The Bentley Honors Program challenges and rewards our most academically talented students. You'll be part of an exclusive group of high-achieving students in special courses taught in an intimate seminar atmosphere, allowing you to form close relationships with professors and fellow honors students.
The added academic rigor brings with it great opportunity. Honors students have access to research funding and competitive Honors Program research fellowships. You’ll also be part of career and internship offerings through our program corporate partner, United Technologies Corporation. And you’ll be assigned a dedicated Honors Program career adviser to assist with your job search and strategic thinking on career paths. You’ll have fun, too, enjoying Honors-only co-curricular activities, such as films, distinguished speakers, and field trips to innovative companies, theaters, concert halls, and museums.
The Honors Program seeks out motivated, well-rounded students with leadership potential. Approximately the top 8 to 10 percent of incoming first-years are invited to join the program, and receive their invitation as part of the acceptance package. While there is no specific criteria, invitations are traditionally based on:
- Academic excellence
- Extracurricular activities
- Community service
- Leadership and athletics
Students not initially invited into the program may also apply for admission to the program while enrolled at Bentley, provided they demonstrate strong academic records and a desire to be challenged. For more information, please contact Honors Program Director, Christian Rubio.
The Honors Program at Bentley has enhanced Rachel's education and college experience by leveraging academic resources and bringing her closer to her honors peers and professors. Read more >>
Highest Honors by Kristen Walsh January 28, 2019
New Honors Program Director Christian Rubio Pushes Students to Be Their Best
Christian Rubio likes a challenge. It’s one of the reasons he has been working with honors students for much of his teaching career — and why he said “yes” to taking on the role as director of the Honors Program at Bentley, which serves the university’s most academically advanced and intellectually curious students.
“I believe that all students have the ability to work above and beyond, and honors programs provide resources such as research projects for them to do that,” says Rubio, associate professor of Spanish and a member of Bentley’s Honors Faculty Council. “As a professor, it challenges me to continuously develop tools to push their intellectual curiosity and help get to that next level.”
It’s not unlike the broader mission of a college or university, to inspire students through teaching and experiential learning. Rubio says that it was one of his undergraduate professors who first got him thinking about that.
“I had a Spanish professor who was very creative about the way he encouraged us to interpret poetry and literature,” he recalls. “He never turned down a student’s idea because he believed in encouraging people to think on their own. He got me thinking about becoming a professor.”
Rubio was born in Peru and moved to New York City when he was 15 years old. His parents decided to leave behind a deteriorating economy and the violence caused by the Shining Path terrorist group. Later, as part of his doctoral research at Columbia University, he chose to focus on still another part of the world.
“Many of my peers studied their own countries but I decided to study Spain because I enjoyed my undergraduate professors who taught that,” Rubio recalls. “It is that same attitude that I bring to my classroom: I try to challenge students to go beyond their comfort zone and explore other aspects of life.”
Ciara Mann ’19 says Rubio inspired her to pursue difficult yet rewarding opportunities. Those included taking a two-week trip to Peru with nine other Bentley students to study the country’s history and economy; enrolling in an upper-level Spanish-language business course while she studied in Madrid; and applying for a selective undergraduate fellows seminar in which 15 students analyze and debate issues for a semester alongside four professors.
“The best thing about Professor Rubio is how much he cares for students,” says Mann, a member of the Honors Program who recently accepted a job after graduation as a risk advisory consultant at RSM. “He has always been willing to invest time in me and challenge me to push myself. It’s been fun to have a professor who morphed into a mentor and now a friend.”
Rubio credits his upbringing in New York City after immigrating from Peru for opening his eyes to diversity. “Living in such a melting pot, I met people from various parts of the world, and it was the same family values and cultural aspects that allowed me to get along with everyone.”
A five-year stint in the U.S. Navy helped Rubio relate to people from various backgrounds and countries. “We always found common ground,” he says. “Whether it was soccer, the sights or music, people were always willing to talk.”
Rubio, who redesigned the Honors Program at the University of Louisiana Monroe and served on the National Collegiate Honors Council, has brought his personal perspectives — pushing beyond comfort zones and embracing differences — to the Bentley Honors Program. So much so that he makes a conscious effort to ensure that Honors students are fully integrated into the Bentley community through involvement with student organizations and campus events.
His overarching goal for all of his Honors students is simple. “I want students to leave the classroom having learned something that they feel has the power to improve their lives and help them grow.”