2013-14 General Catalog
University of Iowa Honors Program
Web site: http://honors.uiowa.edu/
The University of Iowa Honors Program enriches the intellectual and personal lives of outstanding undergraduates across the University. It provides academic opportunities, cocurricular programs, special recognitions, and social events, many held in the award-winning Blank Honors Center. It also sponsors three residential communities for honors students, all located close to the Blank Honors Center.
Honors at Iowa challenges students and helps them make connections. For example, honors students learn from some of the top professors on campus when they select from the University's many honors courses. These courses are part of the regular curriculum and will not add to requirements for graduation.
Honors students engage in a wide variety of academic and cocurricular activities, with support from numerous programs. They enjoy extended library privileges, including longer loan periods. Honors Writing Fellows refine their own writing skills by mentoring other student writers. Some students investigate topics for Iowa communities and the Iowa Legislature through the Iowa Policy Research Organization. Those who need to find mentors and funding for research get help from the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates. All honors students may take part in programs that offer opportunities in the arts, sciences, politics, international relations, cultural explorations, and field trips.
The honors staff helps students tailor their honors curricula to enrich their majors. The staff also helps arrange internships, service learning, study away, teaching, and other experiences for students exploring their interests in and beyond the classroom.
Honors at Iowa offers membership to many students from high school based on grades and test scores. Entering students who do not qualify may request an admission invitation by submitting a high school transcript, recommendation from a teacher, and a personal letter saying how the student expects to gain from participation in honors at Iowa.
New transfer students who have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.50 with at least 24 s.h. of college credit are also offered membership in honors. Transfer students with less than 24 s.h. of college credit are considered for honors on the same basis as are students who enter the University directly from high school.
Continuing University of Iowa students who maintain a UI cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.33 are eligible to join the honors program.
To remain in the honors program and to graduate with University honors, students must maintain a University of Iowa cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.33 and complete specific program requirements. For more information on honors requirements, see About Us/Honors at Iowa/Program/Membership Requirements on the honors program web site.Back To Top
Graduation with Honors
Honors achievements are recognized at graduation with University honors and/or departmental honors, both of which appear on the diploma and University transcript.Back To Top
Honors at Iowa helps tailor opportunities to different educational needs and goals. Honors students may take honors courses every semester they are enrolled at the University. Honors courses generally are small and interactive, and they connect students with distinguished professors. New topics are offered each semester.
Honors encourages early connections for honors students. In 143:020 (HONR:1100) Honors Primetime, entering students earn 1 s.h. of honors credit by taking a short course a few days before fall classes begin. Students entering directly from high school take 143:030 (HONR:1300) Honors First-Year Seminar and earn 1 s.h. for fall semester work with selected professors on current topics. Many honors courses fulfill General Education Program requirements through honors sections of 010:003 (RHET:1030) Rhetoric and 004:011 (CHEM:1110) Principles of Chemistry I.
In addition to enrolling in honors sections of courses, students may earn honors credit through the Honors Contract for courses. The Honors Contract is developed around a unique project negotiated with the instructor. Upper-level students may take honors courses in their majors or pursue individual instruction with faculty members through honors courses such as 143:100 (HONR:3200) Honors Research Practicum. Additional academic opportunities include honors advanced seminars, honors major seminars,graduate courses, honors studies, and honors practicums in teaching and service.
Students learn about honors opportunities in weekly e-mails from the honors program. Honors professional staff and peer advisors offer guidance in personal meetings and group presentations. In addition, the honors staff help students design individualized curricula for their special interests. For more information, see Academics on the honors program web site.
Requirements for the Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Nursing
1. Students Qualified for Entry Must Opt Into the Program Via Acceptance of a Formal Invitation.
a. Attendance at an honors orientation (during the summer or otherwise) is required of all students regardless of when they enter the program.
2. Required Minimum Core of 12 s.h. of Credit Through Honors Course Work
a. This first or foundational level 12-hour requirement emphasizes “building knowledge,” and it applies to all students regardless of how or when they enter the program.
b. The foundational level has the following qualifications:
1) It must be completed within 4 semesters of full-time registration as an honors student.
2) All honors admits must take an honors course (or Honors Contract course) in their first semester in the program.
3) Direct honors admits from high school who start during the fall session are required to take an honors first-year seminar in their first semester.
4) Of the 12 semester hours, only one course may be an Honors Contract course. In case of special circumstances (e.g., students who enter the program late in their academic career or enter the university with substantial college credit earned in high school), students may use up to 6 s.h. of Honors Contract courses.
