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Program Requirements

Honors Program Curricular Requirements


1. First Year:

  • Fall Semester – Honors section of First-Year Seminar (IDFY 102)
  • Spring Semester – Honors section of Created and Called for Community (IDCR 151)


2. Sophomore or Junior Year: 

  • One honors ID course
  • A second ID course from a different category. Depending on the major, this second requirement may be waived by the student’s major.

Note: University policy requires that students need 3 ID courses (one from each category of ID) to graduate. Honors Program participants receive a reduction of one ID course requirement, and so only need 2 ID courses from different categories to graduate. Honors ID course credit requirements can only be met at the Mechanicsburg campus or through a Messiah Honors J-term/May-term study abroad course.


3. Junior or Senior Year:

Senior Honors Experience. This requirement can be met in one of the following two ways:

  • Senior Honors Project. This can be taken either within the student’s department or within the Honors Program (HONR 498/499). Students will work on the senior honors project over two consecutive semesters for 4-6 credit hours, culminating in a formal presentation.
  • Senior Honors Seminar (HONR 497). This is  a 3-credit hour reading and discussion class culminating in a written research paper.


Non-Credit Bearing Requirements

  • Book-of-the-year. First-year students in the Honors Program will read the book-of-the-year together throughout the academic year and attend discussion seminars and lectures on the book. They will write a paper on the book in their honors
  • Honors Program Events. Every semester, the Honors Program sponsors many events, including lectures, panels, concerts, plays, and movies that add to the cultural and intellectual climate on campus. Students in the Honors Program are required to attend at least two of these events every semester that they are on campus.


Continuing Eligibility Requirements for the Honors Program

Participation in the Honors Program requires that all participants meet the grade point average requirement for their specific Scholarship.

For Trustees' Scholarship recipients, renewal is contingent on maintaining a 3.3 GPA as a first year student and a 3.6 GPA each subsequent year. For President's and Faculty Scholarship recipients, renewal of these scholarships is contingent on maintaining a 3.2 GPA as a first year student and a 3.4 GPA each subsequent year.

Continued participation in the Honors Program is required for scholarship renewal. If a student is removed from the Honors Program he or she cannot be readmitted. All Honors Program participants must meet the above GPA requirements upon completion of all course work in order to be certified, at the time of graduation, as an Honors Program graduate.