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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

R.J. Woodring
Director of Undergraduate Programs

1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?

SPEA's honors program is administered by the director of the undergraduate programs, Dr. R.J. Woodring,

2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program? How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend themselves?

The SPEA Honors Program requires students to be admitted to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.500 and a SPEA cumulative grade point average of 3.500. These GPA's must be maintained each semester through graduation. Students are admitted into the program via invitation. There is no application process, they are invited via email and then they have the option to accept or decline the invitation.

3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?

All students must complete 3 SPEA honors level courses and a thesis for a total of 12 credit hours.

  • There are a variety of honors level courses that students are able to take, these are "s" courses. Honors courses can be honors only, or combined depending on the course. Because the list of honors level courses changes by semester, students are encouraged to consult their advisor while planning their schedule. Students must take 3 courses at the honors level in order to obtain the honors notation.
  • Honors Thesis - Students work closely with a professor to create a thesis. These are usually between 20-30 pages long and seek to answer a question that is within the students degree path. Examples of past thesis can be found here.

    4. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the requirements for completing it?

    Students work one-on-one with a faculty member to develop and complete a research project in this 3-credit hour course. This is typically done in the spring semester of their Junior or Senior year, but can be done at any time. Thesis entails developing an intensive research project, with a major paper and presentation as the final product. The student with the aid of the Undergraduate Programs Office, would contract with faculty the semester prior to beginning the Honors Thesis. Students will work closely with their faculty advisor throughout the semester to develop a question, complete their research, and finally compile it into a thesis and presentation. (SPEA Honors students are eligible to compete for a thesis/research stipend provided by the Hutton Honors College. Application for the stipend should precede the student's enrollment in the course.) SPEA Honors students are required to present a summary of their thesis at the end of the semester at the Wider World Conference, the Hutton Honors Symposium, or the Fall Semester Presentations.

    5. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or research projects related to the senior project?

    SPEA Honors Students are eligible to compete for a thesis/research stipend provided by the Hutton Honors College. Application for the stipend should precede the student's enrollment in the course.

    6. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly beneficial in future endeavors?

    SPEA Honors Students enjoy the following:

  • Confirmation of a diploma "With Public and Environmental Affairs Honors" notation
  • Advanced coursework and opportunities for in-depth research projects with SPEA faculty
  • Interaction with like-minded students in the SPEA Honors Program and the Hutton Honors College
  • Funding opportunities to support academic-related travel, research projects, and internships through the Hutton Honors College and other University resources
  • Provisional admission to SPEA's "Scholars in Global Citizenship" program (summer program in Vietnam)
  • Provisional admission to SPEA's Washington Leadership Program
  • Provisional admission to SPEA's accelerated Master of Public Affairs or Environmental Science
  • Counsel from an Honors Program Advisor

    7. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree compared to a regular degree in your area?

    The major advantages of SPEA's Honors Program are the opportunities to complete advanced coursework with like-minded students, work one-on-one with faculty on honors-level projects, develop deep expertise in an area you research for your thesis, participate in Honors-only events, and gain access to special programs that, for other students, involve competitive admission.

  • Other Programs School of Public and Environmental Affairs Web Site