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Welcome from the Director

Welcome back to a new academic year! I hope you have had a rich summer.  And I wish you many challenges in the upcoming academic year.

The Honors Program is in the middle of a set of big changes this year.  We are in the process of finalizing a new curriculum that we hope to launch in the Fall of 2016.  That curriculum has been the result of a great deal of research, conversation, and reflection.  I have spoken to many of you--individually and collectively--about the strengths and weaknesses of the current program.  I listened particularly closely to your critiques:  the lack of a writing course; the lack of community; the lack of science or technical honors courses; the lack of networking and professionalization opportunities.  With our new honors program, we hope to address some of those limits. It may not look exactly as you wish or want, but I hope that you can see that it responds to some of your past-voiced concerns.  And that itself is illuminating about the nature of action:  that it always precedes from any given perspective along a warped, twisting course since no project that engages the world is ever the product of a single intention and always involves other human beings, with intentions that are variant.

While you will not be able to fully participate in this new program, we are planning a few events for all honors scholars this year that we hope will begin to build a distinctive honors community.

I look forward to seeing you around campus and please don't hesitate to find me in my office (Lovejoy 2102) or get in touch with me via email (

Eric W. Ruckh, Ph.D.

Honors Program Director 

General Education Requirements for Current Students (who began before Fall 2016)

Current Honors Scholars are required to take 30 credit-hours of courses.  They are required to take Honors 120 and Honors 320.  In addition they are required to take eight breadth course from the six breadth areas of the Lincoln Program (Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, Social Sciences, Information and Communication in Society, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences)—one from each category and two free choices.  Current Honors Scholars are exempt from Foundation requirements, except when particular major programs or schools require them for their major.  A checklist for the general education requirements for current students is available:  Current Honors Checklist (hotlink).

Current students should address questions about requirements to their academic advisor, to the Office of Advising (…), or to the Director of the Honors Program.

Retention Standards

Honors Scholars are required to maintain 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain in the program.  Students who fall below a 3.0 are contacted and put on probation. In the following semester, they are required to  secure a 3.0 semester GPA or they are dropped from the program.  Students with questions or concerns about their honors status should contact their academic advisor, the Office of Advising (…), or the Director.   


The University Honors Advisory Council handles appeals to decisions the Director makes regarding requests for substitutions for courses and concerning matters of retention in the Program.  Appeals of decisions by the Director are initiated by the request of the student to any member of the Council, who then brings it forward as an order of business.  Appeals of decisions by the Director must be initiated within a semester of the decision.  The determination of the Council is final.

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