Meet The Challenge Of Enriched Degree Options
The Honors Degree with Distinction, the Honors Degree, the Degree with Distinction, and the Dean’s Scholars Programs allow exceptionally talented and dedicated undergraduate students to pursue their academic interests in greater depth and breadth than is required for the regular bachelor’s degree. Achievement of the Honors Degree, Honors Degree with Distinction, and Degree with Distinction is recorded on the official transcript and diploma.
Honors Degree and Honors Degree with Distinction
The Honors Degree and the Honors Degree with Distinction are Delaware’s most comprehensive enriched undergraduate degree experiences, and are currently available in more than 120 majors (please see the Synopsis of Honors Baccalaureate Degrees chart). The Honors Degree recognizes a student’s excellent performance in Honors coursework in and outside the primary major. The Honors Degree with Distinction recognizes a student’s completion of the research requirements for the Degree with Distinction in addition to the successful pursuit of Honors coursework throughout the degree program.
The complete requirements for an Honors Baccalaureate Degree are as follows:
- The requirements for the baccalaureate degree in the major (including all University and college requirements), as well as any other specific requirements the major department may set for the Honors Degree.
- The general requirements for the Honors Degree:
- University of Delaware cumulative grade-point index of no less than a 3.400 at the time of graduation.
- At least 30 credits earned in Honors courses. Of these Honors credits:
- At least 12 must be in the major department or in closely related courses in collateral disciplines specifically required for the major.
- At least 12 must be taken at the 300-level or higher, not including the first-year interdisciplinary Honors colloquium (if numbered at the 300-level).
- Three credits must be in an Honors Degree seminar or Honors capstone course experience approved by the student’s major department and the University Honors Program, to be completed in the last two semesters of a student’s degree program.
- Plus additional Honors credits as needed to reach the 30 required Honors credits.
- Submission of the Honors Degree Application Form to the University Honors Program by May 15 the year before a student is planning to graduate.
A minimum grade of C- is required in Honors courses counting toward the Honors Degree. Honors coursework taken pass-fail cannot count for the Honors Degree unless the course is only offered pass-fail.
The complete requirements for an Honors Baccalaureate Degree with Distinction are as follows:
- The complete requirements for the Honors Baccalaureate Degree (see above).
- Six credits of Honors thesis or project (UNIV 401 /UNIV 402 ) and the successful oral presentation of an acceptable thesis or project to a committee of faculty approved by the major department, the Honors Program, and the Undergraduate Research Program.
- Six credits of Honors thesis may be counted as part of the 30 Honors credits required for the Honors Degree.
- Completion of any additional specifications for the thesis or project set by the major department.
A minimum grade of C- is required in Honors courses counting toward the Honors Degree with Distinction. Honors coursework taken pass-fail cannot count for the Honors Degree with Distinction unless the course is only offered pass-fail.
Degrees With Distinction
A Degree with Distinction, which may be earned in any undergraduate major, is a research degree. Like the Honors Degree with Distinction, it includes a senior thesis or creative project with an oral defense before a faculty committee. Students receive a bachelor’s degree in the appropriate college and major with the notation that it was earned “with distinction”.
Candidates for the Degree with Distinction must meet the following conditions:
- At the time of graduation, the candidate’s cumulative grade- point index must be at least 3.00 and his or her index in the major must be at least 3.50.
- The candidate must complete, for a total of six credits, a thesis or project (UNIV 401 and UNIV 402 ) and give an oral presentation and defense of the thesis or project to a committee of faculty from the major department and related fields.
The Degree with Distinction entails no change in the regular requirements of a student’s program other than preparation and defense of a senior thesis or creative project.
Dean’s Scholars Programs
The Dean’s Scholar Program exists to serve the needs of students whose clearly defined educational goals cannot effectively be achieved by pursuing the standard curricula for all existing majors, minors, and interdepartmental majors sponsored by the University. Driven by an overarching passion or curiosity that transcends typical disciplinary bounds and curricula, a Dean’s Scholar’s intellectual interests may lead to broad interdisciplinary explorations of an issue or to more intense, in-depth studies in a single field at a level akin to graduate work. In consultation with faculty advisors and the Associate or Assistant Dean of their college, Dean’s Scholars design an imaginative and rigorous individual plan of study to meet the total credit hours required for graduation. The Dean’s Scholar Program is available in the Colleges of Agriculture & Natural Resources; Arts & Sciences; Business & Economics; Earth, Ocean, & Environment; Engineering; Health Sciences; and Education & Human Development. Working in conjunction with the Honors Program, Dean’s Scholars in Agriculture & Natural Resources; Arts & Sciences; Health Sciences; and Education & Human Development may qualify for Honors Degrees.
