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Frequently Asked Questions

Honors Class

What is 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.

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How can I get into the Honors Program?

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.  


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What kinds of courses does the Honors Program offer?

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.

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What are my options for participation?

You can participate by taking Honors courses, earning a minor, or completing our Honors Degree to get the most out of the Program.

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How does declaring a major work? What about designing my own major?

All Honors students must select a major in a discipline, which their work in Honors will complement. At the same time, Honors offers College of Liberal Asts and Sciences students the alternative of defining their own area of specialization outside a formal second major.  Incoming students are not cutting off any other opportunities by joining the Honors Program.

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Is Honors available in Business, Engineering and Nursing?

Students in all of the professional colleges may take Honors courses to fulfill requirements and electives in the liberal arts and sciences, which 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.

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Do Honors students receive special academic mentoring?

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. 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.

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Can Honors students get funding for study abroad?

Up to 20 Honors students each year are awarded the Connelly-Delouvrier International Scholarship, which provides tuition funding for an academic semester abroad.

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What kinds of activities does the Honors Program sponsor?

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.  Each year, the Program sponsors trips to cultural events.  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 Boards  allows students the oppertunity to participate with faculty in setting policy and selecting new courses for the Program. Each year is different, and the activities vary depending on the special interests and initiatives of the students themselves.

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Are Honors students isolated from the rest of the Villanova community?

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 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 of campus-wide initiatives.

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Will I succeed in Honors? How will Honors courses affect my grades?

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. 

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.

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How competitive is Honors?

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.

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Will Honors help me get into graduate or professional school?

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.

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How many Honors courses should I take each semester?

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. 

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Can I withdraw from Honors?

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.  

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What do Honors students do after graduation?

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.

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Photo of Taylor Hinch

The Honors program would like to extend a very warm congratulations to one of our amazing students, Taylor Hinch, for being selected as a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow! To read more about Taylor and her unique opportunity please visit the Villanova University Media Room.


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Honors Program Brochure

Click the image to access our latest brochure and learn more about the program.

Contact Us

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4650
Fax: 610.519.5405