Honors Program Benefits

Approximately 60 students per year are admitted to the Honors Program at LMU, representing under 5% of each entering class. Here are some of the many benefits of participating in the Honors Program:

  • You can be a part of a tight-knit, thriving community of other students who love learning, are curious, and passionate about solving the world's problems.
  • Because of the intellectually challenging and invigorating atmosphere of the University Honors Program, you build relationships with students, professors, and advisors that most likely are stronger than those you would build outside Honors.
  • Courses in the University Honors Program are smaller than regular University Core courses (about 15 in each class).
  • Courses are taught in the style of graduate seminars. You are an active participant and contributor to the course content and learning experience.
  • Faculty in Honors are active in your lives. They mentor you in researching, presenting at national conferences, and publishing your work.
  • You receive support in pursuing and capturing scholarships, graduate school placements, internships, awards, grants, and study abroad opportunities.
  • You have the opportunity to live in the Honors Living and Learning Communities, which means you will be placed in a residence hall with other Honors students.
  • You have the chance to work on the Honors interdisciplinary academic journal Attic Salt and publish your work.
  • You have the opportunity to apply for Honors research fellowships and grants.
  • You have the opportunity to attend events, socials, dinners with professors, guest speakers, and graduate school information sessions.
  • You have 24/7 access to the Honors Student Lounge with computers, a printer, storage, coffee, a refrigerator, and comfortable couches as well as the Honors seminar room that is available for students to use when classes are not in session.
  • You receive graduate-level privileges at Hannon Library, which means you can check out 50 books for the entire semester.
  • You receive priority registration, meaning you can register for classes one week before the general student population.  This is not so much a benefit of the program as it is a necessity, because with fewer Honors core courses than general core courses, you need the additional flexibility of early registration.

We also encourage you to explore the rest of the Honors website, in particular the About and Research pages.

General philosophy

Membership in the University Honors Program offers many unique opportunities and rewards; it also carries unique responsibilities and expectations. Maintaining the community that makes Honors worthwhile requires an understanding of our shared prosperity and active contribution to our common mission. Our community is diverse in background, interests, perspective, and goals. Yet, we are bonded by common values of insatiable curiosity, the intrinsic love of learning, the search for and creation of knowledge, the pursuit of excellence, and the desire to solve meaningful problems. Like any community, there is a distinction between those within and outside—it is a logical axiom that in order for a thing to exist, there must also exist things that are not it. And while Honors Program members are always also part of many other communities (especially here at LMU), belonging to this particular community brings with it a set of expectations that are distinctive and which differentiate members from non-members beyond initial admittance into the program.

The Honors Program is not an honor roll. Your academic achievements will continue to be recognized by honor societies, the Dean’s list, and cum laude graduation honors; the University Honors Program, however, is about much more than academic outcomes.

Specific requirements

There are several concrete requirements for Honors students during their time at LMU:

  • completing the unique set of Honors core courses,
  • developing and demonstrating proficiency in a second language (see below),
  • maintaining good academic standing with Honors,
  • regularly attending Honors intellectual and social ("Passport") events,
  • completing a service project as a part of Contemplation in Action,
  • and completing an original research or creative thesis under faculty mentorship.

Beyond these concrete requirements, we expect Honors students to play an active role in shaping and sustaining our community, and to use the distinctive opportunities of Honors in service of creating a better, more equitable and sustainable world.

Second language proficiency

Honors requires that our students demonstrate or develop proficiency in a second language. The reasons for this are many: to facilitate global citizenship, to expand our ways of thinking, to increase our well of words, concepts, and ideas from which insights may ignite, and to further develop our critical thinking and reasoning skills. Honors students have several paths to fulfilling the second language requirement:

  • Taking two semesters of a language at a college level (at LMU, the 2101 and 2102 level language courses)
  • Testing into the 2103-level language course at LMU (based on the placement exam upon admission to LMU)
  • Earning a 4 or 5 on an AP language exam
  • Individual proficiency demonstration for languages not tested by LMU (when possible; consult with the Honors office)
  • For international students, a passing score on the TOEFL

Good academic standing

Honors expects that our students maintain academic excellence. In the language of the LMU Bulletin, we expect consistently "superior" and not merely "good" academic work. This equates to earning mostly As with few Bs. However, in determining good standing status, we employ a holistic assessment process that takes into account the totality of a student's Honors engagement and experience, as well as self-reflection on the effort and circumstances of a semester in which academic work may have fallen short of expectations. The good standing policy is regularly revised and is available to current Honors students on the Brightspace Honors Community Center.

Passport events

One of the primary characteristics Honors students share is the understanding that the pursuit of knowledge does not end at the classroom door, and the value of knowledge does not end with its acquisition. As a community, we are united in our restless curiosity and desire to transform knowledge into practical solutions to our world's many problems. In the Honors Program, we call that extracurricular intellectual engagement; one part of that is participation in intellectual events and meaningful service.

We, therefore, expect our members to consistently attend Honors-sponsored events and community events that Honors highlights as being closely tied to our mission and values. Additionally, as part of this intellectual engagement, Honors students are required to engage in at least one service activity per semester (often, Honors students are part of service organizations and complete many activities every semester!).