Gordon & Judy Dutile Honors Program

Honors Program students walking in commencement processional

dutile honors program

The Gordon & Judy Dutile Honors program celebrates the creational nature of human learning and therefore values learning for its own sake. We recognize the wonder of creation. We learn in order to love and serve more effectively. The Honors program also acknowledges the specific academic and advising needs of academically gifted students, and seeks to nurture those students through a community of like-academic peers, and enriched academic environment and experience.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Gordon & Judy Dutile Honors Program is to challenge and support high ability students by fostering fierce curiosity, intellectual humility, thriving community and holistic growth and development.

Because of the incredibly personal and intentional educational experience provided by SBU professors, I am now attending one of the best graduate accounting programs in the country, and I am more than prepared to excel.

Blaise Torrence '20, Master's of Accounting Science student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Blaise Torrence '20, Honors Program Alum

why should you be an honors scholar?

If you are interested in an enriched academic and social environment surrounded by like-peers who share your passion for learning, the honors program is the place for you. The greatest value of the program is inherent in the dynamic learning environment atmosphere in honors courses and co-curricular programming. Dutile Honors Scholars are curious, self-directed and motivated learners. In order to serve honors scholars the program includes:

  • Honors sections of general education courses that are discussion-based and promote autonomous learning and higher order thinking within the honors community.
  • Honors-specific topical courses (Honors Colloquium, Honors Reading Symposium and Honors Journal Club) in which honors program students pursue relevant content that is not offered anywhere else in the curriculum. Some recent topics include: Conspiracy Theories, History of the Early American Suffragists, The Nature of Innovation, Environmental Ethics, and Technology and Culture.
  • Honors Capstone, which is an independent study project that each honors student completes under the supervision of a faculty member. A capstone can be disciplinary, directly related the the student’s major or interdisciplinary.
  • Specialized advising with the honors program director, as well as early enrollment.
  • Access to honors housing
  • Several yearly trips to cultural events at no cost to honors students. Recent trips include Kansas City Symphony, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
  • Opportunities for professional development though presentation at Ozarks Technical College Honors Conference and Great Plains Honors Council Conference.
  • Leadership opportunities in the Dutile Honors Student Advisory Board
  • Recognition as a Dutile Honors Scholar at graduation and on the transcript

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. Selection is limited to 10% of the freshman cohort and includes consideration of student’s high school leadership, scholarship and service, as well as their Scholars Day essay and interview.

Fall 2020 COVID-19 Update: As SBU is currently not requiring standardized test scores, the Dutile Honors program will not require test scores. Any student who is eligible for Scholars Day may apply to the Honor Program. Consult with your admissions representative for more details. 

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. 

For most honors students there are the only three to five "extra" credit hours in addition to their other degree requirements. These include two one-hour honors colloquium and the Honors Capstone project which can be 1 – 3 credit hours. 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 order thinking skills.

Students who have completed fewer than 30 credit hours when they enter SBU will take the traditional honors track. Students who have completed 30 or more credit hours will take the accelerated honors track. Both tracks will complete 15 – 20% of their SBU curriculum in honors coursework. Both tracks take the Honors Core. Traditional track takes at least 12 hours of Honors Electives. Accelerated Track takes at least 6 hours of Honors Electives.

Honors Core:

  • Honors University Seminar (HON 1111)
  • Honors Introduction to Critical Thinking (HON 1121)
  • Honors Intro to Fine Arts (HON 
  • At least two hours selected from Honors Colloquium (HON 3771), Honors Reading Symposium (HON 2661), and/or Honors Journal Club (HON 2771)
  • Honors Capstone (HON 4771)

Honors Electives:

  • Honors New Testament History (HON 1223)
  • HON Old Testament History (HON 1213)
  • HON U.S. History (HON 2013)
  • HON American Government (HON 1013)
  • HON Composition (HON 1123)
  • HON Fundamentals of Speech (HON 2213)
  • HON Life Economics (HON 2003)
  • HON Service Learning (HON 3883)
  • HON Colloquium (HON 3771)
  • HON Reading Symposium (HON 2661)
  • HON Journal Club (HON 2771)