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Hartwick Honors Program

Our Honors Program, a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, is grounded in the personalized learning and encourages students to pursue their intellectual passions as a true scholar, working with faculty and peers as colleagues.

Honors Program Mission

The Hartwick College Honors Program provides outstanding students with challenges that broaden and deepen their liberal arts education, enhance the intellectual rigor of their curriculum, and lead to more meaningful engagement with a close-knit community of student and faculty scholars.

Benefits & Choice

Incoming students immediately receive the benefits of specialized housing with other high achieving students, early course registration, and specialized seminars on exciting topics. Our program prides itself of being very “user friendly” as students choose when and how to pursue their challenges over the span of their undergraduate careers.

Join the Hartwick Honors Program

Are you a current or potential Hartwick student who was recently invited to join the Honors Program?

Apply Now

Honors Program Requirements & Challenges

There are three basic requirements for students in the Honors Program.

Maintain a 3.5 grade point average.

Students whose overall GPA falls below 3.5 are placed on probation. If their GPA rises above 3.5 by the end of the probationary period, they are removed from probation. If their GPA remains below 3.5 at the end of the probationary period, they are dismissed from the program. The probationary period is one year for first and second year students and one semester for junior and seniors. For students in the three year degree program, the probationary period is one year for their first year and one semester after. However, any dismissed student can request to rejoin the program if their GPA rises back to 3.5.

To graduate with Honors, students must complete a total of four academic challenges that span across the academic divisions. Each student can pursue these challenges as best fits their interests and academic schedules. Each student must complete at least one Individual Challenge — Traditional, Research or Creative — that is pursued one-on-one with a faculty supervisor. Types of challenges includes:

Honors First-Year Seminar (FYS): A first-year seminar designed expressly for Honors Program students. Fall FYS course descriptions with Honors sections are labeled as “Honors”. The Honors FYS grade must be B+ or better to qualify as a successful challenge.
No Paperwork Needed

Honors Seminars (HS): One-credit seminars restricted to Honors Program students. These classes change every semester and involve in-depth study and discussion of a topic from disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. Students selecting Honors Seminars should be mindful of the divisional requirements (see below). The Honors Seminar grade must be B+ or better to qualify as a successful challenge.

No Paperwork Needed

Second Major: A student completes a double major as a challenge. The GPA in both majors must be at least 3.3 (B+) to qualify as a challenge. Education counts as a second major.
No Paperwork Needed

Semester Abroad: A student can complete a full semester-long (minimum of 12 weeks) study at a non-US college or university, supervised by a Hartwick faculty member. The grade point average during the period of off-campus study must be at least 3.3 (B+) to qualify as a challenge.
No Paperwork Needed

Special Academic Achievement: A student with an extraordinary academic accomplishment may apply for Honors Challenge credit. It must involve some external review and evaluation. Presenting a paper or poster at a national conference, having a paper published in a refereed journal, or winning an academic award from a national organization are all examples.
Paperwork Needed

Individual Challenges (all students must complete at least one)
Traditional Challenges are pursued within the framework of a course and must be clearly “above and beyond” the ordinary graded course requirements. Typically students will compose an extra research paper of 8 to 10 pages; however, other projects are possible, including doing additional laboratory work, presentations, specialized research, etc. The challenge work does not count toward the normal course requirements, but it must be completed by the end of the term and the overall grade for it and the course must be “B+” or better. The Honors Program Honors Committee sets due dates for Traditional Challenge proposals twice a year, usually in October and March.
Paperwork Needed – Proposal to start and summary Abstract upon completion.

Research Challenges are pursued independently with a faculty member from any division, any department. They are not connected to a particular course and need not be completed in one semester (although we recommend that students do not take more than two semesters to finish). In the past, Honors students have composed research papers (usually 8 -10 pages), run experiments, done field research, and many other types projects. An internships or community based service learning project that does not earn credit may serve as a research challenge. The Honors Program Honors Committee set due dates for Research Challenge proposals twice a year, usually in early October and March. The project is not credit bearing, and must be at a level of B+ or better to qualify as a successful challenge.
Paperwork Needed – Proposal to start and an summary Abstract upon completion.

Creative Challenges are pursued independently with faculty from the Art, Music, English and Theater departments (although sometimes in collaboration with other faculty). They are not connected to a particular course and need not be completed in one semester (although we recommend that students do not take more than two semesters to finish). In the past, Honors students have composed short stories, screenplays, poems, children’s books, and novellas. Others have composed musical works, sung or played recitals, or performed plays. Many have created fine art portfolios of photographs, illustrations, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, or mixed media. The project is not credit bearing, and must be at a level of B+ or better to qualify as a successful challenge. The Honors Program Honors Committee sets due dates for Creative Challenge proposals twice a year, usually in October and March.
Paperwork Needed – Proposal to start and an summary Abstract upon completion.

