Sep 28, 2023  
2006-2007 EIU Undergraduate Catalog 
2006-2007 EIU Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Link to Honors College Website

Honors College

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Bonnie D. Irwin, Dean
Margaret Knapp Messer, Director of Honors Student Affairs
Judith A. Sunderman, Academic Advisor

General Mission

The Honors College is a center for academic excellence and leadership within the University. It strives to encourage academically talented students to work, study and develop to their full potential by providing suitable courses of study in an appropriate environment of small classes taught by excellent faculty.  The Honors College encourages undergraduate research and rewards intellectual development.  It reaches out to secondary schools throughout the State of Illinois and also to the campus itself to encourage interested and qualified students to embark on intellectual adventure.  All of this is to provide exceptional academic options to students whether they enter the college as a freshman or later in their undergraduate careers. The Honors process is developmental in nature and is dedicated to nurturing students intellectually, so that they are equipped upon graduation to successfully pursue their interests. This provision of an integrated academic experience plays a central role in Eastern Illinois University’s reputation both in and outside the State as a university acclaimed for its accomplishments in teaching and research as well as the successes of its graduates.


EIU offers academically talented students the opportunity to take part in five programs: University Honors is a lower-division general education curriculum; Departmental Honors is an upper-division discipline-specific program; the Presidential Scholars Program is a concentrated academic and leadership experience; Undergraduate Research offers students preparation in professional collaborative research; and the National Scholarship Program sponsors and mentors students for nationally competitive fellowships. 

University Honors

The University Honors Program offers enriched and rigorous versions of General Education courses and a limited number of additional courses outside of general education. Honors classes are small course sections taught in a colloquium style format by professors who are distinguished in their field. Completing courses in the Honors format provides an enhanced educational experience preparing students to compete at the highest levels for career opportunities and graduate school.   Students must take a minimum of 25 hours in Honors courses, including an Honors Senior Seminar, primarily during their freshman and sophomore years.

Admission Criteria

Entering freshmen must meet two of the following criteria for admission to University Honors:

  • ACT composite of 26 or higher or SAT of 1100 or higher.
  • Upper 10% of the high school graduating class or a 3.5 high school grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Permission of the Dean of the Honors College.

Continuing EIU and transfer students* may be admitted after meeting both of the following criteria:

  • Attain a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale for at least 12 hours of course work undertaken at Eastern.
  • Permission of the Dean of the Honors College.

*Transfer students must also have a transcript evaluation prior to admission.

Departmental Honors

The Departmental Honors Program encourages students to pursue areas of personal interest by delving deeply and independently into a topic. Students take advantage of departmental resources to research, explore, investigate, and analyze information on a subject appropriate to the discipline. Coursework advances progressively culminating in a senior thesis. Departmental Honors prepares students for the competitive environment after graduation by promoting focus and independent exploration within a field. The program requires a minimum of 12 hours of credit.  A senior thesis written under the supervision of Honors faculty is required. 

The following academic departments sponsor Departmental Honors Programs:

Departments & Coordinators
Biological Sciences, Dr. Steve Mullin
Chemistry, Dr. Douglas Klarup
Communication Disorders Sciences, Dr. Rebecca Throneburg
Communication Studies, Dr. Douglas Bock
Economics, Dr. Ali Moshtagh
English, Dr. Angela Vietto
Family and Consumer Sciences, Dr. Jeanne Snyder
Foreign Languages, Dr. Stephen Canfield
Geography, Dr. Vincent Gutowski
Geology, Dr. Craig Chesner
History, Dr. Sace Elder
Industrial Technology, Dr. Sam Guccione
Journalism, Dr. James Tidwell
Math, Dr. Yevgeniy Gordon
Music, Dr. Peter Loewen
Philosophy, Dr. Jonelle Depetro
Physics, Dr. James Conwell
Political Science, Dr. Barbara Poole
Psychology, Dr. John Best
Recreation Administration, Mr. William Smith
Special Education, Dr. Kathlene Shank
Theatre Arts, Dr. Jean Wolski

Admission Criteria

Departmental Honors Programs are open to students who meet  the following criteria:

  • At least 12 hours of course work undertaken at Eastern Illinois University with a 3.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Permission of the Dean of The Honors College and the Departmental Honors Coordinator.

Transfer students who have not completed 12 hours at Eastern Illinois University may be admitted with the recommendation of the Departmental Honors Coordinator.

Presidential Scholars Program

The Presidential Scholars Program fuses ambition with ability by attracting the best, brightest, and most determined student scholars and providing financial support for four years while setting high expectations and providing substantive opportunities them. Students are encouraged to plan their academic experiences with a focused view towards graduate study and/or professions. Students benefit from individualized faculty mentoring, mindful exploration of self-initiated academic goals, and flexible sequenced programming. While in the program students complete HON 1191- Honors First-Year Seminar and participate in a sophomore-junior experience. (See Honors Scholarships.)

Application Criteria

Incoming freshmen who have demonstrated academic excellence may apply for a 4-year scholarship.  Minimum qualifications:

  • 30 ACT and a 3.5 GPA or top 10% of the high school graduating class.
  • 28 ACT and a 3.75 GPA or top 5% of the high school graduating class.

Undergraduate Research

The Honors College offers opportunities for faculty mentoring of student research in order to foster collegial relationships and support teaching-learning experiences.  Each semester, the Undergraduate Research Council awards grants to students and their faculty mentors in support of student-initiated collaborative research. Students are held to professional standards, co-author publications and presentations, and gain a heightened awareness of the work required in graduate study and the professional world.

Application Criteria

Any student currently enrolled at Eastern Illinois University with a minimum 3.0 GPA or higher may, with a faculty mentor, submit a proposal.

National Scholarships Programs

The Honors College supports students for prestigious national awards by sponsoring, mentoring, and nominating students for highly competitive scholarships and fellowships and by referral to faculty scholarship advisors. National Scholarship opportunities are open to any high achieving student attending Eastern Illinois University. For additional information including a list of faculty advisors, student nominees, and fellowship recipients refer to The Honors College web site at:

Incoming Freshmen Scholarships

Presidential Scholarships
The twenty incoming freshmen admitted each year to the Presidential Scholars Program are awarded financial assistance covering 8 semesters of tuition (up to a course load of 15 hours per semester) and fees. Applications are due in February for the following fall term.

Honors College Freshman Scholarships
Incoming freshmen who qualify for admission to the University Honors Program may apply. Students who have demonstrated excellent scholarship as measured by ACT and high school class rank or GPA are eligible. Award amounts vary. Applications are due in February for the following fall term.

Continuing Student Scholarships

Doudna Memorial Scholarship
Students who are first semester freshmen at Eastern Illinois University and who have graduated from an Illinois high school may apply. Application materials are available in the fall.

John L. Whisnand Scholarship
Students attending Eastern Illinois University may apply. Application materials are available in the fall.

Honors College Scholarships for Current Students
The following scholarships are open to students attending Eastern Illinois University who are enrolled in the University Honors or Departmental Honors Programs and have demonstrated academic excellence. Honors students only need to complete a single application to be considered for these scholarships. Applications are available in the spring. Students must reapply annually:

Charles Austin Scholarship
Dorothy Davis Bunge Scholarship (Residents of DuPage County)
First Neighborhood Bankshares Inc. Scholarship (Freshmen only)
Rachael Richardson Scholarship
KC Summers Buick GMC Toyota Honors Scholarship

More information and applications are available on the Honors College web site:


McKinney, Ford, and Pemberton Halls have been designated as Honors Halls. Honors students who wish to surround themselves with other academically oriented in an atmosphere conducive to learning, may request these halls.

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