Honors Program

YOU BELONG HERE

Graceland’s Honors Program attracts creative, curious, and motivated students from across the world, and we hope you’ll be among them. Graduating from our honors program will signal distinction and excellence on your transcript and resume. Our rigorous curriculum will help you as you pursue advanced studies in graduate school, make meaningful contributions to public life, and launch careers in your chosen field.

Click the button below to apply now:

If you have any questions, please or contact the Graceland Honors Program Secretary, Jessie Sherman, at honorscouncil@graceland.edu or 641-784-5150. You may visit our campus at any of our three annual Academic Honors Days

The Honors Program at Graceland is powered by your creativity and enthusiasm. Your honors classes will help you build communication, research, and critical thinking skills that will serve you throughout your life. You’ll also develop individual studies with faculty mentors where you can pursue the ideas and projects you’re most passionate about.

Click here to read an article about Graceland’s “Honors Seminar” class, where students present on their independent research projects.

To graduate from the Honors Program, you must meet all the regular graduation requirements of the university. In addition, you must:

  • Participate in the program for two complete academic years.
  • Graduate with at least a 3.5 GPA.
  • Complete a minimum of 21 semester hours of honors credit.
  • Participate in Junior and Senior Honors Seminars.

Currently-offered Honors classes include:

ENGL1120 Honors Discourse I 3 s.h. "Discourse" refers to the language, images, styles, genres, behaviors and other forms of communication used by specific social and professional groups. This course introduces students to college-level writing and speaking, with a primary focus on composition. In order to lead productive academic, professional, and personal lives, students must learn to communicate their ideas effectively to different audiences in a variety of formats and contexts, as well as to seek and evaluate relevant messages sent by others. Designed to help exceptional students produce, deliver, and analyze college-level, written and oral texts and learn how written and oral performances function together in specific discourse communities. Admission by selection only. Goal 3B, ELO1A Communication

ENGL2120 Honors Discourse II 3 s.h. The second of three sequenced courses focused on integrated written and oral communication skill development emphasizing critical inquiry and research. Students will learn to produce, deliver, and analyze college-level, written and oral texts that are based on sustained academic research, and continue to develop their understanding of critical discourse analysis and critical language awareness in the context of a range of discursive forms (written, oral, visual and/or multimedia). Admission by selection only. Prerequisite: ENGL1120. Goal 3C, ELO1B Communication

INTD2330 Honors Humanities: Ways of Seeing 3 s.h. An interdisciplinary foundation course in the shared and unique approaches to human experience of the visual artist, musician, creative writer, and philosopher. Course content draws freely on major cultural landmarks from each discipline. Prerequisite: Honors Program or instructor consent. Goal 2B

INTD3800 Junior Honors Seminar 3 s.h. A series of weekly discussions of topics selected by seminar participants for a broad cross section of intellectual disciplines. Each participant is required to prepare specified readings in advance of weekly sessions and to share in planning and conducting discussions. Offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisites: Admission to the Honors Program and junior or senior standing.

INTD4800 Senior Honors Seminar 3 s.h. A series of weekly discussions of topics selected by seminar participants for a broad cross section of intellectual disciplines. Each participant is required to prepare specified readings in advance of weekly sessions and to share in planning and conducting discussions. Offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisites: Admission to the Honors Program and junior or senior standing.

We know that some of your most powerful learning experiences will take place outside the classroom. Graceland’s Honors Program sponsors social events and field trips that will help you expand your cultural horizons and build lifelong friendships. From Shakespeare and deep dish pizza in Chicago to Irish folk dancing in Des Moines to abstract art in Kansas City, you'll get to enjoy the best the Midwest has to offer.

Click here to read an article about a group of Graceland Honors students who recently presented at an honors conference in South Dakota.

Our students work hard, and we want to honor that work. That’s why, as an honors student, you’ll earn an extra $1,000 scholarship for maintaining a 3.75 in this program. You’ll also enjoy extra benefits, like the freedom to register for up to 21 credits each semester.

Incoming students with a 3.75 GPA or higher and an ACT score of 27 (or SAT of 1210) or higher can interview for our Prestigious Honors Scholarship, which offers a full tuition benefit that’s renewable for up to four years. For more information on the Prestigious Honors Scholarship, visit the Academic Honors Day page.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Graceland Honors Program Secretary, Jessie Sherman, at honorscouncil@graceland.edu or 641-784-5150. 

We’re proud of all the things our Honors Program alumni have accomplished: bringing great ideas to life through their writing, art, and teaching; working to restore peace and justice throughout the world; fighting illness and disease in hospitals and research facilities across the nation; and much more. Graceland’s Honors Program is designed to nurture your gifts and help you to build the skills you’ll need to be successful in whatever you decide to do.

One of our Honors Program graduates, Matthew Bolton, has been recognized for his work with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Click here to read the story.

We’re looking for students with a record of academic excellence that includes:

  • Earning a 3.5 or higher high school GPA
  • Scoring a 25 or higher on your ACT (or a 1200 or higher on the SAT)
  • Demonstrating outstanding writing skills

We also know that there are many different ways to measure success. If you’re interested in being a part of the honors program, but you don’t meet these exact requirements, please contact our Admissions Office.

The Honors Program will also accept applications from current Graceland students—especially current first- and second-year students—who have established a record of academic success. The application process is the same: just tick the “current Graceland student” box.

Click here to apply now.