No. You can accomplish all of the academic requirements inside of your regular program of study. You might take an honors version of a course instead of a standard version, or working with a faculty member, you might complete an honors option in a standard course that you're already scheduled to take.
The academic goal is to help you produce better work. That can take time, of course, but you're already someone who takes the time to do things well and you take pride in your accomplishments, so is it really more work or is it just what you do?
No. You get to choose what parts of your curriculum you want to enrich within a flexible framework. As a student in the Honors Program you will do honors-level work at least once in your discipline (at the 300-level or higher), and at least once in the curricular space that RIT calls general education (these are mostly science, art and design, or liberal arts courses). The rest of your honors-level work is made can be in any part of your curriculum. More specifics can be found on the Program Requirements page.
You should think of honors points as being equivalent to course credits. A 3-credit honors course earns three honors points. We use the word "points" because it is more flexible. Students in the Honors Program can also earn points in co-curricular ways, and many do.
(Students in the Honors Program should complete at least one honors point each year until they’ve fulfilled their requirements.)
In brief, students earn honors points by taking honors courses, by adding honors options onto other courses, by taking a graduate-level course, by participating in study abroad, or by doing an extra co-op. More can be found at the Program Requirements page, and details are provided in handbooks at the Student Portal.
You can think of an honors option as kind of term project in which you, with the guidance of a faculty mentor, extend the scope of a standard (non-honors) course. An honors option typically spans the semester and concludes with a presentation. Some are interdisciplinary in nature, and others take students into a deeper dive. Either way, you learn more about the subject and you make an important connection with a professor.
Only first-year students can add an honors option to a 100-level course. Once you are past your first year at RIT, the course must be at the 200-level of above.
You cannot put an honors option onto a course if an honors version of that course is running in the same semester. For example, you cannot put an honors option onto MATH-241 when when MATH-241H is also running— use the class-registration advantage to take the honors version instead!
The term complementary learning refers to activities that foster citizenship, leadership, and critical thinking. There are many ways to do this. Some students volunteer at hometown soup kitchens, others take on leadership positions in student clubs, and others engage invited speakers in discussions that challenge them to critically examine themselves and our country. Students in the Honors Program complete a specified number of hours of complementary learning each calendar year.
We have various grants that are awarded to students to support their research and professional development. Most common is a small grant to pay for (or at least defray) the cost of research materials, or travel to present your work at a conference, or travel with your college on a professional development and networking trip. (Check out the video at the bottom of this page!)
Yes, and also on your diploma. We want prospective employers and graduate schools to see what you've done! Honors courses are typically numbered with an H and the word Honors appears in the title. For example, some students will take MATH-241H Honors Linear Algebra instead of MATH-241 Linear Algebra. And you can give your honors options titles that will appear on your transcript, too!
First and foremost, there's not a penalty of any kind if you withdraw or just don't finish. We understand that people have a lot going on, and sometimes you have to make choices. That's life. Our goal is to help you succeed as we can, bring opportunities to you, and recognize the awesome things you do. While we genuinely want you to complete the program requirements, we'll cheer for you even if you don't.
Honors Council is a group of student leaders in the Honors Program who have stepped up to help us form a strong community. They plan events, share program-related information with you, and represent students to the faculty and administration. Go to a meeting and see what they’re doing. Step up to lead if you’re interested!
Students in the Honors Program should complete at least one honors academic activity each year until they’ve fulfilled their requirements. Students can check their progress by navigating to the Student Portal page and opening the My Status. If you want to talk about what you still need to do, you can make an appointment to meet with a staff member in the office.