The University Honors Program at Jacksonville University aims to challenge academically talented, highly motivated students to develop intellectual curiosity and rigor, independent reasoning and creativity, superior communication skills, leadership, and a system for ethical decision-making. The program enables students with strong academic records and a desire to excel in the pursuit of knowledge to join with select faculty to form a community within the University that supports outstanding scholarship, personal growth, and service. The curriculum exposes students to interdisciplinary experiences and encourages them to make connections among domains of knowledge; fosters leadership; guides students to assess and reflect on their beliefs and values; encourages students to identify and assess personal, academic, and professional goals; provides opportunities for individual research and creativity; and encourages participation in cross-cultural and international experiences.

Entering students may register for honors courses if they have attained at least a 3.2 GPA at the secondary level and a combined SAT score of 1220 or better (reading & mathematics), or ACT score of 27 or better. Returning and transfer students may register for honors courses if they have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. Qualified students may take as few or as many honors courses as they wish.

Fulfillment of the requirements for the University Honors Program entitles participants to graduate with University Honors at commencement. Requirements include:

  • Filing an official acceptance of the invitation to join the Honors Program with the director of the Honors Program. Students then are designated University Honors Fellows. Students, who remain in good standing in the Honors Program, as determined by the director, are eligible for priority registration.
  • Successful completion of 25 credit hours in honors courses, including a one credit hour colloquium and at least one honors seminar.
  • Attainment of a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in honors course work at the time of commencement.
  • Completion and presentation of a significant research project.

Students transferring to JU may transfer honors credits received from accredited community colleges and four-year colleges and universities into JU’s Honors Program. However, to graduate with University Honors, a transferring student must complete a minimum of 13 credit hours in honors courses at JU, including the honors colloquium and an honors seminar, and a total of 60 hours of graded credit at JU.

Students may earn in various ways the honors credits necessary to graduate with University Honors:

  • Students entering with Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam scores, which exceed the requirement for AP or IB credit at the University, may apply those credits toward the 25 honors credits needed to graduate with University Honors.
  • Honors Colloquium – A required one-credit honors orientation course for first-year honors students focusing on educational planning, values exploration, and personal development.
  • Honors sections of regular courses carrying three or four credit hours each.
  • Interdisciplinary honors seminars – Honors seminars carrying three credit hours each, the topics of which are specified in the Schedule of Classes. Ordinarily, course designation numbers of 268, 269, 368, 369, 378, 468, and 469 are reserved for honors seminars. Topics vary by semester.
  • Add-on one honors credit – One hour of honors credit in addition to regular course credit. Students participate in extra projects or research in a particular course under the supervision of the instructor.
  • Departmental Honors courses – At the upper levels, Honors Program students are expected to propose and conduct research or creative projects within their major fields carrying three to six credit hours of independent study per semester. Students seeking University Honors credit should apply for departmental honors as specified (see Academic Awards and Scholastic Honors in this section) and simultaneously submit their prospectus to the Director of the Honors Program. Upon approval of the completed departmental honors projects or creative productions for honors credit by the students’ departmental 
     supervisory committees, students in the Honors Program will be awarded both departmental and University Honors credit. Students are required to present findings in a public forum such as the Undergraduate Research Symposium, scheduled each year in the spring.
  • Internship – On rare occasion, when certain criteria are met, an internship may carry honors credit.
  • Study Abroad – Coursework carries honors designation only as determined by the Director of University Honors.

Jacksonville University is committed to providing its students with a world-class education. The University has embraced study abroad and international education as an ideal engaged learning experience. JU has developed select programs around the world where students can immerse themselves in the local cultures, participate in internships and community service opportunities, and study alongside local students. The University considers international experience to be an integral part of liberal arts and professional education for the 21st century. JU is dedicated to providing a global education for its students through the International Education Programs (IEP) office. IEP offers a full catalog of programs accessible to most students and majors. Students can study abroad for as short a time as Spring Break or two to six weeks in the summers, or as long as an academic year. IEP provides quality international academic experiences at some of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Whether students are interested in developing their language skills, immersing themselves in other cultures or earning credit toward their degrees, IEP will help students realize their international academic goals.

JU study abroad programs are unique in many ways. Most courses are taught in English. Programs are designed to be affordable to all students; in addition, students may be eligible for federal and state financial aid to participate. Extensive on site support services are available to JU students abroad.

JU faculty have led programs and taught courses in Africa, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Spain, and Thailand. Semester and summer study abroad programs are available in dozens of countries around the globe.

