Honors Program: The Scholar in the World

The Dominican Honors Program is one of the institution’s many paths to excellence. It incorporates the university’s Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) to offer a distinctive plan of study for a multi-disciplinary cohort of students who are dedicated to achieving exceptional academic and personal standards. Curricular and co-curricular offerings are learner-directed experiences through which students acquire skills and knowledge that lead to engaged citizenship. The close-knit Honors learning community is rooted in the Dominican pillars of study, reflection, community, and service while upholding the values of this institution as shaped by its history and its Californian identity.

Incoming first-year students are granted entry based on high school grade point average (GPA); an academic writing sample, and responses to Honors-specific questions. Transfer students are admitted to the program either on the basis of articulation agreements with honors programs at their former institutions or cumulative GPA and an academic writing sample. Current students interested in the program are invited to apply for entry into the Honors program based on academic performance at Dominican.

There are many benefits to the participation in the Honors Program:
Students assume leadership roles as representatives on the Honors Board or Student Honors Board to directly shape Honors programming.
Students may register during the first day of priority registration along with senior-year students.
Students may register for a total of 6 units of overload without an additional fee while enrolled at Dominican. This means that a student may register for over 18 units (up to a maximum of 22 units) in one semester. To be eligible for this benefit, the student should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. First-year and first semester honors students are also not permitted to enroll in overload units.
The ceiling of independent study units is waived.
Juniors and seniors may take graduate courses (with instructor permission).
The Honors Room in the Alemany Library provides additional quiet space for students to work on projects or study.

Honors students are required to maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in order to remain in the program. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.5, there is a two-semester probationary period in which the student may raise their GPA. During the probationary period a student has access to the Honors Program benefits and courses, with the exception of overload units.
Every student must fulfill these Honors requirements to graduate from the Honors Program:

Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA
Complete 20 units of Honors coursework
Complete a Dominican service-learning course
Complete a global learning experience
Complete a leadership experience
Complete a digital portfolio

These requirements may be appropriately prorated for transfer students or students who join the program after their first semester at Dominican. See the Honors Handbook for more details. Honors work may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.

The Honors co-curriculum requirements focus on global learning and leadership opportunities such as faculty-led Honors trips and place-based projects that aim to foster intercultural knowledge, cultural humility, social responsibility, and global interconnectivity.

Honors Courses
Honors courses at Dominican are taught as small experiential learning seminars that provide a learner-directed and community-engaged alternative to the university-wide core-curriculum requirements. With an emphasis on service-learning and community engagement, the Honors curriculum situates the student as an active and thoughtful learner who is developing a sense of agency. For a list of courses please see the Honors Handbook.