2022-2023 Catalog With Addendum 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog With Addendum [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College

Jason Morris, Dean
ACU Box 29142; Abilene, Texas 79699-9142
Zellner Hall, Room 122

Phone: 325-647-2728
Fax: 325-674-6581
Email: honors@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/honors

The Honors College offers an enhanced academic experience to qualified undergraduate students in any major. Students should contact the Honors College for current course offerings. Teachers of Honors courses are listed in this catalog under their respective departments.


The Honors College offers highly motivated students stimulating classes, experiential learning programs, opportunities to work with select faculty members, and the chance to do research projects in their major field. Students receive special Honors advising, early registration, and coaching for prestigious scholarships.

There are four distinctions in the program, and the courses required for each will fit into most degree plans. See the Honors College staff for complete information. There are no extra costs required for Honors College participation. Frequent social events and small-group chapel gatherings encourage fellowship among Honors College students and teachers.

The ACU Honors College is active in the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Admission Requirements

Students must be formally admitted to the Honors College before they can register for Honors classes. The application instructions for incoming freshmen are available online at www.acu.edu/honors. Current ACU students and transfers may apply for Honors admission directly through the Honors office.

Graduation with Honors College Distinction

To graduate with the distinction of Honors Graduate, students must complete 6 Honors class credits, 2 Honors colloquia, and any 3 of the Honors activity options (See “Requirements” below for more information).

To graduate with the distinction of Honors Scholar, students must complete 6 Honors class credits, 2 Honors colloquia, and any 4 of the Honors activity options, Project Thesis Seminar, and Project Thesis (See “Requirements” below for more information).

The distinction of Honors Associate is designed for transfer students and late admits to the Honors College. To earn this award, students may skip the Honors class requirements, but they must complete the Honors colloquia, Honors activity, Project Thesis Seminar, and Project Thesis requirements of the Honors Scholar distinction (See “Requirements” below for more information).

The distinction of McNair Honors Scholar is designed for students who have already been accepted into the McNair Scholars Program at ACU and would like to graduate with Honors as well. McNair students will complete one Honors contract in an upper-level (300-499) academic course, two Honors colloquia, and a zero-credit Project Thesis Seminar in addition to their McNair requirements. Students’ final research projects will be submitted both to the Honors College and to McNair.

Students completing the requirements for any of these distinctions and having a cumulative GPA of 3.50 (McNair Honors Scholars must remain in good standing with McNair) will wear Honors regalia at graduation and receive an Honors notation on their transcripts. Honors Scholars, Honors Associates, and McNair Honors Scholars may have the title of their Project Thesis published in the university commencement program if completed on time.


To graduate with Honors with one of the above distinctions, students must complete all of the requirements. The types and amounts of requirements each student must complete are determined by his or her chosen Honors graduation track.

Honors class requirements: For Honors Graduates and Honors Scholars, this consists of 6 Honors class credits (see “Courses” below for more information). Entering freshmen will typically take an Honors section of Cornerstone plus one other Honors class in their first semester at ACU. It is recommended that students take 1 or 2 Honors classes each semester until they have all 6. Students may meet with the Honors advisor each semester before registration for advice on how to fit Honors work in their schedule.

The Honors College also offers Honors “contracts” to students who need Honors class credit but either cannot take or do not need to take some of the Honors courses offered. Honors contracts allow students to transform regular, non-Honors sections of ACU courses into Honors credit through an independent project.

Note: Honors Associates and McNair Honors Scholars are exempt from this category.

Honors Activity requirements:

This consists of several components:

  1. Students pursuing any Honors distinction must take 2 colloquia (See “Courses” below for more information).
  2. Students pursuing any Honors distinction must choose options from the following list of Honors Activity credits. Most options may be utilized twice, as content and experiences will vary. The number of activity credits required varies depending on the student’s chosen Honors distinction (3 of the below for Honors Graduates, 4 of the below for Honors Scholars/Associates, 1 upper level Honors contract for McNair Honors Scholars).
    • Honors contract in 300 or 400-level course
    • Additional Honors class
    • Additional Honors colloquium
    • Philosophy class (BIBP or PHIL)
    • Project in a student’s major
    • Research
    • Internship
    • Leadership in a student organization
    • Completion of a Major Scholarships/Fellowships application
    • Presentation at a research conference
    • Significant work with the Optimist or Shinnery Review
    • Original creative work or performance
    • Other ideas suggested by student and approved by a committee
  3. Honors Scholars, Associates, and McNair Honors Scholars: Students must also take a zero-credit Project Thesis Seminar and write an individual Project Thesis.


Honors College classes are smaller than other classes. Lower level Honors classes, which are Honors versions of general education classes, typically have 20-25 students. Honors classes are taught by select faculty who encourage discussion and in-depth thinking. Some of the courses offering Honors sections include BIBL 101 , BIBL 102 , BIBL 211 ; ENGL 221 ; CHEM 133 , CHEM 134 ; COMM 211 ; CORE 110 ; BIOL 121 , BIOL 123 ; and MGMT 330 . Up to 12 credit hours of Honors courses taken at another university may be counted toward ACU Honors requirements at the discretion of the Dean of the Honors College.

Colloquia are upper level special topics classes that are limited to 15 students. They are open to Honors College students who have completed at least 30 hours of coursework. Each colloquium meets for 15 hours, typically either one night a week for 5 weeks, or on one weekend. Students can earn one hour of credit. Recent topics have included May the Force Be With You (…and Also With You): Religion and the Star Wars Universe; Adulting 101: Surviving Life After College; Writing on the Wall: Ancient Art in Texas; Introduction to Astrophotography; Alfred Hitchcock: Cruel and Unusual Cinema; and But First, Coffee!.

Course Descriptions

For more information about the lower level general education Honors courses, simply refer to the descriptions of their non-Honors counterparts. Because Honors colloquium offerings change annually, the course descriptions are delivered by email to Honors students during the semester prior to these special topics courses. Contact the Honors advisor for information about these offerings or email honors@acu.edu.


    Honors CoreHonors ProjectHonors Colloquium