Honors Program

The MU Honors Program seeks to attract motivated and academically accomplished students, and provide an interdisciplinary educational program; provide unique learning opportunities that engage and challenge students; develop a close mentoring relationship between students and faculty across disciplines; develop student leaders who are actively involved on-campus and in their community; promote the mission of Manchester University to graduate persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition; and provide opportunities for faculty to challenge their own teaching/learning in an environment with motivated students.


The Honors Program at Manchester University engages students with a high level of interest, initiative, and ability to challenge themselves intellectually, to understand the interdependence of knowledge, and to lead and serve on-campus and in the community in order that they may lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives.


We seek to create a collaborative community that enhances students’ learning, creativity, and discovery as a lifetime endeavor.


  • Learning, because high academic expectations in an environment combining liberal arts and professional preparation equip graduates to recognize the interdependence of knowledge.
  • Leadership, because effective leaders believe in the inherent self-worth of others and create a trusting and open climate for everyone to be successful, in order that we all lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives.
  • Integrity, because honesty and trust are the foundations of teaching and learning, enriching, enduring relationships, and strong communities;
  • Community, because a positive community sharpens self-identity, promotes acceptance of the demands of responsible citizenship, and transforms conflict into mutual respect.

Eligibility and Applying

There are a few ways you can join the Honors Program at Manchester University:

1.. You can be invited to apply.

  • Prospective students who submit a completed application for admission by May 1, AND are rewarded a Presidential or Dean's Scholarship will be invited to apply to the Honors Program.

2. Students already enrolled or who are transferring to Manchester University must: 

Honors Requirements

Students may receive 1 of 3 different levels of Honors recognition, depending on the number of honors courses they have completed. Honors courses cannot be taken on a Pass/No-Pass basis.

I.      Honors and Achievement
This honors recognition is given to the student who has maintained a cumulative 3.5 GPA and who has completed a minimum of 18 hours of honors coursework, 9 hours outside of major, 6 hours in major, as well as 3 hours of honors theses (IDIV 495).   

II.     Honors
This honors recognition is given to the student who has maintained a cumulative 3.5 GPA and who has completed a minimum of 12 hours of honors coursework (which can include FYS-H). At least 6 hours of coursework needs to be a the 300-400 level.

III.    Achievement
This honors recognition is given to the student who has maintained a cumulative 3.5 GPA and who does not complete the required number of honors courses to qualify for Honors, but does complete 3 hours of Honors Thesis (IDIV 495). To qualify, students must apply no later than the beginning of their senior year and must have a strong recommendation from an instructor. 

The Goals of the Honors Program:

  • Students will challenge themselves with complex perspectives and interdisciplinary ideas through Honors course opportunities.
  • Students will develop into leader’s on-campus and in the community by being actively involved in the Honors Leadership Council.
  • Students will build collaborative relationships with faculty, staff, and peers through First Year Seminar, Honors Leadership Council, and the Honors Thesis.
  • Students will generate professional skills in formal writing, oral presentations, and intellectual dialogue as demonstrated through the Honors Thesis.


There are many advantages to being a part of the MU Honors Program, but the focus in our program is that you get to create your own experience. At MU honors students can select pre-arranged honors courses (where the honors project is already outlined by the faculty member) or they can plan conversions in courses they are already enrolled in. Our goal is to facilitate a community of honors students in courses in meaningful ways that promote the learning for all MU students.

Active students in the honors program also have the benefit of registering early for their following semester’s classes, increasing the level of control students have over their course schedules. Students are able to develop close relationships with fellow honors students as they participate in honors program sponsored events. Students are able to demonstrate to graduate schools and employers that they challenged themselves while obtaining their college degree. Students develop their leadership through the Honors Leadership Council student group, and by getting involved on campus and in the local community through service projects. Finally, students are recognized at graduation and wear special honors regalia to recognize their achievements while at MU.


For more information, contact:

Tim McKenna-Buchanan, Director of Honors Program
Office: Academic Center 310 (NM campus)
Phone: 260-982-5013
Email: tpmckenna-buchanan@manchester.edu

honors banquet awardhonors group photo
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