Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Honors College

Academic Advising Offices:
20 Stopher Hall
What is our praise or pride
But to imagine excellence and try to make it?
—Richard Wilbur

The Honors College is a non-degree-granting college of the university whose primary role is to provide learning opportunities, intellectual challenge and a supportive environment for bright and motivated students.

The Honors College is at the center of Kent State University’s 100-year tradition of providing special attention to undergraduates with outstanding intellectual and creative ability. Within the framework of the larger university, with its diverse academic programs and excellent research and library facilities, the Honors College offers students enriched and challenging courses and programs, opportunities for close relationships with their peers and faculty, and careful advising to meet their interests and goals.


The Honors College recruits incoming students who demonstrate the potential for superior academic and creative ability at Kent State University. Admission to the Honors College for new freshman is by invitation only. In addition to the Kent State undergraduate admission application, admission to the college requires an excellent high school grade point average, strong scores on the ACT or SAT and completion of a supplemental application, which includes an essay. 

Students who are currently attending or are transferring to Kent State University and demonstrate potential for academic excellence may apply for admission to the Honors College. Admission to the Honors College is selective. Students who have completed honors work at another institution of higher education and students who are interested in completing a senior honors thesis or project will be given preference. Interested students should plan to attend a thesis information meeting or meet with an Honors College advisor prior to the planned semester of admission. 


All new freshman who are admitted to the Honors College will automatically be considered for an Honors College scholarship award. Honors College scholarships are renewable for maximum eight semesters of undergraduate work, provided students remain in good standing with the Honors College. These scholarships are in addition to university awards. 

Continuing Kent State students and transfer students who are admitted to the Honors College may apply for an Honors Academic Achievement Award. Awards are limited and competitive. 


The Honors College is guided by two basic principles: The first is a responsibility to provide academic work that offers intellectual challenge to the best students in the university and demands of them the best effort of which they are capable. To this end, courses are designed to stretch the mind, sharpen skills and encourage high standards of performance.

The second principle is a belief that, regardless of degree program, students should be liberally educated. That is, they should understand and appreciate the language, literature and history of our culture; the social, political and economic structure of our society; the creative achievements that enrich our lives; and the basic assumptions and substance of the natural sciences. Honors students are, therefore, encouraged to select courses that provide an understanding of the arts, humanities and sciences.


Honors courses are available throughout the undergraduate years and can be used to meet requirements in all degree-granting colleges and schools of the university and to satisfy the Kent Core. All honors freshmen are enrolled in the year-long Freshman Honors Colloquium. The colloquium is designed to be a rigorous course in reading, thinking and writing about literature and ideas. The goal of the course is to develop habits of intellectual inquiry, mature understanding and effective communication that will serve the students through the college years and afterward.

Beyond the freshman colloquium, many honors courses offered by distinguished faculty from academic departments throughout the university are available each semester. Although these courses differ significantly in content, from art to zoology, they share a common form. Class enrollments are small, and students can get to know each other and their professors in an environment that encourages learning through discussion, reading, individual work and writing. These programs combine a core of Honors courses common to all majors and Honors courses in basic disciplines including the humanities, the social sciences and mathematics/science.

Honors students are encouraged to study on a one-to-one basis with members of the faculty. Individual honors work is possible from freshman through senior years and can take many forms. For example, it has been used by students to enrich the content of a non-Honors course, to “create” a course not available in the regular curriculum or to undertake a specialized scholarly or creative project.

Many seniors in the Honors College conclude their undergraduate careers by completing a sustained scholarly or creative project under faculty guidance. This Senior Honors Thesis/Project is one of the requirements for Graduation with Honors discussed below. Theses and projects have been submitted by seniors from all of the degree-granting colleges and schools at Kent State University and have ranged over many disciplines and areas of creative endeavor. Novels and plays have been written; research has been undertaken in the natural and social sciences; historical events and periods have been critically analyzed; architectural models have been proposed for urban renewal sites; and paintings and films have been created and exhibited. Each thesis/project attests to the willingness of Honors students to extend learning beyond the classroom to self-directed efforts appropriate to the conclusion of an enriched program of study.

Other opportunities for honors work are available, including sophomore, junior and senior honors colloquia that are frequently interdisciplinary in content.


The college offers three programs for Graduation with Honors. Although each has minimum GPA requirements, the primary emphasis is on the successful completion of an undergraduate degree program, including a Senior Honors Thesis or Project. Graduation with Departmental Honors stresses upper-division work in the students’ major department. The requirements are sufficiently flexible to enable undergraduates who join honors in their junior year to participate in and complete this program. Graduation with General Honors requires sustained participation in honors work throughout the undergraduate years. Students who complete this program take approximately one-fourth of their credits in honors courses and independent study. The rigorous standards of performance required for Graduation with University Honors make this the highest recognition the university can bestow on a graduating senior.

Students who do not wish to graduate with Honors may participate in honors work on a more informal basis, selecting courses and developing independent study projects to meet college and departmental requirements or to satisfy personal interests. Students who complete 24 hours of Honors courses will graduate from the university as Honors College Scholars and are identified by that notation on their transcripts.


The Honors College has its own advising staff whose first contact with students is just before the start of the freshman year. At this time, students discuss opportunities for honors work and select courses for the fall. Freshmen maintain frequent contact with their advisors and are encouraged to develop a long-range plan to organize their academic work in accordance with their interests and career aspirations. In addition to the college advising staff, faculty throughout the university are available to assist Honors students in selecting courses to meet departmental requirements for graduation. For students who are planning to go on to graduate and professional schools, the college sponsors an annual workshop dealing with application procedures and with financial assistance and fellowship opportunities.


The Honors College residence building, the Stopher-Johnson Complex, is located at the center of campus. Honors students living there have the best of both worlds—a nurturing and stimulating first-year experience with other honors students, as well as convenient access to the surrounding Kent State campus community.

The Honors Center includes the three-story Johnson and Stopher Halls, a library/computer room, gallery space, a reception lobby and advising offices. Students live just steps away from the Honors College dean and its academic advisors.

Student involvement in the affairs of the college is a tradition. For example, honors students are eligible to serve as voting members of the Honors College Policy Council. This group, composed of an equal number of honors students and faculty, participates in policy decisions affecting the college.