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Honors Program

The Carl Sandburg College Honors Program is designed for exceptional students who want to excel in college. Honors courses are intellectually challenging and involve considerable interaction among students and instructors. Certification as a Carl Sandburg College Honors Program graduate requires students  to participate in two honors courses and complete an honors project.



There are many ways to be eligible to apply for the Honors Program. Students may apply if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Earned a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Graduated in the top 10% of the high school class
  • Scored 25 or above on the ACT
  • Received a combined score of 1,000 on the SAT
  • Completed 12 college transfer credits with a minimum 3.25 GPA
  • Are recommended by Sandburg instructor or counselor


Course options

Honors courses help students learn and apply diverse concepts while stressing collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Students in the Honors Program must take two honors classes and may select from the following choices: 

  • A class for honors credit
  • An honors class
  • The Honors Learning Community (usually offered each spring)

A Learning Community combines two different courses, which are often team-taught by faculty who integrate content, assignments and/or themes into both classes. The Honors Community fulfills the two-course requirement for the Honors Program.


The Honors Project

An Honors Project is a component that goes above and beyond the normal rigors of traditional coursework. Although it is aligned with the topic of the honors class, it challenges students outside of the classroom.

Examples of possible projects include:

  • Community service (accompanied by an in-depth paper)
  • Community activism (accompanied by an in-depth paper)
  • A research paper
  • A creative project applying course material to career/real-life circumstances


The Honors Certificate

Upon successful completion, the Honors Program offers an Honors Certificate. This award will be noted on the student’s transcript, and the student will be recognized at spring commencement.

The requirements for the Honors Certificate are:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 in both honors classes
  • A grade of B or better on the Honors Project


Advantages of honors classes

  • Friendly learning environment
  • Challenging courses
  • Independent study
  • Honors scholarships
  • Recognition on college transcripts


WIU general honors scholar

Through an articulation agreement with Western Illinois University, students completing 12 hours of honors coursework at Carl Sandburg College may be eligible to transfer into the Centennial Honors College and graduate as a general honors scholar at WIU.