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The Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program

Many colleges and universities have honors tracks, but few have what Augustana has — a carefully planned sequence of interdisciplinary honors courses.

Honors courses:

  • Fulfill college graduation requirements
  • Develop skills in writing and thinking that are essential to any major
  • Offer an exceptional foundation for a college education and future résumé
  • Connect students with engaged mentors
  • Involve a special sense of community

What does “interdisciplinary” mean?

Every Augustana student graduates with at least one major in an academic discipline, and sometimes two or three. But ideas themselves have no disciplinary boundaries, and the most interesting ideas can influence many fields of study. Augustana’s honors classes integrate ideas from many disciplines to address interesting, challenging topics; formulate new ideas and discussions; address issues using different perspectives; and potentially solve problems in new ways. 

How is it a community?

As an honors student, you probably will make your best friends in the honors classes. Because you study your entire first year with a particular group of students who appreciate academic challenge, and because you discuss the big-picture issues that matter most, you become very close. Your professors choose to teach in honors, and work to create rich, interesting and intense courses. 

How can I join?

Everyone who wants to join the honors program visits campus and interviews with a professor. The interviews are friendly and relaxed, last about half an hour and involve discussion on what you read, write and think about. We want to see that your interest is genuine, and that you have the energy, ability and passion for this kind of study. 

Details and options

Browse through a complete course listing and descriptions of the two sequences, Foundations and Logos.

NOTE: Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, Augustana College will introduce an interdisciplinary honors minor. See below. 

How to apply 

Step 1. Tell us you're interested.
Make sure your admissions counselor knows you are interested in the Honors Program. The admissions committee also may identify you as a potential honors student.

Step 2. Register for an Honors interview and submit a writing sample.
All accepted first-year students are eligible to interview for the Honors Program. You may interview for one or both of the honors tracks (Foundations or Logos). After your interview, you will have a clearer understanding of whether you might thrive as a student in Foundations or Logos. For the writing sample, please tell us about a book, preferably not one assigned in a class, that has had a profound impact on your life or way of thinking. How did this book contribute to some change in your outlook? (1-2 pages, double-spaced).

Step 3. Interview on campus.
Admission to the program is competitive, and the on-campus interview is integral to the application process. Interviews are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s a good idea to apply as early as possible, and no later than two weeks prior to your desired interview date. 

Step 4. Earn your place in the honors program.
We will let you know in April or May if you are accepted into the Honors Program.


NOTE: Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, the college will introduce an interdisciplinary honors minor. It will be similar to the current honors program; students may take a First-Year Honors (FYH) course sequence in place of the courses in First-Year Inquiry (FYI).

Whether or not they take FYH, qualifying students may register for the new interdisciplinary honors minor — a sequence of team-taught honors courses, beginning after the first year, plus an honors capstone project. A student’s Senior Inquiry in a major program can satisfy the honors capstone if the Senior Inquiry is interdisciplinary. Watch for more details about FYH and the new minor program throughout 2018-19.