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What is a College Honors Program?

Honors Program student Naba Khan with Dr. Perez looking at research on computer.

Are you an ambitious student looking for a rigorous, challenging, and rewarding education? Do you want to be part of a program surrounded by intellectually like-minded individuals and have access to incredible opportunities? Then joining the Honors Program is the right choice for you.

Joining Meredith College’s Honors Program helps you analytically, critically, and creatively expand your thinking power. This blog post will cover the benefits of joining the Honors Program and some commonly asked questions. 

What are the benefits of Honors Programs in college?

There are plenty of reasons students choose to join the Honors Program. Whether for the special classes offered to only Honors students, a strong sense of community, expert advising support, recognition for your hard work, unique travel opportunities, or premier access to national and international fellowships, you’re sure to find success.

Special Classes

You will take at least six hours of seminar-style classes only available to honors students that address unique subjects. You’ll have the opportunity to broaden your interests and learn something new. Recent classes include

  • Holocaust experiences
  • The making of a genius: Mozart
  • The science behind CSI
  • Mythozoology
  • Don Juan-ologues
  • Memory and memoir

Learn more about the Honors Program curriculum.

Community

The Honors Program at Meredith spans four years. It offers a close-knit learning community of students and faculty dedicated to stretching themselves intellectually to achieve academic success. 

You’ll also be able to take on leadership within the Honors community and participate in the rich cultural life of Raleigh.

Read more about student life in the Honors Program.

Advising Support 

Students of the Honors Program receive guidance from their academic advisor and the director of the Honors Program. These supporters will help guide you through your coursework, senior thesis, the application process for awards, fellowships, and graduate study.

“At Meredith, professors not only push you to do well but to really be able to articulate your ideas and think about where your previous ideas came from, which helped me be more globally conscious and culturally aware,” said Katelyn Smith, ’16, honors scholar and Fulbright grant recipient.

Recognition

Honors students work to achieve excellence, and this hard work will reflect on your transcripts. The edge you gain by participating in and completing the Honors Program helps you stand out when applying for graduate and professional programs and jobs. Employers value honors-level work due to the rigor of the program and the enhanced skills you gain through the program, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and oral and written communication skills.

Travel

There are several travel-related opportunities for honors students. The honors fall trip is when students from all classes, freshman to senior, can explore and learn together at a new location. Weekend trips as a group promote experiential learning and a deeper understanding of each other and the subject at hand. Some recent trips include 

  • Asheville, N.C.
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Washington, D.C.

The Honors Program also regularly provides scholarships up to $3,000 for continuing Honors students.

National and International Fellowships

You’ll be in a solid position to apply for fellowships such as Fulbright and others. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a way for students to expand their perspectives by creating connections in a complex and changing world. The program has partnerships with more than 140 countries, offering opportunities in all academic disciplines to accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals.

Bailey Birtchet, ’21, received the Fulbright award and studied in the Netherlands at the Master Institute of Visual Cultures, St. Joost School of Fine Art and Design. While attending school in the Netherlands, she worked on a project titled “Designing for a Sustainable Future: Synthesizing U.S. and Dutch Graphic Design Priorities.”

Another Fulbright scholar, Briana Petrusa, ’21, went on to conduct research on Parkinson’s Disease at the Kahol Institute of Neuroscience in Madrid, Spain. Petrusa’s ultimate goal is to become a bilingual physician.

Is being a part of an Honors Program in college worth it?

Double major in biology and psychology, and Honors student Ally Cefalu, ’22, found her path to psychology through an intro to psychology Honors course her freshman year. 

“What I really liked about the Honors Program was the colloquia, which are classes only available to Honors students. I was lucky enough to take one my freshman year, which is a little unusual, but as a STEM major, I was excited to take it. So it was history and literature, which is something I didn’t get exposed to every day in my major classes. It was super exciting to get that exposure to other subjects,” said Cefalu. 

“I think the Honors Program did a great job of making that available to other students. It was a great way to bond with people who are like-minded in their academic pursuits.”

Am I eligible for the Honors Program? How do I apply?

In order to be considered for Meredith’s Honors Program, you must

  • Be admitted to Meredith College
  • Have at least a score of 1290 on your math and verbal SAT
  • Have a 3.75 GPA
  • Be in the top 10% of your high school senior class
  • Submit an application with your essay
  • Interview with a current Honors student and Honors faculty member

Meredith’s Honors Program accepts approximately 40 intellectually gifted and ambitious students each year. 

If you are a first-year student, it is recommended that you apply to the College by Early Decision or Early Action. You must submit your Honors Program application by January 15. The Honors director will then review your application, and if you are selected, you will be invited to attend Scholars’ Weekend. 

Learn more about applying to the Honors Program.

If you’re ready to make the most of your intellectual gifts, visit meredith.edu/honors or contact honors@meredith.edu to get started today.

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