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Special Programs

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Special Programs

The Honors Program

Program Overview

The unique Honors Program at Drake University offers undergraduate and Pharmacy students discussion-based, reading- and writing-intensive courses on interdisciplinary and ever-changing topical issues. It is designed for motivated students who want to actively participate in challenging seminar courses.

Students at Drake University may use the Honors Track as a way to fulfill their general education requirements. Instead of taking Areas of Inquiry (AOI) coursework, students can take six Honors courses as an alternative to AOIs. The one-hour Honors Practicum, while not counting towards the Honors Track, is a good introduction to the Honors Program goals and vision.

Program Options

Honors Track



One Quantitative Literacy AOI course


One Artistic Experience AOI course


One Physical or Life Science AOI course


HONR 100 - Paths to Knowledge


15 additional HONR electives




University Honors

Students may earn the "University Honors" distinction on their Drake transcript and diploma by meeting the following requirements:

  • Complete the Honors Track
  • Earn a “B” or better in an Honors Senior Thesis capstone project
  • Graduate with a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA

Other Requirements

  • No more than two Honors or Honors cross-listed courses from the same department or school may count toward the five Honors elective courses.
  • No more than two study-away experiences (3 credit hours each) may count towards the Honors Track.
  • A student may apply only one summer web course (cross-listed with Honors) toward Honors Track requirements.
  • Courses satisfying the required Areas of Inquiry (AOIs) for Artistic Literacy, Quantitative Literacy, and Life/Physical Lab Science also meet the required Honors Track AOIs. Post-secondary degree options (college credit, AP and IB approved courses) also may meet these requirements.

Honors Program web site


Program Overview

The cross-enrollment allows full-time students from one participating institution to enroll in one course from another participating institution without having to pay the host institution's tuition.  Guidelines were originally adopted by the Des Moines Area Consortium for Higher Education (DMACHE) in 1975 and amended in 1992, 2003, and 2009 to reflect changes in the cross-enrollment program. The agreement has received approval of the presidents of the three DMACHE institutions: Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), Drake University, and Grand View University.


  • The DMACHE cross-enrollment program is available only for the fall and spring semesters.
  • Only full-time undergraduate students enrolled at one of the three Consortium institutions will be allowed to participate. Full-time status will be determined by the home institution.
  • A maximum of 75 students from each home institution will be allowed to enroll at each host institution during each semester.
  • Participating students will be allowed to take only one course under the program at only one of the other two institutions.
  • Students must establish their eligibility to participate in the program through the registrar's office at their home institution.
  • Students wishing to cross-enroll may not register as a regular student and then later request to be switched over to be considered a cross-enrolled student.
  • Cross-enrolled students must abide by the start and end dates, policies, and procedures set by the host institution.
  • Each institution will determine which classes will be available for cross-enrollment. A list of excluded courses will be available in each institution's registrar's office and on their cross-enrollment web pages.
  • Each home institution will verify students' eligibility on a tuition waiver form. The waiver must be delivered to the host institution where the registration process will be completed.
  • Students participating in the cross-enrollment program will obtain approval for course enrollment and prerequisites using appropriate procedures of their home institutions.
  • No change to cross-enrollment (other than drops) may occur later than five business days prior to the start of the semester at the host institution.
  • There will be no tuition charges. The students will be allowed to take the course based on the full-time tuition they paid at their home institution. However, the student is responsible for fees associated with the course.
  • Grades will be assigned according to the host institution's grading policies.
  • Each host institution will generate an academic transcript of each participant and will automatically send the transcript to the home institution at the end of each term.
  • Credits will be transferred back to the home institution and may be applicable toward the student's program of study. Advisors should consult with the appropriate registrar or departmental representative if transferability is questionable.
  • This cross-enrollment agreement will be reviewed and renewed/revised no later than December 31 of each year for the coming academic year by the registrars of the participating institutions.

Cross-Enrollment web site

Global Ambassador Certificate Program

Program Overview

Offered through the Drake University Center for Global Citizenship (CGC), the Global Ambassador Program is a certificate program designed to complement a student’s central program of academic study. Students who complete the program will receive a certificate and a notation on their university transcript. Undergraduate students from any school or college are eligible to apply. The purposes of the Global Ambassador Program are to:

  1. provide students with a combination of concentrated study, personal experience and reflection that will inform their understanding of global issues and perspectives,
  2. provide students with the intercultural skills that will allow them to make the most of future international opportunities in business, the professions or public service.


