Richard K. England, Dean
Catherine Polydore, Assistant Dean
Sara M. Schmidt, Academic Advisor
The Honors College is a center for academic excellence and leadership within the University. The Honors College encourages academically talented students to develop to their full potential through completion of suitable coursework in small classes taught by excellent faculty. Dedicated to nurturing students intellectually so they are equipped upon graduation to pursue their interests, the Honors College also encourages undergraduate research and creative activity, community service opportunities, study abroad experiences, and professional internships. This provision of an integrated academic experience contributes to Eastern Illinois University’s acclaim as a university accomplished in teaching and research and focused on its graduates’ success.
The Honors College offers academically talented students the opportunity to participate in seven distinct yet complementary programs: University Honors; EIU General honors; Departmental Honors; the Presidential Scholars Program; Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities; National Student Exchange; and national scholarships competition. Though all programs are housed in the Honors College, the last three are open to members of the general student body.
The University Honors Program offers students unique interdisciplinary Honors seminars; enriched and rigorous versions of General Education courses, while encouraging students to also participate in departmental honors. A limited number of courses outside general education are also provided. University Honors course sections are typically smaller and taught in a colloquium format by professors distinguished in their fields. Completing University Honors prepares students to compete at the highest levels for career opportunities and graduate school placements. University Honors students earn a minimum of 26 hours of Honors credit. Required courses include an Honors freshman seminar and an Honors Senior Seminar both of which count for general education credit. A grade of C or better is required in all Honors coursework.
Required Courses are listed below.
- HON 1190 (Honors Forum) or HON 1290 (Honors Exploration Seminar) (1 cr.)
- Honors Senior Seminar (4 cr.)
- 21 cr. of other University Honors Courses
Up to 12 hours towards University Honors can be satisfied by other means. Up to 12 hours of Departmental Honors courses (see below) can count toward University Honors. Up to 6 hours may be waived (with the permission of the Dean) for students who complete reflective projects related to study abroad, internships etc. However, no more than 12 hours in total can be completed this way.
EIU General Honors
Students who begin their education at EIU with at least 30 hours of college credit already earned may apply for entry to the EIU General Honors program. The EIU General Honors program consists of a minimum of 15 hours of any kind of Honors course (departmental Honors, general education Honors, or seminars). Up to 6 hours of the 15 hour requirement may be satisfied on a one-to-one credit hour basis by evidence that the students has completed Honors courses at another post-secondary institution. The EIU General Honors program may include departmental Honors if this is desired.
The Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College seeks diverse academically-talented students committed to joining our Honors community. The University has three different admission programs.
1. Automatic Admission
Entering freshmen with an ACT composite score of 26 or higher, or SAT score of 1260 or higher AND who are in the upper 10% of high school graduating class, or have a 3.5 final high school cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) will be automatically admitted to the University Honors Program.
2. Dean’s Choice Admission
Entering freshman students who do not have both of the above criteria by who have demonstrated academic excellence or potential in other ways are encouraged to apply online at the Honors College website
3. Continuing and Transfer Students
Students can join Honors after their first semester (at EIU or elsewhere) by applying online. We generally admit students who have earned a GPA of 3.5 for at least 12 hours of post-secondary coursework (whether at EIU or elsewhere) but will consider applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence or potential in other ways.
The Departmental Honors Program encourages students to delve deeply into areas of personal interest within their selected fields, preparing them for the competitive post-graduation world by promoting focus and independent research and analysis. The program requires a minimum of 12 hours of credit, derived from completion of progressive coursework that culminates in a senior thesis written under the supervision of Honors faculty. A grade of C or better is required in all courses counting toward Departmental Honors.
Departmental Honors is open to students meeting the following criteria:
- Attainment of a 3.5 cumulative GPA for at least 12 hours of coursework taken at EIU*.
- Fulfillment of all requirements specific to the Departmental Honors program of choice.
- Permission of the Dean of The Honors College and the Departmental Honors Coordinator.
*Transfer students who have not completed 12 hours at EIU may be admitted under the recommendation of the Departmental Honors Coordinator.
Presidential Scholars Program
The Presidential Scholars Program is a concentrated academic leadership experience that fuses ambition with ability. Attracting the best, brightest, and most determined students, the Presidential Scholars Program provides substantive opportunities for personal, academic, and pre-professional growth. Individualized faculty mentoring, mindful exploration of self-initiated academic goals, and flexible sequenced programming allow Presidential Scholars to plan their undergraduate academic career with an eye toward graduate study and/or professional practice. As Presidential Scholars, students complete the University Honors Program, HON 1191–Honors First-Year Seminar, and a self-selected Honors Experience designed to provide meaningful personal, academic, and/or pre-professional challenge. In exchange for meeting the high expectations of the program, Presidential Scholars receive tuition and fee coverage for up to eight (8) semesters. Five Presidential Scholars will be named as Pemberton Presidential Scholars and receive EIU housing and dining benefits for up to eight (8) semesters. These awards are competitive. See Honors Scholarships at the end of this section for more details.
Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities
The Honors College offers opportunities for faculty mentoring of student research, scholarship, and creative activities in order to foster collegial relationships and support teaching-learning experiences. Each semester, the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Committee 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.
The National Scholarships Program at Eastern Illinois University actively supports students whose exceptional academic performance, extensive service history, significant leadership experience, and focused graduate school and career aspirations distinguish them from their peers. The Honors College provides mentorship to students interested in pursuing several major awards, among them the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and the Marshall Scholarships. Through mentorship, the Honors College affords students the opportunity to grow their self-awareness, general field awareness, and specialty awareness while gaining advanced practical experience in self-promotion through written and oral communication. For additional information about the National Scholarships Program, including eligibility requirements for various awards, current students and recent EIU alumni should contact the Honors College Academic Advisor.
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 Freshman Scholarships
Presidential Scholarships: The twenty incoming freshmen admitted each year to the Presidential Scholars Program are awarded financial assistance for a flat amount of $6,000 each semester ($12,000 per year), for up to eight semesters of eligibility. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher to retain their eligibility. Application materials are available online in the fall.
Pemberton Presidential Scholarships: Five of the Presidential Scholars each year will be named Pemberton Presidential Scholars. They will receive, in addition to the financial award listed above, EIU housing and dining benefits for up to eight (8) semesters. These awards are competitive. For more information about the Presidential and Pemberton Presidential Awards, please see the EIU Scholarship web page.
Prospective students who are eligible for the Presidential or Pemberton Presidential Awards will generally be invited to apply for them by the Dean of the Pine Honors College after they have been admitted.
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. Application materials are available in the fall.
President 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 spring.
Continuing Student Scholarships
John L. Whisnand Scholarship: Students attending Eastern Illinois University may apply. Application materials are available in the spring.
Honors College Scholarships for Current Honors Students: The following scholarships are open to students with a cumulative GPA of 3.40 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:
- Study Abroad Awards
- Dorothy Davis Bunge Scholarship (for residents of DuPage County)
- First Neighbor Bank Scholarship
- Rachel A. Richardson Scholarship
More information and applications are available on the Honors College web site: http://www.eiu.edu/honors.
Thomas Hall has designated Honors-priority floors. Honors students who wish to surround themselves with other academically oriented individuals, in an atmosphere conducive to learning, may request these floors in Thomas Hall.