Director: William P. Leeman, Ph.D.
The Pell Honors Program promotes the University's Mission of preparing students to serve the community, to seek peace and justice in the world, and to be responsible citizens at the local, national, and international levels. The aim of the Pell Honors Program, therefore, is to realize Senator Claiborne Pell's vision of education as the key to informed citizenship. One of the best ways to attain a liberal education - an education fit for a free individual and self-government - is through a serious study of the great ideas that have shaped human thought and history. Students pursue a challenging course of study comprised of courses mostly centered around significant texts and original sources.
The Pell Honors Program is highly selective, but is open to students in any academic discipline. Students who demonstrate the strong potential for academic excellence, exhibiting both intellectual curiosity and a passion for learning, are identified during the admissions process. These students are invited to apply for acceptance into the program.
The honors program extends through the traditional four years of baccalaureate study but can be completed in three years. The program consists of the following main components:
- Specially-designed honors sections of the University seminars, core courses and Special Topics seminars;
- A study-abroad experience or a junior or senior-level internship;
- Participation in a variety of academic opportunities that may include workshops, lectures, field trips, reading groups and discussions.
Pell Honors students must maintain a minimum 3.3 cumulative grade point average to remain in the program.
Pell Honors Four-Year Plan of Study
First Year Courses
Participants are required to complete Pell sections of the following courses:
- UNV-101 University Seminar
- UNV-102 University Seminar II
- Participants are also required to take Pell sections of courses in two of the following disciplines: Political Science, History, Economics and Sociology/Anthropology.
These courses help the student to fulfill the social science and history core requirements. Additional Pell designated courses in the social sciences and history may also be offered when available.
Second Year Courses
Pell Scholars in their second year will be asked to take a Pell Special Topic course, PEL-299 Special Topics, in each semester, for a total of two Special Topics courses. The offerings will vary each semester.
Pell Scholars are highly encouraged, but not required, to take Pell sections of core required courses PHL-225 Quest for the Good Life and RTS-225 The Quest for the Ultimate: Dialogue with Global Religious Traditions.
Third and Fourth Year Courses
Pell Scholars in the Nursing, Education or Social Work fields complete field work within the major that will fulfill the Pell internship requirement. Biology or Chemistry majors may complete scientific laboratory research for credit to fulfill the Pell internship requirement. For all other internships, students are encouraged to complete an internship for course credit (e.g., a Business major might be interested in MGT-491 Professional Internship in Business).