To qualify for a Global Ambassador certificate, a student must complete the following requirements:

  • Take WLC 148 Intercultural Communication. An equivalent course from study abroad may be substituted.
  • Complete two semesters of language study through World Languages and Cultures or an equivalent amount of training through study abroad or college transfer credits. Pre-college training (e.g. high school) in a second language other than English may not be substituted for this requirement.
  • Complete any credit-bearing study abroad experience. This may include semester- or year-long programs, summer international study seminars or an internship experience abroad that has been accepted for Drake credit.
  • A minimum of 50 work hours (not credit hours) of service learning. This requirement will most often be met by volunteering for a local community group or organization that has an international focus. The center director will make available a pre-approved list of such organizations. Students may also propose their own volunteer or internship experience. These may include experiences in other cities or countries (internship or volunteer experiences connected to study abroad may also count).
  • Regular attendance at CGC-sponsored events, other internationally oriented events on campus or in the community and regular participation in the activities of the Global Ambassador Program. Students must attend at least four events each semester that they are enrolled as a Global Ambassador.
  • Global Ambassador Capstone Experience (2 credits) As a culmination of the Global Ambassador Program, students will participate in a group learning experience that is designed to put the concept of global citizenship into practice by educating the campus and/or community about a global issue or a cultural perspective. The capstone should be completed in a student's senior year. Students will register for the capstone as independent study credit (2 credits). As an alternative to the group project, students may fulfill the senior capstone requirement by taking (when available) one of the following courses: SCSS 173 Global Citizenship; POLS 123 Grassroots Globalism.

Application Process

Students must apply for the Global Ambassadors Program. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. The number of students accepted will vary depending on availability of staff and instructional resources. Applications may be downloaded from the Center for Global Citizenship website. Completed application forms should be submitted to the CGC director.

The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship web site

The Washington Semester

12-15 credits

An intensive semester-long experience in Washington, D.C. with American University’s Washington Semester Program (  All students participate in one of 12 unique topical seminars, complete a part-time internship, and engage in an academic experience (either a course at American University or an independent research paper).  Some seminars include travel abroad for 2-3 weeks.  To attend the Washington Semester, students must consult with Drake’s Faculty Representative, Rachel Paine Caufield, and must gain admittance to the program. Instructor permission required.

The Washington Center

12 credits

An intensive semester-long experience in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Center ( ).  All students complete an internship (30-35 hours/week), take one chosen academic course (one night/week), and complete the program’s Leadership Seminar (4-5 hours/week).  To attend the Washington Center, students must consult with Drake’s Faculty Representative, Rachel Paine Caufield, and must gain admittance to the program.  Students also may contact Chrystal Stanley, co-liaison for the Washington Center.  Instructor permission required.

Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps

Air Force ROTC courses are taught on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa, 30 miles north of Des Moines. Students must arrange their own transport to Ames if required. Classes are held one day each week, during the first two years of the program and two days per week for the last two years of the program. Upon request, Air Force ROTC classes may be taught using standard distance-learning technology. In addition a two-hour leadership laboratory is required once a week. Students take the courses as Drake courses, and no additional tuition fees are assessed for full-time students.

The Air Force ROTC curriculum is divided into two basic phases: The General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC). The GMC is introductory and consists of four consecutive one-hour courses normally taken during the freshman and sophomore years. GMC completion is not a prerequisite to entry into the POC, although the department recommends it.

Prior to entry into the POC, all students must complete field training at an Air Force base. Students who have completed the GMC phase participate in a four-week program that provides a concentrated experience in the Air Force environment. The training program includes junior officer training, aircraft and aircrew orientation, survival training, base functions and physical training.

Selection for the professional officer course is on a competitive basis, and cadets enrolling in this course must meet certain academic, mental, physical and moral standards. Qualified cadets may compete for classification as flight candidates and receive flight instruction during their final years in the POC phase. Upon enrollment in the POC, all cadets are required to complete a contractual agreement with the Air Force, which obligates them to four years of active duty in the United States Air Force if in a nonflying category; 10 years of active duty in the United States Air Force if a pilot; or 6 years as a navigator. Uniforms and texts are supplied to the cadets, and those in the POC receive a subsistence allowance from $450 to $500 per month. Entry into the program is not dependent on departmental major or year in Drake University.

AFROTC offers a Graduate Law Program, which guarantees duty as a legal officer following successful completion of all law school, AFROTC and bar requirements. Interested students should contact the AFROTC department for more information. Air Force ROTC may be taken in conjunction with nursing programs leading to a bachelor's degree.

Additional information regarding Air Force Officer Education may be obtained from the Air Force Aerospace Studies Department at Iowa State University. Call 515-294-1716 or view the Web site at

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