Honors Program Curriculum
Students in the Honors Program will enjoy the benefits of close work with faculty from the moment they begin taking classes, and the varied curriculum allows them to refine their learning goals in an academic environment that enhances personal development and growth. Students who complete the program will be awarded an Honors diploma upon graduation, and their undergraduate transcripts will note their successful completion of Honors course work. This accomplishment supplies impressive credentials for future employment or for graduate study.
Individualized Curricular Design
Because not all highly motivated students have the same academic and professional objectives, we offer two paths for study: the Honors Core and Honors Scholar options. The Honors Core may appeal to students who welcome an enriched General Education program that challenges and engages them more deeply, helping them to build a strong foundation for more specialized work within their major. The Honors Scholar program may appeal to students who wish to continue a more rigorous intellectual experience begun at SXU or another two-year or four-year college, incorporating applied learning beyond the university and advanced research with faculty mentors, as they complete the requirements of their major and minor fields of study. All Freshman begin in the Honors Core and will decide whether to continue into the Honors Scholar option after their sophomore year.
Honors Core Option
The Honors Core option provides an enriched general education experience for students who wish for a more integrated and cohesive cross-disciplinary foundation for their major concentrations. Students completing the Honors Core Track will receive an HONORS CORE diploma, for which they must take five Honors courses, consisting of the following:
- an integrated first year learning cohort experience providing interdisciplinary perspectives on a unifying theme. In addition to the thematically integrated Honors English, Honors Philosophy and Honors First-Year Seminar, students will also enroll in an Honors section of Transitions.
- one additional Honors elective (including Fieldwork) OR an Honors Contract Course that they design in collaboration with the professor who is teaching the non-Honors course
- a capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar, specifically designed for Honors students, that attempts to integrate topics, issues or questions that have emerged over the thematically oriented course of study. Preferably, this course would be taken after completion of the first year courses
Honors Scholar Option
The Honors Scholar option provides an integrated undergraduate experience that builds upon the Honors Core and continues through the student's completion of their major and minor fields of study. The Honors Scholar program affords students the opportunity to integrate habits of critical inquiry, close reading and analytical writing, cultivated in the Honors Core, with their increasing proficiency in their major field. The student is challenged to engage in field experiences beyond the classroom and the university environment, to pursue independent research and creative projects, working closely with a faculty mentor, and to present their work at regional and national forums. The Honors Scholar program is particularly valuable for Honors students who plan to pursue graduate and professional education upon graduation, or who are eager to pursue topics of interest in their fields further than they could in the traditional undergraduate course curriculum of their majors.
To graduate as an Honors Scholar, students must complete seven Honors units, which will include the three thematically integrated first year Honors classes mentioned above and the Honors Capstone Project. Students completing the Honors Scholar Track will receive an HONORS SCHOLAR diploma.
Transfer students who enter Saint Xavier with a GPA of 3.75 or above in college level coursework currently are considered for admission into the Honors Program. Once admitted into Honors, those transfers who enter Saint Xavier with 45 or more credit hours of college coursework will be able to complete the requirements of Honors Scholar with four honors units, one of which must be Honors Capstone Project. They will not qualify for the Honors Core Track. Transfers entering the program with fewer than 45 credit hours will have the same options as students entering the Honors Program as freshman -- to complete the Honors Core with five Honors Units, or the Honors Scholar option with seven Honors units.