Honors FAQs | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Honors FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Eagle Scholars Program including answers to questions about workload, GPA, activities, and the application process.

Student writing on board

How many students are there in the program?

We usually have about 60 Eagle Scholars (freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors). Often a few Eagle Scholars are studying abroad for a semester, so everyone may not be on campus at the same time.

What is the workload in comparison to that of a typical student's load?

Honors students do work a bit harder in their classes, but they do so because that is the reason they came to college. Generally, the work associated with an honors class is different, not necessarily more. The Eagle Scholars are able to maintain their social life and participate in extra-curricular activities and ministry on top of their school work.

Is it extremely difficult to keep a 3.65 GPA?

Most Eagle Scholars do not have difficulty with this requirement. The average GPA for those in the program is 3.9.

Are Eagle Scholars still able to be involved in other activities around campus like choir, drama, sports, etc.?

Over half of the Eagle Scholars are involved in music on campus, and others have been on a sports team and in drama productions. Many of the Eagle Scholars work as TAs for professors, some are RAs, and others do various ministries. The majority of them, if not all of them, participate in extra-curricular activities.

If I am accepted, do I need to re-apply for the program next year?

No. Once you are accepted into the Eagle Scholars Honors Program, you are a part of the program for the duration of your stay at University of Northwestern on the condition that you maintain a GPA of 3.65 and meet the Seminar requirements.

When I take honors courses, am I taking extra classes?

Honors courses are different versions of courses included in our Core Curriculum. You are required to take these core courses, so taking the honors form of the class does not add to your scheduled number of credits. You will never take all honors classes any given semester.

How do honors classes differ from regular classes?

Honors classes differ from regular classes in that they are smaller, they involve more discussion of issues, they challenge students to think on a higher level, and they tend to offer more learning experiences.

What are honors components?

All Eagle Scholars must complete at least one honors component. Also, honors components are taken when an upper-class Eagle Scholar has a scheduling conflict and cannot be enrolled in available honors courses. A component is generally completed in a class within a student’s major or minor field of study. The exact requirements will vary depending on the course, but the component is often a specialized research project supervised by the student’s professor. A typical component will require 20 to 25 hours of work in addition to what is assigned for the class. Students present their completed components to fellow Eagle Scholars in Seminar sessions.

If I am not accepted into the program, can I apply again?

Yes. To be eligible to apply after your first year, a student

  • must have completed a minimum of 30 credits in the day-school program
  • must have maintained a GPA of 3.9 or higher
  • must have taken at least four honors courses from at least three different disciplines by the end of their first year in a day-school program at UNW
  • must have attended at least six Honors Seminar events during first year at UNW
  • must attend UNW for a least three years in a day-school program

If I am not accepted, can I still take honors courses?

Yes. Honors courses are open to any student who has an ACT score of at least 27, a college GPA of no less than 3.6, or the consent of the instructor. Enrollment and completion of an honors course will appear on your transcript, and you may refer to the fact that you took honors courses in college on application letters for graduate schools and for employment positions.

What kind of opportunities do Eagle Scholars get?

  • Eagle Scholars have conducted cutting-edge research on nanoscience with the Center for Nanointegration at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany.
  • Eagle Scholars have received Fulbright Scholarships to teach overseas.
  • Several Eagle Scholars have interned at the Minnesota State Capitol.

What have Eagle Scholars achieved after graduation?

  • Received a paid summer position studying biochemistry and cell biology for the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
  • Won Best Student Film from the International Christians in Visual Media.
  • Eagle Scholars are employed at: 3M, Boston Scientific, MagnetStreet, Minnesota Medical Association PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sheboygan Press, Target Corporation, and many more!
  • Eagle Scholars have been accepted at top graduate schools, including: Stanford, Oxford, UCLA, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of St. Thomas, University of Toronto, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Denver Seminary, and more.

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