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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.
Students accepted to Villanova University are invited to the Honors Program at the time of their acceptance to the University. 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.
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, often team-taught. Individual departments collaborate with the Honors Program to offer Honors courses and contribute faculty to the University Honors Program.
You can particpate by taking one course every third semester, earn a minor, or do our Thesis Track or Oral Examination Track to get the most out of the Program.
All Honors students must select a major in a discipline, which their work in Honors will complement. At the same time, Honors offers students the alternative of defining their own area of specialization outside a formal second major. In the Liberal Arts College, students do not select a major in a discipline until second semester of sophomore year. Thus incoming students are not cutting off any other opportunities by joining the Honors Program.
Students in all of the professional colleges may take Honors courses to fulfill requirements and electives in the liberal arts and sciences, courses Villanova University believes are an essential component of any undergraduate degree program. Students in the professional colleges are full participants in the Honors Program and all its activities.
Yes. The Program staff and a network of Faculty Mentors assist students in selecting courses and majors, pursuing internships and undergraduate research projects, applying to graduate and professional schools, and taking advantage of other special opportunities that arise on and off campus. Instructors of Honors courses provide valuable feedback in their written evaluations of students at the end of each semester; these evaluations can form the basis of recommendations for post-graduate study. 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.
Up to 20 Honors students each year are awarded the Connelly-Delouvrier International Scholarship, which provides tuition funding for an academic semester abroad.
Faculty and students frequently get together outside of class individually, as a class, and in larger Program-sponsored events. Every year, the Program sponsors trips to cultural events in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. Students present their own research in the informal atmosphere of "Pizza Friday" Colloquia and share their musical and artistic talents in recitals and exhibitions. 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. Through the Honors Ambassadors, they also invite speakers and plan social and cultural events for the Program. In addition, students participate with faculty in setting policy and selecting new courses for the Program. Indeed, every year is different, depending on the special interests and initiatives of the students themselves.
Honors students participate actively in all aspects of the Villanova community; Honors is only one aspect of their campus life. Students in the Program are housed in close proximity to one another to facilitate group work, but there are no exclusively-Honors residence halls. 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 are not restricted to students they meet in Honors. Indeed, Honors students traditionally have been involved in all kinds of campus organizations, often as leaders.
Students who have done well in high school generally have the ability to do well in Honors courses. For most students invited into the Program, the issue is less ability than motivation. For example, will I mind finishing a reading assignment or completing a paper while my friends are partying?
Motivated students in the Program will receive top grades as in any course. Some may find they have to work harder for that "A or A-" in an Honors seminar than for a ‘sure A’ in a regular section. Others find that they do better in Honors courses because they learn better in the Program’s small-class environment of open discussion.
Honors students find their principal competition comes from themselves. Students in the Program are supportive of each other and work as academic teammates, not adversaries.
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 education. The Faculty Mentors Program provides students with the opportunity to work closely with professors, who serve as advisors of independent research and as valuable resource persons for post-graduate preparation. In addition, the Senior Thesis demonstrates to graduate schools or potential employers the ability to carry out a major research project on one's own.
There is no set number of courses you must take in a given semester, although most students in the Program take one or two courses every semester. Students must take an Honors course at least once every three semesters to remain active in the Program.
Yes. Your commitment to participate in Honors is only for the semester in which you register for courses. 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.
In recent years, almost all of our graduates have continued their education in graduate or professional schools, either immediately or after a year or two of travel or work. 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. Some pursue professional business opportunities; still others have joined volunteer organizations such as the Peace Corps or missionary societies, or have chosen to postpone long-term career plans for a while.