Welcome to the Jack & Sandra Pine Honors College. Honors students enjoy small classes, engaging faculty, and a challenging, stimulating curriculum. You’ll also benefit from Honors housing, advising, scholarships, priority registration, a committed staff, and a great community of peers. Honors can help you learn, grow, and excel; it can connect you with challenges and experiences that build your confidence and résumé. In addition to excellent, purpose-built classes, we offer a rich extra-curricular program, ranging from hikes in nearby parks to conversations over tea and games, to participation in research conferences.
Learn about scholarships, exceptional opportunities, policies, and Honors groups. Feel free to come by and talk to the Honors staff in person! Have tea with the dean!
Dean, Sandra & Jack Pine Honors College
Dr. Herb Lasky founded the Honors programs in 1982 to meet the needs of academically talented students. By 2004, Honors had grown to become an Honors College, which was named for Sandra and Jack Pine in 2014, in recognition of their outstanding support of their alma mater. For more than 30 years, Honors at EIU has encouraged intellectual and social growth. We have grown to now include about 420 students representing all colleges.
New Freshman Students
Admission is offered automatically to students with a high school GPA of 3.75 effective Spring 2021. We also welcome students who show other evidence of excellence. Students previously admitted to EIU with a GPA below 3.75 should apply to University Honors here.
Transfer students with a GPA of 3.5 in their prior undergraduate coursework may be eligible to participate in University Honors and/or Departmental Honors. Apply to University Honors here. Contact Ms. Schmidt for advising assistance.
Current EIU Students
3.5er Program: Students who achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher cumulative GPA standing in their first semester at EIU will be invited to join the Honors College.
Departmental Honors: Current students with a good GPA near junior standing should talk with their Departmental Honors coordinator to apply. Departmental Honors students receive all benefits of Honors participation.
The University Honors Program offers students unique interdisciplinary Honors seminars, enriched versions of General Education courses, and of select courses in majors. Students can also earn Honors credit through undergraduate research, graduate courses, and individualized Honors reflective projects. Honors prepares students to compete at the highest levels for career opportunities and graduate school placements. In University Honors, students can earn one of two distinctions:
Students pursuing the University Honors Laureate designation must be enrolled in at least one Honors course per semester until they have earned 22 hours of Honors credit. Students pursuing the Honors Scholar designation must be enrolled in at least one Honors course per semester until they have earned 12 hours of Honors credit. A one-term waiver from Honors enrollment may be granted following application to Ms. Schmidt.
GPA RequirementStudents receiving an Honors College scholarship must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA to retain their award. All other University Honors students must meet the following cumulative GPA requirements:
Dismissal from University Honors
Students who do not remain continuously enrolled in Honors courses and are not granted a one-term waiver from doing so, and students who do not meet their prescribed cumulative GPA requirement, are granted a one-semester grace period. At the end of that grace period, students who either did not successfully earn additional Honors hours or did not raise their GPA to whatever level was then prescribed will be dismissed from University Honors. Seniors with 101+ hours whose GPA is < 3.41 will be dismissed without a prior grace period.
Extended Grace Period
Students who faced a major life event that resulted in their need for a first semester of grace may request that grace be extended to a second semester. Such a request should be made during a meeting with Ms. Schmidt. If Ms. Schmidt considers the request to have merit, she will discuss its particulars with the Dean and an extension may be approved.
Reversal of Dismissal
Students previously dismissed from University Honors due to low cumulative GPA may request a reversal of dismissal at such time that their cumulative GPA has improved to meet the requirement tied to their current class standing. To request readmission, students must meet with Ms. Schmidt.
Departmental Honors consists of 12 hours of classes. These are primarily individualized courses that focus on research or creative activity supervised by faculty. Students pursue areas of personal interest by undertaking independent investigations of their chosen topics at a deep level. Each Departmental Honors program has its own unique requirements, though all culminate in a thesis or equivalent creative capstone project.
Admission to Departmental Honors
To be admitted to Departmental Honors students must:
Continuous Enrollment: Students must continue to complete Departmental Honors courses as outlined in their application. Changes in course sequence or selection must be reported to Ms. Schmidt.
GPA Requirement: Students must keep a GPA of at least 3.5 to remain in the program.
Students in Departmental Honors should note that there is no probationary policy for their programs. Students in Departmental Honors who fail to maintain a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA will be dismissed from their Departmental Honors program. That said, students who have been administratively dismissed from Departmental Honors may request a reversal of dismissal as soon as their cumulative GPA is at or above a 3.5.
Departmental Honors programs and their faculty coordinators are listed below. Ms. Schmidt is the Honors College liaison for Departmental Honors.
All honors students receive extra advising from Honors College staff. Our resident expert is Ms. Schmidt: she advises sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as Presidential Scholars at all levels, and students pursuing Honors reflective projects. Freshmen who are not Presidential Scholars are advised by the Dean or Assistant Dean. All of us help students make sure they are still on track with Honors requirements. In addition, Ms. Schmidt works with students who apply for National Scholarships, graduate school, or medical/veterinary school. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 217-581-2017.
Honors students register during the first week of undergraduate registration, which is a particular advantage to early-career students. This should happen automatically. If you have questions or concerns about priority registration, please contact Ms. Schmidt.
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.
The Honors College is a community. We have regular on-campus social gatherings (Ice Cream Social, Pizza Crawl, Tea with the Dean) and special excursions to nearby attractions, as well as occasional outings to cities and cultural events. Students prepare the Honors Homecoming tent, get involved in annual service projects and give feedback to the Honors College. All events are listed in the weekly e-mail: read it, come, make some friends, and have fun!
We invite high-achieving high school seniors to apply for our Presidential, Pemberton Presidential, and Honors Award scholarships. See go.eiu.edu/HonorsScholarships.
The awards below are open to students in good standing with the Honors College in all years (freshman to senior) unless otherwise noted. Details, including deadlines and eligibility, are available here. The Honors weekly e-mail will post deadlines – read it!
Unless otherwise noted, submit all applications online through Academic Works by March 15.
The Honors College offers all EIU students support and guidance in major national scholarship and fellowship competitions. In order to plan for competition, interested students should schedule informational appointments for information with designated campus representatives as early in their academic careers as possible.
We encourage all students (and recent alumni) with exemplary academic, service, and leadership records to talk to Ms. Schmidt.
For national scholarships, links see this page.
Association of Honors Students (AHS)
AHS is a voluntary student organization that plans and executes social and service activities. All Honors students are encouraged to join. Invitations to AHS recruiting events are sent out in the Honors weekly e-mail.
This student body meets several times a semester to discuss policies and activities with the Dean of the Honors College. See go.eiu.edu/HonorsAdvisory.
This group is composed of faculty, staff, chairs, and students from across campus. This body reviews curricular and policy changes related to Honors, evaluates Presidential Scholarship applications, and reviews and approves other Honors College scholarship applications.
This group of alumni and friends of Honors meets twice a year to discuss networking, development, and the activities of the Honors College. They are a great support to current students. All alumni are invited to participate in Honors homecoming and other special events on- and off-campus.
The Honors College invites faculty to nominate students to present original work at the Honors Council of the Illinois Region Student Research Symposium.
Students propose presentations themselves for the National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Events are subject to change. Check your EIU email and the Honors College website frequently for updates!