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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d love the Honors Scholarship, but is there a lot more work involved?

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 (17:1) 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.

If I meet all the requirements, do I automatically get into the Honors Program?

Not necessarily (only 64 percent were accepted in 2012), so it is wise to apply early (between January and March of the spring semester). The selection process is competitive, and only a limited number of scholarships are available. Also remember, the final application deadline is April 1.

If I don't have a 1270 SAT or a 29 ACT, can I still be an Honors student?

Yes, but you will need to apply after your first semester of college. Not everyone does extremely well on standardized testing, but if you work hard and make good grades your first semester of college, then you could qualify for the Honors Program if you have a cumulative GPA of 3.50. The application deadline is April 1.

Can I be in the Honors Program if I have a lot of CLEP credit?

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.

Can a home-schooled student join the Honors Program?

Yes, many of our best Honors students come from home school 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:

  • pastors, assistant pastors, youth pastors or Sunday school teachers
  • scouting leaders, coaches, tutors, or music instructors
  • employers or leaders in charitable organizations

Can a transfer student join the Honors Program?

Yes, 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.

Since I'm in Athletics or Debate, will I still have time to be an Honors student?

Yes, and we currently have over 20 Honors students who are also varsity athletes in a variety of men's and women's intercollegiate sports--baseball, track, tennis, cross country, swimming, lacrosse, soccer, and golf.

Many of our Honors students are also highly involved in campus activities and organizations and are still able to graduate in four years from the Honors Program. Honors graduates include several Champion newspaper editors, a student government president, and the Big South Player of the Year in women’s soccer, Quiz Bowl players, starters on the our football and basketball teams and an NFL player for the Houston Texans.

What are Petition classes, and when do I take them?

Once students complete their Honors seminars, they take three Honors Petition courses, 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.

How long is the Senior Honors Thesis?

The short answer is 25 pages, and this is the capstone project that seniors complete after 2-3 years of advanced study. The purpose of this course 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.

How do I get the National Merit Finalist Scholarship?

The designation of National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist 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. See the National Merit Foundation website for further details:

Where do I send my completed application?

Honors Program
Liberty University
MSC Box# 710018
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515

Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?

Dr. Jim Nutter, the Honors Director, can be reached via email at or telephone at (434) 592-3304.