Honors Program

Honors Programs at St. Edward's UniversityAs a member of the St. Edward's Honors Program, you will join other high-achieving, highly motivated students from a variety of schools and majors.

For the first three years, Honors students take one or two seminar courses, which are interdisciplinary roundtable discussions, each semester. These courses satisfy many of the university’s graduation requirements, so Honors students take the same number of classes as everyone else. Possible course options include:

  • The Printed Page and the Silver Screen (an examination of literature and film as art and entertainment)
  • Issues of Social Justice (an analysis of America’s current social problems, including poverty, gender and racial discrimination, healthcare, and others)
  • The Shaping of the Modern World (a survey of world civilization from the Medieval Period to the present)

In the senior year, Honors students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor to prepare and present a Senior Thesis. Past thesis projects include varied creative work such as comic books, plays and fashion shows. Students have also completed research projects on topics such as Gothic architecture, gentrification and art in Harlem and East Austin, and educational models for street children in South Africa. The thesis is presented publicly during the biannual Honors Symposium, making it excellent preparation for graduate school and the professional world.


I’m concerned about being overwhelmed my freshman year. Does the program entail a lot of extra work?
Honors students take one seminar each semester, so you don’t need to worry about being overwhelmed by program requirements. Also, Honors seminars satisfy requirements in the liberal arts core curriculum (required of all students at St. Edward’s), so being part of the program does not mean you are taking more classes than traditional students.

Can students of any major be part of the Honors Program?
Because Honors Program requirements affect classes in the core curriculum only, students of any major can take part in the program. One of the benefits of the program is the opportunity to connect with students from other majors who will have different ways of thinking about issues and solving problems.

Why was I selected for admission to the program?
Qualified students are identified by their admission counselor during the application process. Factors taken into account include high school performance and rigor of curriculum, SAT and ACT scores, quality of writing, and demonstrated academic curiosity. We seek students who are academically talented and passionate about learning.

How many freshmen are accepted?
Fewer than 10% of each freshman class is accepted to the program.

What if I am not accepted to the Honors Program in my freshman year?
The Honors Program admits a limited number of incoming freshmen. If you were not accepted to the program for your freshman year, you may be eligible to apply to begin the program as a sophomore.  Please contact Dr. Barbara Filippidis, program director, during your freshman year to inquire about available spaces.

Can transfer students apply?
Possibly, depending on how many hours you have already completed. Contact Dr. Filippidis after you have been admitted to the university for more details.

Does membership in the Honors Program come with additional scholarship money?
No, students who are eligible for the program have been awarded academic scholarships in the admission process. Honors students can apply for small scholarships to fund research projects or studies abroad.

Are Honors students required to live in special housing?
No. We offer several Living Learning Communities to incoming freshmen, one of which is open only to Honors Program members, but living in the LLC is optional, not required. We expect to admit around 60 incoming freshmen to the Honors Program; the LLC has space for 15 students. Honors students who do not live in the Honors LLC are often members of other Living Learning Communities, such as Global Understanding or Natural Sciences.

Learn about the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC) »

Sofia Martinez
Multilingual Scholarship

An International Business major, and bilingual in English and Spanish, Sofia Martinez ’13 honed her French during her study abroad experience in Angers, France. She returned to Angers for a second semester and obtained a communication internship with the French delegation. She also volunteered at the English-Language Library in Angers, assisting high school students with their English. With a 4.0 GPA, Sofia steadfastly held a place in the Honors Program. She is a recipient of the Holy Cross Scholarship and the Notre Dame University Summer Semester Scholarship.