More information and the application procedures can be found at www.udel.edu/deansscholar/.
Please see the following College and Program Dean Scholar Contacts:
Agriculture and Natural Resources: Kimberly Yackoski, 105 Townsend Hall, (302) 831-2508
Arts and Sciences: Lynnette Overby, 77 E. Main Street, (302) 831-6075
Business and Economics: Marcia Rollison, 103 Lerner Hall, (302) 831-4369
Engineering: Chuck Shermeyer, 141 P.S. DuPont Hall, (302) 831-8659
Health Sciences: Catherine Stoner, 205C McDowell Hall, (302) 831-8073
Education and Human Development: Kirstine Ritz-Coll, 106 Alison Hall Addition, (302) 831-2396
Earth, Ocean and Environment: Keeley Powell, 111 Robinson Hall, (302) 831-2841
Honors Program: Jama Allegretto Lynch, 186 S. College Avenue, (302) 831-1195
The Honors Experience: More Than A Degree Program
The University of Delaware Honors Program (UDHP) serves the many exceptionally talented undergraduate students who choose the University of Delaware. Eligible undergraduates study in smaller classes, where they receive special guidance from faculty members. Academic options for these students include a variety of Honors courses, undergraduate research, private music study, the Honors Foreign Language Certificate, the General Honors Award, four-year Honors Degrees in many majors, and the Degree with Distinction in all majors (see the Programs options). Extensive extracurricular programming occurs in the Honors residence halls.
Honors Program students may pursue a course of study in any of the University’s undergraduate majors. Honors degrees are available in over 120 majors. For students who apply to enter the program during their first semester, Honors coursework during the freshman year provide the educational foundation to conduct advanced study in any field. The freshman year also draws students into the campus community, promoting faculty-student interaction and shared interests among participants. Full-time Honors freshmen enroll in 12-15 credits of Honors courses, including an Honors ENGL 110 course and an Honors Colloquium, during their first year. Honors freshmen establish a close relationship with faculty advisors that continues throughout their academic careers.
There is no added fee for participation in the Honors Program.
The University Honors Program has offices in 186 South College Avenue. Please call (302) 831-1195 or visit www.udel.edu/honors/ for more information.
Honors courses are offered each semester, in a wide array of disciplines. Honors courses provide highly motivated students an opportunity to interact intensively with faculty and other students in active-learning courses. These range from one-credit short courses and tutorials to interdisciplinary colloquia, undergraduate research, and independent study.
- Honors Colloquia. Each of these three-credit interdisciplinary seminars for first-year Honors Program students is served by a Writing Fellow - a specially trained peer tutor who helps students refine the form, but not the content, of their papers, prior to grading by the instructor. Recent colloquia topics have included “The Art of Medicine”, “Climate Conversations”, and “Engaging the Dramatic Imagination”.
- Honors ENGL 110 sections. These specially designed freshman composition courses allow Honors first-year students to explore a variety of topics while improving their writing skills and fulfilling this University requirement.
- Honors Tutorials. With a maximum of six to eight students and one faculty member, a tutorial meets weekly for careful study of classic literary and philosophic texts. These courses satisfy the senior capstone requirement for the Honors Degrees.
- Honors Degree Seminars. These upper-division interdisciplinary seminars satisfy the senior capstone requirement for the Honors Degrees.
- Study Abroad. Honors courses may be arranged as part of the University’s numerous and varied Semester Abroad and Winter and Summer Session Abroad programs. Students also may participate in a winter study abroad trip which is open to Honors Program students only. This unique experience allows students to earn six Honors credits abroad in winter session and the students selected for the trip help design the winter abroad experience. For study abroad information, contact the Institute for Global Studies, (302) 831-2852; http://www1.udel.edu/global/.
After the completion of the first year Honors requirements (12 credit minimum), at least three credits of Honors coursework must be completed per academic year to remain in the Honors Program. Graduate level coursework when applicable towards the Honors Degree may count towards the credit requirement to remain in the program. Students will be reviewed at the end of each academic year after spring semester grades are posted.