3. Required Second Level of 12 s.h. of Honors Credit or Equivalent Experiences from a Menu Option
a. This second or experiential learning level emphasizes “learning by doing,” and it applies to all students regardless of how or when they enter the program. Note that students may begin work at this second level at any time.
b. Students may satisfy the 12 semester hour or equivalent experiential learning requirement through the following options or combination of options:
1) Departmental Honors/honors in the major (completely satisfies the second-level requirement)
2) Mentored research (12 s.h. or the equivalent)
3) Study abroad for a minimum of two semesters (fall and/or spring) or the equivalent
a) Single semesters of study abroad, including summer and between-semester experiences, may count for up to half of the second-level requirement.
b) Requires students to carry out an independent project while abroad and to conduct a poster presentation or write a report on the project
4) Internships may count for up to half (6 s.h.) of the second-level requirement.
a) In some cases, internships may count for the entire requirement (12 s.h. or the equivalent).
b) Requires students to carry out an independent project while interning and to conduct a poster presentation or write a report on the project
5) Honors coursework (including graduate course work) may count for up to 6 s.h.
Requirements for the College of Engineering
1. Students Qualified for Entry Must Opt Into the Program Via Acceptance of a Formal Invitation.
a. Attendance at an honors orientation (during the summer or otherwise) is required of all students regardless of when they enter.
2. Required 24 s.h. of Honors Credit or Equivalent Experiences from a Menu Option
a. These requirements apply to all Engineering students regardless of how or when they enter the Honors Program. Half the 24 s.h. credits (12 s.h.) must be completed within six semesters of full-time registration as an honors student (with the exception of the Grand Challenges Program).
b. All honors admits must take an honors course in the first semester in the program.
c. Students may satisfy the 24 s.h. credit requirement through the following options or combination of options:
1) Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program
a) Completely satisfies the University honors requirements for Engineering students
2) Honors course work (including graduate course work)
a) May apply a maximum of 12 s.h. credits
3) Mentored research
a) May apply a maximum of 12 credits (10 hrs/wk for a semester = 3 credits)
b) Summer semester research at 20 hrs/wk counts as 6 credits.
4) Study abroad for one semester (fall or spring) or the equivalent time in summer and between-semester experiences = 6 credits.
a) All study abroad requires students to carry out an independent project while abroad and to conduct a poster presentation or write a report on the project.
b) May apply a maximum of 12 credits
5) A registered internship or co-op
a) 40 hrs/wk for 15 weeks (one semester or the equivalent time in summer and between-semester experiences) = 6 credits; 20 hrs/wk = 3 credits
b) 40 hrs/wk for 10 weeks (summer internships) = 4 credits; 20 hrs/wk = 2 credits
c) May apply a maximum of 12 credits
d) Students are required to register their internship with the college and meet the college requirements for reporting and evaluation.
6) An Engineering community engagement experience
a) Students must get prior approval for these options and turn in a reflection paper of the experience with the signature of the supervisor or faculty advisor.
b) May apply a maximum of 6 credits total from all these experiences
i. A leadership experience in college-approved Engineering student organizations: 10 hrs/wk for a semester (or the equivalent) = 3 credits
ii. Engineering Tutor: 10 hrs/wk for a semester (or the equivalent) = 3 credits
iii. Engineering Teaching Assistant: 10 hrs/wk for a semester (or the equivalent) = 3 credits
iv. Engineering Student Ambassador: 10 hrs/wk for a semester (or the equivalent) = 3 credits
v. Engineering Peer Advisor: 10 hrs/wk for a semester (or the equivalent)
= 3 credits
7) Honors in the major – counts as 12 creditsBack To Top
Each University of Iowa college, department, and program determines its own requirements for graduation with departmental honors, and its faculty members serve as honors advisors. Most majors offer opportunities to pursue an original honors thesis or senior project under the guidance of a faculty member, usually through upper-level honors courses, honors seminars, and independent research. See the catalog listings under the specific departments for details.
After students declare a major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or enter the Tippie College of Business or the Colleges of Education, Engineering, or Nursing, they should speak with their collegiate or departmental honors advisor about their academic programs. Students who graduate with departmental honors receive special recognition during commencement, and their permanent academic record notes their achievement.
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Honors Peer Advisors earn academic credit for acquiring and then sharing knowledge of honors opportunities by organizing events around the campus and meeting with prospective students and their parents.
Honors Writing Fellows are trained and paid to assist in undergraduate courses by mentoring a dozen students each semester on two major writing assignments.
The ICRU Research Ambassadors earn academic credit for showing how and why research with faculty mentors is an important aspect of education at The University of Iowa.
The Iowa Policy Research Organization selects a dozen honors students each year to earn academic credit by learning to do policy analysis and then writing policy papers for Iowa communities and the Iowa Legislature.
