The Honors Program was founded in 1958, launching a program directed at first and second year students, with the Upper Division program following in 1960 to support juniors and seniors undertaking research and independent work. Successful completion of Selected Studies resulted in the award of Sophomore Honors, and was noted on the student’s transcript, while successful completion of the Honors Program results in the award of an honors degree in the major, was noted on the transcript and on a special diploma. Successful completion of the Upper Division program (through a thesis on a topic appropriate to the student’s major) resulted in the award of an Honors degree in the major, which was noted on the transcript and the student’s diploma. Up until the summer of 2015, the Upper Division honors distinctions were differentiated by Honors, High Honors, and Highest Honors.
Beginning with the incoming class of Fall of 2016, the Honors Program will transition into a four year program, bringing itself into alignment with best practices at peer and benchmark institutions. Incoming first year students are pre-selected and invited to join the program for four years, encouraging a more sustained engagement with the Honors experience. The Upper Division option will remain intact in order to accommodate transfer students as well as students who discover their intellectual talents later in their academic path. Successful completion of the four year program or the Upper Division program will be noted on the transcript and diploma accordingly.