Skip navigation links
Alumni & Friends
Current Students
Faculty & Staff
Future Students
Outreach & Engagement
Student Life

What is Honors? 

The Honors program promotes the intellectual and personal development of high-ability undergraduate students both inside and outside the classroom. Along with admission to Honors classes and the opportunity to graduate with Honors distinction, Honors students receive priority scheduling, access to free printing in the Honors lounge, and invitations to special outings through the Laurel Collegiate Society, the social club for high-achieving students (with 3.4 GPA and above). Honors students are given first priority in study abroad courses and many are recognized at the Ohio State Newark Salute to Undergraduate Achievement dinner every spring. While students accepted into the Honors program are encouraged to complete the requirements for graduating with Honors distinction—beginning with completing six Honors courses by the end of the sophomore year--they are not required to do so; students may join Honors, take Honors classes, and participate in the Laurel Collegiate Society activities even if they do not plan to graduate with Honors distinction.

One advantage to Honors status is access to Honors classes. Honors classes are not courses that require more work but classes that, because of the small enrollment, allow students to engage at a different level. Limited to 15 highly motivated students, Honors classes are structured to provide more interaction among students and faculty. These smaller, more intimate classes typically are presented as discussion seminars rather than lectures. Often students develop projects that allow them to research an area of particular interest, in close consultation with their professors. Some courses, designated as Honors-embedded, also allow students to earn Honors credit in non-Honors classes by working individually with the professor on projects.

Students majoring in the Arts and Sciences who wish to graduate with Honors distinction are expected to have taken six Honors or upper-level (4000 level or above) by the end of their sophomore year. At that point, they fill out what’s called an Honors contract (listing what courses they will take their junior and senior year). This means Honors students should aim for three Honors courses a year in their first two years.

To help students meet their Honors coursework requirements, many GE courses as well as upper-level courses are offered in an Honors format. Students aren’t expected to take extra classes to fulfill the Honors requirement—but simply to take the required GE courses in Honors format. Freshmen and sophomores can also earn credit for Honors work when they take upper-level, non-honors courses (any 4000- or above course in any discipline taken while a freshman or sophomore will be considered Honors). Finally, a one-credit-hour Honors seminar is offered on a different topic each semester; for spring break 2013, that class is a 3-day trip to Washington, D.C. In 2014, students will travel to New Orleans for spring break.

Students planning to graduate in one of the majors offered at the Newark campus should review the information below on earning and maintaining Honors status and consult with their major advisor. Students planning to finish their degrees on the Columbus campus also are urged to join the program at Newark so that they can begin earning the Honors credits necessary when they seek to join the Honors and Scholars program. Fulfilling an Honors contract in Columbus, for example, likely will require taking Honors versions of GE courses, and many of those requirements can be met at Newark in the first two years. Without Honors courses in the first two years of study, transfer students will find it difficult to complete an Honors program in Columbus.

Summer Honors Presentation