May 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Honors Program


Program Director
Helene Klein, Assistant Dean of Honors and Accelerated Programs

Carole Loeffler, Assistant Director of Honors

The faculty members who offer courses in the Honors Program come from many different academic disciplines.

About the Honors Program

Arcadia’s Honors Program is a place where students with many talents and passions are encouraged to feed their strengths, refine them, and then own them. The program grows in the direction of our values, passions, and talents. Students are encouraged to take the best of themselves to create impact in ways that are fulfilling to individuals, teams and the larger community in a way that positions them to go forth and make positive impacts on innovative, strategic and empathetic teams and also recognize the pathway to their own happiness.

Specialized opportunities for professional-level scholarship, co-curricular experiences and presentations are provided to ready these students for their professional careers and maximize their marketability.

Honors Values
  1. Empathy (Make understanding others a priority)

  2. Collaboration (Play well with others; there is strength in teams)

  3. Innovation (Problems are just opportunities waiting to be explored)

  4. Integrity (Be who you say you are)

  5. Passions (Follow them)

  6. Communication (Voices heard and understood create a difference)

  7. Connection (Every connection is an opportunity for greater happiness)

  8. Inclusivity (Everyone has a special place within the community; explore yours and use it to change the community for the better).

  9. Shared vulnerability (being willing to take risks, learn from setbacks and most of all, ask for and give help. In shared vulnerability real connections occur and trust is built.

  10. Diversity (living lives where differences are respected and appreciated.)

The goals of the Honors Program are to:

  • Establish an inclusive community of Honors Students that support one another. 
  • Provide teamwork opportunities that enable students to own their strengths to create positive change.
  • Provide Honors courses that engage the full person, provide opportunities for meaningful teamwork, chances to connect and create something new that feeds students’ passions.
  • Provide meaningful opportunities to mentor and be mentored.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and networking.
  • Provide a community where everyone is seen and valued, and students are encouraged and given the resources to make things happen.
  • Ensure all Honors Students know they can change, create, explore, partner and grow in a safe, but also challenging community of learners, teammates and friends.

Some Benefits of the Honors Program:

  • Honors Students are given priority registration for classes.
  • Honors Students are permitted to take up to 20 credits per semester, after their first semester.
  • Honors Students are members of the Honors Council, which organizes regular fun, cultural, professional, social justice and community service events.
  • Honors Students can participate in specialized leadership programming and opportunities.
  • Honors Students have an opportunity to gain valuable professional experiences outside the classroom, which include running Arcadia’s online scholarly journal, mentoring high school students, and participating as campus leaders on the Honors Council Executive Board.
  • Honors Students can bring their ideas to fruition through specialized, hands-on classes and through the support of our Honors Council. 
  • Honors Students have access to social justice initiatives in and out of the classroom
  • Honors Students that complete the program get a $500 fulfillment scholarship applied towards their tuition in their final semester at the university.
  • Honors Students have access to our Honors lounge, called The Hive, where a lot of the magic of community is generated and students hang-out, do their work, play games, watch television, enjoy potluck dinners, and much more. 
  • Honors Students can present at local and national Honors conferences.
  • Honors Students can live on an Honors affinity floor.
  • Honors Students can receive mentorship for application for prestigious, competitive scholarships.
  • Honors students have access to social justice initiatives in and out of the classroom.

Co-curricular and Extracurricular Opportunities

Students in the Honors Program are given access to a wide variety of co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities and are encouraged to take a leadership role in planning and implementing these activities which range from creating professional networking events featuring “pioneers” in their fields, running an online scholarly journal, presenting at conferences or planning a large variety of campus wide activities which often have a community service focus. Students are encouraged to make the extracurricular program their own and have a great deal of latitude in brainstorming, creating vision, planning, marketing and implementing events that motivates them, and will engage the larger community, including (some previous examples):

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live shadow cast.
  • The Pioneer Series
  • Adulting 101
  • Community Service Trips
  • Honors Retreat
  • Honors Conference Presentations
  • Murder Mystery Dinner in the Castle
  • AU Stop Hunger Games
  • Celebrating Cultures
  • Senior (citizen) Prom
  • Arcadia’s Next Great Baker
  • The Big Idea Competition
  • And more…

Honors Program Admission Policy

Arcadia University and the Honors Program are SAT/ACT optional.  Students in the program tend to average around a 1350 SAT or 29 or better on the ACT Composite. We also look for students who are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class (if their school ranks students), have a rigorous course load and have shown involvement in their high schools, communities, and/or have work experience. The best indicator of an Arcadia Honors Student is motivation to be your best self and a strong desire to use your talents to positively influence others.

