The final application deadline is April 1, but the Honors Program begins receiving applications in January for the Feb. 1 and March 1 early deadlines.
The selection process is very competitive, and only a limited number of scholarships are available: only 53 percent were accepted in 2015, which translates into 236 new scholarships chosen out of 444 Honors applications. It is wise to take the SAT and ACT multiple times to increase your scores and apply early (between January and March).
Not everyone does extremely well on standardized testing, but if you work hard and make good grades your first semester of college (12 hours completed with grades), then you could qualify for the Honors Program as a transfer or LU student, if you have a cumulative GPA of 3.50. However, for the last several years, the Honors Program has only accepted LU students with a 4.0 GPA and fewer than 60 hours.
With the exception of the Senior Honors Thesis (HONR 495), Honors students do not need to take any additional courses. The Honors Seminars (100-200 level) are classes that you would normally take anyway, but the Honors sections have a much smaller student-professor enrollment (16:1) and are discussion driven rather than straight lecture. The classes do provide moderate challenge, but most high ability students welcome the opportunity for growth and enrichment in their classes.
We currently have over 20 Honors students who are also varsity athletes in a variety of men's and women's intercollegiate sports--football, baseball, track, tennis, cross country, swimming, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and cheerleading. Even more Honors students are involved in club sports, such as hockey, wrestling, disc golf, gymnastics, figure skating, and archery.
Many of our Honors students are also highly involved in campus activities and organizations and still graduate in four years from the Honors Program. Honors alumni include a 4-time Jeopardy champion, an NFL football player, a MLB-drafted Academic All American, the first female student government president, several Champion newspaper editors, the Big South Player of the Year in women’s soccer, and nationally ranked Debaters and Quiz Bowl players.
Honors students who enter the program as freshmen will need to take 8 Honors seminar courses their first two years of college; sophomores entering the program will need 4 Honors seminars, and juniors will need 2 Honors seminars. As long as you have enough general education courses left to take to meet those requirements, your CLEP credits should not hinder you from doing well in the Honors Program.
Many of our best Honors students come from homeschool backgrounds. Like public and private school students, though, you still need to have a 1270 SAT or 29 ACT and a 3.50 GPA in high school. However, relatives (including parents) cannot write letters of recommendation. Your letters must be from non-relatives who know you in some sort of educational capacity, such as:
The Honors Program welcomes many students from community colleges, state universities, and sister Christian colleges, as long as you have a minimum of 12 hours of college credits and at least four semesters of college remaining with a cumulative college GPA of 3.50. However, if you have earned over 60 hours of college credit, it is too late to apply to our Honors Program.
Once students complete their lower-division Honors seminars, they take three upper-division Honors Petition courses in their major, beginning their junior year. A Petition course is an opportunity for an Honors student to study more deeply via an independent-study, learning contract that is agreed upon between the student and the professor. Well-crafted petition projects should promote independence, freedom, and moderate challenge for the Honors student and involve an advanced level of creativity, problem-solving, and/or critical thinking. Ideally, petition projects should contribute toward the research needed for the Senior Honors Thesis.
The Senior Honors Thesis is the capstone project that seniors complete after 2-3 years of advanced study. The purpose of this course (HONR 495) is to give Honors students an opportunity to research a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a committee of three senior faculty members and the Honors Director. Completion of the Senior Honors Thesis enables Honors students to have a well-researched writing sample in their interest area and major field of study that can be submitted when making application to graduate schools, law and medical schools and seminaries.
The designation of National Merit Finalist, Semi-Finalist, or Commended is based on high PSAT scores taken your junior year in high school. National Merit Finalists represent the top half of the top one percent of all high school seniors. Commended students represent the top three percent. See the National Merit Foundation website for further details: www.nationalmerit.org.
Honors Program, Liberty University, MSC Box #710018, Lynchburg, VA 24515
Dr. Jim Nutter, the Honors Director, can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at (434) 592-3304.