Honors Program

Honors Program

Loyola's Honors Program is a mission-driven educational experience that challenges students to explore and discuss the human condition through a rigorous, interdisciplinary, humanities curriculum. The program is designed for students who demonstrate the desire and ability to read extensively, to make connections between academic subjects, and to generate personal insight through critical and creative thinking. Students selected to the program are intellectually curious, independently motivated, and eager to discuss ideas with peers.

Program Structure

Three elements comprise the Honors Program. The first is an interdisciplinary, honors-level, Humanities Course that takes the place of traditional classes in History, Theology, and English. Students take this course during their Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years. The second element is the Symposium—a series of learning activities (guest speakers, film viewings, field trips) that invite students to make connections between the texts they are reading and the realities of contemporary life. The third element is a year-long Capstone Project, which students complete in their senior year.

List of 3 items.

  • The Capstone Project

    The Capstone Project challenges students to synthesize the knowledge gained from their Honors experience and to share their unique insights through a year-long, research-based project. With the guidance of a research project advisor, students will choose a social issue facing contemporary society, research relevant information about that issue, and initiate a project that addresses that issue in some concrete way. The Capstone Project is meant to give students personal choice in their learning, to encourage intellectual depth and rigor, and to provide an opportunity for students to make a difference in the world through authentic academic work.
  • The Humanities Curriculum

    For over 500 years, Jesuit education has centered on the humanities. Loyola’s Honors Program is proud to continue this tradition by inviting the students to explore humanity’s big questions and analyze how various cultures and traditions have addressed those questions over the course of history. In Freshman year, students will encounter ideas that emerged from the ancient world to the middle ages.  The Freshman curriculum will include an examination of the Bible and other religious texts from theological, literary, and historical perspectives. Sophomores consider how the Enlightenment generated philosophical ideas that have driven social, scientific, and political revolutions across the world; this year will also emphasize how those ideas shaped the foundation and early history of the United States. Students in their Junior year focus on the modern world and humanity’s search for meaning, peace, and justice in an era of conflict, technological advancement, and globalization.
  • The Symposium

    The Symposium component of the Honors Program is a series of learning activities that invite students to synthesize the themes of the humanities curriculum and apply them to art, science, and the concrete realities of everyday life. A Symposium coordinator works with Honors teachers to arrange guest speakers, student academic conferences, film viewings, and field trips. A Symposium event in the Freshman year might involve a lecture by an archaeologist to talk about how we uncover knowledge about the ancient world. Sophomores might go to a museum to examine how Renaissance art reveals philosophical ideas. Juniors might participate in a Model UN conference. These activities will be followed by student-driven conversations to make meaning of these experiences.
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