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Honors Program

The Hood College Honors Program is a four-year program of coursework, co-curricular events and extracurricular activities. Academically exceptional first-year students and transfer students are encouraged to apply to the program. Honors courses, which are designed to cultivate students’ ability to examine our complex world, are interdisciplinary in approach and are often team-taught. Classes are small, discussion-oriented and enhanced by guest speakers and field trips.

The Honors Program includes the following requirements:
  • 6 credits of Honors coursework during first year.
  • 6 credits of Honors coursework during sophomore year.
  • 9 additional credits of Honors coursework during sophomore, junior and senior years.
  • 1 104-level foreign language course (or exemption).
First-Year Honors Experience

First-year students in the Honors Program take two Colloquium courses organized around interdisciplinary themes. In the first semester (HON 101) the course emphasizes the humanities and social sciences. The second semester (HON 102) explores a theme related to the natural sciences.

Sophomore Year Honors Experience

The sophomore year in Honors (HON 201 and HON 202) helps students to explore the nature of knowledge, cultural differences and the individual’s place in society. During the second semester (HON 202) students combine scholarly research with experiential learning.

By invitation, selected Hood students may begin the program at the sophomore level. These students are exempt from HON 101 and HON 102.

Junior and Senior Years

Students in the Honors program will complete two 300 level electives and HON 470, Seminar in Honors. Students who study abroad for at least one semester may count that experience as one of their honors electives. Students who complete a two-semester departmental honors paper (499) may count that as one of their Honors electives. Honors students may begin taking their electives in the sophomore year. Because Honors electives are offered on an irregular schedule, students who are especially interested in a particular elective are urged to take it the first time it is offered during their eligible years.

Honors Program Thesis

As an alternative to a departmental honors thesis, students in Hood’s Honors Program may elect to complete a 3-credit interdisciplinary paper or project (HON 499) during the fall or spring semester of the senior year.

Relationship to the Core Curriculum

Most Honors courses may be used to meet Core Curriculum requirements. First-year students and sophomores may apply up to 9 credits toward the 21-23 credits required in the Methods of Inquiry section of the Core Curriculum. (There is a 3-credit limit for any one category. No Honors credit may be applied to the laboratory science requirement. Honors credit may be applied to only one of the Aesthetic Appreciation requirements.) Most Honors elective courses satisfy requirements in the Civilization section of the Core.

Foreign Language Requirement

All students in the Honors Program must meet the 104-level foreign language course requirement. Students for whom English is a second language should consult with the Honors director to determine possible exemption from this requirement.

Transferring into the Honors Program

The Honors Program welcomes qualified transfer students. Those who have successfully completed two years of an honors program at another college before they transfer to Hood may apply to the Hood College Honors Program at the junior level without having to complete the first-year and sophomore Honors courses at Hood. Such students must take a minimum of 9 credits in Honors Program courses (two electives and HON 470) in order to complete the program.

Students who transfer to Hood in their sophomore year, or students who transfer in their junior year without having completed two years of an honors program at another college, may also apply to the Honors Program. They must take a minimum of 14 credits in Honors Program courses (usually HON 201, HON 202, two electives and HON 470). Sophomore transfers who complete HON 201 and HON 202 may exempt two courses from the Methods of Inquiry section of the Core (not a lab science and no more than one course in Aesthetic Appreciation).

Transfer students should be aware of the Honors Program foreign language requirement (see above).

Recognition of Honors Students

To graduate from the Honors Program, students must earn a “C-” or better in all Honors courses and maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.25. By doing so, and meeting the Honors Program requirements, they will earn Honors Program recognition on their academic records.