Gordon & Judy Dutile Honors Program

Honors Program students walking in commencement processional

dutile honors program

The mission of the Honors Program is to prepare servant leaders who are recognized for their accomplishments and excellence in academics, intercultural experiences, and spiritual development.

program goals

  • Enhance the academic learning of students beyond that received in the typical classroom environment
  • Develop student leaders
  • Provide opportunities for intercultural experiences and intellectual exchange
  • Encourage students to develop a lifelong commitment to spiritual discipline and development

Being involved in SBU’s Honors Program allowed me to cultivate long-lasting, deep friendships while instilling the value of critical thinking, which helped me succeed throughout college and continues to promote success in my career as a CPA.

Chrissy McIntire ’16, Staff Accountant at KPM CPAs and Advisors
Chrissy McIntire '16, Honors Program Alum

why should you be an honors scholar?

As an Honors scholar, SBU will build upon your leadership potential and accomplishments through opportunities to participate in:

  • Honors-specific courses that provide scholastic enrichment, practical application and professional development
  • Honors colloquium for sophomore and junior students
  • Senior Honors Capstone Experience in which you complete a project or research in your field of study, including the integration of faith and discipline, with the guidance of a faculty member
  • Early class enrollment
  • Centralized academic advising with Dutile Honors Program faculty and academic discipline faculty
  • Professional development opportunities at Honors conferences
  • Special cultural opportunities
  • Recognition on transcript and at graduation

frequently asked questions

Eligibility criteria for first-time freshmen include:

  • 28+ ACT, 1230+ SAT (verbal and quantitative), or 86+ CLT test score
  • 3.5+ high school GPA

Applicants must first complete an application for admission to SBU. Eligible students will then receive a Scholars Day application and will attend Scholars Day in February during which they will complete an on-campus interview and essay.

Eligible admitted students will receive an invitation to apply for Scholars Day. The Scholars Day applications are available by the end of November. For questions about the Scholars Day application, please contact the Office of Admissions at (417) 328-1810. Application deadline is January 15.
Honors Program students have the opportunity to take honors-specific courses, participate in special cultural opportunities, take advantage of early enrollment for classes, enjoy centralized academic advising with the Honors Program Director and faculty members in their major, and receive recognition on their transcripts and at graduation.
The Honors versions of University Seminar, Critical Thinking, and Introduction to Fine Arts are required for all Honors students and fulfill General Education requirements. Honors students must complete at least three of the following:  Honors Composition, Honors L.I.F.E. Economics, Honors Fundamentals of Speech, Honors New Testament, Honors American Government and Honors U.S. History. Each of these courses also fulfill General Education requirements.  The Honors Colloquia (2 semesters of a 1-hour course) and the Honors Capstone Experience (1-3 hours) are requirements for the Honors Program and are not requirements for General Education or a major.  These courses (a total of 3-5 hours) are the only "extra" course requirements in the Program. Honors courses are not designed to be more difficult; however, they are designed with an Honors Scholar in mind.  The format of the class and the teaching style of the professor stimulates discussion and challenges students to apply higher level thinking skills.
A "colloquium" is an exchange of ideas and thought.  The Honors Colloquium will include guest-lecturers, instructor-led discussion, student-led panel discussion, student presentations, and other formats for the exchange of ideas on a particular theme.  Students will be able to apply higher level critical thinking skills to discern truth from the variety of world views presented during the course and synthesize information into a coherent framework.  The Colloquium is a 1-hour course.  Students will complete two Colloquia. Past colloquium topics include "Rhetoric of Survival" and "Food and Culture."
The Honors Capstone Experience is a senior-level course that allows the Honors Scholar to complete research or a project in the student's area of study.  The Capstone Experience is 1-3 hours of credit depending on the depth of the research.  A faculty member in the student's major area will supervise the student's work.  The course allows the student to synthesize and evaluate information acquired during independent research in order to create an original work.