Undergraduate Catalog

The Honors Program

Phone:  845-257-3933
Location:  Honors Center, College Hall
Web address:  http://www.newpaltz.edu/honors/

The mission of the Honors Program is to provide an enhanced intellectual experience in a climate conducive to interaction among highly motivated students and faculty. This experience will seek to develop and intensify skills from a conceptual point of view in a diverse, multidisciplinary analytical environment that nurtures independent thinking, creativity, respect and social responsibility.

The Honors Program consists of around 320 students. Once admitted to the program, students take special Honors seminars, which are interdisciplinary and small in size (usually around 15 students). Unlike traditional lecture courses, Honors seminars emphasize dialogue and non-lecture based learning; students are expected to come to class with something to say and to actively participate in debate and discussion.

Once admitted to the Honors Program, students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in order to remain in the Program and graduate with honors. If admitted as freshmen, Honors students take a two-semester Common Course and complete the following basic program requirements:

1. Four interdisciplinary seminars: Honors seminars emphasize dialogue and non-lecture-based learning, and most fulfill General Education requirements. Honors-designated courses in the student's major may be substituted for up to two of these seminars.

2. 40 hours (minimum) of community service: This requirement can be completed on campus, at home over the summer, or even in the Honors Center.

3. Senior Thesis/Project: The specific type of project may vary, depending on the student's major or area of special interest. Students will present their senior theses in a public forum prior to graduation.

Participation in the Honors Program enhances students' abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and adapt knowledge and skills to new settings and questions. The Program produces well-rounded leaders with a sense of civic responsibility, knowledge, and the skills needed to make a difference in their communities.