Honors Program at FHU
Activities of the Honors program are planned to transcend the boundaries separating the disciplines of academic programs in the other schools of the university. The Honors program offers talented, motivated students educational opportunities designed to enrich the university experience and to advance progress toward personal, academic, and career goals.
Honors courses and activities are designed to help students learn to think and read critically, develop intellectual skills and knowledge across disciplines and apply principles of service, leadership and responsibility.
History of the Honors Program
Dating back to 1974, Freed-Hardeman University had the first honors program in schools associated with the Churches of Christ and also became the first of those schools to have an Honors College. FHU’s move brought the first Honors College to the state of Tennessee in February 1998, reaffirming a commitment to academic excellence in all the schools of our university. Over the years, the Honors program at FHU has maintained its commitment to providing an education of exceptional quality and value to a student population deeply committed to scholarship. The Honors program fosters an environment that allows the free exchange of ideas, often in small classes taught by distinguished faculty. FHU Honors students are regularly invited to make honors presentations at the conference meetings of the Tennessee Honors Council, the Southern Regional Honors Council, and the National Collegiate Honors Council.
Admission to the Honors Program
Admission to Honors involves established criteria of academic success, but highly motivated students will be considered. Students complete their general education and departmental requirements for graduation in a degree program in other schools of the university. The additional requirements of the Honors College allow them to graduate as Honors College Scholars or Honors College Scholars with University Honors.
Students may become participants in the Honors program in one of three ways:
- As first semester Honors Freshmen selected by application during the prior year. Freshmen are admitted to honors course work through an application process completed in the academic year before they enter the university. Interested high school seniors should submit the Freshman Honors Application in the year before they plan to enter college. Freshman admission to Honors is competitive, based on standardized test scores, high school grades, extracurricular activities, letters of reference, and writing samples.
- As FHU students who have completed at least one full-time semester of coursework and who have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. These students will receive letters of invitation at the beginning of each semester in which they are eligible.
As transfer students from other college honors programs that have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Prior honors course work completed through another college honors program may count toward the requirements for graduation as an FHU Honors College Scholar or graduation with University Honors.
- Students who fall into one of these three categories may join the FHU Honors program upon successful completion of the HON 200 Introduction to Honors course.
Continuation to the Honors Program
Students who are admitted to the Honors program will remain eligible for honors course work as long as they maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
Admission to the Honors College
Students are eligible to apply for membership to the Honors College if they:
- have received at least three honors credit hours at FHU,
- have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA,
- have completed less than six semesters as a full-time college student, and
- must complete at least two additional semesters as a full-time college student before graduation.
To apply for membership in the Honors College, eligible students must complete an application packet through the Honors Office. All students in the Honors College are required to earn at least 18 honors credit hours.
CONTINUATION IN THE HONORS COLLEGE
Continuation in the Honors College with “good standing” requires:
- registration for and completion of honors course work during each semester that the student is enrolled full-time
- maintenance of at least of a 3.5 cumulative GPA
- satisfactory involvement in community service, and
- adherence to school regulations.
Students who fail to earn an H grade – A with honors – during a full-time semester (except for a semester spent studying abroad) will be placed on probation during the next academic semester. Removal of probation requires successful completion of honors course work during the semester of probation. Probation for other reasons such as those associated with school regulations can only be removed with the approval of the Dean of the Honors College.
Failure to remove probation or maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA results in suspension from the Honors College and loss of associated privileges. Students suspended from the Honors College may apply for reinstatement after one semester of absence if the student returns to the appropriate GPA and/or an H grade has been earned, and if other changes have been made to satisfactorily address the circumstances of the suspension. Reinstatement requires the approval of the Dean of the Honors College.
Honors credit hours are earned when a student receives an H as a final grade in a course. These credit hours are applied to student transcripts with the grade of ‘H’ – which is ‘A’ with honors. With the exception of HON 150 and HON 200, only students who are members of the Honors program are eligible to receive an H grade and thereby earn honors credit hours.
Students can earn honors credit hours by receiving an H grade in three academic contexts:
- Course sections reserved for honors students only,
Courses offered by other schools of the University that are contracted for honors credit, and
Honors colloquia, practicums, or seminars.
Honors sections include traditional university courses offered as limited access, limited enrollment sections. Such classes are kept small – no more than 20 students – to allow for active discussion and student-centered learning. Honors contracts allow for students to earn H grades by negotiating modified requirements in other courses which are a normal part of their schedule. Colloquia, practicum courses, internships, independent studies, and seminars are provided to enhance the academic program of Honors students. In general, these courses provide convenient forums for small-group discussion and presentations which will introduce students to the community of scholars beyond normal classroom experiences.
Students who do not meet standard Honors eligibility criteria may be nominated for limited access to honors course work for traditional grades by deans or department chairs. Also, to accommodate majors in departments offering honors course sections, non-honors students may be allowed to enroll in honors courses and earn traditional grades.
Students enrolled in the Honors College and meet certain requirements may graduate through the Honors College as Honors College Scholars or Honors College Scholars with University Honors.
To graduate as an Honors College Scholar requires 18 semester hours of earned H grades (which must include one colloquium and one practicum), good standing in the Honors College, and a 3.5 GPA.
To graduate as an Honors College Scholar with University Honors requires 27 semester hours of earned H grades (which must include one colloquium, two practicums, an Honors Seminar, and an Honors Thesis), good standing in the Honors College, and a 3.5 GPA.
See the Honors Course Descriptions for more information about Honors colloquiums, practicums, seminars, and theses.
Honors students at FHU receive several privileges, including the advantage of a distinguished learning environment in the Honors program, enhanced resources, opportunities for community service and civic engagement, and special recognition designed to help them progress toward personal, academic, and career goals.
Students in the Honors program may benefit from:
- Honors courses and sections
- Small classes
- Honors contracts
- Advising and support
- Access to the Honors Lounge
- Honors events
- Honors service projects
In addition to the privileges of the Honors program, students in the Honors College may benefit from:
- Honors College events and cultural trips
- Extended library privileges
- An Honors College scholarship
- Involvement in the Honors Council
- Graduation as an Honors College Scholar or Honors College Scholar with University Honors
- Honors designation on diploma and transcript