Honors Program

group of smiling students

Overview

The Honors Program is named after the great Franciscan scholar John Duns Scotus to emphasize our commitment to continuing the Franciscan intellectual tradition. Duns Scotus is a learning community of motivated students who are challenged to excel academically. As a participant you will be are encouraged and expected to:

  • Integrate a deeper appreciation of Franciscanism into your college experience
  • Develop stronger skills for graduate study or career
  • Deepen awareness of the interconnectedness of knowledge
  • Appreciate the variety and richness of intellectual expression
  • Appreciate encounters with diverse populations and learning styles
  • Sharpen your thinking and communication skills through intensive writing and speaking
  • Increase your ability to do significant original research

The Duns Scotus graduate will develop a commitment to academic excellence with the goal of developing both wisdom and humility in order to serve humankind.

Benefits of the Duns Scotus Honors Program

  • Receive an annual $1,000 scholarship above and beyond other academic awards
  • Expand their horizons through cultural experiences
  • Receive greater intellectual stimulation
  • Become part of a close-knit community of scholars
  • Get opportunities for study abroad
  • Receive enhanced job and graduate school preparation
  • Get support to do important original research and attend academic conferences
  • Get an impressive education in a nurturing environment

Information for Incoming Freshmen

To be eligible to apply for the honors program, you must qualify as a Trustee or Presidential Scholar. (Contact the USF admission office or your personal admission counselor to see if you qualify at (800) 735-7500 or (815) 740-3400 or by e-mail at admissions@stfrancis.edu ).

Duns Scotus Honors Fellows are in a part of our honors program designed for students who wish to participate during their entire undergraduate career and attend USF for all four years. The four-year curriculum for Fellows fulfills requirements in the university’s general education as well as requirements in the fellow’s chosen major.

The Duns Scotus honors fellows curriculum consists of:

  • Separate honors courses with service learning
  • Contracts to do honors work in non-honors courses
  • Seminars with service learning
  • Presentation of a research project
  • Submission of quality work to a journal or conference and thesis/capstone completion.

During the freshman and sophomore years, most Duns Scotus honors fellows:

  • Will take honors sections of three classes: Core I, Core II and Core III
  • Complete at least one contracted honors course (3 credit-hours or more, usually in general education). Nursing students will replace Core III with a contract.

During the junior and senior years, Duns Scotus honors fellows will need to complete:

  • Three upper-level courses (9 credit-hours or more) in their major discipline.
  • A research component/project in one of the major contract courses that fulfills honors criteria, is approved by the Honors Council and is presented in an honors seminar.
  • Three one-credit hour interdisciplinary honors seminars
  • An honors thesis or capstone project that is approved by the Honors Council and is of sufficient quality to be submitted to an undergraduate academic journal or for presentation at an academic conference.

The Faculty Honors Council sets the guidelines for honors theses, which may be interdisciplinary, but academic departments set requirements for completion of the thesis.

Cultural/Social Experiences – The Duns Scotus Program sponsors at least six cultural events a year–three in each semester. At least two of these events are off-campus, and include either local or long distance trips. Fellows and Scholars are required to attend at least three events a year, one of which must be off-campus.

Good Standing – In order to remain in good standing in the program, a student must maintain an overall 3.25GPA. If the GPA falls below 3.25, the student will remain in the program on a probationary status and will have one semester to bring the GPA back up to the required level. If the GPA is not improved after one semester, or if it falls below 3.25 a second time, the student will not be permitted to continue in the program.

In order to remain in the program and graduate with honors a student must complete the sequence of courses, seminars, cultural experiences and service learning as outlined above.

  • Fill out the application form for the Duns Scotus honors fellows program below:
  • Write a 2-4 page essay answering a question that we will pose. If you are a prospective freshman, the questions will be mailed out to you in January as part of the scholarship competition.
  • Submit the application, essay, and a statement of your interest in the program to your personal admission counselor.
  • After your essay and admission file are reviewed, we will be in touch to arrange an on campus interview (or a phone interview if distance makes it impossible to come to campus).

Information for Transfer Students

Transfer students may apply when they gain admission if they will be junior status. Applicants must have a 3.25 cumulative GPA from their prior institutions.

Academic Experiences

The Scholars curriculum consists of:

  • contracts to do honors work in upper level major courses
  • seminars with service learning presentation of a research project
  • submission of quality work to a journal or conference and thesis/capstone completion.

During the junior and senior years, Scholars will need to complete

  • three upper-level courses (9 credit-hours or more) in their major discipline.
  • a research component/project in one of the major contract courses that fulfills honors criteria, is approved by the Honors Council, and is presented in an honors seminar.
  • three 1-credit hour interdisciplinary honors seminars
  • an honors thesis or capstone project that is approved by the Honors Council and is of sufficient quality to be submitted to an undergraduate academic journal or for presentation at an academic conference.

The Faculty Honors Council sets the guidelines for honors theses, which may be interdisciplinary, but departments set requirements for completion of the thesis.

Cultural/Social Experiences. The Duns Scotus Program sponsors at least six cultural events a year–three in each semester. At least two of these events are off-campus, and include either local or long distance trips. Fellows and Scholars are required to attend at least three events a year, one of which must be off-campus.

Good Standing. In order to remain in good standing in the program, a student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.25. If the GPA falls below 3.25, the student will remain in the program on a probationary status and will have one semester to bring the GPA back up to the required level. If the GPA is not improved after one semester, or if it falls below 3.25 a second time, the student will not be permitted to continue in the program.

In order to remain in the program and graduate with honors a student must complete the sequence of courses, seminars, cultural experiences, and service learning as outlined above.

  • Fill out the application form for the Duns Scotus honors fellows program below:
  • Write a 2-4 page essay answering a question that we will pose. If you are a transfer student, the question is on the application form.
  • Submit the application, essay, and a statement of your interest in the program to your personal admission counselor.
  • After your essay and admission file are reviewed, we will be in touch to arrange an on campus interview (or a phone interview if distance makes it impossible to come to campus).

Contact Us

For more information on the Duns Scotus Honors Program contact: Your Personal Admission Counselor