criteria for automatic admission to Honors at Roosevelt.
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.
In addition, the program hosts supplemental seminar courses meant to enrich the undergraduate experience and develop advanced skills characteristic of Honors students.
Honors First-Year Experience (HON 101): 3 credits; CORE requirement; Recommended for freshmen
Designed to facilitate students’ integration into the university learning community and the RU Honors Program. The course enhances academic success, increases self-awareness, and fosters educational engagement. Focuses on introducing and integrating important academic and professional skills essential to succeed in the Honors Program.
Honors Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar (HON 300): 6 credits; CORE Humanities, Social Science, or elective; Recommended for Honors students interested in advanced research and library and information sciences.
By application only; not restricted to Honors students. This seminar is a unique opportunity for Chicago area-undergraduates to explore the humanities at one of America's foremost research libraries. Taught by a team of instructors from sponsoring universities, the seminar is offered every year from January to May. Seminar topics change each year, but are related to the Newberry's holdings. Each class is limited to 20 participants who pursue common assignments and individual research projects. Five students from Roosevelt are selected to join students from neighboring institutions at the Newberry.
Honors Pro-Seminar (HON 311): 1 credit, repeatable up to 3 times; elective; Recommended for all Honors students
Focus on developing Honors’ students’ academic and professional skills for continued success and leadership development in the Honors Program, and at Roosevelt. As a course intended to serve students who are sophomores through seniors, its content will vary from term to term, and attend to ongoing learning and expectations of Honors students. It expects students to evaluate and revise, based on course learning, the scope and sequence of their current Honors experiences as it relates to academic and professional excellence, and to set appropriate goals as a result.
Honors Book Colloquium (HON 312): 1 credit, repeatable up to 3 times; CORE Humanities, or elective; Recommended for all Honors students
Honors seminar on a central text, taught in book-study format; course aims to teach textual analysis, foster close mentorship, and facilitate examination of contemporary issues through the lens of a text.
Topics in Honors (HON 390): 3 credits; Recommended for all Honors students
Seminar in the Honors Program on a range of topics relevant to Honors students across majors.
Honors Thesis (HON 399): 3 credits; Required of all Honors students
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 are also expected to participate in thesis workshops provided by the Honors Program, and to create and deliver a presentation for Honors Research Day. Please see the Honors Program Handbook for more information.
Experiential Learning Alternative Contracts
Contracts permit students the opportunity to earn Honors credit outside the standard Honors seminar structure. Students complete, for curricular contracts, Honors-level work in non-Honors major or minor classes (for example, completing an independent research project that deepens a student's learning in a non-Honors major course). Co-curricular contracts are not linked to classes, and allow students to earn Honors credit independent of coursework (for example, completing an internship that allows a student to apply course material in a work setting).
- Honors Pathways*
- Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences: Honors BCPS majors are permitted to take 50% of their required Honors credits in Honors seminars and 50% in Experiential Learning Alternative contracts in their BCPS core courses (e.g., BIOL 201, 202, and 301).
- Psychology: Honors Psychology majors may benefit from pursuing a recommended intensive Psychology Honors course sequence that includes: four PSYC Honors seminars and either PSYC 393 or PSYC 399 the penultimate semester before completing HON 399 (mentored by Psychology faculty) in the final semester.
*Honors Pathways are not fixed curricula but must be constructed in consultation with departmental faculty and advisors.
- Honors Tracks*
- 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 Tracks are fixed curricula managed by departmental faculty and advisors, requiring an application for admission. Contact department(s) for application materials.
- McNair Scholars Program
Honors students who are also members of the McNair Scholars Program receive the following benefits:
Waiver of 3 required Honors credits
Two Honors credits for completion of UNIV 310 For further information about the McNair Scholars Program, your eligibility, and how to apply: Contact Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Success, Mike Maly, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Honors Program advising focuses on: charting your Honors progress; your academic and personal development; and professional mentoring and coaching. 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 to promote and develop academic excellence. Please visit your Honors advisor at least once a semester.
Your assigned academic advisor (in Advising, or in your degree program) will provide you advising as it relates to all of your degree requirements (except for Honors).
