Students enrolled in the Duquesne University Honors College who want to continue their commitment to the program beyond the required 18 “honors” credits now have the option to apply to be either an Honors College Fellow or a Senior Scholar.
“For many students, their Honors College experience is completed by the time they are sophomores,” said Dr. Kathleen Glenister Roberts, director of the program. “We wanted to create a way for these students to continue their commitment to higher-level work as well as their commitment to the humanities. As Honors Fellows, these students take what they’ve learned in the basic liberal arts core and use that as a kind of springboard for ideas for shaping their professions in different kinds of ways, perhaps even emerging as leaders in their fields.”
Through the Honors College Fellows Program, students take 12 additional hours of course work, generally within their major course of study but credits can also be from an area of personal interest. Nine of the required credits are to be taken at the 300-level or above, and three credit hours will constitute the Honors Senior Capstone project. The capstone is done via independent study under the direction of a faculty member within the student’s major field of concentration or area of personal interest. Students present or defend their capstone project to a faculty and student committee.
The commitment to becoming an Honors College Fellow is a serious one that students can begin planning for as early as their freshman year in the program, according to Roberts.
“It’s a commitment to 12 more Honors credits—some of the majors and programs have pretty tight schedules and curricula, so we have freshmen and sophomores in the Honors College who are already planning out now what they’re going to do when they become Fellows,” explained Roberts, an associate professor of communication.
Of the two current Honors College Fellows, one is a physical therapy major in the Rangos School of Health Sciences and the other is an international relations and philosophy double major in the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts.
The Senior Scholars program was created for Honors College students who want to continue their commitment to the program, but can’t fit in the additional 12 credits.
“For some of our students, they just don’t have the room in their major or program to take all the extra credits,” said Roberts. “Seniors Scholars are required to do the Honors Senior Capstone project. This option also provides a way to support the research that these students are doing—they are doing some exciting things.”