The Honors Program requirements are broken into four categories: GPA benchmark requirements, co-curricular requirements, academic integrity and student conduct requirements, and credit/curriculum requirements.
Honors students complete 24 Honors credits (typically six 4-credit courses) over four years, including an Honors First-Year Seminar and Honors Thesis in their major and/or minor. Please refer to the Honors Curriculum Overview section of this Handbook below.
The minimum grade point average required to remain in the Elizabethtown College Honors Program is as follows:
End of first year (30-59 credits): 3.00
End of sophomore year (60-89 credits): 3.25
End of junior year (90+ credits): 3.45
End of senior year (upon graduation credits): 3.50
As the Honors Program requires a minimum cumulative GPA to stay in the program, students who earn a GPA between the semester minimum and 3.5 will be on probation. Students on probation are ineligible to apply for academic grant funds. Students who drop below the semester minimum will be removed from the program.
To be recognized as an Honors Program graduate, all students must achieve an overall 3.50 cumulative grade point average by graduation. The Honors Program Committee and the Director of the Honors Program will monitor student performance. Students who fall below the respective minimum threshold will be released from the program. Advisors will assist such students to mitigate any difficulties created by the transition. Any student withdrawn from the Honors Program for inadequate GPA and desiring to reenter the program must first schedule a meeting with the Honors Program Director by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and then petition the Honors Committee for readmission to the Honors Program once the required GPA for the student’s current class status has been attained. Rising seniors, however, may email the Honors Program Director at email@example.com
and petition the committee immediately (before meeting the required GPA for their current class status) so that they may start their senior theses. A rising senior petitioning for readmission should provide the committee with a plan indicating how the student will reach the required 3.50 GPA by the end of the senior year.
Honors students regularly uphold the College's motto -- Educate for Service -- and the Honors Program’s motto -- Learn, Serve, and Lead -- throughout their college experience. Most Honors Program students actively engage in volunteer service, community engagement, and leadership experiences each year. The co-curricular requirement allows students to record and share those experiences and helps the program recognize the meaningful contributions Honors students make to their communities, locally, nationally, and internationally.
Effective Fall 2021, Honors students are required to record their 15 hours of volunteer service, community engagement, and leadership each year throughout their undergraduate education. Starting in Fall 2022, all Honors students will submit a diary of those activities as well as a reflection paper every year. Students should submit their log and reflection paper at the beginning of their sophomore, junior, and senior years on the Honors Program Canvas page. Senior students are exempt from the co-curricular requirements. Students that fail to submit their required annual co-curricular logs and reflection papers will be ineligible to apply for Academic Grants and overloading for free for two semesters.
Annual Requirements for Students
- Log of 15 hours/year of community engagement, personal volunteer or community service, leadership and/or experiential learning and engagement activities submitted through Canvas
- 3-5 page, double-spaced yearly reflection paper submitted through Canvas by the end of the Drop Period each Fall Semester
Types of services and experiences that count for co-curricular hours
- Community-based Learning (CBL) courses, such as HON 201
- Opportunities through the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Etown
- Attending all US Foreign Policymaking Leadership Sessions with Ambassador John Craig (moderated by Dr. Ozkanca) throughout the academic year
- And many more volunteering and/or community engagement and/or leadership opportunities (to be pre-approved by the Director of the Honors Program)
Benefits for students
Recognizing and celebrating the significant and impactful service conducted by students.
Helping students develop inter-group friendships on deeper levels.
Enhancing their identities as engaged citizens providing students with a way to purposefully organize and demonstrate their community engagement, volunteer service, and leadership activities, which will help in preparing applications for graduate schools, prestigious scholarships and fellowships, and career opportunities.
Elizabethtown College assumes that students will act honorably. Students are expected to adhere to the Pledge of Integrity adopted by both the students and the faculty in 1995 and revised in 2014:
“I pledge to respect all members of the Elizabethtown College community, and to act as a responsible member of the College community. I pledge to respect the free exchange of ideas both inside and outside the classroom. I pledge to represent as my work only that which is indeed my own, refraining from all forms of lying, plagiarizing, cheating, and academic dishonesty.”
As members of the Elizabethtown College community, we hold each other responsible in the maintaining of these values.
Reflecting commitment to the pledge, new students are expected to sign a pledge stating, “I pledge to be honest and to uphold integrity.” For more information about the Elizabethtown College Standards of Academic Integrity, please see the College Catalog
In case of a first instance of citation for academic integrity violation received from the Academic Standing Committee, the student will be ineligible to apply for the Honors Program Academic Grants and to overload for free. In case of a second citation for academic integrity violation, the student will be dismissed from the Honors Program.
