Honors Program

The mind's journey is the soul's destination.

Students selected for participation in the Honors Program become members of an intellectually stimulating community of peers and instructors who pursue excellence in academics, service and leadership.

Admission to the Honors Program brings not more work but work that is more engaging, challenging and rewarding. Honors students can expect small classes organized like seminars, with more emphasis on discussion and critical thinking and less emphasis on lecture and memorization.

The Coursework 

In the Honors Program, students are encouraged to examine issues and themes from multiple and contrasting perspectives. All honors courses are taught as seminars, providing an ideal environment for developing effective communication and critical-thinking skills. Emphasis is placed on student initiative in discussion, research and presentation; class size is normally limited to 15-20 students. A minimum of five Honors courses and the honors thesis project are required to graduate with an honors degree. Most Honors coursework also satisfies general education or major requirements.

Opportunities for Involvement and Leadership Development 

The Honors Program offers a diverse array of academic, social and community service activities that can help participants develop their intellectual and leadership potential as well as establish new friendships. Study-abroad opportunities add to the in-depth cultural and educational benefits. Examples include:

• The Honors Student Union, the largest student organization on campus. Elected by their peers, HSU officers plan social and cultural events for both Honors students and the campus community. These events range from trivia nights in the Honors Commons to faculty panel discussions on current events that are open to the public.

• Participation in the annual National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Honors students are eligible to present research, propose panels and attend sessions on issues germane to campus leadership and service in the Honors context while making connections with other Honors student scholars and leaders from colleges across the nation.

• Mentor Opportunities.  Each spring, a small number of Honors students are selected to act as mentors for incoming Honors students. Honors mentors help new students adjust to life at Berry and act as a resource for issues related to academics and student life.

• Community Service. In addition to participating in service events organized by the Berry community, such as Relay for Life and First-Year Service Day, Honors students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with local public school students in need of tutoring. This program, in partnership with a local church, connects Honors student volunteers with local students for regular weekly sessions for the academic year, so that tutors can develop a relationship with their tutee over time, acting as mentors as well as providing academic support.

• Study Abroad at University of Glasgow. Berry College partners with the University of Glasgow and a select consortium of Honors Programs at other U.S. institutions to provide a study abroad opportunity like no other, open only to Honors students. Students may attend a full semester abroad in either the fall or spring and select from the full slate of undergraduate courses, providing a unique opportunity to interact with students from all over the world and to take advantage of educational travel both within the United Kingdom and further afield.

Admission to the Honors Program 

Admission to the Honors Program is competitive. Approximately 60 students are admitted each year, representing those who have the highest academic credentials among all who meet the basic Honors eligibility requirements. To be considered for the Honors Program, a student must have achieved an overall high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and a combined SAT Critical Reading and Math minimum score of 1300 (not including the Writing score) or a 29 (composite score) for the ACT. Those who meet the criteria will be invited to apply via submission of a writing sample. Decisions regarding admission to the Honors Program are typically finalized by mid-April. Students who are admitted to the program will have Honors courses in their prepared schedule when they arrive for their summer orientation (SOAR) session, and an Honors Program representative will be available to answer questions and provide orientation materials.

More Information

For more information, contact Honors Director Dr. Lara Whelan at 706.238.5876 or lwhelan@berry.edu, or visit www.berry.edu/academics/honors/prospective/.

“The Honors Program at Berry has been a wonderful way to take my college education to the next level. The courses within the Honors Program have challenged me and allowed me to grow intellectually in critical and analytical thinking skills. My Honors courses have definitely been the most rewarding thus far at Berry.”

Mary Brugh

Honors Program Student