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Honors Program

Course Catalog: Honors Program

The honors program enhances the education of some of our finest students within an eight-semester-hour curriculum that allows them to work intensively with a single professor in the production of a project relevant to their career or graduate education interests. The projects vary widely in scope. Some students elect creative works in music, drama, or spatial arts. Others may do specialized research on historical or literary topics. Students in the sciences may wish to complete original research. Often, topics will be interdisciplinary. In all cases, students' projects are begun and completed with the approval and close support of the Honors Committee, their divisions, and their readers, as explained in the sequence below.

Successful honors students find that participation in this program not only brings them closer to professionals in their chosen fields, but also grants them substantial credentials in their applications to graduate schools or employment opportunities.

The honors program at Rocky Mountain College is open to students who, at completion of the second semester of their sophomore year, have achieved a GPA of 3.40 or better or are recommended by a faculty member. Interested students may also petition the Honors Committee for admittance to the program.

Honors students enjoy reserved carrels in the library and may receive an increase in scholarship assistance as they pursue projects during their senior year (honors students enrolled in HON 490 are eligible for a $300 scholarship each semester they are enrolled in HON 490).

Spring Semester, Junior Year

Approved entrants participate in HON 309: Honors Proposal Development. Students will spend the semester selecting and developing topics related to their major field of study and will produce a research proposal to be presented to the Honors Committee for approval. Only well-developed proposals will be approved for academic support and possible funding by the Committee. Students who successfully defend their proposals then move forward with their projects, taking two semesters of HON 490 during their senior year.

Fall Semester, Senior Year

Honors students commence work on their projects in HON 490: Senior Honors Thesis.

Spring Semester, Senior Year

Honors students register for a second semester of HON 490: Senior Honors Thesis, climaxing in the defense and presentation of the completed project.

HON 309 - Honors Proposal Development

Semester: Spring; Junior year
Semester hours: 3

The goal of this course is to produce a research proposal of the highest academic caliber. Students will spend the semester selecting and developing relevant topics, learning the methodology of research design, formulating analytical research questions, and gathering scholarly research related to their chosen course of study. At the end of the semester the proposal is presented to the Honors Committee for approval, and only proposals approved by the Committee will receive academic support. Proposals not approved may be resubmitted, at the discretion of the Committee, with appropriate modifications.

Prerequisite: faculty nomination

HON 490 - Senior Honors Thesis

Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 6; 3 credits per semester

Students undertake senior theses approved by the Honors Committee and their divisions. Students sign a contract with their faculty readers (mentors) outlining their objectives, timelines, and final project. Students are expected to finish a rough draft of their projects by midterm of their second semester. Copies of the completed paper or a description of the project are due to the first (and second) reader and the director of the honors program by 4:00 p.m. on April 1 (November 1 for those planning to graduate in December). Students defend their theses mid-April (or mid-November) and present them to the College community during the year-end Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Prerequisite: HON 309

  • Matthew O'Gara, Professor of Political Science and Program Director