This page is here to help you understand the requirements of participating in the Honors Program at Ashland University. You may see an overview of these requirements in the Honors Program Course Requirements Checklist to help you track your progress, and you can read more about the individual areas by clicking on the links below.
In order to remain in the Honors Program, students must maintain an overall GPA at Ashland University of at least 3.3 during their freshmen year, 3.4 during their sophomore year and 3.5 during their junior and senior years. If the GPA drops below this standard, the student will be placed on probationary status if he/she can meet the standard by the end of the subsequent semester; otherwise, the student will be dismissed from the Honors Program. A student on probationary status who does not raise his/her cumulative GPA to meet the standard by the end of the subsequent semester will be dismissed from the Honors Program. Students who are dismissed from the Honors Program may reapply to the Honors Program if they raise their overall GPA to a 3.5. Students must meet the 3.5 standard at the time of graduation.
Core Course Requirements
Honors Program students will complete four Honors core courses throughout their time on campus. In order to remain a member of the Honors Program, an Honors student must complete one Honors core course by the end of his/her first year in the Honors Program, three Honors core courses by the end of his/her second year in the Honors Program, be enrolled in HON 310 during his/her junior year and be working on the Honors Capstone Project during his/her senior year.
Students who begin the Honors Program having already completed four core areas, will only need to complete three Honors core courses. Students who begin the Honors Program having already completed six core areas, will only need to complete two Honors core courses.
An Honors course taken with an S/U option will not count towards fulfilling Honors program curricular requirements (except for HON 310). Note: an Honors class taken with an S/U option will count towards completing a category of the core curriculum, but it will not count as one of the required Honors designated core courses.
Honors 101: First Year Honors Seminar
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Honors Program
A course designed for students admitted to the Honors Program in their first year, satisfying the university IUL requirement. The course introduces students to the Honors Program and Ashland University through classes offered in seminar format, involving assigned readings, discussion and written assignments.
Transfer students and Ashland University students who enter the Honors Program after the first semester of their freshman year are not required to take HON 101.
Honors 310: Honors Capstone Preparation Seminar (One Credit Hour)
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Honors Program; at least junior status
The process of preparing a capstone project, including selecting a topic, choosing mentors, preparing a bibliography, constructing a written prospectus and outlining a timetable for completing the capstone project. This course is required for all juniors who plan to complete an Honors capstone project their senior year. The course may be taken by conference if there is a scheduling conflict. Graded S/U.
Honors 390: Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar (Three Credit Hours)
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Honors Program, at least sophomore status
A course devoted to various topics related to the Honors program mission of challenging the mind and participating in an intellectual community devoted to discussion and dialogue. Topics will be cross-disciplinary in nature, and the course may be team taught. Typically the course will be tied to a study abroad opportunity in the spring semesters of odd-numbered years. May be repeated once with a different topic.
Honors Capstone Project (Six Total Credit Hours)
Six Total Credit Hours - usually split three credit hours in the fall semester and three credit hours in the spring semester of the senior year
Prerequisite: HON 310, permission
The Honors Capstone Project will officially begin in the Honors student's next to last semester, although it may start earlier if the student, faculty mentor, and Honors Director agree. The Honors Capstone Project will be completed in two semesters as two sections of Independent Study 498 in the student's major, and thus the student must complete an Independent Study Request Form from the Office of Records and Registration prior to registration. For more information, see the Independent Study Program section of the Ashland University catalog. A written prospectus is required of all Honors students by the conclusion of HON 310, and this prospectus (approved by the professor of HON 310, the faculty mentor and the Honors Director) should serve as a guide to the Capstone Project. The Honors Capstone Project will typically be completed in the Honors student's final semester, will be reviewed and approved by the faculty mentor, Honors Director, and an additional faculty reviewer of an appropriate academic department, and will be publicly presented to the Ashland University community. The Honors Capstone Project Handbook distributed in HON 310 should be consulted for the appropriate deadlines for completing the project, submitting the project to the faculty reviewer, submitting the project to the Honors Director and presenting the project.
To view a copy of the handbook: Honors Capstone Project Handbook
Honors students have four options for completing the Honors elective: taking a second HON 390, taking an Honors designated core course in a fifth area, completing two Honors Contract Courses, completing three Honors Community Engagement Projects, or completing an Honors Study Abroad experience. The latter three options are described in more detail below.
Honors Elective: Honors Contract Course
To fulfill the Honors elective requirement, an Honors student may add-on one credit to two upper-level courses within his/her major by completing additional work beyond the normal requirements and expectations of the courses. The additional work should focus on inquiry, discovery and critical thinking, important skills the student will need as he/she works on the Honors Capstone Project.
An Honors student wishing to enroll in an Honors Contract Course must fill out a contract, in consultation with the course instructor, describing in detail the additional work or project that will be tied to the academic content of the course. The contract must be signed by the student and the course instructor, and should be submitted to the Honors Director when the student registers for classes. The contract must be submitted no later than the end of the first week of classes.
The Honors portion of an Honors Contract Course will be evaluated satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) by the course instructor. The course to which the Honors Contract is attached will be graded according to the course criteria. Acknowledgement of Honors Contract courses will be indicated on the student's transcript.
To print a copy of the Honors Add-On Contract: Honors Add On Contract Course Application
Honors Elective: Honors Study Abroad Experience
An Honors student participating in a Study Abroad Experience with an academic component related to the Honors Program mission statement may submit a petition requesting a waiver of the Honors elective. This petition must be approved prior to the beginning of the Study Abroad Experience and will be reviewed by the Honors Advisory Committee. At the request of this committee, the Honors Program Director may require a student to complete additional work beyond the normal expectations of the Study Abroad Experience in order to waive the Honors Elective. In particular, Study Abroad Experiences connected directly to Ashland University courses will almost always require a student to complete additional work. The student must submit a Course Substitution and Waiver Form signed by his/her advisor and the Honors Program Director upon completion of the Study Abroad Experience to the Office of Records and Registration. No Honors Program academic credit will be awarded for this experience, although the student may receive academic credit from the university.
To print a copy of the Study Abroad Petition: Honors Study Abroad Petition
Honors Elective: Honors Community Engagement Option
To fulfill the Honors elective requirement, an Honors student may complete 3 community engagement projects, with each project involving at least 30 hours of community engagement and a 2-3 page reflection paper due the last day of classes of the semester in which the project will be completed.
An Honors student wishing to enroll in an Honors Community Engagement Course must fill out a contract, in consultation with the Project Supervisor and the Ashland University Director of Community Service describing in detail the project. The contract must be signed by the student, supervisor and the Ashland University Director of Community Service, and should be submitted to the Honors Director prior to the beginning of the project.
To print a copy of the Community Engagement Contract: Honors Community Engagement Contract
Honors students are required to attend four events each year - the Honors Retreat (typically held overnight from Friday to Saturday after the first week of classes), the Fall Honors Lecture, the Spring Honors Lecture and the Academic Honors Convocation. Failure to attend these events may result in dismissal from the Honors Program.