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.
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 their 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
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 Seminar, 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 Seminar (FYS)
All first year students at the University, including those in the University Honors Program, are required to participate in a First Year Seminar (FYS). FYS is the beginning of an exciting educational journey. It helps students find their place at the University of Delaware and build strong social and academic foundations. Students have the opportunity to explore campus and learn about the resources that are vital to their success. For more information see: www.udel.edu/fys.
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 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 for major courses required in the department curriculum.
Students must obtain instructor permission and present to their department. See Department contact for information: https://www1.udel.edu/registrar/faculty_staff/dept_contacts.html
The University of Delaware (UD) has a long tradition of applying knowledge and creativity to the critical challenges facing communities in Delaware and around the world. Community Engagement links students to the needs of the larger society through a course of study, summer immersion programs and traditional coursework.
The Community Engagement Scholars Course of Study is a multi-year academic program that prepares students for lives as engaged citizens. Administered by the Community Engagement Initiative, a program of the Office of the Provost, this rigorous course of study provides students in any major a framework for integrating their academic study and co-curricular service experiences through participation in course work, community focused immersion programs, co-curricular service and development of an eportfolio.
Committed undergraduates may pursue faculty-mentored community based projects through the CEI Summer Scholars and Fellows program. CEI Summer Scholarships provide highly motivated students the opportunity to undertake full-time independent projects over the summer. Scholars and Fellows receive a scholarship to work with a community partner while simultaneously pursuing academic reading and reflection with a faculty mentor.
UD’s Unique Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Undergraduate Research Program
Delaware’s prestigious Undergraduate Research Program inspires highly motivated undergraduates to serve as junior members of research teams and/or to conduct independent research with the support of a faculty mentor.
Beginning as early as their first year, students gain hands-on experience with formulating questions, developing investigative procedures, gathering data, examining evidence, evaluating findings and reporting results. Along the way, students acquire marketable skills, explore career options and make original contributions to knowledge in their fields.
Undergraduates usually receive academic credit for research activities, though Pell-eligible students may participate in the Research Apprenticeship Work-Study program (UDRAW) and all Blue Hens may earn a stipend through our Summer Scholars and Fellows programs.
URP also administers UD’s Degree with Distinction and the senior thesis portion of the Honors Degree with Distinction.
To celebrate the achievements of all undergraduate researchers, URP annually hosts a celebratory symposium.
For more information about the Undergraduate Research Program, visit http://urp.udel.edu/.
Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the McNair Scholars Program prepares talented undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds for doctoral studies. Twenty-five McNair Scholars annually receive comprehensive support, including paid research opportunities, personalized faculty mentoring, assistance with the GRE and LSAT, and more. The goal? To demystify the graduate school application process and maximize student success.
McNair Scholars are either first-generation college students with financial need and/or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, including those who identify as African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander or Women in STEM. All have demonstrated strong academic potential.
To learn more about the program and eligibility requirements, visit https://mcnair.udel.edu/.
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 fall or spring semester abroad? Semester locations include Athens (Greece); Copenhagen (Denmark); London (United Kingdom); Paris (France); Salzburg (Austria); Buenos Aires (Argentina); Akita (Japan); Prague (Czech Republic); Barcelona, Granada, and Madrid (Spain); Limerick (Ireland); Rome (Italy); and Sydney (Australia). Semester locations may vary from fall to spring; programs are managed by on-site provider organizations or involve direct enrollment at an overseas partner university, with courses 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 and year-long 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, Human Development and Family Sciences, and Early Childhood Education, and a semester-long credit-bearing spring internship program exists in Washington, DC. Students in Health Behavior Sciences may earn their capstone internship credits by spending a semester in Quito (Ecuador), Sydney (Australia), or Cape Town (South Africa). 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.
Health Profession Studies Opportunities
With the Center for Health Profession Studies (CHPS), undergraduate students in any major can catalyze their career in the healthcare industry. The Center’s exclusive offerings include the first-year Pre-Health Profession Living-Learning Community, Medical Scholars Program, Health Professions Evaluation Committee, individualized advising, professional mentoring, study abroad opportunities and more. Participants go on to pursue successful careers as doctors, dentists, dieticians, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, podiatrists and veterinarians, among others. To learn more, visit https://sites.udel.edu/healthpro/.
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.
Phi Kappa Phi
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded to be fully interdisciplinary, electing members from all fields of learning. At UD, these fields include the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, agriculture, business, education, health sciences, and marine studies. On January 13, 1905, UD’s Alpha of Delaware Chapter was the fifth chapter to be installed, and continues to induct notable juniors, seniors, graduate students and faculty each May into the Society.
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.