Honors Program Requirements


In order to graduate with Honors, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5. We look at GPAs at the conclusion of each spring semester. If your GPA is below 3.5 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. We have found from prior experience that students who drop below a 3.5 are often better served to focus on the requirements of their major first and foremost.

General Course Requirements

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. Find detailed information about the Honors Curriculum.

Browse current honors courses; search “Honors Program” and the respective semester.

First-Year Seminar

Students in the Honors Program are required to enroll in an Honors First-Year Seminar course. This allows Honors students to get to know one another, acclimate to the Honors experience, meet Honors faculty, and fulfill one of the four required Honors courses. Students must enroll in both HN110/111, which collectively count as one of the HN courses. Learn more.

Sophomore Review

If you entered the Honors program as a first year and are now a sophomore, you need to have a sophomore review. Consider it a check up (not scary in the least) for how things are going for you in the University Honors Program.

Honors Community Events

One aspect of building an Honors Community is having the opportunity to learn from and alongside fellow honors students and faculty. In order to do this, we offer a variety of Honors Community Events to enhance your Honors experience outside the classroom. These might include lectures, presentations by fellow Honors students, or social events. Honors students are required to participate in at least 8 Honors Community Events during their time in the program. More detailed information about Honors Community Events can be found here.

Honors Thesis

Honors theses may be written by both honors and non-honors students. Honors students must complete a thesis in order to complete the Honors Program. Non-honors students may choose to complete a thesis in order to earn departmental honors. Honors theses are as varied as Butler’s student body. Theses range from original research in the humanities and sciences, to teaching portfolios, to video productions, to performances and creative writing. Find more detailed information about the Honors Thesis.

Thesis Timeline

  • First Year—Get to know your instructors. Develop relationships and begin thinking about topics.
  • Sophomore Year—Look for research opportunities with instructors. Consider applying for BSI.  Continue developing relationships and thinking about topics.
  • Junior Year—Prepare your Thesis Proposal: be prepared to compose several drafts of your proposal! Consider applying for BSI.  Obtain approval from your College Honors Board for your Thesis.  Apply for IRB and any other approvals necessary for your Thesis research. Once approval of your Thesis Proposal is obtained, continue researching and begin writing your Thesis.
  • Senior Year—Research, write, research, write! Work with your Thesis Advisor. Apply for a Thesis Grant by October 30. Remember you will need to give a public presentation of your research at a conference such as the URC.