The Honors Program

designed to challenge highly motivated students with an emphasis on research, leadership and community engagement

Enhance your educational experience


With an emphasis on research, leadership, and community engagement, motivated and intellectually curious students participate in classes and self-designed mentored projects that encourage intellectual risk-taking, personal growth, and transformation.


The Honors Program aims to graduate confident, compassionate, and globally-minded leaders that are able to offer creative solutions to the world’s challenges.


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Honors Program Highlights

Honors Class 2023

Honors Class 2023
  • Honors Designated Courses
  • Priority Registration
  • Community Service Projects
  • Discussion-Based Classes
  • Honors Housing
  • Mentored Thesis Project

The Bach Family Honors House

Interior Bach Family Honors House

Interior of Bach Family Honors House

The Bach Family Honors House opened in January 2006. The 6,000+ square-foot facility includes a conference room—with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment—for seminars and Honors core courses; a residence for eight Honors students per year; a 24-hour study space for all Honors students; and meeting, lecture and movie space.

Alex Kiepert, Honors Program Graduate '22 Finance & Business Analytics Double Major

“The Honors Program has allowed me to grow in my leadership skills and field by pursuing projects both in my major and outside of it through my thesis and directed readings.”

—Alex Kiepert, Honors Program Graduate '22 Finance & Business Analytics Double Major

  • What Courses Will I Take?

    Introducing Honors: Leadership, Research, and Community Engagement (3 credits)


    Music, Wellness, and Conscious Life Design (3 credits)



    Research Writing (3 credits)


    Franciscan Goals for Today (3 credits)


    Sophomore Leadership Seminar (2 credits)*



    Directed Readings (2 credits)*



    Thesis Prep (1 credit)*



    Thesis Project


    * Only five extra credits outside of the student’s major.

  • How Do I Apply?

    The Honors Program seeks motivated and intellectually curious students.


    Accepted seniors wishing to be part of the Honors Program are required to complete the honors program application


    Please note, SAT or ACT are not required for entrance into the program. The Honors Program looks beyond test scores and seeks individuals with grit and character who have a drive to do more.

  • About the Honors Thesis

    An honors thesis is required of all students within the Honors Program. It can be a traditional research-based project, creative endeavor, or community service project. Here are some examples of past thesis projects:  


    Kelsey Donoughe
    Kelsey Donoughe, Honors Program Graduate '21 Biology, attending West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine


















    Kelsey Donoughe

    "The Synergistic Effect of Metformin and Dexamethasone on HeLa and SiHa Cells: A Comparison of Cervical Cancer Cell Lines from Different Races"


    Madison Wright

    "Genetic Frequency of the MDR1 gene in Dogs in Central Pennsylvania"


    Alana Recktenwald

    "Review of Treatment-Resistant Depression and How Neurometabolic Deficiencies May Be Involved"


    Hayler Mesmer

    "Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate: Comparing the Accuracy of Various Predictive Methods"


    Nathan Moore

    "Effects of Technology in the Classroom"


    Trisha Keller

    "Comparing Business Models of Western Boy Bands to Korean Idol Groups"


    Megan Wood

    "Human Health and the Climate Crisis"


    Sarah Zakrzwski

    "Beyond the Bonnet: Understanding the Appeal of Amish Fiction"


    Sarah Zakrzwski, Honors Thesis


    Featured Thesis

    Honors Student
    Honors Student Kei-shon Graham presents his thesis titled "Uniquely Generic"


  • Find Out More

    Contact the Honors Program Director Irene M. Wolf, PhD at


    Be sure to follow us on social media!

    Find us on Facebook and Instagram

Irene Wolf

Irene Wolf, Honors Program Director 

Phone: 814-471-1173  
Location: Science Center 111


Arthur Remillard, Associate Honors Program Director 

Phone: 814-472-3339  
Location: Scotus Hall 225B