Director: Dr. Ellen McWhorter, Associate Professor of English
The Merrimack College Honors Program offers students with strong academic credentials, class standing, and leadership qualities the opportunity to study with other exceptional students in smaller and more challenging classes. Inspired by Augustine’s philosophy of teaching and learning, the Program is dedicated to active learning in community with others leading to transformative experience. The Program is not a separate major, but an innovative and exciting approach to fulfilling the College’s general education requirements and to earning Honors credit in advanced courses. The Program also includes a variety of social and co-curricular activities.
Students in the Honors Program must take at least eight honors courses (usually one per semester). Each semester, the Program offers special Honors sections designed to satisfy the requirements in College’s Liberal Studies (for example, Honors Introduction to College Writing). Other Honors courses are electives based on student interests, or are contracts that allow students to earn Honors credit in advanced courses. Honors sections are usually capped at 18 students. A final capstone project is undertaken in the student’s senior year.
Students in the Honors Program must satisfy the same institutional and divisional requirements as any other Merrimack student, and must have the same number of credits to graduate. Honors students must also satisfy a service-learning requirement, usually in SOJ1000: Honors Introduction to Social Justice in their sophomore year. Students must maintain a 3.40 GPA their freshman year and a 3.50 thereafter. Cumulative GPAs are reviewed at the end of each semester for first-year students and at year’s end for upper classmen. Students whose GPAs fall below the required threshold will be asked to meet with the director of the Program and will be given one semester to raise their cumulative GPAs. Students receive no extra credit or enhanced GPA points for taking an Honors course. An ‘A’ in an Honors course earns the same qualitative points as an ‘A’ in any other course. Honors courses will be listed as such on a student’s transcript, regardless of whether a student remains in the Program through graduation.