Of the four challenges completed, a student must successfully complete one Honors Challenge in each of these three Divisions: Arts & Humanities, Physical & Life Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences.  Interdisciplinary courses and projects are possible as well.  Consult with the co-chairs on how these can be categorized. The departments within the three Divisions are:

Arts & Humanities:
Art & Art History
English
Modern Languages (including French, German, Spanish)
Music (including Music Education)
Philosophy & Religious Studies
Theatre Arts

Physical & Life Sciences:
Biology
Chemistry
Computer Science
Geological & Environmental Sciences
Mathematics
Nursing
Physics

Social & Behavioral Sciences:
Anthropology
Business Administration & Accounting (including Finance)
Economics
Education
History
Political Science
Psychology
Sociology, Criminology & Human Services

Honors Program Forms

The Honors Program Advisory Committee meets early in the Fall and Spring Semesters to review proposals for Traditional, Research/Creative, and Special Achievement Challenges.

Deadline for submission of Research, Creative and Traditional Proposals for Fall Semester 2021 is Friday September 24.

Completed challenge proposal forms for students enrolled in the Honors Program should be emailed to either co-chair, jonesk@hartwick.edu or daltonl@hartwick.edu, with a cc: to the Honors Program at honors@hartwick.edu. Alternatively, paper forms can be dropped off with Heather Babbitt in Johnstone Science Center, Room 203.

Meet the Co-Directors

Lisle W. Dalton

Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chair, Coordinator of Public Health Program & Honors Program Co-Director
607-431-4936

Kristin Jones

Associate Professor of Economics & Honors Program Co-Director
607 431-4941

Honors Program FAQ

Do you have a question about the Hartwick Honors Program?

Contact one of the Co-Directors: Dr. Lisle Dalton, daltonl@hartwick.edu or Dr. Kristin Jones, jonesk@hartwick.edu.

See the Honors Administrative Assistant, Heather Babbitt, in the Johnstone Science Center. Other materials can be found on the Honors Program webpage or on the D2L Homepage for Honors.

The main advantage is having various opportunities to enrich your liberal arts curriculum and undertake research and creative projects under the supervision of a faculty member. Other perks that come from membership in the Honors Program include specialized housing, early course registration, and more.

There is no penalty for leaving the Honors Program. Occasionally students find that their responsibilities and commitments do not allow them to complete the requirements of the Honors Program. In such cases, all they need to do is inform the Honors Program Administrative Assistant or Co-Directors of their decision to leave the program.

You have until May of your senior year to complete all the requirements of the Honors Program.

An Honors Student is not automatically dropped from the program when his or her Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) dips slightly below a 3.5. Students whose overall GPA falls below 3.5 are placed on probation. If their GPA rises above 3.5 by the end of the probationary period, they are removed from probation. If their GPA remains below 3.5 at the end of the probationary period, they are dismissed from the program. However, any dismissed student can request to rejoin the program if their GPA rises back to 3.5. The probationary period is one year for first and second year students and one semester for juniors and seniors. For students in the three year degree program, the probationary period is one year for their first year and one semester after.

Step 1
Typically you will propose doing an Honors Challenge on an issue or topic related to a course in which you’re currently enrolled or which you have recently completed. Ideally, you would initiate this conversation well in advance of the deadline for proposals.

Step 2
The next step is to frame the topic as a clear, specific question or hypothesis, so that the research will produce a conclusion, thesis, or position rather than merely a description or summary of information. (for example, a library research paper must be an analysis or interpretation, not just a synthesis of facts.)

Working extensively with your faculty supervisor, you develop a debatable, narrowly focused hypothesis or question. Doing this can save time and energy later in the project. It’s also a good idea to identify a cluster of well-defined objectives and the specific activities that will be undertaken to achieve the goals of the challenge. Be certain that, at the start, you and your faculty supervisor agree on the scope, aim, methods, readings, and products.

Step 3
Then you write a proposal stating the issue or problem, the question or hypothesis, and the methods and approaches, and final product of the research or creative work. Though outcomes should be included, articulating a definite conclusion at this early stage would be premature. A complete list of works to be read must also be included in the proposal.

Step 4
The proposal needs to be signed by your faculty supervisor after you’ve made any necessary revisions. Next, post the proposal on the honors database and submit it to the Honors Administrative Assistant, Johnstone Science Center, Room 203.

Step 5
After the work is completed, you need to write an abstract that clearly and briefly describes what was accomplished. The abstract’s introduction explains the issue or central problem, and states the question or hypothesis. The abstract summarizes the methods or creative work involved, the related challenges or topics, and the results or final product. Ideally the abstract ends with comments about the project’s relevance to your liberal arts education and future intellectual endeavors.