College of Arts and Sciences

Colleges / Schools

Overview of Honors Program Mission and Goals

We Are A Community of Learners, Doers and Emerging Professionals.


Arcadia’s Honors Program is a place where students with many talents and passions are encouraged to feed their strengths, refine them, and then own them in a way that positions them to go forth and make positive impacts on innovative, strategic, empathetic teams and also recognize the pathway to their own happiness.

Specialized opportunities for professional-level scholarship, co-curricular experiences, mentoring, academic service learning, and presentations are provided to ready these students for their professional careers and maximize their marketability and ensure a truly engaging academic experience that spills from the classroom to the larger community.

Working to Ensure You Own Your Strengths

In the Honors Program we believe that everyone needs to learn how to maximize their own strengths and be able to articulate how they will do just that. Our foundation class, The Study of Self and Teams, focuses on getting students consciously aware of why they believe what they believe and how they can use their skills and strengths to create successful team outcomes in line with those core values and missions.

The Honors Program focuses in and out of the classroom on students’ leadership potential. Leadership is seen as the ability to work to your strengths in a team environment where your influence can lead to positive changes. We begin our study in  HN201 The Study of Self and Teams where students move through a curriculum focusing on empathy, storytelling, mission statements, shared vision, values, communication, motivation, teamwork, networking and innovation. These same areas of emphasis are explored more experientially in HN 390 courses, where Honors Students use those skills to design and innovate in order to problem solve in real world scenarios. Then students are encouraged to use their developing leadership skills intentionally outside of the class in the vast array of supported opportunities to mentor, create campus events, intern, present and publish their work.

Program Goals
  • Establish a community of Honors Students that fosters scholarly pursuits and leadership.
  • Provide Honors courses that are academically inviting and challenging while encouraging students’ talents and broadening their knowledge base.
  • Provide specialized opportunities to be mentored and be a mentor.
  • Provide a curriculum that requires deep introspection of individual talents, values, and means of contributing to a team to create positive change.
  • Provide opportunities beyond normal campus activities to expand and encourage cultural, scientific and artistic appreciation.
  • Encourage Honors Students to actively participate in campus activities, assume leadership roles, and create new campus programs and events.
  • Involve Honors Students actively in the Honors Program through the Honors Council and by initiating Honors projects.
  • Provide access to and mentorship through scholarship applications 

Honors Program Benefits & Opportunities

Academic Privileges

  • Priority registration for classes.
  • Permission to take up to 20 credits per semester after your first semester at Arcadia.

Backpacks to Briefcases (an Honors Professionalism Series)

  • Executive-in-Residence - Students will have special opportunities to attend events and workshops with an Executive-in-residence, and can apply for 1 on 1 meetings with these executives.
  • Relationship Building - Students can engage in online chats with alumni to expand their knowledge and connections.
  • How to Market Your Honors Experience - Students are encouraged to attend this workshop series highlighting the resume-building potential of Arcadia's Honors Program. 
  • Honors Showcase - Students can present their Honors projects or adaptations on exhibit work from HN390 or EN101H experiences to a larger audience.
  • Backpack to Briefcases - Write for a professional blog to gain portfolio material and experience. 
  • Alumni/Student Mentor Program - Through this program, Honors Students are paired with an alumni mentor after an initial meet and greet. This person is their formal mentor (albeit, all the mentors are available as a network for the students). Formal and informal get togethers are planned for members of this group.
  • Local and National Honors Conferences - We encourage Honors Students to present at our local Honors conference, which takes place every March.  Arcadia’s Honors Students have a very large presence at this conference. Arcadia’s Honors Students have been repeatedly accepted in high numbers to this competitive conference held in different locations around the country. 

Internship and Scholarship Opportunities​

The Compass - For the online scholarly journal The Compass, Honors Students serve as editors, layout and business personnel. They meet with faculty and staff to publish a scholarly journal that takes submissions from around the globe.

The College Access Program (CAMP) - After being trained as mentors at Arcadia, Honors Students develop programming which is implemented weekly at a local high school in order to improve students' study skills, ability to self advocate, and preparedness for future academic and professional choices. 

Specialized Leadership Programming and Mentorship Opportunities

  • Network with community leaders.
  • Receive mentorship as you apply for prestigious awards such as the Fulbright, Barry Goldwater, and Udall Scholarships.
  • Become a peer mentor to our first-year Honors students.
  • Coordinate or serve on a committee for one of many Honors events or initiatives. 

