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Philadelphia University Honors Institute at Thomas Jefferson University

The mission of the Honors Institute is to offer a platform for academically high-achieving students to discover and pursue academic and pre-professional interests, as well as develop leadership skills, within a dynamic intellectual and socially vibrant community.

Program Description

The Philadelphia University Honors Program at Thomas Jefferson University provides students a unique opportunity to tailor a dynamic and challenging experience guided by their interests and goals. Anchored by the Honors Core of academic offerings, the customized curriculum offers specialized activities and courses that address four Cornerstones: Community Engagement, Global Awareness, Professional Development, and Program Expertise. These cornerstones combine to offer students a distinctive and comprehensive Honors experience.  This enriching program platform provides opportunities for students to distinguish themselves as graduates with a global perspective, an ability to lead, a sense of their responsibility, and advanced knowledge in their fields of practice.

Honors facilitates collaborative opportunities that promote the development of the following Core Values/ Program Goals:

  • Curiosity to pursue your own questions,
  • Confidence to act and apply knowledge in real-world conditions,
  • Empathy to adapt with respect to diverse perspectives,
  • Courage to contribute ideas that make a difference.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • ACT: Students will be able to apply knowledge and skills gained to collaborate and work effectively in diverse professional settings.
  • ADAPT: Students will be able to recognize and assess the interdependence of complex issues to negotiate unfamiliar contexts.
  • CONTRIBUTE: Students will be able to create dialog among peers that elevates and advances the articulation of ideas.
  • QUESTION: Students will be able to pursue research questions using appropriate resources and articulate conclusions persuasively across disciplines.

The Honors program is student-centered and promotes taking risks, experimentation and innovation in teaching and learning. It brings together students from all majors to build peer groups that:

  • work across the professional landscape,
  • share a priority around academic achievement,
  • deepen intellectual engagement with faculty,
  • contribute to the social and academic life of the campus, and
  • advance collaborative, academic and professional pursuits.

Requirements for completion of Honors Program for students entering Fall 2019 :

  • 5 Honors Courses in the Hallmarks Core. This is completed through Honors sections of the following Hallmarks Core courses:
    • FYS100 (Honors)
    • Ethics
    • Writing Seminar 2
    • Debating Global Issues
    • Hallmarks Capstone Portfolio
  • 4 Honors Courses in the Major - varies by major
  • 1 Co-curricular/ Curricular experience in each of the 4 Cornerstones (Act, Adapt, Contribute, Question)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 by graduation

Requirements for completion of Honors Program for students entering prior to Fall 2019 :

  • 4 Honors Courses in the Hallmarks Core
  • 2 Honors Courses/Common Assignments/Projects in the Major
  • 1 Co-curricular/ Curricular experience in each of the 4 Cornerstones (Act, Adapt, Contribute, Question)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 by graduation

Honors welcomes highly motivated students who have demonstrated academic excellence in high school. Participants enjoy advanced levels of inquiry and seminar-style instruction in Honors sections of Hallmarks core courses and special projects in the major. In many cases, Honors classes offer opportunities to take advantage of co-curricular experiences in the form of field trips, guest lectures, etc., that help interpret the course material. Honors freshmen can apply to live in the Honors Residence Hall—a built-in peer group grounded in a shared value of academic excellence; and Program students enjoy extended borrowing privileges at the University library.

Honors Scholars receive the Honors Certificate with University Seal, the Honors Medallion and Stole to be worn at commencement, along with earned Latin Honors cords. All work completed at the honors level as well as the Honors Scholar and Latin Honors designation appear on the transcript.

The Honors Program Director serves as an academic administrator and on the faculty in the College of Humanities and Sciences. The Director has earned degrees in American Culture Studies, Mass Communication and Broadcast Journalism. The program holds institutional membership in the National Collegiate Honors Council and Northeast Regional Honors Council.