Honors Curriculum Requirements Overview
Effective Spring 2022, in the event of an Honors student's alleged conduct violation, the Honors Program Director will be notified by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Honors students directed to participate in a conduct process are expected to comply with the directives issued by the conduct hearing officer. Honors students found responsible and sanctioned to Disciplinary Probation will be notified by the Honors Program Director of their loss of access to Academic Grants and will be ineligible to overload for free. Honors students found responsible and sanctioned to Disciplinary Suspension or Disciplinary Expulsion will be notified by the Honors Program Director of their removal from the Honors Program and loss of all privileges associated with the Program.
The Elizabethtown College Honors Program curriculum is modeled in large part on our current Core curriculum to ensure that the program poses no complication to the timely completion of graduation requirements. Several features make the Honors experience unique.
All students entering the Honors Program will complete a minimum of 24 credit hours to fulfill the requirements and graduate as recognized Honors students. However, students are encouraged to take more than 24 credits in Honors if their schedules allow. There is no limit to the number of Honors courses per semester that students may take, or to the number they may take during their college career. Courses designated as Honors courses may carry between one and four credits.
Legacy Honors Curriculum Overview (for Students Who Entered Program Prior to Fall 2019)
Honors courses are typically comprised only of Honors students. Expectations for engagement and scholarship will be higher than for traditional Elizabethtown College courses. Courses are limited in size to facilitate greater interaction with faculty members. All students who successfully complete an Honors course will receive an “Honors” designation on their transcripts, regardless of whether they are or remain an Honors student.
Students that matriculated prior to Fall 2019 are required to complete at least one interdisciplinary Honors seminar and to complete an Honors thesis within their major or minor field of study.
Recommended Sequence of Honors Courses
On the Honors Program website, there is an Honors Program Curriculum Requirements check sheet to help students keep track of all Honors courses they have taken. The student’s advisor will also have a copy of this checklist. In addition, official records of completed requirements are retained in the Honors Center.
First Year (8 credits):
• First-year Honors Seminar
• One additional Honors course
Students entering the Honors Program in their first year will take an Honors First-Year Seminar in the fall semester and an interdisciplinary seminar in the spring semester. First-year students may take additional Honors courses in the first or second semesters. One of these courses may be a regular course contracted for Honors level.
Second Year (8 credits):
• Two Honors courses (may include an interdisciplinary seminar)
Students may elect to enroll in Honors courses that meet Core AU requirements, major or minor requirements, or electives. Students may also pursue an off-campus Honors experience, such as a semester abroad or a semester participating in an honors program at another honors institution. All proposals for alternative Honors coursework must be approved by the Director of the Honors Program.
Students must complete twelve Honors credits by the end of their sophomore year. If they do not, they must submit a written plan to the Director of the Honors Program by the start of their junior year (first week of classes) detailing how they will complete the Honors Program course requirements. If students do not submit such a plan, they may be removed from the Honors Program.
Third Year (4 credits):
• One Honors course
Students must complete sixteen Honors credits by the end of their junior year. If they do not, they must submit a written plan to the Director of the Honors Program by the start of their senior year (first week of classes) detailing how they will complete the Honors Program course requirements. If students do not submit such a plan, they may be removed from the Honors Program.
Fourth Year (4 credits):
• Senior Thesis
Honors Curriculum Overview
Effective in Fall 2019, for all incoming Honors students, the Honors Program requirements are organized into three “nests”. The nest system encourages students to take a variety of Honors courses and facilitates the successful completion of the 24-credit requirement. 4 credits are reserved for Nest 3 for the student’s senior thesis. 4 credits are reserved for Nest 2 for the student to take a course or courses built from the ground-up uniquely and solely for Honors students. Nest 1 is the core elective nest that includes courses that were contracted or stacked, study abroad waiver credits, Honors English (if taken), and Honors First-Year Seminar (if taken).
Nest 1: at least 16 credits which may consist of any combination of
- Honors First-Year Seminar (FYS)
- Honors English (HEN 100)
- One Honors Student-Contracted Course*
- Honors Professor-Contracted (stacked) Courses
- Study abroad reflection/presentation waiver (from six weeks to a full year)
- “Extra” Senior Thesis credit **
Nest 2: at least 4 credits which must consist of
- “Regular” Honors course(s) other than Honors FYS and HEN 100
- Any credits above the 4-credit requirement can be counted toward Nest 1.