Full-time matriculated undergraduate students not in the Honors Program are eligible to take Honors courses provided they have completed a minimum of 12 credits at the University and have a University of Delaware cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. Priority seating in Honors courses is always given to eligible Honors Program students. Students not in the Honors Program who meet the necessary criteria may contact the Honors Program office prior to the start of the semester to request Honors courses if seats are available.
Any University student who has a minimum 3.40 GPA and has taken two Honors courses and received a grade of B or better may apply for formal admission to the Honors Program. To be reviewed, a student must present a transcript, two letters of recommendation from Honors Program faculty, and a completed application form (available at www.udel.edu/honors/ or in the Honors Program Office). Applications are reviewed twice a year (October 15 and March 15); an appeal of the committee’s decision may be made to the Director of the Honors Program, who is not a member of the committee itself, and whose decision is final.
Students admitted to the Honors Program must maintain a GPA of 3.20 in the first year to take Honors courses and remain in the Honors Program. First semester freshmen who fall below a 3.00 will be placed on probation and will be notified about their probationary status. If the first semester GPA is below a 3.0, students will not be allowed to take Honors courses while on probation. If their GPAs remain below 3.20 at the end of their first year, they will be contacted and removed from the Honors Program.
After the second year and in subsequent years, Honors Program students must maintain a minimum of a 3.30 overall GPA. All Honors Program students will be reviewed yearly. Any Honors students falling below a 3.30 GPA at the end of any year of study will be contacted and removed from the Honors Program.
Former Honors Program students wishing to reapply to the program may do so after their overall GPAs improve to a 3.40 or higher. For information on readmission to Honors, see the Honors Program web site www.udel.edu/honors/.
General Honors Award
The General Honors Award provides recognition of a student’s pursuit of Honors challenges and enrichment opportunities during the first two years of university study. Receipt of the General Honors Award is recorded on a student’s permanent transcript.
The complete requirements for the General Honors Award are as follows:
- Eighteen credits of Honors coursework completed within the first two years of study, with a minimum of 12 credits required in the first year.
- Three credits of the 12 credits completed in the first year must include an interdisciplinary Honors colloquium course.
- Three credits of the 12 credits completed in the first year must include an Honors ENGL 110 course.
- A minimum GPA of at least 3.30 at the conclusion of the first two years of study at the University.
- A minimum of 60 credits (including advanced placement and transfer credits) must be completed by the end of the second year, at least 54 of which must be earned at UD.
- Residence in first-year Honors housing is required during the first year of study.
- A minimum grade of C- is required in all Honors courses counting toward the General Honors Award.
- Honors coursework counting toward the General Honors Award cannot be taken on a pass-fail basis unless the course is only offered pass-fail.
The Honors Foreign Language Certificate
The Honors Foreign Language Certificate is available to students in majors other than Foreign Languages and Literatures. For information on this opportunity, see the Languages, Literature & Culture section of this catalog.
General Education Initiative (GEI)
The General Education Initiative (GEI) provides the foundation from which all students have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. Students, through participation in the First Year Experience, Discovery Learning Experiences, Capstones, and their academic coursework, have the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that will enable them to achieve the UD 10 Goals to Success. These goals are designed to prepare students for life in the technologically sophisticated, diverse, highly communicative, and globally integrated world in which they will live and work; and to offer students the opportunity to expand their own horizons, areas of interest, and intellectual development.
The 10 Goals to Success are found at http://sites.udel.edu/gened/.
First Year Experience (FYE)
The First Year Experience is the first step in an exciting educational journey that helps students find their place at the University of Delaware and build strong social and academic foundations. All first year students (including University Honors Program) at the University are required to participate in a First Year Seminar (FYS). The First Year Seminar assists students in adjusting to college life and provides a unique learning experience. Students have the opportunity to explore the University of Delaware and learn about those things that are vital to their success. For more information see: www.udel.edu/fye.
Discovery Learning Experience (DLE)
Discovery learning takes place when students use their knowledge and skills acquired through traditional classroom experiences to discover, for themselves, effective actions, alternatives, and solutions to situations and/or problems that occur in “real-life” contexts – that is, contexts that are unpredictable, where problems and situations are complex and lack clear definitions. These contexts are primarily outside of the classroom and include internships, service-learning, independent study, undergraduate research, and study abroad. However, they may also occur within a classroom experience.
All undergraduate students are required to engage in three credits of Discovery Learning Experiences (DLE), under the supervision of a faculty member. As a result of the Discovery Learning Experience, all students should be able to: (1) apply critical thinking skills to develop effective responses to, and make informed decisions about, problems or situations encountered in the course of the learning experience; and (2) reflect upon what they have learned as a result of participating in the DLE.
