There are two levels of participation and recognition in the University Honors Program, in that students can graduate as having either "with honors" or "with high honors" entered on their diploma and transcript. Students who are not making adequate progress may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.
To graduate "with honors" students must complete 7 honors activities and earn a grade point average of 3.5. These activities would be:
1. Honors Program Freshman Seminar (CW 111) is required for all Honors Students. It is expected that this course will be taken the first semester of enrollment, but may be taken as a sophomore or junior. This course counts as 1 honors activity.
2. Honors Program Junior Seminar (CW311) is required for all Honors Students. It is expected that this course will be taken during the junior year. This course counts as 1 honors activity.
3. Complete any of the various special honors sections of the university general education courses. These courses are either special stand-alone courses for honors students or discussion sections that supplement the regular sections. Each completed course counts as one activity.
4. Complete upper-level honors courses that may be taught on-demand and as approved by the Honors Council. Each completed course counts as one activity.
5. Contract an upper-level course as an honors course.
6. Participate in a study abroad program either through ESU or another university. This program of study must be approved in advance by the Honors Council and a suitable report presented to the Honors Council upon completion of the study abroad program. This experience would generally be for a semester, but a summer experience of at least 8 weeks would be acceptable. Counts as one activity.
7. Make a presentation of one's own original research or creative project at a professional conference or symposium. Generally, this would be a regional, national, or international conference and may be co-authored with a faculty or staff member. Counts as one activity.
8. Complete a substantial project of service to others or a substantial service activity, which is supervised by a University faculty or staff advisor. The project must be approved in advance by the Honors Council and a suitable report presented to the Honors Council upon completion of the project. Counts as one activity.
9. Participate in an academically rigorous fellowship or internship. The program must be approved in advance by the Honors Council and a suitable report presented to the Honors Council upon completion of the program. This experience would generally be away from campus and be for a semester, but a summer experience of at least 8 weeks would be acceptable. Counts as one activity.
10. Students who do not pursue the two additional honors activities of the senior thesis (required for High Honors) are required to enroll in the one-credit Honors Capstone course (one credit), CW 495.
With High Honors
To graduate "with high honors" a student would need to fulfill 6 honors activities as listed above (minus the CW 495 Honors Capstone course) plus a senior honors research or creative thesis as an independent study experience under the guidance of selected faculty members. The honors thesis counts as two honors activities. It is initiated during the junior year, usually in the student's major area of study, and should include work with at least two different faculty members. A senior thesis that is presented in a public forum must result from the experience. The topic for the research and the format of the thesis must be approved by the Honors Council before work is commenced. In general, this should be done the last semester of the junior year. The final thesis must be submitted to the Honors Council at least 4 weeks before the expected date of graduation. There is some money to support students during the senior research project.
For students who transfer from a community college with an associates degree or with at least 60 hours of course work at the time of matriculation at Emporia State University, to graduate "with honors" they must complete four honors courses or activities, one of which must be the Honors Program Seminar, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 at the time of graduation.
For students who transfer from either a 4-year or 2-year institution with an honors program, it is expected that they will have been involved in the honors program at that institution. Regardless of the number of hours that they transfer, to graduate "with honors" such students will need to complete six honors courses or activities one of which must be Honors Program Seminar, but they may count up to three honors courses from their first institution towards the requirements for graduation "with honors".
In all cases, students who wish to graduate "with high honors" must complete the senior thesis requirement in addition to the above requirements for the "with honors" level.