Getting Into the Program Show
I'm a prospective student, and I don't quite meet the
criteria for invitation into the Honors Program. Is there a way I
can become part of the Honors program?
There are multiple paths into the Honors Program at Butler.
Incoming students are invited to apply to the Honors
Program if they meet one of the following criteria at the
time of application: an SAT score of 1320 or higher
or an ACT composite score of 30 or higher or a
high school graduating rank in the top 5%. The incoming
cohort of honors students is selected by the honors
boards from these applications. Students who are
not invited into the program as incoming students have several
other opportunities to join Honors. To get an
invitation at mid-year, you should register for at least 16
graded credit hours your first semester and aim to
earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.6. Students meeting
this criteria will automatically be invited to join the Honors
Program in January by submitting a faculty recommendation
form. We also invite students once they have completed
two semesters at Butler. If you take at least 32 graded credit
hours by the end of your sophomore year and earn a GPA of 3.6
or higher, you will automatically be invited to join the honors
program in June. For more information see How to Apply to
Butler's Honors Program
Honors Courses Show
Are honors courses harder than regular university
Honors courses are designed to provide you with a qualitatively
different experience from regular university courses. In other
words, students in honors courses are not expected to do more work
but to do work of a different nature. Honors courses challenge
students to think at a more complex level about issues and ideas,
to be more independent and creative in their approach to learning,
and to be more actively involved in the learning process.
How do the Honors courses fit into my regular academic
The Honors Program was designed to be accessible to students of
all colleges and majors, regardless of how tightly structured their
major is. All students should be able to complete the requirements
for the Honors Program without taking longer to graduate.
Furthermore, it may be possible for students to substitute honors
courses for other program-specific requirements to ease
participation in the program. HN courses are considered electives,
and count toward the hours you need to graduate from Butler.
Can I take an HN300 before I take an
Yes. The two kinds of courses are different in focus. One is not a
prerequisite for the other.
Do I have to complete all four HN courses before I take
the Departmental Honors course or start working on my thesis
No. Many Honors students have one or even two more HN classes to
take in their last two years at Butler, while they are completing
the thesis-related program requirements. By your fourth semester,
you need to take enough HN classes to pass the Sophomore Review (WORD
document). You can complete any remaining requirements any time
before you graduate.
I was invited into the Honors Program after my first
semester at Butler. I won't have a chance to take my first Honors
course until Fall of my sophomore year. Do I still have to take
four HN courses?
Yes, that requirement is the same for everyone in the program,
regardless of when they were invited. You'll need to take two
HN200s, one HN300, and a fourth that can be either. You can
substitute two hours of Honors Tutorial credit for one of the HN
courses. That can be especially helpful if you're having trouble
fitting the existing HN courses into your schedule.
Can I take an Honors class pass/fail?
No. In order for an HN course to count toward completion of the
Honors Program, you need to get a grade of B or higher. (See also
Will my GPA suffer from participating in the Honors
Program since I will be competing with other bright
While we cannot guarantee you a high grade in any course,
professors teaching the honors courses do not grade on a curve
which requires that some students receive low grades. These
professors understand that the distribution of scores in honors
classes will not be the same as they might have in regular classes.
Thus, there is no reason to expect that you will receive lower
grades in honors courses than in other courses
If I don't maintain a GPA of 3.5 every semester, will I
be dropped from the program?
Not necessarily. First of all, we look at GPAs at two points in
the program: in the second semester of your sophomore year when we
do sophomore review, and again when you graduate. If your GPA is
below 3.5 in any other semester, you have a chance to bring it up
again before we take a look at it. Secondly, even if your GPA is a
little below 3.5 at sophomore review, you can petition to remain in
the program and explain if there were reasons why your GPA dropped,
as well as how you plan to raise it.
Will completing the Honors Program help me get into
graduate or professional school or help me get a
We can't promise anything. However, completing the Honors Program
will certainly give you an edge, whether you are applying to
graduate school or for a job. With the large number of college
graduates competing for an ever decreasing number of jobs and
positions in graduate school, someone who has gone beyond
traditional college requirements to pursue more advanced study will
stand out from the crowd.
Double Majors Show
Can I complete the Honors Program if I have a double
Honors students tend to be ambitious and multi-talented, so they
are just the students who are likely to have more than one major.
Yes, double (and even triple) majors do complete the Honors
Program. They may take summer school classes or go an extra
semester, but they can and do accomplish what they set out to
If I have a double major, do I have to take two
departmental honors courses?
