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  • more about the honors program

    Honors program courses

    The Honors Program at Bluffton is a four-year program designed to challenge intellectually ambitious, highly motivated students in all disciplines. In keeping with the mission of Bluffton University, the Honors Program has a special emphasis on integrating academics, spiritual growth, individual growth and service. The program includes “active learning” service components that ask honors students to apply what they have learned in their honors classrooms to needs identified on campus and in the community. Finally, in addition to coursework, the program sponsors special cultural events and social events for honors students and individualized help with advising and applications to graduate and professional schools.

    While pursuing their major field of study, students enroll in honors sections of five of the liberal arts and sciences courses.  Students should consult with the honors director about the fifth course.
    ENG 120 Advanced College English,
    REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Literature
    HUM 221 Humanities 1,
    LAS 400 Christian Values in a Global Community.

    In addition, these students complete a special, three credit hour honors seminar in the junior year:
    HON 310 Junior Honors: Community Transformed.

    Students may enter this program upon matriculation with these criteria: i) acceptance into Bluffton University, ii) submission of a separate Honors Program application and two letters of recommendation from teachers, iii) a minimum 3.5 GPA; and iv) minimum ACT and SAT scores, respectively, of 26 and 1140. Students may also enter the program during their first year of study at Bluffton University. These students must i) submit a separate Honors Program application demonstrating commitment to all aspects of the program, ii) submit two letters of recommendation from Bluffton professors, and iii) have a minimum 3.3 GPA.

    Continuation in the program requires a 3.3 GPA, participation in 75% of the All-Honors events, and attendance at four of six annual Artist Series offerings.

    Honors Program students receive an education full of challenge, opportunity, service-learning, relationships with faculty and peers, and serious consideration of cross-boundary living in a complex world. In turn they render important service, leadership, and academic standards that are consonant with Bluffton’s mission.

    More on academic honors.


    HON 310Junior Honors: Community Transformed (1)
    This seminar allows students to develop individual or collaborative service-learning research proposals in their own majors or other areas under the supervision of a faculty facilitator. In some cases the scope of the proposal may allow it to be implemented during the course term. The proposal may develop from service-learning that students have done with other honors program participants, or present a new avenue for service-learning and research. Through sharing their experiences and discoveries, students will participate in guided discussions that address such questions as: “What does it mean to have original ideas?”, “What is the vocation of an academic?”, “How/where do advanced academics, service, and faith intersect?”, “What are distinctive characteristics of various disciplines?”, and “Why/how should one approach graduate school and/or a professional career?” Another portion of this seminar will address strategies for graduate school opportunities, finance, and pre-entrance preparation. Guest speakers from across the college campus and beyond will be invited to complement discussions in this seminar.