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Honors Program Options


The Honors Track is an interdisciplinary, discussion-dependent, reading- and writing-intensive alternative to Drake's already innovative general education curriculum.


The Drake Honors program is an intellectual community recognizable by the members’ willingness to engage complex problems that require creative question posing and a willingness to follow where the questioning takes them.  Members of the Honors Program focus on developing and using skills of creativity and critical engagement with texts and others participants in conversations.  Unwilling to be satisfied with simple answers or ways of understanding issues, members of the Honors community will actively seek insights from a wide variety of ways of thinking about and representing the world. 

The Mission of the Honors Program is to create an environment, in and out of the classroom, that continually pushes, primarily, members of the Honors program and, then, secondarily, all University members to develop the skills necessary to engage complex problems with patience, depth and creativity.  The Honors Program will do this by emphasizing a commitment to interdisciplinary, student-centered learning, instructors as co-learners and approaches to creating learning environments supported by educational research.  By so doing, the Honors Program will help to prepare graduates for life in world filled with complexity and unpredictability. 

Honors Program Track requirements:

  • One Quantitative Literacy AOI course-- 3 credits
  • One Artistic Experience AOI course-- 3 credits
  • One Physical or Life Science course with lab-- 4 credits
  • HONR 100: Paths to Knowledge-- 4 credits
  • 15 additional Honors elective credits*
    *equivalent to 5 Honors seminars from 3 different disciplines*

Total = 29 credit hours

Honors Visual Guide

Honors Visual Guide - Pharmacy

To graduate with a "University Honors" distinction on Drake degree:

  • Complete the Honors Program Track (above)
  • Complete an Honors Senior Thesis
  • Graduate with a 3.2 cumulative GPA or higher


  • Students on the Honors Track should take a diversified curriculum from at least three different disciplines: no more than 2 Honors or Honors cross-listed courses from the same major designation or school (i.e., SJMC) may be counted toward the five Honors elective courses.
  • Students are limited to two (3 credit hours each) study-away experiences as counting towards the Honors Track.  (See section on Education Abroad for Honors and Drake faculty led travel seminars.)
  • Paths to Knowledge (4 credit hour course) is required and in addition to the five elective Honors courses for 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) transferred as credit to Drake also meet these requirements.
  • The Honors Senior Thesis (3 credit hour broadly interdisciplinary independent study) for University Honors is also in addition to the five elective Honors courses.  The Honors Thesis must have received a "B or better" for the University Honors designation to appear on the Drake transcript and diploma. A cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.2 is also required in order to graduate with University Honors.
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