Students listening to their professor in class.

Honors Program

Scholarship, Leadership, and Servanthood

At Anderson University, the honors program encourages its members to build a community and grow together during their undergraduate studies.

Each semester, students take one discussion-based course together, which bonds them as a cohort while simultaneously meeting liberal arts requirements. Students in our honors program have the benefits of specialized honors orientation as freshmen, access to our honors lounge in the library, additional advising and mentoring from our co-directors, the option for honors housing, and opportunities to conduct individual research with faculty members. Along with this community and support, our honors scholars receive a scholarship each year, in addition to any other merit-based scholarships for which they may qualify. They also receive special recognition on their transcripts showing that they completed the honors program.

Outside of the classroom, our honors scholars are engaged in campus activities, including service and leadership roles. Many scholars are athletes both on intercollegiate and intramural teams, as well as dancers, musicians, leaders in student government, and event participants. Students in our honors program are among the most engaged on campus, with the support to excel in all of the areas about which they are passionate.

Admission to the Program

The honors program is cohort-based, and enrollment into the program is competitive and by invitation.

Academic Honors Day, an event for high-achieving high school seniors, is held each November, and participation in this event is required for consideration for the honors program. Honors program applicant files are reviewed by the Faculty Selection Committee and include the applicant’s transcript, SAT or ACT scores, résumé, recommendation letter, and notes from an interview at Academic Honors Day. 

Successful applicants have typically achieved combined SAT math and critical reading scores of at least 1200 (or equivalent ACT scores) and a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

The Selection Committee generally looks for evidence of some or all of the following, among other factors:

  • A variety of AP and honors classes taken in high school, along with excellent grades in those courses.
  • A résumé demonstrating an extracurricular activity or activities that the student has persevered in and been involved with for several years.
  • An openness to new ideas and to a life of the mind.

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Program Requirements

The Anderson University honors program provides an intellectually enriched learning community for highly motivated students. While the honors program is not a formal major or minor, students enrolled in the program must complete a series of honors scholars courses.

Scholars Courses Honors scholars enroll in one honors course per semester during the freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Each of these courses will be taken together as a cohort, and all meet liberal arts core curriculum areas required for Anderson University students. Honors courses are not designed to be more difficult or more work than other liberal arts courses. Instead, they involve discussions based on readings, and they are focused on intellectual and spiritual development. Many of these courses are team-taught and/or are interdisciplinary.

Senior Scholars Honors Projects The senior honors project is an intensive, original research project under the direction of an academic mentor. During the first semester of their senior year, honors scholars work on an honors project of their choice, with a presentation of the project in the second semester. The first semester of the senior year, honors scholars take the Honors Senior Seminar to help them plan their project and practice discussing it with an outside audience.

Upon graduation, honors scholars will have completed 21 credits within the curriculum of the honors program. Twenty of these credits are applicable to the university’s liberal arts program curriculum.

I came into the Honors Program at Anderson anticipating a challenging program with which to supplement my academic experience. What I did not expect was the quality of relationships I’ve formed with both the students and faculty involved in the program. —Lauren Householder, history and political science

The Honors Program here is a chance for students to challenge themselves. It is not an environment that is meant to break the best student but rather facilitate the growth of those who desire to become leaders, both academically and relationally. —Todd Baden, accounting

Teaching in the Honors Program has made it possible for me to interact with highly motivated students from disciplines outside of my own. Gifted students from outside of the natural sciences approach the concept of scientific progress in ways that sometimes surprise me and often compel me to examine more closely my own notions. This is liberal arts education at its best. —Dr. Daniel Ippolito, Professor of Biology

Mission and Objectives

Honors Program Mission Statement The honors program at Anderson University is devoted to fostering within its honors scholars a passionate dedication to intellectual inquiry and spiritual development so that they may serve as vibrant leaders in their professions and in their communities.

Objectives In keeping with its stated mission, and with its overall commitment to the goals and ideals of Christian liberal arts education, the Anderson University honors program seeks to develop a cohort of scholars with demonstrated capabilities in the following areas:

  • Global understanding and engagement – Honors scholars will demonstrate an awareness of major cultural, social, and political issues within the United States and in the world.
  • Creative problem-solving – Honors scholars will demonstrate an ability to identify and analyze problems and propose solutions from both discipline-specific and integrative perspectives.
  • Clear expression – Honors scholars will demonstrate a high degree of clarity and sophistication in their written and oral forms of expression.
  • Aesthetic awareness – Honors scholars will demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the arts and humanities as expressions of culture and of one’s experience of the world, leading to heightened aesthetic sensitivity and personal involvement within the arts and humanities.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the environment – Honors scholars will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of the natural world and of human interaction with that world.
  • Vital Christian ethical practice – Honors scholars will develop and express their Christian values through academic study and service within the university community and in the broader world.

Ideals and Design of the Honors Program Anderson University is committed to the highest ideals of Christian higher education. As an integral part of that commitment, the honors program seeks to prepare students of demonstrated achievement for leadership in a range of fields of endeavor. Within this context, our scholars will be challenged to cultivate the life of the spirit, maturing in the virtues of integrity, justice, and generosity.

The honors program provides a series of small discussion-based interdisciplinary courses that satisfy particular liberal arts program requirements. These courses, as well as close interaction with faculty and a cohort of peers, offer intellectually challenging experiences that will stimulate and refine the skills of clear expression, acute analysis, critical thinking, and imaginative problem-solving.

Upon completion of the honors program curriculum, honors scholars will receive special recognition at commencement and on their transcript.

Honors Lounge

Every honors scholar enjoys key access to the honors lounge on the second floor of the Nicholson Library, a space complete with computer facilities, Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, and microwaves. Here, honors scholars can study, talk, and fellowship. The lounge remains open and available until midnight on weeknights during each semester and during finals week.


Honors Program


Deborah Miller-Fox

Chair, Department of English; Professor of English

Laura Stull

Dr. Laura Stull

Professor of Psychology