The four-year undergraduate Honors Program provides greater challenge and satisfaction to the university’s most academically advanced and intellectually curious students. Approximately the top 10 percent of each entering class (about 80 - 100 students) are invited to participate. Honors courses are limited in size and typically follow a highly interactive seminar format; the emphasis is on reading original works (rather than textbooks) and on each student’s written and oral contributions.
Throughout their four years at Bentley, honors students take a combination of honors and non-honors courses in both business and the arts and sciences, and complete a capstone honors project at the end of their program of study. Non-honors students with high GPAs may be eligible to enroll in honors courses if seats are available.
Honors students are encouraged to take part in co-curricular activities ranging from special presentations by invited speakers to field trips to Boston museums and theaters. Those who successfully complete the program are given special recognition at commencement and graduate with University Honors, an achievement noted on a special certificate and on their university transcripts.
If you are invited to join the Honors Program, you will enjoy many special advantages, including:
- Membership in an exclusive group of high-achieving students comprising approximately only 10 percent of each class
- Special courses offering an extra intellectual challenge and taught in a seminar atmosphere, allowing you to form close relationships with professors and fellow Honors students
- Smaller class sizes with an average of 18 students, ensuring a high level of participation
- Special co-curricular activities, such as films, distinguished speakers, and student colloquia; and field trips to innovative companies, theaters, concert halls, and museums — all of which deepen your academic experience and foster a sense of community
- A senior capstone project exploring a subject of your choice and presented to your peers and distinguished faculty
- Access to research funding and competitive Honors Program research fellowships
- Specialized access to career and internship offerings through our program corporate partner, United Technologies Corporation
- Designation as an Honors Scholar on your transcript
- Special recognition at Commencement
Students that are invited into the program must be enrolled full time and maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.30. Students whose overall GPA falls below 3.30 at any time are subject to removal from the program. Honors students are also subject to specific academic integrity rules within the program.
Honors students typically take one or two honors courses per semester. Out of the 40 courses that all Bentley students are required to take to graduate, all honors students must take nine of those courses as honors designated courses. Typically, this is designated as 6 + 2 + C:
- Six honors courses to fulfill general education or elective requirements
- Two courses to fulfill honors major requirements
- The semester long capstone research project in their senior year.
However, this varies by major, so it is important to be familiar with the honors course requirements for your major or proposed major. A summary of honors course requirements by major is provided here.
For more information regarding Honors course and major requirements, it is strongly urged that you contact the Office of Academic Services periodically to review your progress towards graduation, and your progress in meeting honors and honors major requirements. Many honors students take advantage of Bentley’s study abroad program; if you plan on studying abroad, it is critical that you plan at least a year ahead, as many major required courses are only available certain semesters, and typically cannot be taken as honors courses to fulfill Program requirements. The Office of Academic Services can help you plan ahead to ensure that you will be taking the necessary courses to fulfill requirements and graduate on time.
Leadership and Service
Honors students at Bentley are smart, motivated and dynamic. Because of this, much of the student leadership on campus is populated by honors students. From student government, resident assistants, club and academic groups, greek life, student ambassadors, or athletics, leadership opportunities are plentiful for students within the Program.
In addition to this, many students are involved in community service and social awareness projects and groups. As a result, honors students tend to be involved in Bentley’s service-learning programs, which combine coursework with service and outreach to the broader community.
Leadership opportunities exist within the Honors Program as well. Each year near the end of September, two incoming freshman are selected onto the Student Honors Council (SHC). The SHC works closely with the Director of the program on activities, events, and academics, and acts as a liaison between honors students and the administration to help shape the program. In addition, members of the SHC help manage and edit the honors newsletter, Columnas. Members of the council are part of a unique and important leadership opportunity to make a tangible impact on the experiences of students within the program.
Current members of the Student Honors Council include:
|Melissa Huston ’14||Emma Morse ’16|
|Jose Gutierrez ’14||Christopher Salerno ’16|
|Elizabeth Doerr ’15||Stephanie Hall ’17|
|David Kennedy ’15||Justin Rosado ’17|
For more information on the SHC or questions about open positions on the council, contact a member of the current SHC, or the Honors Program director. If you are a student and have suggestions or proposals for honors events or activities, feel free to contact one of the members of the SHC.
Activities and Events
As part of the program, honors students have access to specialized events and activities exclusive to those in the program. Bookended by regular events such as the Welcome Dinner in September and the Honors Conference in April are many smaller cultural, service oriented, networking, and social functions. From plays and shows in Boston, to smaller informal get-togethers before final exams start, there are many opportunities for honors students to come together and reconnect as a community, while still maintaining a broader integration into Bentley’s social fabric.
The Honors Program coordinates with the honors alumni chapter to help bring in alumni to networking events to highlight job and internship opportunities. Honors students have an opportunity to meet and hear campus speakers from various disciplines from the private sector, government, and academia. Through the Valente Center for Arts and Sciences, students have an opportunity to pursue funding through an Albano seminar grant to experience cultural offerings such as plays, concerts, cinema screenings, or museum exhibitions in small groups. In addition to some of the regularly scheduled events throughout the year, the Student Honors Council typically organizes several ad hoc events during the year, such as trivia nights at the student pub, community service/charity fundraisers, or organized weekend outings.
There is no formal application process for admission into the Honors Program. All prospective students are initially considered for the program in conjunction with their application to Bentley. Approximately the top 8 to 10 percent of incoming freshmen are invited to join the program upon acceptance to Bentley, and will receive the invitation as part of the acceptance package. There are no specific criteria which are used to determine who is invited to participate. Academic factors that may be considered for admission are high school class rank, course rigor, GPA, AP test scores, and SAT/ACT placement scores among other factors. However, in general the program seeks out motivated, academically strong, and well-rounded students with leadership potential. Moreover, many honors students are involved in extra-curricular activities, community service, and/or athletics.
Students not initially invited into the program with strong academic records and a desire to be challenged may also apply for admission to the program during their first year of courses at Bentley. For more information, contact the director of the Honors Program.