2018-2019 Catalog 
    Jan 20, 2021  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College

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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 consult the Honors Course Guide or 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, opportunities to work with select faculty members, and the chance to do research projects in their major field. Students receive special advising, early registration, and coaching for prestigious scholarships.

There are three tracks in the program, and the courses required for each will fit into most degree plans. See the Honors College advisor 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 and the Great Plains Honors Council. Selected students may present papers at these conferences.

Admission Requirements

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

Graduation with Honors College Distinction

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

To graduate with the distinction of Honors Scholar, students must complete 6 lower level Honors credits, 2 colloquia, any 4 of the upper level 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 lower level requirements, but they must complete all the upper level requirements of the Honors Scholar distinction (See “Requirements” below for more information).

Students completing the requirements for any of these distinctions and having a cumulative GPA of 3.50 will wear Honors regalia at graduation and receive a notation on their transcripts. Honors Scholars and Honors Associates may have the title of their Project Thesis published in the university commencement program.


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

Lower level requirements: For Honors Graduates and Honors Scholars, this consists of 6 lower level Honors credits (see “Courses” below for more information). Entering freshmen will typically take an Honors section of Cornerstone plus one other Honors class. It is recommended that students take 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 lower level Honors 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 are exempt from this category.

Upper level requirements:

This consists of several components:

  1. Students on all Honors tracks must take 2 colloquia (See “Courses” below for more information).
  2. Students on all Honors tracks must choose options from the following list of upper level units. Most options may be utilized twice, as content and experiences will vary. The amount of upper level units required varies depending on the student’s chosen Honors track (3 of the below for Honors Graduates, and 4 for Honors Scholars/Associates).
    • Additional Honors classes
    • Additional Honors colloquia
    • Philosophy classes (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 only: Students pursuing the Honors Scholar distinction 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 112 , BIOL 113 ; MGMT 330 ; and PEAC 100 . Up to 12 credit hours of Honors courses taken at another school 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, or they can take these courses for zero-credit to save block tuition hours. Recent topics have included Coffee Brewing; Short-Term Mission Trips; Higher Education Leadership; Neuroscience of Zombies; Amish Life and Culture; Legacy Board Gaming; and Faith, Philanthropy, and Research.

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.


    Honors CoreHonors ProjectHonors Colloquium

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