What are the criteria for being accepted into the Honors Program?
The minimum criteria are a 3.5 high school Grade Point Average and a 1200 combined score on the SAT Critical Reading and Math sections. Other factors like extracurricular activities and volunteer work, as well as the quality of a Fitchburg State application essay and recommendation letters, are also weighed heavily.
Do I need to apply to be in the Honors Program?
No. If you meet the minimum criteria for GPA and SAT, you will automatically be evaluated for Honors Program admission by the Honors Program Coordinator.
How will I know when I am accepted into the Honors Program?
You will receive a formal Honors Program invitation letter by email from the Admissions Office; the letter is from the Director of Admissions and the Honors Program Coordinator.
Will classes that I need to take for the Honors Program interfere with classes that I need for my major?
No. The Honors Program (HP) courses meet Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S) requirements. All Fitchburg State students need to meet the LA&S requirements, whether they are in the HP or not. As an academic advisor, the HP Coordinator helps all Honors students deal with any scheduling conflicts that arise between their major courses and HP courses.
Are there additional requirements for HP students that other Fitchburg State students do not have to meet?
This depends on the individual student. The short answer is that the HP course requirements are somewhat different, but not necessarily greater in number, than those for other students. Instead of Advanced LA&S requirements (which all other students have to fulfill), HP students have a foreign language requirement and a required two-part Honors Thesis project.
About how many students are accepted into the Honors Program each year?
About 25 students are accepted and enroll as incoming HP freshmen each year.
Can I enter the Honors Program after my first year at the University?
Yes. Students who do not enter the HP as freshman but establish and maintain a GPA of 3.3 at Fitchburg State are eligible to declare the Honors Minor, which consists of four Honors Seminar courses and the two-part Honors Thesis.
How do I stay in good standing with the Honors Program?
All Honors students must stay in good standing with Fitchburg State and maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA or higher.
What is the Honors Program foreign language requirement?
Honors students (except for those in the Honors Minor) must complete an Intermediate II level language course, or the equivalent. Students who arrive at Fitchburg State with three or four years of foreign language study from high school can often bypass beginner-level foreign language courses and take fewer than four language courses. Those who start at the Beginner I level will need to take a total of four foreign language courses (in the same language).
What happens if I do not meet the GPA requirements to remain in the Honors Program after the first semester?
An Honors student who falls below the 3.3 GPA requirement will receive one probationary semester during which that individual has the opportunity to raise their grades to remain in the program. In that case, the student will receive a prompt email notification from the HP Coordinator about their probationary status.
Will I have an Honors advisor along with my academic advisor for my major?
Yes, the HP Coordinator serves as an academic advisor for all HP students. The vast majority of HP students meet with both their major advisors and their HP advisor during every advising period. Students generally find this additional advisor very helpful in staying on track academically.
What is the Honors Common?
The Honors Common is a study space especially for the use of HP students. It contains study carrels, computers and a printer that is free to HP students. The HP Coordinator’s office is also located within the Honors Common.
Are there long-term benefits to being in the Honors Program? What are they?
Based on their experiences of taking many classes with other high-achieving and highly engaged students, along with the demanding and gratifying work of the Honors Thesis, HP graduates put themselves in a position for exceptional success in both the professional world and in graduate/advanced study. The multiple presentations required of each Honors Thesis student also ensure that they develop skills in research and public speaking, as well as other crucial professional skills.
What is the Honors Thesis?
The Honors Thesis is the HP capstone experience, involving two semesters of independent study supervised by a Thesis Advisor and a Second Reader/Secondary Advisor.