Study away, in foreign countries or culturally contrasting parts of the United States, enables students to earn academic credit for course work, research, or service.
Learn more about honors activities by visiting Academics/Experience-Based Learning on the honors program web site.Back To Top
Honors at Iowa offers students a rich variety of activities outside the classroom. Many honors students find cocurricular programming a good way to meet people, get involved, and learn more about the world around them. Some of the programs are volunteer, some offer pay, and some award honors credit. These opportunities provide peak educational experiences, especially extensive and intensive interactions with faculty mentors and other talented students.
The Honors Student Advisory Committee enables volunteers to work with the honors director on awards, initiatives, and priorities for honors education at The University of Iowa.
Honors House mentors are upper-level student volunteers selected to live in Honors House, where they help with honors educational and social programs and guide first-year students.
Honors interns receive academic credit for service learning that is mentored by faculty members and provided in professional or other practical settings.
Honors newsletters inform readers on and beyond the campus about honors at Iowa.
The honors student staff earn pay to make the Blank Honors Center useful to students. They also produce most honors cocurricular programs.
Honors summer ambassadors earn pay to orient entering students to the honors program by informing them of academic opportunities and activities.
ICRU fellows receive scholarships from the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates to do research with faculty mentors in professional fields of study.
Honors Arts sends groups of honors students to music, dance, and theater events at the University and in the community. Students have opportunities to interact with artists, faculty members, and other honors students through related discussions, lectures, and visits.
Honors Engaging Cultures offers a wide range of events to expand cultural horizons and enlarge personal perspectives. These include feasts, films, dances, documentaries, and more.
Honors Gallery takes advantage of the Blank Honors Center’s design to display art. It exhibits student works throughout the year, and it complements these with receptions and other events.
The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council hosts luncheon dialogues on relevant international issues. Past speakers include award-winning journalists, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, seasoned diplomats, prominent politicians, and policy analysts. Honors students become better informed of world affairs by listening to and talking with these expert speakers.
The Presidential Scholars Community involves recipients of Iowa’s top merit scholarships in shared classes, opportunities for funded research in the first year, and service. Scholars participate in legacy projects, dinners with faculty and key administrators, scholarship and fellowship mentoring programs, and volunteer projects.
The University of Iowa Honors Program advises four major national and international honor societies: Phi Eta Sigma, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Mortar Board, and Omicron Delta Kappa. It also works closely with Phi Beta Kappa in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These societies provide select students with opportunities to lead, serve their communities, and cultivate academic excellence.
For more information, see Opportunities/Student Activities on the honors program web site.
Honors at Iowa helps students apply for scholarships, fellowships, awards, and prizes. The program offers its own scholarships to continuing honors students selected from academic programs throughout the University. Honors scholarships are not available to incoming first-year or transfer students.
Iowa students win major national and international scholarships each year. Honors provides advising and nominations for Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Churchill, Truman, Udall, Goldwater, Fulbright, Humanity in Action, National Science Foundation, and other prominent scholarships and fellowships. The Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates provides research scholarships for students and travel grants for those who pursue research at distant sites or present work at conferences. Announcements about scholarships and other awards appear on the honors program web site and e-mails. See Opportunities/Scholarships & Fellowships on the honors program web site for more information.Back To Top
FacilitiesBack To Top
Blank Honors Center
Honors at Iowa makes its home in the Blank Honors Center, a modern facility that fosters community among honors students. The Blank Honors Center offers social areas, a kitchenette, quiet study areas, wireless Internet access, a computer lab, and classrooms for students. The center also houses the honors staff and has rooms for meetings, events, presentations, and conversation.
Honors Residential Communities
The honors program sponsors three living-learning communities, all located in University of Iowa residence halls within a block of the Blank Honors Center. Each community hosts its own social events, and all community members have access to the full range of honors academic and cocurricular opportunities.
Honors House is primarily for first-year honors students. It is located in Daum Hall and is connected to the Blank Honors Center by a skywalk. Honors House provides a convenient place for residents to socialize and study together. It also sponsors academic and social events for honors students living in Daum Hall.
Honors: Research Opportunities in Biology and Chemistry is a living-learning community open to first-year honors students. The community connects its members with faculty and research opportunities in the biological and chemical sciences.
Honors Centerstone is open to continuing and transfer honors students. It offers networking and other support for students who are highly engaged in learning and service activities on or beyond the campus. Some of its social events are held in the Blank Honors Center.
Students must apply to live in the honors residential communities. See Living-Learning Communities on the University Housing & Dining web site for application and other information about the communities.
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Honors courses are specifically for honors students.
Copyright 2013 The University of Iowa. All rights reserved.
Updated June 2013