University (UNIV) courses are undergraduate courses which provide opportunities beyond existing department courses. These courses enhance the undergraduate education for motivated students seeking more direct involvement with faculty in experiential practice. UNIV courses include experiences such as group tutor, peer facilitator/instructor, workshop guide, and undergraduate teaching assistant; learning experiences such as service-learning, fieldwork, co-op, apprenticeship, and internship; and research experiences such as fieldwork and laboratory work. Students enroll under the supervision of faculty with permission. UNIV courses may not substitute major courses required in the department curriculum.
Further information: http://sites.udel.edu/gened/.
Service-learning links students to the needs of the larger society. As one of the University of Delaware’s signature discovery learning opportunities, service-learning combines academic study with community service. Most servicelearning experiences at the University of Delaware take place in courses whose students, as part of their coursework, provide service in a community agency and whose faculty direct the students’ reflection on these real-world experiences in light of academic theories and information being taught in the course.
Committed undergraduates may pursue individual service-learning projects through the Service-Learning Scholars program. Service-Learning Scholarships provide highly motivated students the opportunity to undertake full-time independent projects over the summer. Scholars work with a community partner while simultaneously pursing academic reading and reflection with a faculty mentor. Scholars receive a $3,500 scholarship and serve full-time for ten weeks during the summer and continue to do three credits’ worth of work during the following academic year.
Further information: http://www.servicelearning.udel.edu.
UD’s Unique Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program
A research-based program designed especially for students seeking to place their research experience in the context of future graduate study, the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program promotes academic and personal excellence among undergraduate students interested in attaining a doctoral degree. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the McNair Program recruits talented, eligible undergraduates from all colleges at the University of Delaware. McNair Scholars are a community who value intellectual exchange and debate and the development of the life of the mind. Twenty-two McNair Scholars are funded each year.
Focusing on graduate school preparation, the McNair Program demystifies the graduate school application process and provides students with a simulated graduate school experience. The program offers a scholarly environment whereby students receive academic, financial, and social support, as well as competitive stipends; one-on-one faculty mentoring; academic and financial aid advising; an intensive undergraduate summer research internship; graduate school preparation seminars; GRE preparation courses; research methodologies, statistics, and ethics course(s); a graduate school visitation program; cultural and social programs; a national McNair networking program; and graduate school application & GRE fee waivers.
Visit the program website at: http://www.udel.edu/mcnair or call (302) 831-4396 for a complete listing of eligibility requirements and a full overview of program services.
University Undergraduate Scholars
The University Undergraduate Scholars Program aims to prepare talented students for graduate study through an intensive undergraduate research experience, academic enrichment, and a diverse living/learning community. University Undergraduate Scholars are eligible for a combination of services from the Undergraduate Research Program and the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program.
Five to ten University Undergraduate Scholars are funded each year to participate in a ten-week summer immersion undergraduate research experience with a faculty member in the field they hope to enter. These Scholars participate fully in McNair community-building experiences such as weekly group dinners, reading groups, and other social/cultural events. They meet the same obligations as the federally funded McNair Scholars, participate in McNair’s full academic enrichment program, including participation in a graduate school seminar series, take part in graduate school visitations, present their research-in-progress at national McNair and/or Undergraduate Research conferences, and are given the opportunity to present their research in UD symposia and poster sessions. Scholars receive full individual advisement from McNair program staff, including advisement about graduate programs most appropriate to their interests and abilities, as well as individual review and critique of their graduate school application materials.
Undergraduate Research Program
Delaware’s unique Undergraduate Research Program encourages highly motivated undergraduates, beginning with the freshman level, to serve as junior members of research teams and work with faculty mentors. Through hands-on experience, students learn to formulate significant questions, develop investigative procedures, gather and examine evidence, make mistakes, follow hunches, detect loopholes, and evaluate and report results.
Undergraduates usually receive academic credit for research activities; students who hold college work-study grants may earn their grant money. In the summer, a salary or stipend is often possible. Students explore career options through undergraduate research, and many make original contributions to knowledge in their chosen fields.
The University’s Undergraduate Research Program assists undergraduates interested in research by serving as a central information and referral source. The Program also administers the Degree with Distinction and the senior thesis portion of the Honors Degree with Distinction requirements, and it offers research funding in the form of Undergraduate Research Grants (to defray the research expenses of students and their faculty sponsors) and Scholarships (to enable selected students to engage in research full time during the summer).
