National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 5. Copyright 2009 National Collegiate Honors Council.


Developing honors opportunities for students in professional schools can be difficult, as noted by, for example, Giazzoni (2007), Bishop and Sittason (2007) and Noble and Dowling (2007) and also as demonstrated by honors program statistics at Texas Christian University (TCU). Despite the difficulty, high achieving students in professional schools should have the opportunity to benefit from an honors education. According to Bruce (2008), “honors education looks different from other types of education. . . . Honors pushes our comfort zones . . . [and] . . . challenges us to . . . be open to new ideas” (19–29). This paper shows that applying these principles to the design of honors programs in professional schools leads to increased retention rates of professional school students in honors. We advocate honors programs for professional schools that are administered separately from but collaborate closely with university honors programs, enabling their students to graduate with both traditional university honors and professional school honors. The equal importance put on membership in both honors programs affords students the best education and the best university experience.