What is Honors Distinction?

In my previous post explaining Honors Points and what they mean, I mentioned that these points can help students along the pathway to Honors Distinction. But what exactly is Honors Distinction, and why should anyone work towards it? Much like my last post seeking to “demystify Honors”, I hope that this post will answer some basic questions about the Honors Program’s various opportunities.


Honors Distinction is a 3-Tiered Title

In order for an Honors student to achieve Honors Distinction, that student must first meet these three qualifications:

Honors Partnership

Partnership is the first step students can take towards achieving Honors Distinction. Students can earn Honors Partnership by accumulating 10 Honors Points through attending various Honors events and participating in Honors activities. As a partner, students then have the chance to run for Honors Student Government or to work in the Honors office. Partners can also present their work at the annual Honors Conference.

Honors Leadership

Leadership is the second step students can take towards achieving Honors Distinction. To receive this title, a student must serve in a leadership position in the Honors program. This can be as an HSG officer, an Honorable Mentions editor, an Honors employee, or an Honors mentor. Students are automatically eligible for leadership positions after earning Partnership and can run for office in the Spring of each year. See our current list of board members here.


Honors Scholarship

Honors Scholarship is the third and final step to reaching Honors Distinction. A student reaches Honors Scholarship after either presenting a paper at the Honors Student Conference or by completing a senior thesis. Students do not need to have obtained Leadership as a prerequisite for earning a Scholarship, but they will need to have earned Partnership.

What are the benefits of earning Honors Distinction?

Only a small portion of Honors students, between 5-10%, graduate each year with Distinction. To have earned Distinction on top of completing the rigorous Honors curriculum is an extraordinary feat. At graduation, students who have earned Honors Distinction wear a unique cord along with the standard Honors cord, and they are individually celebrated at the Senior Gala. The Honors Program is a chance for high-achieving and ambitious students to work alongside and form meaningful relationships with a large team of in-field professionals and student peers. Students who go above and beyond in participating in the Honors community are making the most of their experience and helping to build a flourishing academic community.

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