FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About the Honors Program
Honors at Villanova is a comprehensive four-year program of challenging seminars, research opportunities, service projects, and cultural and social events designed to bring together exceptional students and dedicated faculty. Honors courses and co-curricular activities enrich and complement the academic experience inherent in a Villanova education.
Each year, the Honors Program enrolls 140 to 150 students, a select group that comprises less than 10 percent of the total undergraduate student body. It is open to undergraduate students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Students must submit their Villanova applications by November 1 AND check the box on the Common Application indicating that they are interested in the Honors Program.
While entry into the program is highly selective, Honors students find their principal competition comes from themselves. Students in the program are supportive of each other and work as academic teammates.
Honors Program seminars encourage active participation of students in their learning process. Seminars fulfill core requirements (introductory and advanced) and requirements for specific academic majors and minors. Typically, Honors seminars are interdisciplinary in nature. Individual departments collaborate with the Honors Program to offer Honors courses and contribute faculty to the University Honors Program.
The Honors Program touches a student’s experience both inside the classroom and beyond. Inside the classroom, students can take Honors courses, earn an Honors credential such as the Honors minor or—to get the most out of the program—an Honors degree. Outside of the classroom, students can live in the Honors residence hall, assume leadership positions within the program and participate in co-curricular activities.
Yes. The program staff and a network of faculty mentors assist students in Honors credential pursuits, internships and undergraduate research projects, applying to graduate and professional schools, and taking advantage of other special opportunities that arise on and off campus. Honors Program alums share their wisdom and experiences with current students through special colloquia and one-on-one conversations. And always, students in the program find in each other a wealth of useful information, providing the essential foundations for effective peer mentoring.
Honors students participate actively in all aspects of the Villanova community; Honors is only one aspect of their campus life. Approximately 80% of Honors freshmen choose to live in Honors housing, but some choose living and learning cohorts outside of the Honors Program. Honors students always take some of their classes in regular sections. And while strong friendships inevitably develop in Honors seminars, students’ campus and social lives involve the entire campus community. Indeed, Honors students traditionally have been involved in all kinds of campus organizations, often as leaders of campus-wide initiatives.
Life as an Honors Student
Students who enjoy being challenged by their peers, are motivated by an academic environment marked by intellectual rigor and are alive to the questions that underlie human experience will succeed in Honors.
While Honors courses are not specifically designed to be harder than courses throughout the University, the students themselves raise the intellectual caliber of the classroom. Coursestypically interdisciplinary in nature are designed to deepen a student’s academic experience.
Faculty and students frequently get together outside of class individually as a class, and in larger program-sponsored events. Several honors courses include cultural excursions to downtown Philadelphia and beyond. All students are invited to contribute to Polis, a literary magazine and journal of opinion. Honors students frequently have the opportunity to meet informally with distinguished lecturers who visit campus. The Honors Interhall Council plans social and cultural events for the program, including Harry Potter Day, Honors Formal and various field trips. In addition, our Student Advisory Board assists the staff in continually improving all aspects of the program. Each year is different, and the activities vary depending on the special interests and initiatives of the students themselves.
Typically, first-year students take a maximum of three Honors courses per semester. In the following three years, students themselves decide their individual pathway through the program.
Yes. Naturally, we hope that you will choose to stay. At the same time, you can be asked to withdraw if your grades are consistently below the required minimum GPA of 3.33.
Villanova Honors graduates have earned national fellowships like the Truman, Rhodes, Fulbright and Goldwater, as well as advanced degrees at the nation’s finest universities, often with substantial scholarship aid. Many pursue professional business opportunities, and still others have joined volunteer organizations such as the Peace Corps or missionary societies.
Many Honors students find that their Honors classes, with their emphasis on writing, speaking and critical analysis, have prepared them especially well for post-graduate careers and education.