No. We recommend that you take the DHC in the area in which you'll
be doing your thesis.
If I have a double major, do I have to write a thesis in
both majors? Or does my thesis have to encompass both
Your thesis can be on the topic of your choice, so it can involve
both majors, one major, or neither. The area of study will not
affect your University Honors, but it might affect the level of
departmental honors you earn.
Study Abroad Show
Can I study abroad and still complete the Honors
Definitely! See the Honors Director before you leave and select at
least one course that will count as an Honors seminar or
colloquium. When you return from studying abroad, that course will
count toward your HN requirements. You may also be able to complete
your departmental honors course or your thesis proposal independent
study while you are abroad. Consult the Honors Director or Program
Coordinator for more information.
Community Events Show
How many honors community events do I need to
Beginning in the academic year 2010-2011, honors students are
required to participate in 2 or 3 honors community events a year
for a total of eight by the end of their third year. These
community events will be announced to all Honors students and may
include: Honors course speakers; Honors course presentations;
presentations/performances of undergraduate thesis work; cultural
events sponsored by the Student Honors Council; and/or special
events sponsored by the Honors Program. We strongly encourage
Honors students to suggest guest speakers and group outings to
special events, lectures, and exhibits - on campus and beyond-
related to their honors coursework or thesis
research. Also, students should request that the Honors
Program office invite fellow honors students and faculty to
events related to their honors courses and theses.
For students joining Honors prior to academic year 20010-2011:
You need to report the equivalent of two cultural events (which can
but do not have to be related directly to the honors community) per
semester, beginning with the first semester that you are in the
program and ending with the second semester of your third year. If
you started as an incoming freshman, that's a total of 12 events.
If you entered the program later, it's 8 or 10 events.
Can I turn in more than 2 cultural or honors community
events in a given semester?
Certainly. You may turn in as many as you like. The Honors Program
Coordinator will let you know when you've fulfilled the cultural
Do I need to turn in a ticket stub or program when I
report a cultural event?
Yes. There should be a sign-in sheet at each event you must
The Thesis Show
What exactly is an honors thesis proposal? Do I have to
do one before starting work on my thesis project?
The thesis proposal essentially is a short paper (4-7 pages, incl.
bibliography) that outlines your intended thesis project. Thesis
proposals are reviewed by the college honors board that oversees
your thesis area (JCFA, LAS, etc.). Proposals are due in March the
year before you graduate. That's a full year before the thesis is
due. The college honors boards review proposals to determine
whether you have a good grasp of your intended thesis project: Do
you have ample background research? Do you have the skills and
tools necessary to fulfill your project? Do you have the support of
a faculty advisor? In addition, the honors boards often recommend
other sources or faculty that may be able to help with your
specific research topic.
I've heard that students can write a thesis to get
departmental honors when they graduate. Does that mean that I have
to write two theses: one for the Honors Program and one for
No. Students complete one thesis. As long as the topic is in your
major, your department will consider it for departmental honors in
addition to university honors. (Students with double majors usually
write a thesis that relates to only one of those majors, in which
case the thesis will only count toward departmental honors in that
one major. Occasionally, students are able to write a thesis that
combines both majors.)
Is there any money to fund my research?
There may be; Butler has student grants available. Many honors
students participate in BSI (Butler Summer Institute). You
might also approach your department head to see if any funds are
available to students through your department or college.
What do I need to do so that I get class credit hours
for my honors thesis?
Go to your advisor or department head and register by blue card
for the Honors Thesis course in your major. The course number is
always 499, with the two-letter prefix of your major, and it
carries three credit hours. You can register for this class in the
Fall and receive an incomplete until your thesis is completed, or
you can register for the credit in the Spring.
Do I have to do the thesis for course
No, it's completely up to you whether you do it for 3 credit hours
or not. Some students need the hours to count toward graduation;
other students don't. Some students want the thesis to show on
their transcript; others don't care.
Can I read good thesis proposals and
Yes. The Honors office (JH153) has a lot of thesis proposals on
file, and the library has the entire collection of completed
Can I write a thesis that's not in my
If you're in the Honors Program, yes. A thesis outside your major
will count toward university honors, but ordinarily will not count
toward honors in your major.
Does a thesis have to be a long research
No. For instance, many JCFA students' theses involve a performance
or production. Theses have also included creative writing, video
productions, and a design for a campus recycling project. If you do
an internship or student teaching as part of your major, you may
want to consider linking that experience with your thesis project.
Please be aware that, no matter what your project consists of,
there does need to be a written component that can become part of
the library's permanent collection.