Button Menu

Program Requirements

The Honor Scholar Program is designed for a future in which fields increasingly overlap with one another, recognizing the deeply important questions and problems we face require people who can think integratively, view problems from multiple perspectives, use intellectual tools from multiple disciplines, and work effectively with people from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives.

 Honor Scholar equation

The program offers students five seminars, two during the first-year and three upper-level interdisciplinary seminars, which are designed to be integrative and discussion-based.  The senior year is dedicated to a year-long project of the student's own design under the guidance of a faculty committee shaped and selected by the senior Honor Scholar.  

THE First-Year Seminar

Each first-year student’s fall schedule at DePauw will include a first-year seminar; Honor Scholars however, enroll in a FYS designed specifically for them: HONR 101 (fall semester) and HONR 102 (spring semester).  The Honor Scholar FYS centers on topics that draw from more than one perspective or approach, and allow discussion and study in more than one subject area.  The seminar topics are integrative, explore implications of important ideas, and offer opportunities to make connections.  Honors seminars tend to be smaller, fostering academic conversation and encouraged exploration of ideas, careful reading of texts, and critical thinking.  In most cases, the professor for HONR 101 is also the students' academic advisor until they declare a major.

THE Interdisciplinary Seminars

During their remaining three years, Honor Scholars are required to complete three interdisciplinary seminar courses focused in the Arts and Humanities (HONR 300A), the Natural Sciences (HONR 300B), and the Social Sciences (HONR 300C). While centered in a general area, the 300-level discussion-based courses are integrative and on topics that require faculty and students to bring more than one disciplinary lens to bear on issues, and allow for exploration of connections across disciplinary perspectives.  Each seminar fulfills DePauw's general education distribution requirement, fulfilling one each in AH, SM, and SS and are exempt from the rule that students must use 6 different programs/departments to complete the distribution areas.

The Senior Thesis

During their final year at DePauw, Honor Scholars pursue independent work under the direction of a faculty thesis sponsor and a committee of two or more additional faculty members, culminating in an Honors thesis project. Serving as the capstone for the Honor Scholar Program, the thesis allows students to draw from expertise they have developed in majors, minors, or other substantial experience, and develop a project that is broad, integrative, and individualized to each student.  Students enroll in HONR 401 and 402, two full credit-bearing courses allowing them sufficient time to research, create, and write.  Should students incur any expenses related to their research, the Hallward-Driemeier Fund - a generous gift from 1989 Honor Scholar distinguished alumnus Douglas Hallward-Driemeier and Mary Hallward-Driemeier, and is designed to support "…the Honor Scholar Program with an emphasis on funding student-faculty collaboration and research…and making possible other experiences that cultivate the virtues of intellectual courage and leadership among Honor Scholars." (from gift agreement)

Recent Thesis Topics
A Five Million Year Old Experiment: The Evolutionary Dynamics of a Cave Environment
Tyler Bussian - Biology

From Caped Crusader to Dark Knight: An Application of Robert Ray's Official/Outlaw Hero Framework to Batman
Daniel Cetina - Political Science and English (Writing)

Moving to the Beat: Musical rhythm as a Cipher for Priming, Synchronizing, and Entrainment in the Dorsal Premotor Cortex
Michael Padilla - Biochemistry and Music (Performance)

Heritable Health: An Exploration of Parental Epigenetics and their Impact on Individual and Public Health
Brittany Hayes - Biology 

Seeing Candidates Through a Gendered Lens: How Differential Media Coverage Serves as a Barrier to Women's Political Participation
Shelby Bremer - Communication

The Impact of Arranged Marital Customs on Women’s Autonomy in Rural India
Tazree Kadam - Economics
The College is the Splendor and Light of the Common Good banner