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The Honors Academic Program

For most students, the academic program consists of six components:

1. Introduction to Honors

Most Honors students are required to take Introduction to Honors, a course that orients them to SMSU's Honors Program. The course presents students with the opportunity to get to know fellow students in the Honors Program as we read and discuss some important works of literature and some analytical works on the nature and purpose of Liberal Education. Emphasis will be placed on developing a reflective, critical analysis of these texts and one’s educational goals in general.

2. Choose Your Pathway: Traditional, Transfer, or Experiential

The Traditional Pathway provides qualified students with an alternative to the university’s Liberal Education Program (LEP). In place of the standard LEP, Honors students, in consultation with the Honors Program Director and a review board of faculty members from diverse disciplines, design their own course of study in the liberal arts—one that is more challenging and directly suited to their individual academic needs. Students also complete the Honors Core and Honors Seminar.

The Transfer Pathway is an option for students who transferred in any college credits or who simply wish to complete the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. Transfer Pathway students are required to complete the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, the Honors Core, and Honors Seminar.

The Experiential Pathway is an option for students who have completed at least 34 Minnesota Transfer Curriculum credits before joining the Honors Program. Students are required to take Discover, Engage, Lead, and Honors Seminar.

Talk to the Honors Program Director to determine which pathway is most appropriate for your situation.

3. The Honors Core

Students on the Traditional and Transfer Pathways are required to take one course from each of the four areas of the Honors Core: Ethics, Gender and Identity, Global Consciousness, and Human Diversity.

4. Honors Seminar

All Honors students are required to take a senior-level honors seminar. The seminar invites students to confront ideas outside of their major fields of interest, to approach these ideas from an interdisciplinary perspective, to initiate creative and critical thinking, and to bear the primary responsibility for the direction of the coursework.

5. Undergraduate Research

Regardless of pathway, all Honors students are required to participate in the SMSU Undergraduate Research Conference or an equivalent.

6. The Senior Dialogue

During the senior year, each Honors student is required to participate in a one-hour dialogue with several faculty members from various disciplines. The dialogue is intended to allow students to show their ability to think through and articulate intellectual and critical ideas while under a certain amount of pressure. Students are not made uncomfortable and are not graded on the dialogue. The aim is to help students learn about themselves and for faculty to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the Honors Program. Faculty members orally evaluate the student's performance at the end of the dialogue and the student is invited to respond in an appropriate manner. The hope is that the dialogue acts as a positive and valuable learning experience for all involved.

Last Modified: 10/13/23 10:14 AM | Website Feedback