May 28, 2024  
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2023-2024 
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2023-2024

University Honors Program

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All University Colleges


Trevor Zink

Associate Director

Andrew Dilts, Ph.D.

Research Advisor

Hawley Almstedt, Ph.D. 

Senior Program Coordinator

Nubia Valenzuela

Program Coordinator

Melissa Pardo



The University Honors Program is a community of scholars dedicated to the delight of intellectual inquiry, and to the joy of reflecting on great ideas,accomplishing creative projects, and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. An Honors education is not merely about what studentslearn-itis about cultivating passion for learning, for developing innate strengths, and for seeing things in new ways. We foster in our students the ability and desire to address problems of the 21st century using collaborative, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multicultural approaches. LMU’s Honors Program offers a unique, exceptional undergraduate education thatprepares our students for an intellectual and meaningful life after graduation.

The University Honors Program focuses and fuels the intellectual curiosity and potential of our communityto empower passionate leaders who are uniquely equipped to reimagine and reshape our world.

Application Process

Most students in the University Honors Program apply in the year before entering LMU for admission as a first-year student. Upon completing their LMU application, all LMU applicants receive an email inviting them to apply to the Honors Program. Application deadlines vary by year and applicants are encouraged to pay close attention to dates and details in the invitation letter and application materials.

Limited spots in the Honors Program may become available for internal (current LMU student) and external transfer applicants, depending on current Program size and resources. If transfer applicants are being considered, application information will be posted on the Program website (

Applications are reviewed holistically, considering student preparation, background, academic record, extracurricular interests, fit with the Program’s goals, and with an explicit aim to recognize and maximize the ethnic, racial, and experiential diversity of the student body.

Program Requirements

Second Language Proficiency

Prior to graduation, University Honors students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. This requirement is met through coursework at the intermediate level of a second language (e.g., completion of 2102-level courses in the Modern Languages, or their equivalent as determined by the Office of the Registrar), placement into 2103 (or higher) level language courses as determined by LMU’s language placement examination, AP credits toward language courses as determined by the Office of the Registrar, or by alternative examination approved by the Program Director. International students fulfill this requirement by TOEFL proficiency in English as a Second Language.

Core Curriculum

Students in the University Honors Program take the Honors Core in place of the University Core. Except where noted with an asterisk, Honors students must enroll in the specific HNRS courses listed below rather than the regular University Core.

Because of the impacted and sequenced nature of degrees in Seaver College of Science and Engineering (SCSE), The Honors Core curriculum requirements differ for students with at least one major or degree in SCSE. Specifically, for SCSE students, the Honors Program waives the ECRE and EHBV core requirements and considers the Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics requirement fulfilled by the major (as noted below).

Foundations (Years 1-2)

HNRS 1000: Honors Colloquium - Introduction to Honors (1 semester hour)

HFYS 1000: Honors First Year Seminar (must enroll in a section restricted to Honors)

HNRS 1100: Honors Philosophical Inquiry

HNRS 1200: Honors Theological inquiry

* FDIV: Studies in American Diversity (taken from the University Core)

Explorations (Years 2-3)

HNRS 2000: Honors Colloquium - Research and Exhibition (1 semester hour)

HNRS 2100: Honors Historical Analysis

HNRS 2200: Honors On the Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics
                Considered fulfilled for students with a major/degree in SCSE

HNRS 3200: Honors Literary Analysis

* ECRE: Creative Experience (taken from the University Core)
                Waived for students with a major/degree in SCSE

* EHBV: Understanding Human Behavior (taken from the University Core)
                Waived for students with a major/degree in SCSE

Integrations (Years 3-4)

* IFTR: Faith and Reason (taken from the University Core)

HNRS 3000: Honors Colloquium - The Edge of What We Know (1 semester hour)

HNRS 4200: Honors Beyond Good and Evil (Ethics and Justice)

HNRS 4000: Honors Portfolio and Assessment (0 semester hours)

HNRS 5000: Honors Thesis (or thesis/capstone project developed through a capstone course in the major). Note that a capstone course in the major will not satisfy the thesis requirement unless it culminates in a thesis or project. Students fulfilling the thesis requirement through a course in the major must obtain prior approval from the Honors Director or Associate Director.

Honors Colloquium Series and Honors Thesis

Honors students are not just expected to learn from the discoveries and creations of past thinkers; they must also step beyond the edge of human knowledge and artistic understanding to create and share novel ideas. The ability to do this is developed through the four-year Honors colloquium series. In HNRS 1000 (Intro to Honors), students develop their sense of purpose in life and how to share their LMU and Honors experience in service of the common good. In HNRS 2000 (Research and Exhibition), students are introduced to the foundations of research and creative work: developing novel and meaningful research questions based on existing literature, developing proposals for funding for research and creative production, and exhibiting finished work. HNRS 3000 (The Edge of What We Know) brings this knowledge to life through a seminar speaker series with LMU faculty who are active in research and publication. HNRS 5000 (Honors Thesis) is the culminating experience where students conduct original research or creative work under the one-to-one supervision of an LMU faculty member. HNRS 4000 is a graduation-requirement checklist to help Honors students ensure they have completed all the necessary requirements for the Program.

