Honors students studying in the Wentz Science Center.

Honors Program Requirements Overview

Program Requirements Overview

Most Honors Program applicants have at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. For first-year students entering Fall of 2024, we provide a test-optional admission process. Submission of a test score is not required for admission to the Honors Program. Please note in the history of the program, the recent average composite test score of our applicants is a 1280 SAT or a 28 ACT.

The Honors Program curriculum is a minimum of 16 credit hours out of 128 credit hours needed to graduate. Students admitted to the program who complete all of the following curricular requirements and who maintain both a cumulative honors GPA of 3.0 or better and a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 or better will graduate as Honors students. Any grade lower than a C- in an honors course does not satisfy an honors requirement.

Students entering North Central College
Requirement Course
CARD 101-H First-Year Seminar Writing (Honors) (4 Credits)
HONR 290 Honors Seminar (2 courses required for 4 hours total)
HONR 300 Thesis Practicum (2 credits)
HONR 400 Honors Thesis (4 credits)
HONR 450 Excellence Through Community: Honors Culminating Experience (2 credits)
Study Away (0-4 credits)

Honors Thesis Overview

The honors thesis is an original scholarly project on a topic of the student’s choosing. Working closely with a thesis director, honors thesis work typically begins by the end of the third year, and students complete and present their projects during the fourth year. Some recent honors theses include:

  • An interview-based study of religion and relationship practices among college students in Colombia
  • An in-depth exploration of how to encourage girls to pursue computer science through web-based games
  • An interdisciplinary analysis of the economic consequences of power- generation methods
  • An examination of how sport specialization impacts longevity in athletics
  • An application of mathematical theory to predict Tony Award-winners
  • A study of the inclusion of women writers in the high school classroom

Study Away

In addition to the honors seminars and independent research courses, the honors curriculum includes an experiential learning component that encourages students to interact with diverse perspectives and voices and integrate their learning in the classroom with domestic or international immersion experiences. All students in the Honors Program are required to fulfill this requirement in any one of the following ways:

  • Studying abroad for a semester or more
  • Studying abroad through a short-term course
  • Conducting research abroad through a Richter Grant
  • Studying for a term at another college or university in the United States
  • Completing the Chicago Term program
  • Completing an additional Honors Seminar

Academic Recognition

Your completion of the Honors Program will be featured on your official North Central transcript and highlighted in the Commencement program. The Honors Program will conclude with a special cording ceremony during which your thesis director will present you with your honors cords.  Along with your fellow honors graduates, you will proudly wear those cords as you cross the Commencement stage.


Student at graduation with honors cords

Ready to apply?

Our prestigious and rigorous Honors Program provides a unique opportunity for you to expand and demonstrate your knowledge beyond the traditional classroom. Apply today!

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