Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the eligibility requirements for The Honors College?
  2. Are honors courses harder?
  3. Will honors courses hurt my GPA?
  4. Am I required to finish the program once I start it?
  5. What are the requirements for graduating from The Honors College?
  6. What are the advantages of being in The Honors College?
  7. Will I be labeled a nerd if I take honors classes?
  8. What is the honors thesis?
  9. How do I apply for The Honors College?
  10. How do I register for classes?

What are the eligibility requirements?

New freshmen must have a 27 or higher on the ACT or a 1220 or higher on the SAT. Transfer students must have a 3.5 GPA or higher. If you choose to finish in the honors program, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA. If you drop below that mark, you will be place on probation for one semester. If your grades are not returned to 3.5, you will be dropped from the program. If in a later semester, you achieve a 3.5, you can be reinstated.

Are honors courses harder?

Honors courses are not the college equivalent of AP courses. You will not be asked to do two to three times as much work as students in non-honors courses. Nor will the classes move at an accelerated pace, covering twice as much material. Instead, honors courses are designed to probe deeper into the topics in the course, to let you discover the material rather than have it all presented to you in lecture format, and to let you explore independently some of the topics which are of particular interest to you.

You should not have to work harder in an honors class than other students do in non-honors courses. If they are spending four hours a week reading, studying and writing for a course, you should expect to spend about the same amount of time in an honors course. You will, in most cases, be reading different textbooks and doing different assignments than students in non-honors courses. Our aim, though, is to make the work manageable, allowing you to have plenty of time to work on your other courses and have a life outside of the classroom.

Will honors courses hurt my GPA?

Studies in the journals of the National Collegiate Honors Council report that honors students have a better GPA in honors courses than in non-honors courses. The reason is that honors students tend to lose interest in non-honors courses and/or assume that the material is so easy for them that they become lackadaisical in studying and keeping up with the material. Consequently, they may not do as well on homework assignments or examinations. The intellectual stimulation of honors classes tends to keep honors students more consistently prepared throughout the semester.

Am I required to finish the program once I start it?

No. You can opt to take your general education courses as honors courses and then drop out of the program permanently or temporarily.

What are the requirements for graduating from The Honors College?

Students may opt to finish The Honors College either as an Honors College Graduate or as an Honors College Scholar. In either case, a student must complete the core curriculum and must have at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA in all courses at graduation. The core reflects the philosophy of The Honors College that all courses should adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning.  The following core curriculum for The Honors College does not add any additional hours to a student’s normal course load.

  • HN 1103 Honors Freshman Seminar
  • HN 1003 Communication, Technology, and Society
  • HN 2113 Honors Literature
  • HN 2213 Solving Complex Social Problems
  • BI 3213 Faith and Culture (Honors) Or
  • BI 421V Biblical Ethics (Honors)
  • HN 31n3 Honors Seminar (may be repeated one time)

The Honors College “Graduate” must complete an additional six hours, for 24 total hours, either by doing two honors “contracts” (described in the catalog) or by doing one honors contract and repeating Honors Seminar. The Honors College graduate must have at least one scholarly presentation in class, at the on-campus undergraduate research celebration, or, when appropriate, at either a state or regional academic conference.

The Honors College “Scholar,” a more prestigious designation than the graduate, will complete 31 hours of coursework, which will consist of the requirements for The Honors College graduate plus seven hours of work to plan, prepare, and defend an honors thesis or complete the SALT Scholar program. Students who plan to pursue a research-oriented graduate college should seriously consider the thesis option. Students who opt to become a Lipscomb University SALT Scholar must complete honors requirements in their SALT capstone to qualify as an Honors College scholar. In addition, The Honors College scholar must have at least two scholarly presentations, either one of which may be in class or at the on-campus undergraduate research celebration and one at a state or regional or, where appropriate, national academic conference.

In addition to completing curricular requirements, Honors College students must attend at least one major extracurricular activity (play, musical, opera, film) each year and at least two minor extracurricular activities (teas, recitals, lectures, films) each semester. Students must also attend two workshops in the spring of the freshman year. These workshops will focus on global learning and internship opportunities for honors students and on national competitive scholarships (Rhodes, Fulbright, Truman, etc.).

What are the advantages of being in The Honors College?

  • Honors courses are generally smaller and are taught by teachers who have a proven reputation for stimulating thought and creativity. Most of the teachers have won the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” award at least one time.
  • Students in honors courses report that they have much less busy work to do and have a higher level of intellectual stimulation than they have in non-honors courses.
  • Taking honors courses gives students a competitive edge over applicants to law school, med school, engineering programs, graduate school, etc. Students who finish the honors program will be better prepared for study at the next level of education and are more competitive for financial awards that many graduate programs offer.
  • You have a better opportunity for developing a mentoring relationship with one or two faculty members in your major.
  • You will be encouraged to find creative ways to develop your skills and enrich your college experience. We try to make you aware of interesting opportunities to study abroad, to apply for internships outside of Nashville and to encourage the very best students to apply for post-graduate scholarships like the Rhodes, Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman and Wilson scholarships.
  • We have fun! Students attend a reception and go on a special outing each semester as well as an end-of-the-year picnic. We go to plays, concerts, and movies together as appropriate.

Will I be labeled a nerd if I take Honors classes?

Honors students are not isolated from the student body. Honors students run for, and get elected to, student government. They participate in intercollegiate and intramural sports. They join and are active in social and service clubs. The honors program at Lipscomb avoids the notion of being an elitist group of students, while preserving a high level of academic integrity. Since students take only 25 honors hours of the 129 required for graduation, you spend most of your time integrated into student life.

What is the honors thesis?

To complete the honors program, students write a thesis during their senior year, working with a thesis advisor who will help the student develop a topic pertinent to his or her major and will develop a plan of action to research the problem and present a written document of findings to the Honors Council. This project spans three semesters, giving students ample time to do laboratory, field, and/or library research and to write and revise the thesis paper. For many students, the thesis is the most important academic experience they have during their four years in college. They find that it prepares them well for postgraduate education.

How do I apply for The Honors College?

The application process is competitive, and submitting the application online is recommended. However, if needed, an application can be mailed to you. Request an application by e-mailing Dr. Paul Prill, program director, at paul.prill@lipscomb.edu. The application deadline is typically on or about March 15. In addition to submitting the application and required essay, you will also need to have two references mailed to the director of the program. (If you applied for the Trustee Scholarship, you do not need to send additional letters.) Mail your completed application and references to:

Dr. Paul Prill
Director, Honors Program
Lipscomb University
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951

How do I register for classes?

Students admitted to the Honors program will receive a course reservation form in the mail.  When you return the form, a spot in the courses which you indicate will be reserved for you.  The reservation guarantees you a spot in the course regardless of which summer Advance registration you can attend. Courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to return your reservation form as soon as possible.  Once your reservations have been entered into the computer, the director of the program will notify you.

When you look at the online course schedule, you will notice that all of the honors classes are closed. We do that to guarantee that only honors students can register for those classes.  Go ahead and indicate the classes you want. If the class has indeed filled before your reservation arrives on campus, the director of the program will notify you that the class is officially full.