JOIN THE HONORS PROGRAM

Dedicated to achievement, leadership, and community, the University Honors Program seeks to enrich students' university experiences. The program is designed to provide the university’s top students with the support and individualized instruction they need to pursue their academic and professional goals. The University Honors Program adds tremendous value to a Black Hills State University education, including more academic resources and opportunities, individualized instruction and faculty mentorship, and a dynamic academic and social network.

THE UNIVERSITY HONORS TRACKS

University Scholar Graduate

To graduate as University Scholars, qualifying students at Black Hills State University complete eighteen credits of Honors-level general education courses, a minimum of two semesters of non-English language, six credits of Honors colloquia (seminars), and three credits of Capstone Research. Each student also directs his/her own research or creative scholarship with the guidance of a faculty committee, produces a successful Honors-caliber capstone project, and passes a final capstone defense.

International University Scholar Graduate

To graduate as International University Scholars, qualifying students at Black Hills State University complete eighteen credits of Honors-level general education courses, a minimum of two semesters of non-English language, six credits of Honors colloquia (seminars), and three credits of Capstone Research. Each student also directs his/her own research or creative scholarship with the guidance of a faculty committee, produces a successful Honors-caliber capstone project, and passes a final capstone defense. In addition to this curriculum, each student completes a significant international experience to study, teach, serve, or research abroad, earning them the international designation.

Research Scholar Graduate

This track is for qualifying students who are recommended by faculty and who wish to pursue Honors-caliber work later in their academic careers. Select spots are also reserved for incoming first-year students who have already completed a significant portion of their general education classes. The track emphasizes undergraduate research and creative scholarship and requires the completion of six credits of Honors colloquia (seminars) and three credits of Capstone Research where the student directs his/her own research or creative scholarship with the guidance of a faculty committee, produces a successful Honors-caliber capstone project, and passes a final capstone defense.

THE UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM ADVANTAGE

Dedicated to achievement, community, and leadership, the University Honors Program seeks to enrich its students' university experiences.  The program is designed to provide the university’s top students with the support and individualized instruction they need to pursue their academic and professional goals.

The benefits of the University Honors Program are numerous:

  • Faculty Mentors: From their first semester on campus, students work closely with professors across campus and specifically in their chosen field(s) of study.  Honors classes remain small to promote individualized instruction and foster the student-faculty mentor relationship.  The esteemed Honors faculty at BHSU are dedicated to providing students with a diverse and stimulating academic experience, whether they serve as Honors professors, capstone committee mentors, Honors Advisory Council members, or Geek Speak lecturers.
  • Unique Coursework:  The goal of the curriculum is to provide students with a well-rounded education and, at the same time, to give them a chance to follow their own academic, professional or creative interests. Depending on the degree program, there are two tracks for the University Honors Program: Bachelor's and Associate. Faculty create one-of-a-kind courses that promote academic excellence and the free exchange of ideas, academic scholarship and research, and experiential learning. Later in their academic career, Honors students direct their own capstone project and defense to graduate as University Scholars.
  • Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship: Each Honors course promotes academic engagement and research, but as a final opportunity to direct their own research, creative activity, service project, or study abroad experience, students complete and defend a capstone project under the mentorship of their capstone committee composed of esteemed BHSU faculty. Honors students are frequent presenters at the Black Hills Research Symposium, NCUR (National Council for Undergraduate Research), and discipline-specific national conferences.
  • Community, Collaboration, and Leadership: University Honors students enjoy a built-in social and academic community through frequent social events, "stocials" (study socials), community service projects, and Thursday afternoon Geek Speak lectures from esteemed faculty. The program also hosts its own student group, the Honors Club, which organizes campus and community events and activities like blood drives, volunteer afternoons at the no-kill animal shelter, and the BHSU Pantry for students and student families in need. University Honors students also enjoy a private Honors Center in historic Woodburn Hall.
  • University Scholar Transcript Designations:  Depending on their track, students who successfully complete the University Honors Program requirements will receive the academic distinction of “University Scholar," "International University Scholar," or "Research Scholar" on their official academic transcript. These designations indicate to employers and graduate program committees that the applicant’s academic achievement is higher than most graduates. The capstone project, too, serves as evidence of Honors-caliber academic achievement and can also serve as an ideal project and/or writing sample for post-graduation pursuits. 


Ready to Apply?

If you are ready to apply, do it now! If you still need some more information, please check out the admissions or financial aid sections to find out how easy it is to become a Yellow Jacket.

Take the Next Step: