Honors Program Enhance Your Education

Honors Programs come in all shapes and sizes. Trinity has adopted a model for an Honors Program that is intended to enhance the breadth and depth of your liberal arts learning, but without the burden of many additional requirements. Hence, you will do honors work in the areas of your disciplinary major, general education, and special interdisciplinary classes, but virtually all of your honors work will also fulfill regular Trinity requirements.

Trinity offers the Honors Program for students with a 3.75 (unweighted) high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) with 25 ACT/1200 SAT/78 CLT score or a 3.5 high school GPA with a 28 ACT/1300 SAT/86 CLT score. All students who meet these requirements are invited to apply for the program. Honors students are able to register for classes with more rigorous academics, as well as specialized classes in their major. Incoming top students may also be invited compete for the Kantzer/Ruud Scholarships at our Presidential Scholars Weekend, which are awarded for academic merit and include several $20,000 and $17,000 scholarships, provided they have first applied and been accepted into the Honors Program.


About the Honors Program

The Honors Program at Trinity College is designed to provide enriching and exciting education opportunities to interested and qualified students. Our honors classes specify limited enrollment to committed students and many of these classes are team-taught by professors from a variety of disciplines. Students in the program are guaranteed interactions with professors, resources for qualified research projects, and competitive study abroad opportunities, including the Oxford Scholars program.

As part of the program, students are involved in research projects that can pave the way for future graduate studies. Our students have presented at a number of off-campus venues, including the Student Symposium of the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, and have had the opportunity to work on population genetics studies in the Molecular Ecology Lab of the Chicago Botanic Garden and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Graduates of the Honors Program have gone on to pursue future studies at the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, and Harvard Medical School, among other institutions.

An important goal of the honors program is to foster a stimulating and supportive community of scholars. We sponsor many social and intellectual events including the Fall Welcome Retreat, as well as trips into Chicago and Wisconsin to explore museums, plays, concerts, and even the Lyric Opera.

Additional benefits of enrollment in the Honors Program at Trinity include:

Eligibility Requirements Apply to the Program

The Honors Program is open to students of any major. Students may be directly invited into the program by the director. Alternatively, students may submit an application to the program (beyond the standard application for admission to Trinity). To enter the program, eligibility requirements are:

  1. For first-semester freshmen, a 28 ACT/1300 SAT/86 CLT with a 3.5 high school GPA, or a 25 ACT/1200 SAT/78 CLT with a 3.75 high school GPA
  2. For college transfers, a 3.5 college GPA (no ACT requirement)
  3. For students at Trinity after the first freshman semester, a 3.3 Trinity GPA (no ACT requirement)
  4. All applicants must submit a positive letter of recommendation as part of the application process

To remain in the program, students must maintain a 3.3 Trinity GPA. Honors scholarship students must maintain a 3.5 Trinity GPA.

Note: Students not intending to complete the Honors Program are welcome to take individual honors courses if they have a cumulative 3.30 Trinity GPA and the consent of the Director of the Honors Program, Dr. Joshua Held ([email protected]).

Academic Requirements

To complete the Honors Program, students must earn an A or B in eight honors courses:

  1. At least two honors sections of general education courses.
  2. At least two upper-level honors courses in your major, either in a designated Honors section or using an in-course honors contract (an agreement with the professor on how a student can earn honors credit by doing additional work in a non-honors course).
  3. At least one upper-level interdisciplinary honors seminar.
  4. A senior honors project for 3-4 credit hours within your major.
  5. Other honors courses to reach the required total of eight: 400-level courses outside your major, grad-level courses at TGS or TEDS (except beginning language courses), in-course honors in any department.

Transfer Students

For transfer students entering Trinity with more than 60 credit hours, the Honors Program requirements are reduced to six honors courses. These must include one upper-level interdisciplinary honors seminar (xx 359H), two upper-level honors courses in your major, and the senior honors project.

Is it Worth the Extra Work?

We think so. Trinity students in the Honors Program have gone on to do amazing things at law schools like Duke and Northwestern; medical schools like the Mayo Clinic, Penn, and Nebraska; PhD programs at Notre Dame and USC; and seminaries like TEDS. Honors students have the unique opportunity of applying to the incredibly selective Scholar’s Semester at Oxford University.

Honors Preview

Are you planning on coming to a Preview event and want to hear more about the Honors Program? If so, ask your enrollment counselor about our Honors Program student track!


Contact your enrollment counselor or the Program Director, Dr. Joshua Held at 847-317-7001 or [email protected].