Joy in learning is as important as breathing in running — Simone Weil

The Honors Program is an integrated liberal arts program that emphasizes student discussion of excellent books. Honors students can complete the core general studies requirements through the Honors Program and then go on to major in any field. Honors students may also major or minor in Liberal Studies. The Honors Program features small classes with fifteen or fewer students, a challenging interdisciplinary and multicultural curriculum, a faculty devoted to undergraduate education, and a community spirit among faculty and students. It also offers scholarships, opportunities for study abroad, internships, and participation in state, regional and national honors conferences.

The Opportunities

A liberally educated mind is valuable, and Honors Program graduates have succeeded in law, business, education, psychology, criminal justice, computer science, medicine, and government service. Majors in every field can complete their core liberal studies requirements through the Honors Program. The core courses fit into pre-medical, pre-engineering, pre-veterinary, and pre-law programs and provide excellent preparation for graduate school.

Beyond the question of career goals, the Honors Program develops intellectual skills that will help students deal with fundamental questions of human existence and make them better able to guide their own lives. The Honors Program also encourages the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, since that provides one of life’s purest pleasures.

The Honors Program offers opportunities for study abroad as well as internships locally and around the nation. Students gain automatic membership in the National Collegiate Honors Council, with opportunities to attend regional and national Honors conferences. The Whitney Young Honors Program Student Council organizes social and cultural activities and engages in public service.

For more information about the benefits of the Honors Program, see Why Honors? and What can I do with a Liberal Education?

Program Options

Students may use the Honors Program in several ways:

  • Core Liberal Studies Option: By completing the Honors freshman and sophomore courses, students fulfill all the core liberal studies requirements of Kentucky State University. The core Honors Program option is compatible with any major.
  • Liberal Studies Major: The Honors Program offers a baccalaureate degree in liberal studies. Liberal Studies majors take junior and senior level Honors Program courses and a variety of electives. Although some Liberal Studies majors complete their core liberal studies requirements in the Honors Program, completion of the Honors Core is not a requirement for the Liberal Studies major. Interested students, either from within KSU or transfer students, are encouraged to major in Liberal Studies even if they have not begun their college career in the Honors Program. The Liberal Studies Major can be combined with many other majors, and is also especially recommended for pre-law students.
  • Liberal Studies Minor: The Honors Program also offers a minor in liberal studies. Although some Liberal Studies minors complete their core liberal studies requirements in the Honors Program, completion of the Honors core is not a requirement for the Liberal Studies minor. Interested students, either from within KSU or transfer students, are encouraged to minor in Liberal Studies even if they have not begun their college career in the Honors Program. The Liberal Studies Minor can be combined with many other majors.

Honors Classes

The Honors Program is an integrated sequence of seminar, math/science, and language classes, supplemented with elective classes. It is a Great Books program in which students develop the precision and power of their minds by reading and discussing some of the world’s best books. The emphasis in all classes is on student participation. Classes are small, with fifteen or fewer students. Students learn to reason well and communicate effectively, to understand rather than accept assertions blindly, to listen carefully and respond appropriately to others, to use evidence, and to discuss controversial subjects courteously and with insight. For more information, see Honors Courses.

Honors Faculty

Honors Program faculty are devoted to the serious and joyful pursuit of knowledge,  so they are learners as well as teachers. This is reflected in the faculty motto, docendo discimus, “we learn by teaching.” The Honors Program is designed to be a community of learners and teachers, where faculty are encouraged to learn and students to teach.

Eligibility, Scholarships, Information, & Contact

Students seeking to enter the Honors Program should possess a strong academic background, a minimum Enhanced ACT composite score of 21, and a strong desire to learn. Transfer students are welcome.

Honors Program students are eligible to apply for the general KSU scholarships. In addition, special scholarships are available exclusively to Honors Program students; for more information, see Honors Scholarships.

Prospective students can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions at Honors Information: FAQ.

If you wish to join the Honors Program, or if you have questions, please contact us; we would be happy to help you. Call the Whitney Young School of Honors and Liberal Studies at (502) 597-7015. For toll-free calls dial 1-800-633-9415 inside Kentucky or 1-800-325-1716 outside Kentucky and ask for extension 7015. Contact us by email here: Sophia.Ellis@kysu.edu.