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    Harding University
  Mar 26, 2023
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
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2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Honors College


Dean: J. Warren Casey, Ph.D.

Debbie Baird, B.A., Honors College Administrator


The Honors College provides educational opportunities to challenge and stimulate outstanding students to develop their intellectual and leadership abilities to the fullest.  The university curriculum provides an offering of honors classes which will substitute for liberal arts courses and discipline-specific courses.




Participation in the Honors College is by invitation.  In-coming freshmen who score 27 or higher on the ACT (sum score of 1220 or higher on the SAT verbal and math sections) are automatically sent invitations to participate.  However, any university student or transfer student who maintains a 3.25 GPA or above throughout their college work may participate in the Honors College.  

A 3.25 cumulative GPA or above is required of all students to remain active in the Honors College. 

All membership candidates must complete and return an enrollment form.  The form is located at  




Students who maintain the minimum GPA requirement and earn 10 or more honors credits will graduate from the Honors College.  By including a variety of liberal arts courses and discipline-specific courses designated with the letter (H) as honors sections or the course prefix, HNRS signifying an honors course, students create a unique academic experience tailored to their interests and needs. 

Students may also choose to collaborate with a university professor to create an honors contract for many upper-level courses.  You will find contract information at Honors Contract info and the Contract application at Honors Contract Application.

The Honors Senior Capstone Project is a senior honors thesis or project suitable to the student’s major.  Students present their project in a public forum and are evaluated by Honors College representatives.  Senior Capstone Project information may be found at Honors Capstone info.  Download the Capstone application at Honors Capstone Application or come by the Honors House to get your form.




Students enrolled in the Honors College at the time of graduation will graduate with a degree in their selected major area of study.  There are three recognition levels from the Honors College. 

Honors College Participants earn 10 or more hours of honors credit during their college career, while maintaining a 3.25 overall grade point average.  Courses may be selected from honors (H) sections and/or HNRS courses, or students may collaborate with a University professor to create an honors contract in a regular class.

Honors College Participants will be recognized with a special notation in the commencement program.

Honors College Graduates earn a minimum of 20 hours of honors credits including at least three honors (H) sections and/or HNRS courses and four honors contracts while maintaining a 3.25 overall grade point average throughout their college career.

Honors College Graduates will be included in a separate listing in the commencement program.  The official university transcript will indicate they have achieved this honor.

Honors College Graduates with Distinction earn a minimum of 26 honors credits while maintaining a 3.50 grade point average or higher throughout their college work.  Students will complete a minimum of four honors (H) sections and/or hour HNRS courses, and a minimum of four honors contracts.  An approved Honors senior capstone project must be completed.

Honors College Graduates with Distinction will be noted in a separate listing in the commencement program with the Honors capstone project title.  The official university transcript will indicate they have achieved this honor.  Students will be awarded an engraved bronze medallion at the Honors College Medallion Ceremony.

Honors courses completed prior to the first semester of full-time enrollment do not apply toward honors graduation recognition requirements.





The Honors Scholars curriculum is open to a limited number of incoming freshmen by invitation only. Students qualify by being named National Merit Finalists, Trustee Scholarship recipients, or by being selected from the pool of applicants scoring 31 or higher on the ACT (sum score of 1360 or higher on the SAT verbal and math portions). 

Honors Scholars have exclusive access to a special curriculum available to students at this level.  All Honors Scholars are required to take HNRS 201  and HNRS 202  in their first semester, and strongly urged to select at least 2 courses from HNRS 100 , HNRS 203 , HNRS 204  and HNRS 205  in their academic plan. Credits earned in these courses apply to the liberal arts requirements as listed in the catalog.  Consult the catalog for specific liberal arts course application.  Honors Scholars should consider honors contracts as well as a capstone project in their major field of study.

Please note:  Some departments count HNRS courses toward the liberal arts requirements but do not allow them to meet prerequisites in their majors. Students should consult their academic advisers in these matters.



Students who have completed three Honors courses are urged to consider earning honors credit in upper-level courses (250 or above) in their major field of study by means of contract arrangement with the course instructor.  An Honors contract is a mechanism for adding an “honors dimension” to a non-honors course.  The contract project will add to the academic depth of the course by introducing new material or allowing the student to more deeply explore the subject matter beyond the standard syllabus.  Contract guidelines are available at the Honors House or at here at Honors Contracts information.  Honors students are encouraged to work with any university professor to create an honors contract in courses of their own choosing. 

HNRS 203 ,HNRS 204  and HNRS 205  are opened to all Honors College students on a space available basis. 

The Honors College is a co-enrollment program, engaging students from every college across our University.  Some departments have developed honors sections specifically designed for students who seek this level of academic challenge.  More information is available at


For more information contact J. Warren Casey, dean of the Honors College, Box 10913, Harding University, Searcy, AR 72149, call (501) 279-4056, or e-mail