Honors Program Requirements

To Graduate with General University Honors a student must:

  • Formally apply and be accepted into the Honors Program
  • Complete HON 111, “Introduction to the Honors Program” (2 credits). This requirement applies to students who enter the program in 2017 or later. The course should be taken the semester following your induction into the program.
  • Earn twenty credit hours in honors courses. These may be earned through honors courses (usually a few are offered each semester); honors independent studies (taken with the Honors Program director or your advisor, to develop your senior honors project); or regular courses for extra honors credit. To earn honors credit for a course, you need to confer with the course instructor and Honors Program director to determine an extra assignment and submit a form declaring your intent. At the end of the semester you will submit a separate form confirming completion of the project. Both forms will be available on the Honors Program website. You must earn at least a B in a course to earn honors credit (Download the Credit Declaration Form and the Credit Verification Form );
  • Attend required meetings, join the Honors Canvas page, and submit required documentation. We will typically have one or two meetings each semester. Documentation includes verification and declaration of honors credits, and progress in the program. Some documentation will be submitted through Canvas page;
  • Maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA. If your grades fall below a 3.25 GPA for a single semester, you will be placed on probation for the Honors Program. If your semester grades fall below 3.25 for a second semester, you will be removed from the program;
  • Be a role model of academic excellence. You are expected to maintain academic integrity and to participate actively in events on and off campus, including but not limited to the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or other forms of cheating) will result in your removal from the program; and
  • Complete a senior honors project. The senior honors project should be a substantial (about 25-page), independent, interdisciplinary research project. Students typically begin this project their junior year, in consultation with their advisor and the Honors Program director.  The project must be completed your senior year, when you must enroll in HON 497 (4 credits). Students graduating after May 2017 must submit a project abstract in the spring of their junior year, which will be approved by the honors committee.


In addition to these requirements, honors students are also expected to represent the Fisk community, serving as role models of academic excellence. Members of the honors program are strongly encouraged to pursue experiences that broaden their education, such as study abroad programs, summer internships, and research fellowships.

Suggested Schedule for Progress in the Honors Program

The semester you are admitted to the program:

  • Meet the other members of the honors program, attend honors events, and begin thinking about your interests in your major
  • As you sign up for next semester’s courses, enroll in HON 111, “Introduction to the Honors Program" and consider which you might take for honors credit. If you know the professor, approach her or him to talk about a potential honors credit assignment


Sophomore year:

  • Continue attending honors events and cultivating relationships with other program members
  • Think about your interests in the major, and what questions you might pursue in your senior project. Students wishing to explore a topic may enroll for HON 221/222, “Sophomore Independent Study.” Students in the sciences should pursue opportunities for summer laboratory research
  • Ideally, by the end of your sophomore year you will have at least four hours of honors credits


Junior year:

  • Continue attending honors events and cultivating relationships with other program members
  • Decide how your interest in your major might be the basis for an interdisciplinary honors project. Learn the research methods appropriate for your discipline. ◾Note: science majors who intend to do lab work as the basis for their senior project are strongly encouraged to begin work in the lab in the fall of their junior year, if not earlier
  • Talk to faculty in your major and choose a director for your senior project (the honors director and your advisor can help you in this process) ◾Strongly suggested: take an independent study (3 credits) with a professor in a discipline you’re interested in (does not have to be your major). The independent study can help you choose a topic and an advisor.
  • Look for opportunities to attend honors conferences, or conferences in your discipline
  • By the end of your junior year you should have at least twelve hours of honors credits


Senior year:

  • To graduate with general university honors, you must have earned twenty hours of honors credits. Ideally, those credits should be completed in the fall semester of your senior year.
  • Enroll in HON 497 (usually in the spring semester) and complete your honors project. This is a requirement to complete the program.
  • You are strongly encouraged to apply for graduate program or competitive post-graduation awards, such as Fulbright or Goldwater fellowships. The Honors Program will help you put together those applications.