Welcome to the Honors College
An honors-enhanced education is all about mind-expanding opportunities, innovation, and challenge. You’ve chosen to explore new horizons in learning and transformative education as a member of Purdue’s Honors College. You will have many opportunities open to you, including pursuing research, studying abroad, enjoying distinctive classroom experiences with adventurous interdisciplinary formats, and learning from each other and our world-class faculty. Being part of Purdue’s only residential college is also about becoming a member of a community of scholars and exploring ways to connect to our community to others through engaged service. We’re delighted that you’ve decided to embark on this journey, and together we will forge the future!
-Rhonda Phillips, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College, Purdue University
View the Dean’s biography
Community of Scholars
Purdue University’s Honors College fosters collaborative learning, promotes individual research and community engagement, and prepares students for a global world. We encourage you to participate actively in this community, both inside and out of the classroom.
Our mission is to create and foster well-rounded, well-educated global leaders. We work to create student leaders on campus who impact society from their very first semester. The four pillars, our primary tenets, come together to help us accomplish this mission. They are: leadership development, undergraduate research, community and global experiences, and interdisciplinary academics.
- Opportunities and Experiences - Numerous opportunities and experiences exist for students to develop leadership skills crucial for academic and professional success.
- Student Organizations - Our student-driven organizations provide opportunities to make a difference in the Honors College, the campus, surrounding communities, and beyond.
- Interdisciplinary Teamwork - Living and learning in an interdisciplinary environment fosters increased involvement and helps develop problem-solving skills.
- Student Mentorship - Peer mentors help in facilitating the first-year course and lead groups of students working on projects.
- Undergraduate Research - Undergraduate research is a built-in component of honors learning, broadening each student’s understanding of global issues.
- World-class Faculty - Honors students have the opportunity to work with the top instructors on campus, most of whom are award-winning professors.
- Scholarly Project - The scholarly project involves students in the creation of new knowledge.
- Interdisciplinary Breadth - Interdisciplinary seminars help students understand the many complexities and issues crossing disciplines.
Community and Global Experiences
- Global Experience - Students engage with visiting scholars and international classmates from across the world, creating intercultural bonds of friendship.
- Collaboration - Hailing from diverse geographical and educational backgrounds, honors students practice the collaborative skills and approaches for addressing issues in the global economy.
- Faculty Engagement - Our faculty is engaged with the students both inside and outside the classroom.
- Honors Activities - Honors College activities provide ways to forge friendships within the community as well as to develop a culture of giving and engagement
- Interdisciplinary Thinking - Honors courses are comprised of students from all disciplines from across the university, allowing for open dialogue and collaboration.
- Lateral Learning - Through discussion-based honors courses, students learn from one another daily.
- National and International Scholarships Office (NISO) - The professionals at NISO mentor students through the application process for prestigious scholarships.
- Global Learning - Students are exposed to a variety of global travel opportunities that lead to academic and personal growth.
Honors College Requirements (24 honors credits, plus a scholarly project)
The Honors College curriculum is designed to complement and enhance a student’s major degree, to promote interdisciplinary awareness, and to support undergraduate research. The majority of the required credits may double count towards the student’s major and the foundational core.
New First-Year Students
- Students who enter the Honors College in their first year will complete 24 credits of honors coursework plus a scholarly project.
24 honors credits, of which 5 are HONR courses and the remainder are elective honors courses:
HONR courses (5 credits)
2 credits of HONR 19901/2: “The Evolution of Ideas.” (1 credit each semester of the 1st year)
3 credits of additional HONR course(s)
Elective Honors courses (19 credits)
The following courses qualify as honors electives:
HONR courses other than those used to meet requirement 1, above
Courses or course sections with an H designation
Courses taken with an H contract
Graduate-level courses, including “selectives” allowed by the undergraduate plan of study but excluding courses required by the plan of study
Supervised research courses (e.g., undergraduate research, directed study, independent research, honors thesis)-maximum of 12 credits
- A student must engage in a sustained project, either on or off campus, in which the student creates new knowledge. Results of this research or creative project should be presented in a public forum (e.g. publication, presentation, display, or performance). Students may satisfy this requirement by choosing one of the following options:
- Departmental or college honors thesis or honors capstone project
- Scholarly project approved by a faculty committee appointed by the Dean of the Honors College. This experience might include an established Purdue research program (e.g. SURF); a REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at Purdue or elsewhere; or a project supervised by a Purdue faculty member.
Continuing and Transfer Students
- Continuing and transfer students who are accepted into the Honors College as 2nd- and 3rd-year students will complete 21 credits of honors coursework plus a scholarly project. Instead of HONR 19901/2, they will take a required 200-level HONR course (1 cr.) in their first semester, plus 4 other HONR credits for a total of 5 HONR credits. The remaining 16 credits are “elective” honors courses, as above. The scholarly project is as above.
- Up to 9 honors credits may be transferred from another institution. The scholarly project requirement must be completed after matriculation to Purdue University; it cannot be fulfilled by research or coursework undertaken at a previous institution.
To learn more, schedule a campus visit, or meet with a current Honors College student, please contact the Honors College main office at 765-494-2929.
Purdue University Honors College
Honors College & Residences
1101 Third Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: (765) 494-2929