Honors Experience

An experiential approach to honors education

The OHIO Honors Program empowers students to align their personal interests with their academic pursuits and follow their learning wherever it leads. OHIO Honors students take on challenging coursework through small-group seminars or honors projects in traditional classes. They also apply their learning in the real world through internships, partnerships with community organizations, hands-on research, and other co-curricular activities. Designed to complement any major, the program connects students with fellow scholars across the university to explore ideas and issues from a wide range of perspectives.

Find your path, with support along the way

OHIO Honors students take challenging courses, but they also apply their knowledge outside the classroom. Students work closely with dedicated honors advisors throughout their time in the program to choose appropriate curricular and co-curricular experiences from the following three pathways and build toward a fourth-year capstone portfolio:

  • Community Engagement: This pathway focuses on building relationships with the local community, other geographic communities, and communities of shared interest. Experiences related to this pathway could include work with a local nonprofit organization, engagement with distant communities through study abroad opportunities, or the development of an event that draws together people with a common interest or experience.
  • Research/Creative Activity: This pathway encourages students to consider the various ways to collect information, make sense of it, and share it in a meaningful way. Experiences related to this pathway could include work in a laboratory, research based on interviews or focus groups, or the development of an exhibition or performance based on personal stories collected by the researchers.
  • Leadership: This pathway allows students to explore various ideas about leadership and develop their own understanding of the concept and how they can use and build upon their existing skills to practice it. Experiences related to this pathway could include participation in student government, work with campus and community organizations to develop responses to local challenges, or peer mentorship opportunities.

The OHIO Honors Program provides the opportunities, support, and guidance necessary for students to stretch themselves intellectually and apply their knowledge in ways that continue the learning process. Regular interaction across academic disciplines expands their understanding of the world and their capacity to craft creative responses to the challenges they face in the classroom and beyond.

OHIO Honors students receive:

  • Access to honors housing
  • Priority registration
  • Honors advising that complements students’ primary academic advising to help them curate an appropriately challenging academic experience tailored to their interests and goals
  • Honors designation on transcripts and diplomas
  • Support for experiential learning outside the classroom
  • Deep engagement with campus leaders and community partners both locally and globally

Put your honors education to work

Throughout their undergraduate careers, OHIO Honors students learn not only how to apply their knowledge in diverse contexts but also how to articulate what they’ve learned from these experiences. Through reflection and feedback from faculty and OHIO Honors advisors, students will develop the language to explain to potential employers or graduate school admissions officers the impact of their work on the world and their communities.

Students in the OHIO Honors Program also will create a portfolio in their final year that documents their cumulative experiences and demonstrates how they have applied what they’ve learned in preparation for their next professional or educational pursuit. These projects provide evidence of the significant practical experience students gain through their co-curricular endeavors and the interdisciplinary engagement they encounter throughout their time in the OHIO Honors Program.

OHIO Honors Program Year by Year

Year One

OHIO Honors First-Year Experience

  • Fall semester: Introduction to OHIO Honors or similar class specific to designated program
  • Spring semester: Engagement Lab
  • Complete one to two co-curricular experiences in any pathway.

Year Two

Explore the three program pathways: community engagement; research and creative activity; and leadership. Complete a total of four curricular and co-curricular experiences in any of the honors pathways.

Year Three

Complete a total of four curricular and co-curricular experiences, focusing on a particular pathway in preparation for the fourth-year capstone.

Year Four

OHIO Honors Capstone Experience

  • Prepare a digital portfolio showcasing the skills and knowledge acquired through your honors experiences
  • Share your OHIO Honors portfolio in a public presentation
  • Optionally, complete an honors thesis or capstone project that integrates your academic major and pathway expertise
  • Complete one to two additional curricular or co-curricular experiences.

Request Info

Please request application information regarding admission as a student using the form below.