Penn State offers two honors programs to enrich and broaden the education of academically superior students: the Campus Honors Programs and the Schreyer Honors College. Both present talented and industrious students with more challenging studies better suited to their abilities and interests. Students participating in either program may earn honors credits, so indicated on their transcripts, by taking honors courses, by doing honors options in mainstream courses, or through a program of independent study.
Work of honors caliber involves less basic review, more in-depth attention to theory and application, and more independent pursuit of knowledge. Thus, taking on honors study does not mean more work, but work of a more sophisticated and challenging nature. Honors classes provide students with a stimulating, rigorous, and rewarding learning environment.
In addition, honors students may supplement their regular instruction in a course with an honors option, in which more challenging tasks and tutorials replace some of the tasks performed by the rest of the class. Thus, for instance, in a math course taken with an honors option, honors students might prepare a comparable number of different, more challenging exercises; in a science course, they might perform more challenging experiments; in a history course, they might undertake a more intensive research project involving primary documents. Honors students benefit from receiving more individualized instruction from their professors.
Penn State Shenango offers two different Honors Certificate programs. Which certificate you pursue depends on whether you are enrolled in a two- or four-year program.
Campus Honors Certificate
Awarded for two years of honors work at the lower division level, this certificate can be earned only once by an individual student.
College Honors Certificate
This certificate is awarded simultaneously with the baccalaureate degree for students completing honors work at the upper division level.
The Schreyer Honors College
The Schreyer Honors College is Penn State’s University-wide honors program. A very select number of baccalaureate students earn honors degrees through research-oriented programs, culminating in an honors thesis. Admission is open to prospective 1st-year students upon application (with SAT scores of at least 1300 and outstanding high-school grades). At certain Penn State locations, select students who have completed their first year with a GPA of 3.7 or better may be invited to apply to join the program as sophomores. A very few juniors are nominated by their departments every year. Once admitted, Schreyer Scholars must maintain at least a 3.33 GPA, take a minimum of seven honors credits each year, and in their junior and senior years research and write an honors thesis. The student defends the thesis, which is then archived by the University. It is an excellent prelude to graduate study. Graduating Schreyer Scholars receive a medal from Penn State’s President at a special ceremony. Besides all these privileges and opportunities, Schreyer Scholars are eligible for special residences at the University Park campus, honors study abroad, enrollment in graduate courses, and integration of baccalaureate and advanced degree coursework, and scholarships.