AP and IB Equivalencies

Honors core classes are substantively different from regular college core classes for which AP credit might “count.” Therefore, within the Honors program, our view is that AP classes prepare high school students for, but are not considered substitutes for, college-level coursework. There are two specific exceptions:

  • Because Honors does not offer language classes, AP credits may be used to demonstrate second language proficiency through course equivalencies as determined by the Registrar.
  • Because Honors does not offer Honors-specific versions of EHBV and ECRE, AP credits may be used fulfill core requirements for EHBV and ECRE through LMU core course equivalencies as determined by the Registrar.

Otherwise, AP credits will not fulfill Honors core requirements.

Liberal Studies Students

Students who are working toward elementary education credentials need to meet with the Honors Director to determine the best coursework path. Decisions about courses will be made in consultation with the Center for Undergraduate Teacher Preparation.

Additional Notes

The University Honors Program does not require courses in Rhetorical Arts, Quantitative Reasoning, or Interdisciplinary Connections.

Maintaining Good Standing

Membership in the University Honors Program offers many unique opportunities and rewards; it also carries unique responsibilities and expectations. Maintaining the community that makes Honors worthwhile requires an understanding of our shared prosperity and active contribution to our common mission. Our community is diverse in background, interests, perspective, and goals. Yet, we are bonded by common values of insatiable curiosity, the intrinsic love of learning, the search for and creation of knowledge, the pursuit of excellence, and the desire to solve meaningful problems.

Simultaneously, participation in Honors and its pursuits necessarily means the sacrifice of other competing uses of our time and energy. Life, and particularly University life, offers a dazzling array of options for how to spend our time. We cannot meaningfully engage in all things; we must therefore be thoughtful, intentional, and reflective about our choices under these conditions. Thus, we must regularly discern how we are using our time and opportunities and whether we are both fulfilling our obligations and being fulfilled by our membership in our communities.

The Honors Examen

The Honors examen is a way to reflect on one’s own membership in the community that is the Honors Program. Specifically, at the end of each academic year (or semester; see below), every member of the Honors community will be asked to engage in, write, and submit a structured reflection of their past, present, and future involvement with Honors. For most students, most of the time, this will be entirely self-directed and it won’t be arduous (a couple pages at most). The Honors Leadership team will ensure that students have submitted an examen, and will be happy to read and provide feedback, guidance, or anything they need, if they ask. It’s a process of self-revision-assessing our past actions, our vision for ourselves, and our future. Ideally, it helps each person assess what Honors has meant for them, where they now stand in relation to the program, whether they want to continue in Honors, and what that future participation will look like.

Under Revision

However, if students show signs that they are either struggling to maintain or are uninterested in maintaining their participation in Honors, this process will become more hands-on. Such students will be considered under revision with Honors, at which time two things will change. First, students under review will be asked to engage in an Honors examen semi-annually (at the end of each semester) rather than annually. Second, members of the Leadership Team will carefully read the student’s examen, provide thoughtful feedback, and create an “academic improvement plan” that details the nature of and timeline for changes the student needs to make to return to good standing. If the student fails to make the specified adjustments in the time allotted (or amended in subsequent examens), the student will be counseled out of Honors.

Determination of revisionary status

The determination of revisionary status derives from our internal community expectations. Our community maintains expectations that its members will be actively involved, will avail themselves of opportunities to uncover new knowledge and produce creative works, and will consistently perform superior academic work. Thus, the indicators for probationary status will be based on a combination of Passport Points, engagement in Honors opportunities (such as research, creative work, and exhibition), and academic excellence. In short, if students don’t make progress in the Honors curriculum, don’t actively engage in Passport Events (extracurricular academic events hosted or promoted by the University Honors Program), don’t consistently demonstrate “superior” academic work (see the LMU Bulletin for more on the University grading system) , or don’t demonstrate avail themselves of opportunities for research and intellectually creative work, they will be placed under revision. In cooperation with SHAC E-Board, the indicators for revisionary status will be continually evaluated and revised as our community evolves.

Leaving the Honors Program

In cases where, by a student’s own discernment, or through determination by Honors Leadership as described above, it becomes clear that a student is no longer contributing to or being served by the Honors community, the student will be counseled out of Honors. Honors advisors will work with the student and the student’s departmental advisors to determine which Honors core classes will count as general LMU core classes. Typically, this is close to a one-to-one mapping, so very little is “lost” in the transition out of Honors. Individual circumstances will be handled with cooperation between Honors advising, departmental advisors, and the Registrar.



HNRS 1000 Honors Colloquium: Introduction to Honors

HNRS 1100 Honors Philosophical Inquiry

HNRS 1200 Honors Theological Inquiry

HNRS 2000 Honors Colloquium: Research and Exhibition

HNRS 2100 Honors Historical Analysis and Perspectives

HNRS 2200 Honors On the Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics

HNRS 3200 Honors Literary Analysis

HNRS 3000 Honors Colloquium: The Edge of What We Know

HNRS 4200 Honors Beyond Good and Evil (Ethics and Justice)

HNRS 4000 Honors Colloquium: Portfolio and Assessment

HNRS 5000 Honors Thesis

HNRS 4998 Special Studies

HNRS 4999 Independent Studies

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