Every semester, we showcase the research of Honors thesis writers during an event that celebrates their scholarship and academic success. Thesis writers are required to present their thesis projects as part of the Honors thesis course (HON 399).
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)
Active Honors students (aside from CCCF Fellows) are eligible to apply for paid research assistantships supervised by Roosevelt faculty in a variety of disciplines. UROP assistantships may be semester-long or for the duration of the academic year.
In order to receive the Honors Program designation on a transcript, a student must:
- Be admitted to the Honors program and complete a designated amount of Honors credits
- Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher, receive B-grades or higher in Honors coursework, and have final institutional GPA of 3.0 or higher (at graduation)
- Complete and present an Honors thesis (HON 399)
The number of hours a student has 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, but can petition for an exception at the time of application.
Honors Credits Completion Table
|Number of credits applied when admitted to Honors||Total Honors credits required||Minimum Honors seminar credits required||Maximum ELA credits allowed||Required thesis credits|
|0 - 14||30||18||9||3|
|15 - 29||27||15||9||3|
|30 - 44||24||15||6||3|
|45 - 59||21||12||6||3|
|60 - 75||18||12||3||3|
- Honors seminar course credits (see table)
- Honors 399: Honors thesis (see table)
- Optional: ELA contracts (see below); number of contract credits may be adjusted for majors in the Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences
In order to maintain Honors membership, students must remain active in the Honors Program, as inactivity will prevent them from completing the program. To avoid dismissal, all students must continue to made adequate progress each semester by taking 1 – 2 Honors courses, or by completing contracts (to total a minimum 6 credits per academic year). Two consecutive semesters of Honors inactivity results in loss of Honors membership (including program benefits). Students may petition to re-join, though may be expected to complete the number of Honors credits required at their first application.
Honors seminar or ELA contract courses in which students receive lower than a B- may count toward graduation requirements, but cannot toward Honors requirements, including participation.
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.
The Honors Program provides intellectually rigorous and challenging academic opportunities that prepare students for success. Completion of the Honors program is noted on a student’s transcript, which indicates they've met or exceeded Honors academic goals and expectations.
Probation policy and guidelines are as follows:
- If an Honors student’s gpa falls below a 2.5, they are on probation;
- Once on probation, they have up to two terms to achieve an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher, or earn a term GPA of 2.75 or higher;
- Honors probation will require documented use of RU’s support services (Learning Commons, Career Development, Counseling, etc.) to demonstrate efforts to improve academic standing;
- Honors probation status will not appear on a student’s transcript, but will determine program dismissal;
- Honors students who are on university probation have one semester of Honors probation before dismissal from the Honors Program; and
- Honors students on academic suspension will be dismissed from the Honors Program, but can petition to rejoin.
*Honors Probation is for Honors students only, and is distinct from RU's Academic Standing Policy.
Experiential Learning Alternative contracts permit students the opportunity to earn Honors credit outside the standard Honors seminar structure. There are two types of contracts:
- Curricular (3 Honors credits). This option allows a student to turn a non-Honors course into Honors credits:
- For a credit-bearing non-Honors course in major or minor, including independent studies (1 - 3 credits)
- Must be approved by professor of record, and the Honors Program
- Work and/or project must align with outcomes of the course, and of the Honors Program
- Contract invalid if the work is not complete or course grade is below a B-
- Deadlines: Proposal submission (with signatures): third Friday of each semester. Contract work due: last day of classes of each semester
- Co-curricular (1 – 3 Honors credits): This option permits Honors students to turn experiences, events, and activities into Honors credits. All co-curricular contracts must be approved prior to the proposed activity.
- Examples: Study abroad and other travel-based experiences; writing an original paper and presenting at a conference; non-curricular research projects attached to professional development and goals; and unpaid internships (No other compensation (pay, course credit, etc.) can be earned as a result of the experience.)
- Initiated by student; contract must demonstrate awareness of Honors outcomes and learning goals
- Minimum of 15 hours (for one-credit)
- Must be accompanied by a product (written reflection; in-depth research; website/blog, etc.) submitted to the Honors Program for evaluation
- Deadlines: Proposal submission: two weeks prior to activity. Contract work due: two weeks after the last day of the activity.