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The Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program

What are Augustana honors students like?

Student blogger Rukmini Girish: "Honors in a Nutshell"

They are curious about ideas and different areas of study.

They care about learning, and not just about grades.

They read on their own — from Glamour and Sports Illustrated to the Chicago Tribune to Jane Austen.

They have had good relationships with their teachers.

They tend to take part in discussions, even if they are naturally quiet.

They enjoy expressing themselves through writing, and not always academic writing.

They are busy with other things, like band, theatre, a sport, volunteering, learning judo… any number of things.

They have a great sense of honor and integrity when it comes to their work.

Many colleges and universities have honors tracks, but few have what Augustana has — a carefully planned sequence of interdisciplinary honors courses.

These courses:

  • Fulfill college graduation requirements
  • Develop skills in writing and thinking that are essential to any major
  • Offer an exceptional foundation for learning in higher education
  • Connect students with engaged mentors
  • Involve a special sense of community

What does 'interdisciplinary' mean?

Every Augustana student graduates with at least one major in an academic discipline, and sometimes two or three. But ideas themselves have no disciplinary boundaries, and the most interesting ideas can influence many fields of study.

How is it a 'community'?

As an honors student, you probably will make your best friends in the honors classroom. Because you study your entire first year with a particular group of students who tend to be like-minded, and because you discuss the big-picture issues that matter most, you become very close. Your professors choose to teach in honors, and work to create rich, interesting, intense courses. This common work produces an esprit de corps, a feeling of mutual pride and personal bonds.

How can I 'earn a place'?

Everyone who wants to join the honors program visits campus for an interview with a professor. The interviews are friendly and relaxed, last about half an hour and involve discussion on what you read, write and think about. We want to see that your interest is genuine, and that you have the energy, ability and passion for this kind of study. About 10 percent of each first-year class chooses the honors program, but not every excellent student applies, and not every applicant fits the program well.

Details and options

Browse through a complete course listing and descriptions of the two sequences.

How to apply

Step 1. Tell us you're interested.
Email or call your admissions counselor to make sure s/he knows you are interested in the Honors program. The admissions committee also may identify you as a potential honors student.

Step 2. Register for an Honors interview and submit a writing sample.
All accepted first-year students are eligible to interview for the Honors program. You may interview for one or both of the honors tracks (Foundations or Logos). After your interview, you'll have a clearer understanding of whether you might thrive as a student in Foundations or Logos. The writing sample is typically a research paper or essay written for a high school class. The number of interviews conducted on each day is typically capped at 24, and interviews are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is prudent to apply as early as possible, and no later than two weeks prior to your desired interview date. 

Step 3. Interview on campus.
Interviews occur on five specific dates between early December and early March. Admission to the program is competitive, and the on-campus interview is integral to the application process.

Step 4. Earn your place in the honors program.

We will let you know by early April if you are accepted into the honors program. If there is a wait list, those students will be notified of final acceptance into the honors program as soon as possible, and no later than the end of May.

Ready to register? Click here.