Honors Program

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YOU BELONG HERE

Graceland’s Honors Program is a powerful, inclusive community designed to nurture your particular gifts and skills. 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.

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It is through the Honors Program that I met my best friends. We all shared a passion to excel and the dream to make our world a better place.
Zana Zeqiri Rudi '06 Ambassador  –  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kosovo
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The Honors Program at Graceland is powered by your creativity and enthusiasm.

Your honors classes bring students from diverse academic, intellectual, and personal experiences into a conversation with one another—and it is this type of interdisciplinary thinking that will develop the leaders of the future who can solve tomorrow’s problems. You will develop customized individual research projects with your faculty mentors where you pursue the ideas you are most passionate about. Plus, you’ll also enjoy extra benefits, like the freedom to register for up to 21 credits each semester, funded travel experiences, individualized mentorship, and more.

In order to recognize your scholastic excellence, Graceland also awards all Honors Program members a $1,000 Honors Award that is renewable for up to four years (excluding recipients of the Prestigious Honors Scholarship).

Graduate with Honors

In addition the regular university graduation requirements of the university, Honors Program graduates must:

  • Participate in the program for a minimum of two complete academic years (4 semesters).
  • Graduate with at least a 3.25 GPA.
  • Complete a minimum of 21 semester hours of honors credit including:
    • HONR1010 Honors 101
    • HONR2010 Honors 201
    • HONR2300 Intellectual Curiosity
    • HONR3800 Junior Honors Seminar
    • HONR4800 Senior Honors Seminar
    • Add an Honors Contract to one of your classes
    • Senior Honors Thesis project
  • Currently-offered Honors classes include:

    HONR1010 Honors 101 (3 s.h.) Interdisciplinary first-year seminar provides a common intellectual experience for new Honors students and introduces them to the culture and opportunities of a small liberal arts institution. Designed to help exceptional students produce, deliver and analyze written and oral texts and learn how written and oral performances function together in specific discourse communities.

    HONR2010 Honors 201 (3 s.h.) The second of two sequenced interdisciplinary Honors seminars focused on developing the skills of written and oral communication, critical inquiry and research. Students produce, deliver and analyze college-level written and oral texts 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). Reinforces the common intellectual experience of the Honors program and further exposes students to the culture and opportunities of a small liberal arts institution. Admission by selection only.

    HONR2300 Intellectual Curiosity (3 s.h.). Student-driven course designed to explore and develop the unique skill of curiosity. Students who are intellectually curious ask big question, explore diverse topics, and value learning for its own sake, always seeking to understand how and why things are the way they are. Also a predictor of academic success, curiosity is an important trait that employers seek, since exploring alternatives and being adaptable best prepares someone for a rapidly changing world

    HONR3800 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.

    HONR4800 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.

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Education Outside the Classroom

Graceland’s Honors Program invites you to participate in co-curricular travel experiences that expand your understanding of the world. Some of your most powerful learning experiences will take place outside the classroom. Join us on group trips to Minneapolis and Chicago, participate at regional and national Honors conferences, and take part in unique citizen science and service opportunities at National Parks through faculty-led programs

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Prestigious Honors Scholarship

Incoming students can interview for our Prestigious Honors Scholarship, which offers a full tuition benefit that’s renewable for up to four years. This scholarship is competitive and is ONLY awarded at Prestigious Honors Day.

Applicants for this scholarship must have a minimum 3.75 GPA and a ACT score of 27 or SAT of 1280 or better (in lieu of test scores, the applicant may instead answer one of two 250-word Alternative to Testing questions on the Honors Application) For more information on the Prestigious Honors Scholarship, visit the Competitive Scholarships page.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Graceland Honors Program at honorscouncil@graceland.edu or 641.784.5150.

Does the Honors Program sound right for you? Apply today!

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

  • Earning a 3.25 or higher high school GPA
  • Scoring a 25 or higher on your ACT (or a 1200 or higher on the SAT). In lieu of test scores, the applicant may also answer one of two 250 word Alternative to Testing questions on the honors application.
  • 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.

If you wish to be considered for the Prestigious Honors Scholarship, you must apply to the Honors Program at least one week prior to the Academic Honors Day in which you will compete for the award.

Apply to the Honors Program