Bonnie D. Irwin, Dean
Margaret Knapp Messer, Director of Honors Student Affairs
Sara M. Schmidt, Academic Advisor
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; National Student exchange where EIU students have opportunity to study at a university in another state, Canada, or Puerto Rico; and the National Scholarship Program sponsors and mentors students for nationally competitive fellowships.
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, (primarily during their freshman and sophomore years) including an Honors Senior Seminar.
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.
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
Business, Dr. Christine Roszkowski
Chemistry, Dr. Douglas Klarup
Communication Disorders Sciences, Dr. Rebecca Throneburg
Communication Studies, Dr. Douglas Bock
Economics, Dr. Ali Moshtagh
English, Dr. Randall Beebe
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. Parker Melvin
Philosophy, Dr. Jonelle Depetro
Physics, Dr. James Conwell
Political Science, Dr. Barbara Poole
Psychology, Dr. John Best
Recreation Administration, Dr. John Henry Pommier
Sociology, Dr. Lisa New Freeland
Special Education, Dr. Kathlene Shank
Theatre Arts, Dr. Jean Wolski
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 to 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.)
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.
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.
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: www.eiu.edu/~honprog.
National Student Exchange
The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a program for undergraduate exchange within the United States and Canada. Instead of crossing oceans, NSE students cross state, regional, provincial, and cultural borders. The changes seen in attitudes, understanding of other people in other settings, maturity, risk-taking, and decision-making are similar to the experiences of students who study outside of North America. The application process includes at least the following minimum eligibility criteria established by NSE: Full-time enrollment, cumulative 2.5 GPA, and good standing (academic, personal, and financial). All EIU students meeting these criteria are eligible to apply.
Incoming Freshmen 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. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher to retain their eligibility. Applications are due in February for the following fall term.
Honors College Talented Student Awards
These awards are intended to promote the development of unique student academic talents. 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. This award may waive a portion of tuition for up to 8 semesters. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher to retain their eligibility. 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 with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher 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
- Rachael Richardson Scholarship
- KC Summers Buick GMC Toyota Honors Scholarship
More information and applications are available on the Honors College web site: www.eiu.edu/~honprog.
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.