Nest 3: at least 4 credits which must consist of
- Senior Thesis within the major or minor field of study (any “extra” senior thesis credits count toward Nest 1)
Effective in Fall 2019 for all Honors students:
- There is no GPA minimum for contract courses.
- There is no interdisciplinary course requirement.
- Appeals for curricular exceptions may be directed to the Director of the Honors Program.
Students may elect to enroll in Honors courses that meet Core Area of Understanding requirements, major or minor requirements, or electives. Students may also pursue an off-campus Honors experience such as a semester abroad. All proposals for alternative Honors coursework must be approved by the Director of the Honors Program.
Students must complete at least 12 Honors credits by the end of their sophomore year. If they do not, they must submit a written plan to the Director of the Honors Program by the start of their junior year (first week of classes) detailing how they will complete the Honors Program course requirements. If students do not submit such a plan, they may be removed from the Honors Program.
Recommended Sequence of Honors Courses
Students must complete at least 16 Honors credits by the end of their junior year. If they do not, they must submit a written plan to the Director of the Honors Program by the start of their senior year (first week of classes) detailing how they will complete the Honors Program course requirements. If students do not submit such a plan, they may be removed from the Honors Program.
Students who are not progressing with Honors requirements for more than two consecutive semesters will be considered inactive. Chronically inactive students are removed from the program.
On the Honors Program website, there is an Honors Program advising check sheet
to help students keep track of all Honors courses they have taken. The student’s advisor will also have a copy of this checklist. A progress audit of student’s Honors Program records will be sent every Fall, Spring, and after the close of the Spring Semester. If you would like a progress audit sent during any other time, please put a request in to firstname.lastname@example.org
. In addition, official records of completed requirements are retained in the Honors Center.
- Recommended: 8-credits of Honors Courses
- Honors First-Year Seminar (4-credits)
- Honors HEN 100 or Professor-Contracted (Stacked) Course or “Regular” Honors Course (4-credits)
- Recommended: 8-credits of Honors Courses
- 12-credits of Honors Courses Required by End of Sophomore Year
- Recommended: 4-credits of Honors Courses
- 16-credits of Honors Courses Required by End of Junior Year
- Recommended: 4-credits of Honors Senior Thesis
Honors Curriculum Overview for Students Who Are Accepted Into 3+ Programs
Honors Students and 3+2, 3+3, and 3+4 Programs: All Honors Program students are required to complete 24 Honors credits during their three years on campus. However, students participating in 3+2, 3+3, and 3+4 Programs have the option to petition the Director of the Honors Program for waiving up to 4 Honors course requirements towards Nest #1. There are no changes in Nest #2 and Nest #3 requirements for such students. Students who waive 4 Honors credits through this special arrangement are not eligible to use a study abroad experience to fulfill the requirements of the Honors Program. Students in a 3+ program need to fulfill their Honors Thesis requirement as part of their undergraduate graduation credits. Students need to consult with their respective programs to determine whether the thesis is completed in the junior and/or senior year. The minimum GPA requirements are adjusted accordingly for students in 3+ programs in the following way:
- End 2nd semester = 3.00
- End 4th semester = 3.45
- End 6th semester = 3.50
As the Honors Program requires a minimum cumulative GPA to stay in the program, students who earn a GPA between the semester minimum (see below) and 3.5 will be on probation. Students on probation are ineligible to apply for academic grant funds. Students who drop below the semester minimum will be removed from the program.
Effective Fall 2021, Honors students in the School of Sciences who are enrolled in 3+ programs have the additional possibility of counting their approved SCARP projects for 2 credits, provided that they complete an individualized SCARP experience that is directly related to their future Senior Honors Thesis project and they seek a pre-approval for the 2-credit SCARP waiver from the Honors Program Director, as soon as they hear their SCARP project approval from the College.
Students in Graduate Programs at Elizabethtown College
Students are members of the Elizabethtown College Honors Program only during their undergraduate experience (generally the first four years). Honors students who are enrolled in graduate programs at Elizabethtown College are invited to participate in Honors Program activities and events but do not have any obligations or requirements to fulfill during their graduate program. Graduate students are ineligible to apply for academic grants since they have graduated from the Honors Program as undergraduate students.
* Students in a major, double major, or combination of major or minor that requires 70 or more credits are eligible to petition for a second Honors contract course and count it towards Nest 1.
** Students pursuing double majors often complete senior theses in both disciplines and earn 8 credits of senior thesis credit rather than 4.