Each year, the Undergraduate Research Program sponsors a Senior Thesis Symposium at which candidates for Distinction and Degree with Distinction students present their research findings. Science and Engineering Scholars, College of Education and Human Development Scholars, and Public Policy Scholars present several annual poster sessions, and McNair, UUS, and Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Scholars present their work at annual research events.
For more information about the Undergraduate Research Program, visit http://urp.udel.edu/.
Science And Engineering Scholars
The Science and Engineering Scholars Program combines the resources of the University’s science and engineering colleges and research centers, the Undergraduate Research Program, and industrial sponsors to offer selected students in-depth research apprenticeships in all areas of science and engineering. Participating colleges are Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Health Sciences, and Marine and Earth Studies.
Up to 80 research scholarships of $3,500 each are awarded to outstanding sophomore majors in the sciences and engineering. Students serve a 10-week full-time research apprenticeship to a faculty member during the summer between the sophomore and junior years. They continue as research assistants during the junior year, often in the Winter Session. Research during the academic year may be counted in most departments as one technical elective course or one elective course in the major.
Life Science Scholars
Funding undergraduate research in all areas of the life sciences, the Life Science Scholars Program annually provides about 20 summer stipends of $3,500 each to students for the summer after their junior year. Outstanding first-year students may also apply. Each summer, the faculty directors of the University’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant sponsor weekly enrichment seminars and a summer Undergraduate Research Symposium for all undergraduates conducting research in the sciences.
Arts, Humanities and Social Science Scholars
The Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Scholars Program enables selected sophomore and junior majors in the humanities, social science, and art disciplines to do in-depth research or creative work with University faculty. Up to 45 research scholarships of $3,500 each are awarded. Students work on their projects full-time for ten weeks in the summer and continue to do three credits of research in the following academic year. The research done during the academic year may be part of the senior thesis for the Degree with Distinction or Honors Degree with Distinction.
College of Education and Human Development Scholars
The College of Education and Human Development offers up to five $3,500 awards to sophomore and junior majors in the College, enabling them to do in-depth research with faculty in the College. Students work on their projects full time for ten weeks in the summer and continue to do three credits of research in the following academic year. The research done during the academic year may be part of the senior thesis for the Degree with Distinction or Honors Degree with Distinction.
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships
About 35 fellowships of varying amounts provide partial support for undergraduate researchers in all fields who would like to devote a substantial amount of time to work on their projects during the summer. This fellowship is especially appropriate for students who wish to take a summer class and/or hold a job or internship for part of a summer in addition to doing research.
Students interested in research should be aware that the University serves as home to a number of specialized research units described in the “Research Centers, Institutes, and Special Facilities” section. Many of these units offer internship opportunities for undergraduate students.
Global Studies Opportunities
Interested in spending a semester abroad? Fall semester locations include London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Salzburg (Austria), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Akita (Japan), Prague (Czech Republic), and Granada (Spain); spring semester locations include Limerick (Ireland), Rome (Italy), Sydney (Australia), Barcelona (Spain), and Granada (Spain). Semester programs are coordinated by on-site staff or involve direct enrollment at a foreign university. Courses are taught by local faculty. Courses may be taught in English or the local language, and students earn regular UD academic credit applicable toward graduation and fulfilling academic requirements as specified. Several semester exchange opportunities are available as well, with students earning transfer credit. In addition, semester-long credit-bearing student teaching opportunities are available in Greece and Cayman Islands for students majoring in Elementary Education and in Early Childhood Development. Students may also choose a short study program in winter or summer. These sessions are led by UD faculty for 3-5 weeks in a variety of locations across the globe and in many different areas of study. For more information refer to the Institute for Global Studies.
Societies Honor Our Best Students
Phi Beta Kappa
Established in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest honorary society on American campuses. A local chapter, Alpha of Delaware, was approved by the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa in September 1955 and was installed in April 1956. Generally, seniors majoring in the liberal arts and demonstrating superior scholarship are eligible for election. For more information, visit the Phi Beta Kappa: Alpha of Delaware Chapter.
Alpha Lambda Delta
Alpha Lambda Delta recognizes excellent scholarship in any academic field during the freshman year. Alpha Lambda Delta at the University of Delaware partners with many other service organizations on service projects.
There are additional societies that recognize achievement in a variety of academic fields. Information is available by contacting the relevant academic department office and may also be found online via a search of Registered Student Organizations at the University of Delaware.