Valuable Professional Experiences Outside of the Classroom

Outside the classroom Honors Students have access to wide range of opportunities to allow them to explore their interests and use their talents. 

  • Off-campus excursions to enriching venues, premier museums, and restaurants.
  • Camaraderie through social get-togethers as you plan for future events, share overseas experiences, and celebrate special occasions.
  • Run Arcadia’s online scholarly journal.
  • Mentor high school students through the College Access Mentoring Program.
  • Organize campus and community service events.
  • Network with leaders from the wider community.
  • Act as campus leaders on the Honors Executive Board.
  • Participate in service learning projects organized by Honors students.
    • For example: creating political debates to increase student engagement, creating living legacy trees with neighboring nursing homes, developing college readiness with at-risk youth organizations, and creating libraries for local homeless shelters.

Collaborative Team Building

Our program hosts is a thriving group of Honors Students who desire to create an active community on Arcadia’s campus and beyond.  Some of these students coordinate philanthropic, social and leadership events. Other students are trained to mentor their peers and bring them fully into the Arcadia community. These students make choices for co- and extra-curricular programming and implement those choices. All Honors students are encouraged to sit on a sub-committee.

Some of these students coordinate philanthropic, social and leadership events. Other students are trained to mentor their peers and bring them fully into the Arcadia community. These students make choices for co- and extra-curricular programming and implement those choices. All Honors Students are encouraged to sit on a sub-committee.

Organize & Implement Events

Our students organize and implement a number of events each year. Many of them are annual events that have become a part of our Honors Program tradition.

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Our biggest event of the year. Each fall semester, Honors Students participate in an annual production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with a live shadow cast. Over 300 students and community members attend this fun and longstanding Halloween tradition. Honors Student involvement includes: Auditioning/acting in the live shadow cast, stage direction and organizing props, handling the marketing and business for the production.
  • Murder Mystery Dinner in the Castle - Students prepare and perform an interactive murder mystery dinner party experience for all “invited” guests. The experience includes theater production, dinner, marketing and stage management.
  • The Swarm - The first formal event of the year to which the entire program is invited.  We welcome our new students and look forward to the year ahead.
  • Pollenpalooza - The end of the year celebration showcasing the achievements of our seniors.
  • Honors Retreat - First year Honors Students are heavily encouraged to attend this half day retreat where we have fun, team build, and showcase the nature and character of our program.
  • Dead Paper Society​ - Last event of the year, where we burn our papers and use the heat of the ash to roast s’mores.
  • Adulting 101 - A series of workshops teaching students how to "adult."
  • Senior Prom for Senior Citizens - Students organize a prom like experience for residents of several nursing facilities.
  • Networking Panels
  • Service Learning Projects 
  • Other Events and Activities Include:
    • Arcadia's Next Great Baker
    • Executive in Residence
    • Networking Get togethers
    • Community Service Events
    • Service Learning Projects
    • Celebrating Cultures
    • Community Service Events
    • Ethnic Dinners
    • Leadership Mentoring Panels
    • Leadership Networking Panels
    • Excursions to cultural destinations in Philadelphia
A Year in Photos: Honors Program

Access to the Honors Hive

Your home on campus. A place for Honors Students to gather, meet, celebrate, study, brainstorm, have access to the Director, and relax! Students who are not currently affiliated with the Honors program are welcome to use the space as well when accompanied by their Honors peers! Amenities include a quiet computer room, a refrigerator to store your lunch, a microwave, a coffee maker for important studying energy, comfy couches, an all-gender bathroom, games, a television for group movie nights, and more. 

Honors Program Requirements

As a student in the program, you must maintain a grade point average of 3.35 to remain in good standing. You also may not go more than one academic year without fulfilling an Honors requirement.


Honors Program Admission Policy


Jessica Unger '16

Honing My Leadership Skills: The Adaptation Project


Stephanie Roscher '16

Developing a new perspective on leadership.


Erika Raskay '18

The Power of Mentorship and Education.


Olivia Bates '18

From the Inside Healthy Minds and Bodies Program.


Dominic Bierswisch '18

Exploring E-Sports and the Growing Digital Spectatorship.