Honors Program

Honors Program Overview

The Great Books of Western Civilization Honors Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio is open by invitation to qualified undergraduates. As a Franciscan honors student, you will have the exclusive opportunity to participate in the study of a curriculum comprised wholly of the great books, and through analytical reading, critical discussion, and expository writing pursue a course of study that stands as an alternative to Franciscan’s core curriculum. Readings include the great books from early Greece to modern times by thinkers such as Homer, Plato, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jefferson, Kant, Marx, St. John Paul II, and others.

Answer the ultimate questions of life in seeking truth

Franciscan University’s Great Books of Western Civilization Honors Program is a liberal education in the best of the Western and Catholic academic tradition. Guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church and the highest standards of Catholic university education, the Franciscan University honors program considers the ultimate questions perennially raised by the best thinkers about the nature of the human being and his or her place and purpose in the universe, in the community of men, and before God himself.

Explore More of the Honors Program

Here are just a few other ways Franciscan’s honors program stands out from the rest:

  • Financial aid and scholarships: Learn more about scholarships for honors students from the Franciscan Office of Financial Aid.
  • By invitation only: Qualified undergraduate students in any major, from nursing to international business, are invited to apply to the Great Books of Western Civilization Honors Program at Franciscan University in Ohio. The honors program is a challenging and meaningful way to fulfill general core requirements and to round out and enhance the more specialized study of the major.
  • Best of the best: The Great Books of Western Civilization Honors Program is unlike any other experience at Franciscan University, with honors seminars taught in cooperation by the best Catholic faculty members from every department.
  • Transferable job skills: Great books honors is a highly analytic pursuit that fosters a keen and subtle mind with a broad, foundational set of skills. Learn to think analytically. Practice speaking and writing well. Communicate clearly and with civility. Develop the habit of continual learning. Acquire the facility to learn new things quickly and independently. These traits are key in the ever-changing environments of the professional and business world.
  • Honors student activities: Take advantage of cultural and social opportunities outside the classroom. Franciscan’s honors program hosts scheduled but optional cultural and social activities in surrounding Ohio communities and nearby Pittsburgh, such as outings to the opera, symphony, or art museum.
What Can You Do as an Honors Scholar?

Well equipped with the benefit of a broad, liberal arts education from a Catholic University in Ohio, graduates of the Great Books of Western Civilization Honors Program pursue a wide variety of career paths. Many continue on to graduate and professional school in their discipline. Many have become home-schooling mothers. Many are in religious life.

Graduate Programs for Honors Scholars

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Theology
  • Law School
  • Medical School

Potential Job Titles for Honors Scholars

  • Physician
  • Lawyer
  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • Professor
Admission Requirements

Normally, a student considering the program should have at least a 3.6 average in high school and approximately 1210 (Critical Reading and Math) on the SAT or a 27 composite on the ACT. An Honors Application will automatically be sent in early December to those who meet the above requirements. As long as there is still space available, qualified admitted students will continue to receive the application on a rolling basis. An Honors Program Committee will review the applications and recommend entrance into the program. Further inquiries may be directed to admissions@franciscan.edu.

QPA Requirements

Students are required to maintain an overall cumulative quality point average of 3.0. Failure to do so will make those students subject to dismissal from the Honors Program upon an evaluation by the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Honors students whose cumulative QPA drops below a 2.0 will be subject to immediate dismissal from the program upon an evaluation by the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Honors students are also required to maintain a 3.0 QPA in all Honors Program course work. Honors students who complete their honors course work with a QPA below 3.0 will receive all credit for each course but will not receive the Honors Scholar notation on their diplomas or permanent transcripts.

The honors student who consistently performs below 3.0 in honors courses will be subject to an evaluation by the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs to determine whether or not the student should continue in the Honors Program.

Transfer Students

Because of the growing number of transfer students to Franciscan University, we understand that all students who qualify for the Honors Program may not attend the University for a full eight semesters. The following provisions accommodate the needs of those students who desire to pursue the challenges of the Honors Program, but who will not complete eight semesters at Franciscan University:

Sophomores
Franciscan University students and transfer students who will remain at the University for at least six semesters may enter the Honors Program as sophomores, on the basis of availability if the following conditions are met: :

  1. The student must complete an Honors Program application.
  2. The student must show a general understanding of the course content of the previous two semesters.
  3. The student must have a cumulative QPA of 3.3 in previous college course work.
  4. The student must be approved for admission to the program by both the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Juniors
Transfer students who will remain at Franciscan University for at least four semesters and who have participated in a comparable Honors Program at their previous colleges or universities may enter the Honors Program as juniors on a space available basis, once the following conditions have been met:

  1. The student must complete an Honors Program application.
  2. The student must show a satisfactory understanding of the course content of the previous four semesters. The student may also transfer up to an equivalent of 8 semester credit hours of honors courses.
  3. The student must have a cumulative QPA of 3.3 in all previous college course work.
  4. The student must be approved for admission to the Honors Program by both the Honors Program Chairman and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Academic Catalog

View the Honors Program on the Undergraduate Catalog

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Beyond the Classroom
Study Ancient and Biblical Languages

Learn ancient languages in the intensive setting of Franciscan University’s Summer Ancient and Biblical Languages Institute in Steubenville, Ohio. You can earn 6 to 12 credits in one summer by taking intensive courses in either Latin, ancient Greek, or Biblical Hebrew in five- and 10-week, full-time study programs on Franciscan University’s campus.

Honors in Austria

All undergraduate students at Franciscan University have the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad through the Austria Program. As an honors student, you can read the assigned great books independently for course credit. The great books required for Honors seminars at the sophomore and junior level are provided in the Kartause library.

Why Study the Great Books?
Programs Related to the Honors Program

You might be interested in these undergraduate degree programs at Franciscan that are similar to the great books honors program.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Classics
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology
Academic Excellence

The Advantage of Seminar Style Learning at Franciscan

Why You Should Study the Great Books at Franciscan

Department Faculty
Dr. Joseph Almeida

Dr. Joseph Almeida

Professor
Department Chair

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Dr. Theo Harwood

Dr. Theo Harwood

Assistant Professor

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Dr. Sarah Klitenic Wear

Dr. Sarah Klitenic Wear

Professor

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Language Placement Exams

Get information about taking the language placement exams during New Student Orientation.