Transfer students with a GPA of 3.50 or better will be reviewed. Also, current full-time Arcadia students can self-nominate for the program if they have a 3.30 cumulative GPA or higher.

Students who fall below these credentials, but would still like to be considered for Honors Program acceptance can apply to the program through this application: These applications are rolling. Review of these applications will begin January 1st, so it is recommended that students get their applications in early as the program is competitive.

Requirements for the Honors Program

Honors Students must complete the academic requirements to graduate from the program.  The co-curricular and extra-curricular elements are encouraged, but not required. Honors Program students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 to remain in good standing.

For Students Who Begin as Freshmen or Sophomores:

Honors Students who start the program in their first year may be placed in the Honors section of the first year writing course, EN101 Thought and Expression I.  This special Honors section gives students in the program an opportunity to create community with the help of an EN101H peer mentor assigned to the class. All Honors Students who start the program as a first-year or a sophomore must take the following:

  1. HN 201  The Study of Self and Teams, an interdisciplinary course focusing on owning your strengths and using them to create successful, trusting, effective teams. This course should be taken by the end of the sophomore year.
  2. HN 202   Honors Project, an independent research project outside the student’s major area of study for 2 credits. All Honors Project students are given a mentor in the field of their desired project.\
  3. Three (3) HN 390  Honors Colloquia, which are investigative, interdisciplinary seminars addressing open-ended topics. These seminars are unique to the Honors Program and explore topics not normally covered in the standard curriculum. Every Honors Student must ensure that one of their HN390s has an “L” designation, which means the class will expose students to a team-oriented class, likely involving academic service learning or a similar quality experience. The “L” designated classes all focus on teamwork, problem solving, experiential learning outside the classroom and reflective practice. 

In lieu of ONE of the HN390 requirements, Honors Students can choose to adapt an upper level class in their major, by completing an additional project and then handing in adaptation paperwork to the Honors Director and the Registrar or participate in the Love Pilot or e3 experiences.

All Honors Students must have taken at least one Honors course beyond EN101H by the end of their sophomore year.  Failure to do so will result in being removed from the program at the end of the sophomore year.  Students who know they cannot take an Honors class by that time, but who do not wish to be removed from the program, can avoid dismissal by petitioning the program director prior to the end of April of their sophomore year and providing a plan to get through Honors requirements prior to graduation.

For Students Who Begin After their Sophomore Year:

Requirements for those entering the program after their sophomore year or students part of an accelerated program:

Those entering the program after their sophomore year or as part of an accelerated program must take any four (4) Honors classes, but one must be HN201.  Students can still do an adaptation in lieu of one class.

Recommended Scheduling of Honors Classes

First Year

  • EN 101H Thought and Expression I (Honors)

Sophomore Year

Junior/Senior Years

  • HN 300 level Honors Seminar (three HN 300s total before graduation, including one with a leadership designation.) Alternatively, a student can adapt any one upper-level course in his or her major for Honors credit.

Special Circumstances

  • Students beginning the Honors Program in their junior year must take any four (4) Honors Courses to complete the program.
  • Students in three (3) year programs must take any four (4) Honors Courses to complete the program, but one of them must be HN 201 The Study of Self and Teams .

Honors Courses (HN)

HN 201 The Study of Self and Teams

(4 Credits)
This course focuses on students learning to own their strengths and to use them to enable their own success and those of their teammates.  It exposes students to presentations by leaders in various fields and provides opportunities to interview these leaders. Students also face weekly leadership mini-challenges/hypothetical situations that require ongoing leadership skill development and teamwork. A portfolio of metacognitive reflections is required to complete the class.

HN 202 Honors Project

(2 Credits)
With guidance from a teaching team, including one of the Honors Program advisers and a mentor, a student selects and pursues an independent project outside his or her major area of study. Projects encourage students to explore and develop their own various talents and interests.

HN 390 Honors Colloquia

Honors Colloquia focus on interdisciplinary topics. These courses are designed specifically for Honors students. Topics vary across the disciplines. Some Honors HN 390 courses are specifically designed to have a leadership (L) focus. These classes typically include community partnership; intensive use of outside resources; focus on teamwork, problem solving and other skills needs to develop proficiency in leadership.

Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors in the Honors Program and open to sophomores with prior approval of the Honors Program Directors.
Examples of typical HN 390 Honors Colloquia include:


Adaptation for Honors Credit: Students may adapt one upper-level course in their majors for Honors credit to fulfill one of their HN 390  requirements. Students should approach and ask the faculty member if the course may be taken for Honors credit. The student will fulfill all regular requirements of the course plus additional responsibilities decided on by the professor and student. These may include additional readings, research, papers and/or related projects. The student should then fill out the Adapted Course Form and return copies to the Honors Program Director and the Registrar.