Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Honors Program

The Tusculum University Honors Program is designed to provide challenging and engaging educational experiences to talented students committed to academic excellence. Our Honors Program focuses on promoting cross-discipline dialogue between students and faculty. Each participant creates a personalized plan of study that will lead to a unique Honors experience designed to benefit the student’s individual goals. The Program offers distinctive courses including semester-long seminars with talented faculty and gifted peers and self-directed honors projects to encourage students to follow their personal passions. The program is designed to help bright students hone their intellectual abilities and develop strong leadership skills through a variety of cultural enrichment and professional development opportunities within the program and University. As a community of engaged learners, members of the Honors Program are expected to become leaders in their community, raising the level of intellectual debate and civic engagement.


Entering students with an ACT score of 25 or higher (1150 or higher on the SAT) and a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 will be invited to apply to the program. Students who do not meet these requirements but have demonstrated strong potential for academic success may seek admission. Admission to the Honors Program is open to transfer students.

Normally students enter the Honors Program as incoming freshmen in the fall. During the spring semester, freshman and sophomores may apply if they have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average and obtain a faculty recommendation. Students seeking admission should submit a formal application by January 7 accompanied by a letter of recommendation by one of their professors at Tusculum University. Students will submit a letter detailing why they believe they qualify for the program, followed by an interview. To remain in good standing within the program, students must maintain a minimum cumulative Tusculum G.P.A. of 3.3. A grade of B- or higher is required in any Honors component to count toward Honors credit.


To satisfy requirements for the Honors Program, students must complete 20 semester hours in required Honors courses and annual participation in approved leadership development opportunities within the program and University.

Students choose from one of the following concentrations within the Honors Program:

  • Academic/Research
  • Civic Engagement
  • Global Awareness
  • Leadership

Required Honors Courses (9 credits):

HNRS 245 - Honors Seminar . Three 1 credit seminars with different topics = 3 credits

Honors Core/Concentration Course (Before start of concentration) = 3 credits

Choose one of the following: = 3 credits

Honors Self-Select Courses (9 credits)

Each student selects 3 courses in his or her own major and works with a faculty advisor to create additional assignment(s) to produce an honors class experience. Students may complete the 3 remaining honors credits with an additional course or an internship.

Additional courses may include any courses listed above, or the following electives. Other courses may be substituted at the discretion of the Honors Program Director.

Once a concentration is selected and the concentration core course completed, students will be allowed to “self-select” 3 courses as Honors courses. If they select the research focus and want to write an Honors thesis at the end of their program, they will have the option to produce small pieces (around 5 pages) of their thesis as the Honors component of their self-selected courses. If they would rather create an honors course component by participating in some other activities, they can produce a portfolio. (Examples of possible activities are listed below.) We encourage students to focus their self-selected Honors courses in their own major. This will also allow each department to identify discipline specific opportunities and project mentors.

Possible activities by concentration:

Civic Engagement

  • Voter registration drive
  • Grassroots campaigning with local political organization
  • Participate in Debate Team
  • Create a website for a local business or non-profit in your discipline
  • Develop survey/statistics for local business or non-profit in your discipline

Global Awareness

  • Travel Abroad-Must be Tusculum sponsored/council approved
  • Teach an afterschool class about cultural difference in your field of study-Girls Inc/Boys & Girls Club
  • Recruit a speaker to present on a global issue/global charity in your field of study
  • Interview someone who has worked in your field overseas
  • Organize the showing of a documentary about a global issue/global charity in your field

Peer Leadership

  • Start a campus club related to your field of study
  • Hold office in an already established campus club related to your field of study
  • Assist Admissions with recruitment for your department/Honors program
  • Work with library director on library programming related to your field of study
  • Become a peer tutor in your discipline
  • Collect/analyze data related to some aspect of student life (sexual assault prevention, study strategies, etc.)