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Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Honors Program

The Honors Program at Saint Xavier University offers an enriched academic experience to highly motivated students. Qualified first-year students are invited to participate in the Honors Program, which provides a challenging, more integrated and cohesive cross-disciplinary foundation for their major concentrations. The program affords students the opportunity to integrate habits of critical inquiry, close reading and analytical writing, cultivated in their general education classes with their increasing proficiency in their major field. Honors students are encouraged to engage in field experiences beyond the classroom and pursue independent research and creative projects, working closely with faculty mentors. At all levels of engagement, students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and to make connections across seemingly discrete learning environments.

Students in the Honors Program enjoy the benefits of close advising and personalized registration to guarantee coordination of honors coursework with the requirements of their major. Students who complete the program will be awarded an Honors diploma upon graduation and their undergraduate transcripts will note their successful completion of honors coursework. This accomplishment supplies impressive credentials for future employment or graduate study. Honors students may pursue any major offered at Saint Xavier University. Qualified transfer students are also invited to participate in the program following an analysis of their previous college coursework.

Admission to the Program

Students will be invited to apply to the program on the basis of the credentials they submit with their application to Saint Xavier University. Other highly motivated students with a keen interest in the program will also have the opportunity to apply. All Honors Program candidates will be considered for University scholarships.

Honors Program Requirements

Requirements will vary depending upon the point at which students enter the Honors Program.

  1. Participants who enter Honors in the fall as first-year students will be required to take the three first-year honors courses (HON 150, HON 151, HON 155/Communication.) In their second and/or third years, depending upon the scheduling of major requirements, they may take Honors electives, one Honors contract course, the Honors interdisciplinary seminar, or they may engage in a Fieldwork experience. Including the Honors Capstone course (HON 352/353), which may be taken for 1-3 credits per semester, they must complete a total of six honors units.
  2. Participants who enter Honors in the second semester of their first or second year must complete six or five units, respectively, depending upon whether they are first or second-year students upon the point of entry.
  3. Transfer students who begin with Honors in their third year (with at least 45 college credit hours) may participate with a total of four units, including HON 352/353.

Honors Units may include:

  1. Any three-hour course designated by the prefix HONOR can be used to satisfy General Education and/or major or minor requirements. Honors elective courses satisfy two GE requirements in the specified discipline.
  2. Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar can be used to satisfy General Education and/or major or minor requirements. Each IDS course satisfies two GE requirements.
  3. Honors Fieldwork Experience: Students may count major coursework and high-impact learning experiences toward their Honors requirements. The fieldwork experience might be an internship, a service-learning project, travel study, faculty-student research, clinicals, or professional observations. The fieldwork experience must result in some form of reflection, negotiated with the Honors Program director beforehand. Students who wish to enroll in the optional fieldwork course (HON 350) for a more structured pre-professional experience may do so when the course is offered. (0-3 credit hours)
  4. Honors Contract Course: Students may complete one contract course with a professor teaching a three-four hour course at a 200-level or above. The contract will stipulate what additional projects or requirements they must complete for the course to satisfy an Honors Unit credit. Contracts must be approved by the Honors Program director. The contract process encourages students to take responsibility for their learning, both by having to negotiate criteria appropriate for an honors designation and developing a creative plan within the course framework. Students should also enroll in the honors contract course (HON 310) for 0 credits.
  5. Honors Capstone Project (2-6 credit hours in HON 352/353): This course is required of all students who wish to graduate with honors. The project proposal must be approved by the Honors Program director and the student's faculty mentor. The final project must be presented in a public forum.