JU students and non-JU students admitted to JU as transient students receive JU credit with grades, which are calculated in their grade point average for faculty led courses taken abroad. JU students and non-JU students admitted to JU as transient students receive JU credit with grades, which are not calculated in their grade point average, for participation in any approved IEP summer, semester or study abroad program. To be acceptable for credit, the appropriate college deans and chairs of the divisions concerned must approve international study and other learning abroad activities. NROTC students must have commanding officer approval to study abroad. 

Students planning to study abroad must also notify the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Financial Aid at the time that an application for study abroad is submitted. Courses taken abroad must meet University academic standards and form a coherent part of the student’s four-year curriculum plan. JU degree-seeking students may not participate in more than three semesters or 45 semester hours total in study abroad programs.

Students must take at least 12 hours in their majors at the Jacksonville University campus. Students may take up to 15 of their last 30 semester hour credits abroad in study abroad programs.  Students who study abroad their last semester may have their graduation postponed to the next graduation date due to the dates of the Study Abroad Term or for the time it takes to receive the transcript from the foreign school.  Faculty led programs do not count against students’ residency hours or apply toward the previously mentioned restrictions. Students should visit the Study Abroad Office located in Gooding 105 or call (904) 256-7295 with any questions.

The University internship program is designed to provide junior and senior students practical experience in areas related to their major fields of study. Since the internship involves the awarding of academic credit, this experience is expected to:

  • Require the student to apply the concepts, theories or practices learned in the classroom and to test the application of these ideas in actual situations encountered in the nonacademic setting.
  • Expand the knowledge base of the student through challenging assignments. While it is expected that the student intern will be asked to perform some routine duties, this cannot be the primary function of the internship. The student pays regular academic fees for hours of academic credit earned during an internship. The amount of knowledge gleaned from the internship is expected to approximate that provided in a classroom setting. This becomes a value judgment as experiential learning is compared to classroom learning, but it is a critical factor in evaluating an internship.
  • Expose the student to the wealth of actual behaviors, situations, and incidents that occur in an organizational setting and cannot be taught in the classroom. Often this is part of the socialization process that occurs when an individual joins an organization, even if only on a part-time basis.
  • Provide a valuable interface between the sponsoring organization and the University. Students selected to participate in internship programs become representatives of the student body to the community just as the faculty members, acting as internship academic advisors, represent the faculty and administration of the University. This responsibility can be one of the most valuable assets to the program. It provides the community with a firsthand evaluation of the fine quality students and faculty at Jacksonville University.
  • Credit Awarded - No more than 12 hours of academic credit can be earned through the internship program and applied toward the fulfillment of the 120 credit hours required for a degree. Internship courses will carry the suffix number of 90; i.e., 390, 490.
  • Academic Standards - A student applying for an internship must:
    • Have junior or senior standing or departmental approval
    • Have a faculty sponsor with expertise in the field of the internship
    • Secure the agreement of a sponsoring agency or employer
    • Have the permission of the division chair and the college dean

Any student on probation or suspension is not eligible for an internship. Divisions may set higher academic qualifications for participation in internships under their supervision.

The University also encourages qualified students to spend a semester in Washington, D.C., interning in various areas of government and business through its affiliates, the Washington Center for Internships and Seminars or the American University Program. The Washington Center’s program promotes future leadership for the public, private, and nonprofit sectors of society. Sophomores and juniors are eligible if they have a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average and recommendations of the faculty. The program is administered by the College of Arts and Sciences. Scholarships often are available through The Washington Center. Seniors are also eligible for opportunities through The Washington Center because the credit is conferred by Jacksonville University.

JU recognizes the educational value of an undergraduate research experience. A two-course sequence in undergraduate research has been established. Eligible students may enroll in scheduled courses assigned the departmental prefix and the number 373 (Research Preparation) and 374 (Undergraduate Research) for two credit hours each. A second alternative for eligible students is to enroll in independent study for research projects under the direction of research professors who lead students through the designated steps in research design, execution, and analysis. These courses are designed to give the student experience, beginning with the conceptualization and design of a research project, through the literature search, data gathering and analysis, and writing the results in a format suitable for publication. Students should consult with the college deans or division chairs in their areas of study.
Independent study is available to junior or senior students in good academic standing and to Graduate students. All fields are open to this academic alternative. A variety of designs are encouraged: travel study, semiprofessional work, or research experience. The title and description of the design and content must be submitted to the supervising instructor, the appropriate division chair, and the college dean at least one month prior to registration. If approved, the course will be assigned a title and departmental prefix, plus a course number from the series 199, 387, 388, 487, 488 and 591.

Independent study design may not duplicate any course listed in the Catalog, and credit may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. A student may enroll for a maximum of six (6) hours of independent study each semester and is limited to a maximum of 12 hours for undergraduates and six (6) hours for Graduate Students.

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