What is the Honors Program?
The Saint Leo Honors Program serves our most academically talented students who desire to make the most of their undergraduate experience. In a challenging, yet supportive environment, Honors students develop the skills necessary to become leaders both inside and outside the classroom. With an emphasis on the most urgent questions of 21st-century global citizenship, Honors students learn how to think critically, how to dialogue with multiple perspectives, and how to communicate clearly and effectively.
We recognize that exceptional students want more from their education. The heart of Honors is our customized curriculum that fully replaces all general education requirements for graduation. In Honors, students will engage with the ideas that shape our world and apply this knowledge to everyday life. All Honors courses feature experiential learning experiences that enable students to put their learning into practice. These experiences reveal that education is not a selfish pursuit, but rather preparation for a life of service to others. All Honors students complete a Senior Honors Project in which they work 1:1 with a faculty mentor to make a meaningful intellectual contribution to the Saint Leo community.
Is Honors Right for Me?
The Honors Scholars Program represents the top 10% of campus students and provides a challenging, yet supportive environment for our most talented students. Honors students are widely recognized as campus leaders both inside and outside the classroom. Based on their success in Honors, our graduates routinely attend top medical, law, and graduate programs, along with job placement in a wide variety of careers.
The heart of the Honors program is a customized curriculum focused on global citizenship that fully replaces the general education requirements for graduation. Students in the Honors Scholars Program at University Campus beginning in Fall 2023 will enjoy all of the following benefits:
- Additional $2,000 scholarship
- A special degree and diploma from the University that highlights Honors (B.A. Honors or B.S. Honors)
- The completion of general education courses in 6 fewer credits than non-Honors peers, making it easier for students to complete a 3+1 program, add a double major/minor, or take elective credits outside of their major
- Optional upgraded housing (additional cost per semester) available for first-year students in the high-demand Honors Village, including Alumni Hall and Roderick Hall as suite-style housing with semi-private bathrooms and common living space
- Exceptionally small class sizes, with Honors courses having 15 students or fewer in the classroom
- Exclusive first and senior year 1:1 research experiences with faculty, as well as private events for Honors Scholars and their parents and family members
- Minimum unweighted 3.5 high school GPA
- Be admitted to University Campus beginning in the Fall 2023 Semester
- Complete and be accepted to the Honors Scholars Program by completing the supplemental application
Honors Program Tracks
Honors Scholars is designed for incoming first-year students, or for current Saint Leo students who have earned less than 40 credits.
Honors Scholars are required to complete a total of 40 credits for general education. This is 6 credits less than non-Honors students, who complete 46 credits for general education. Honors Scholars often use their extra 6 credits to work toward a double major, a minor, or simply as free electives. Also, many Honors Scholar enter with AP and dual-enrollment credits that reduce this number even further.
Honors Scholars are required to satisfy the following requirements. This sequence fully satisfies all general education requirements.
University Foundations (15 credits):
- ENG121 – Academic Writing I
- ENG122 – Academic Writing II
- SLU125 – Choosing Wellness
- COM140 – Basic Computer Skills
- MAT131 or higher
Honors Courses (21 credits):
- HON160 – First Year Seminar I
- HON161 – First Year Seminar II
- HON260 – Ideas and Expression
- HON261 – Nature
- HON360 – Community and Identity
- HON361 – Global Responsibility
- One Honors elective at 200-level or higher
Honors Project (4 credits)
- HON498 – Honors Research Methods
- HON499 – Senior Honors Project
Honors Fellows is a track designed for transfer students, or current Saint Leo students with greater than 40 credit hours already completed. Honors Fellows are required to complete the 300-level and 400-level Honors coursework, but meet their general education requirements through University Explorations. Honors Fellows are also able to take any of the available Honors courses and apply those courses toward their University Explorations requirements.
Honors Fellows complete most of their general education requirements through University Explorations. However, they have the option to replace as many of these requirements as they would like with Honors courses. Honors Fellows must complete at least the following 10 credits within Honors:
- HON 360 - Community and Identity
- HON 361 - Global Responsibility
- HON 498 - Honors Research Methods
- HON 499 - Senior Honors Project
Honors-University Explorations Correspondence
For Honors Fellows, Honors courses count toward University Explorations requirements. The following correspondences apply between the Honors Program and University Explorations:
- HON 160 First Year Seminar I – Reflective and Spiritual Life
- HON 161 First Year Seminar II –Reflective and Spiritual Life
- HON 260 Ideas and Expression – The Creative Life
- HON 261 Nature – Science in a Changing World
- HON 360 Community and Identity – Human Mosaic
- HON 361 Global Responsibility – Human Adventure
Available Honors Programs
3+1 Accelerated Degree Programs
Students who are eligible for the Saint Leo University Honors Program are also eligible for admission to our new 3+1 Accelerated Degree Programs.
Available programs include:
3+3 Accelerated Law Program
The 3+3 accelerated law program is an intense yet rewarding and high-value opportunity for qualified and highly motivated students to earn two degrees in just six years - a bachelor's degree, followed by a Juris Doctor degree.
Available programs include:
Research & Service Opportunities
Honors Program scholars represent some of the most intellectually curious and socially responsible students on Saint Leo's campus.
The program culminates in a senior-year capstone project—a major piece of original research or creative work, often with a community service component that builds on Saint Leo's core values. This is your opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member in your area of interest, and to make your mark on the world.
Honors students also find the time to sponsor and participate in service opportunities on campus and around the globe, ranging from cleaning up Florida National Cemetery's gardens on Veteran’s Day, to volunteering at a Costa Rican orphanage.
Research & Travel Funding
Funding for research, or to present your work at a professional conference, is available through a grant application process. Honors Program scholars have presented at meetings including the Mathematical Association of America, Florida Academy of Sciences, Florida Collegiate Honors Council, and the Psychological Association.
The Honors Program sponsors the Honors Club to promote the academic environment on campus.
- Trips to museums
- Picnics in the park
- Serving dinner at a women and children’s center
- Serving dinner at the Salvation Army
- Hosting a birthday party at the Salvation Army
- Trips to state beaches and parks
- Post flooding clean up
- Events on the ropes course
- Parties on campus
Examples of Past Senior Projects
Honors projects can take you wherever your passions happen to lead you.
Previous years' senior projects have explored:
- The psychology of treating child dental patients
- Gender equity and Title IX in Saint Leo's athletic department
- How literature can help students deal with trauma
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act's effect on small business accounting
- Concepts of justice, violence, professionalism and spirituality
- Operation of elementary schools on military bases around the world
- Ethical issues surrounding organ transplants
- Incarceration and its effects on the individual and family
- Public perceptions of cigarette smoking
- The moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa), a species that grows abundantly in the Amazon Basin
Students have also created their own entrepreneurial business plans, written novels and books of poetry, created original films, and proposed and performed large-scale service projects on campus and in the surrounding communities.