University Honors Program

Scholarship Leads to Success

The University Honors Program is designed for highly motivated individuals who wish to foster their love of learning in challenging environments where they are surrounded by students who share their drive and determination. Honors students are actively involved in campus life -- leading student organizations, conducting research with faculty, mentoring other students, and volunteering in the community. 

Graduates of the program have gone on to enroll in competitive graduate and professional programs, run their own businesses, or hold leadership positions in their companies.

Showcase Your Scholarship 

Working closely with a faculty advisor, students complete a senior thesis based on their interests and career goals and present their findings at research conferences or publish their work in academic and professional journals. Fellowships are available to fund student travel expenses to present their research at national conferences.

Take Your Classes Together

The 27-credit program includes priority registration and honors-only sections of two core courses of the student’s choice as well as all four of RMU’s communication skills classes: Argument and Research, Public Speaking and Persuasion, Professional Communication in the Workplace, and Intercultural Communication. An honors seminar or study abroad experience and the honors thesis courses provide the capstone of the curriculum.

Living Learning Community

Students can live in the honors residence hall, and a dedicated Honors Student Center is reserved for study and socializing. Faculty-led roundtable discussions, networking lunches, book discussion groups, and other events contribute to a lively intellectual community. Students can suggest and plan future events through the Honors Student Advisory Council.

Patriot Scholarship

Opportunities for additional academic scholarships are available for honors students in good standing.

How to Apply

The University Honors Program invites applications from incoming freshman and transfer students as well as current RMU students. For incoming freshmen, priority consideration is given to students with excellent high school records, an SAT score of 1270 or higher, cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above, and graduation at or near the top of their class. Transfer students must have completed at least 30 credits with a GPA of 3.5 or higher at their current institution; the type of institution and previous participation in an honors program will be taken into account. Review of applications begins March 1. Decisions are announced after April 1. 

Incoming Freshman

Incoming RMU freshmen can apply to the University Honors Program prior to the start of their first semester on campus. The application form can be found here. The preferred application deadline is February 15, with decisions announced after March 15. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed after February 15. Admissions decisions for applications received after February 15 will be April 30. After the decision date, applications may continue to be reviewed until all acceptance spots are filled. Priority consideration is given to students with excellent high school records, constituting as SAT scores of 1270 or higher (combined critical reading and math), cumulative GPAs of 3.5 or above, and graduation at or near the top of their class.

Current RMU Students

Current RMU first year students with at least a 3.5 RMU GPA and between 15 and 30 credits at the end of their first semester will be invited to apply to the Honors Program. The application form for continuing students can be found here. The deadline to submit an application is February 15.

Transfer Students

Incoming transfer students who have completed at least 30 credits with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program. In addition to the quality of the transfer application, consideration of the type of transfer institution (e.g. two-year, four-year, technical), consideration of previous participation in an Honors Program, amount and type of Honors academic work completed and the feasibility of completing the RMU Honors curriculum will be taken into account. Please email for more information on how to apply as a transfer student.

Additional Honors Resources

Honors Theses

As part of the Honors Curriculum, Patriot Scholars complete an honors thesis and present it at the Intersections Undergraduate Research Conference. Some work is presented at national research conferences and published in referred journals.


Patriot Scholars complete a minimum of 27 credits of Honors curriculum classes over the four years of their undergraduate study: Patriot Scholars take all their RMU core communication skills courses (12 credits) together in Honors sections.

CSHR 1020- Honors Argument and Research
CSHR 1030- Honors Public Speaking and Persuasion
CSHR 2040- Honors Professional Communication in the Workplace
CSHR 2050- Honors Intercultural Communication

Students will choose at least two Honors sections of RMU General Education courses (6 credits):

ACCT 2035- Honors Intro to Financial Accounting
ECON 1015- Honors Survey of Economics
ECON 1035- Honors Principles of Microeconomics
ELIT 2065- Honors World Literature
GEOL 1095- Honors Stars, Planets, and the Cosmos
HIST 1105- Honors US History I
HUMA 1015- Honors Humanities: Arts and Music
INFS 1025- Honors Intro to Decision Support Systems
POLS 1025- Honors American National Government
PSYC 1015- Honors General Psychology
SOCI 1025- Honors Contemporary American Social Problems

Students will complete an honors seminar course (3 credits) with a "B" or better. Alternatively, selected study abroad experiences may fulfill this requirement. Topics of past honors seminars have included:

Math, Music and Art
Presidential Leadership
Physics and Sport
Topics in Sustainability
Identities & Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender, Sex
Creating the Magic: Walt Disney World

Students will complete an honors theses (6 credits):

HNRS 4900 (3 credit class) Honors Research Methodology
HNRS 4911 (1 credit indepentdent study) Honors Thesis Research supervised by a faculty thesis advisor.
HNRS 4912 (2 credit independent study) Honors Thesis Completion and Presentation supervised by a faculty thesis advisor. All Honors Theses will be presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference.

An optional curriculum also includes a special honors orientation for incoming freshmen students and an honors elective in conjunction with the Office of Scholar Development to help students prepare for competitive scholarships, fellowships, graduate school, and research program applications.

Contact Us

Director: Monica VanDieren, Ph.D.
Associate Director: Sylvia Pamboukian, Ph.D.
Specialist: Lindsey Sobolosky

Upcoming Honors Program Events