University Honors Program - Students at Girl Scout Lecture

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my participation in the University Honors Program hurt my GPA?

NO. Honors students commonly graduate with the highest GPAs in the university. Honors courses are not graded on a curve, and Honors faculty recognize that most students in Honors courses may earn high grades. High academic achievement in the Honors Program does take strong self-discipline and motivation, characteristics which the Unversity Honors Advisory Board look for in evaluating candidates for admission into the program.

How do sign up to live in the Honors Themed Living Community?

Admitted Honors students apply for housing as usual, and Residential Life automatically places accepted Honors students in the Honors Themed Living Community.

I have a very demanding major with many requirements. Will participation in the University Honors Program complicate my progress towards graduation?

Participants in Honors have the same number of requirements and credits as non-honors students.  The Honors curriculum is designed to work with all colleges and programs, with Honors seminars replacing many of the Common Curriculum courses required of all Loyola students.

Should I wait until the beginning of my sophomore year to apply to the program, so that I can get adjusted to college life first?

The UHP core curriculum includes an Honors First Year Seminar and the one-credit Ignatian Colloquium required of all incoming Honors students.  These two seminars are designed to provide an introduction and foundation for the program, as well as mentoring by older Honors students and professors.  Students commonly find that participation in the Honors Program from the beginning of their freshman year helps with their adjustment to college, due to the camaraderie of the Honors community, special Honors co-curricular activities, and participation in the Honors Themed Living Community.

What if I am a transfer student or was not in the program my first year at Loyola?

The University Honors Program is not designed to be a reward for good grades in high school.  Students who perform well at Loyola or at another academic institution (3.3 GPA or higher) and who enjoy the intellectual challenge of engaged learning are encouraged to contact the Honors director to discuss admission to the program.

Is Honors an elitist program?

Some students express reluctance to participate in Honors or live in our themed community out of fear of seeming elitist or “snobby.”  It is important to keep in mind that, although Honors students replace the introductory common curriculum with a set of Honors seminars designed to support and develop students’ academic strengths, they complete their major course-work with the entire Loyola community.  Nor are their co- and extracurricular activities exclusively within Honors; UHP members are well-represented on athletic teams, performance ensembles, fraternities and sororities, student government, and service organizations, as well as in other organizations and activities throughout the university.

What does it mean to be in a Jesuit Honors Program?

The Loyola University Honors Program (UHP) fulfills the “Basic Characteristics of an Honors Program,” as articulated by the National Collegiate Honors Council, of which we are a member institution. As a Jesuit Honors Program, we also explicitly seek to promote and develop in Honors students of all faiths and traditions the Ignatian values at the heart of our institution, relating our wider intellectual concerns to the Ignatian goals of service, compassion and wisdom.  Our curriculum encompasses a wide range of interdisciplinary seminars, including required courses in ethics and community-engaged social justice research, while are co-curricular programs include partnerships promoting engagement with and service to the New Orleans community.

What is the Senior Project/Thesis?

Each Honors student is required to complete six credits in his or her major, including at least three credits of Honors Thesis or Senior Project.  The thesis is an original work of research, scholarship or creative activity, designed to complement and enhance the student’s academic experience at Loyola.  Students may complete the thesis in Honors or in the major department; depending on the student’s academic focus, it may represent historical scholarship, experimental scientific research, or a lecture-recital.  Students have created films, composed operas, written plays  or business plans, but each student works with a faculty mentor for the year-long project, which is publically presented to the community during the spring of senior year.