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EIU Pine Honors College

Honors FAQs

The Pine Honors College offers two different honors programs, each intended to give strong students a challenging, fun, and engaging educational experience. Information about each program, including their individual requirements, is at the links below:

What do Honor societies do? And what is their role in the EIU community and campus?

Honor societies are private organizations that recognize student excellence. These groups have chapters at many universities. They can be quite prestigious, and provide opportunities for networking, recognition, and service. Honor societies are different from the Honors College. You should only join Honors societies certified by the Association of College Honor Societies. Visit here for a list of registered student organizations (RSOs).

What have been some of the experiences for Honors students during a study abroad?

Honors students have studied abroad around the world in experiences lasting anywhere from a week to a whole semester. Exchange programs sometimes make long-term study abroad surprisingly affordable. Honors students are also eligible for scholarships to help them study abroad, as well as having the opportunity to have honors requirements waived as they reflect on their experience. We encourage all students to consider study abroad and to talk to their advisors in Honors as well as the study abroad office about it in their first year at EIU.

What kind of research do Honors students do?

Students often do research as part of departmental honors, but research also happens outside of that program. Honors students from all disciplines do research, whether working with a science mentor in a lab, visiting historical archives out of state, or developing a musical learning performance-program. Students can also receive grants (URSCA) to help pay for materials or travel related to conducting or sharing their research.

What is the curriculum at the HC? What are the benefits of becoming/being an honors student?

Priority registration: Honors students register during the first week of undergraduate registration.

Access to additional funds: Over 8 awards/scholarships available only to Honors students including the Presidential and Pemberton Presidential Awards.

Honors Community: Honors Housing

If I enroll in the HC, will I take only Honors Classes?

No. You will take classes in your major and general education classes. Most Honors classes are offered as an Honors alternative to a general education course. You will typically take one or two Honors classes each semester, as well as three or four non-honors classes.

If I decide that the HC is not a good fit for me, can I withdraw?

Yes, you can withdraw at any time. Please notify the Honors College by email to inform us of your withdrawal.

What benefits does Honors College provide after graduation (connections, experience, resume, etc.)?

Honors helps you in two ways. Firstly, because of your active learning through discussion, critical reading, and research you will be a better member of whatever team you end up working or learning with. You will also have an extra distinction on your transcript and resume that will help you stand out as you apply for further study or job opportunities. In addition, as you make closer connections with faculty in honors you will have better opportunities for strong letters of recommendation.

Am I required to live in Honors housing?

Honors students have the option to live with other Honors students on dedicated floors in Thomas Hall. This can ease your transition to college as you will meet other Honors students with whom to study and socialize. Your resident assistants will also be Honors students, and residential programming on the Honors floors frequently has an Honors-related theme. However, you may opt out of Honors housing to live in any housing option of your choice.

Are there additional costs to be a part of Honors College?

No. There is no additional cost to be a part of Honors.

Can part-time students be in Honors College?

Yes, you can. However, you should work with an Honors advisor to figure out how you can make honors classes work with your other needs as you work towards your degree. Depending on your course load you may not be expected to take an honors class every semester.

What are Honors classes like?

Honors classes provide an excellent learning experience and an environment ideal for academic growth. You will be surrounded by fellow Honors students who share similar academic values. The benefits of Honors classes include small class sizes and discussion-based curriculum.

How many students are in the Honors College?

About 400 students are currently enrolled in the Honors College.

How do I accept the invitation to be admitted into the Honors College?

In May we will email all admitted honors eligible students to encourage them to sign up for an orientation session. To accept your Honors College invitation, all you need to do is take one or two Honors classes in your first semester. We will be working with you to advise you over the summer. I look forward to meeting you. If you visit campus, we would be glad to meet with you. Just drop us a line at and we can set something up.

How challenging is it to combine Honors with other activities (athletics, clubs, a job etc.)? Can a student in any major handle it?

Honors asks students to take on an extra academic challenge, but it also provides great opportunities for intellectual growth, fun, and engagement. You will learn in a different way in many of your honors classes. Honors curricula are flexible! Current Honors students are involved in Division I athletics, in leading student organizations, and in holding down demanding jobs. Students in demanding majors (and dual majors) can also handle honors. This is not always easy, but it is worth the effort. We offer advising to help students handle the different demands on their time.

You can have a life (a great life!) in Honors! Have fun, learn, lead, and get yourself ready to conquer the world (figuratively speaking)!

How many Honors classes should I take this semester?

It depends on whether you are pursuing University Honors Laureate (26 credits) or University Honors Scholars (15 credit).

  • University Honors Laureate: We generally advise first-year students to take two Honors classes in their first semester, and then one or two classes per term, until they hit 21 credits. Thereafter take an Honors class when it fits your schedule. To graduate with University Honors Laureate you will need to complete 26 and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better.
  • University Honors Scholars: or 15 credits worth of Honors classes (University Honors Laureate and, respectively) or and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better. You are welcome to choose your Honors classes as you see fit, just so long as one of them is a four-hour Honors senior seminar and one is a Freshman Honors Seminar. Students are encouraged to complete University Honors requirements concurrently with their General Education Courses.

Students with questions about Honors requirements should contact the Honors Office at 217-581-2017 or

Related Pages

Contact Information

Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College

Pemberton Hall South
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2017
(888) 440-4664
Fax: (217) 581-7222

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